23rd January – Pimlico – Australia Day/Burns Run

“Holden Wrecks and rusting diesels boil in 45 Degrees,” so sung Midnight Oil. We ran, sang and froze in 40 Degrees farenheit.

Despite London Undergrounds best attempts to sabotage MM’s Australia day/ Burns night run by flooding a switch room at Victoria with a sea of flooring screed a respectably sized pack assembled at the Grosvenor in Pimlico. It was a bit of a shock to find ourselves sharing the place with a darts competition and the regular jazz night.

In best hash tradition the trail was a beguiling mix of the familiar and the where the **** are we? Before heading south over Lambeth Bridge where if this  north Londoner was confused on his own side of the river, he was now totally disorientated, it’s different world down south. Exotic and almost mythical places such as Old Paradise St, and Lambeth Walk were passed through until by some mysterious means we arrived at Vauxhall Bridge and once safely back on the north bank treated to a drinks stop on the spot where convicts were embarked for a future in Botany Bay

As promised this was not what might have expected, consisting as it did of haggis and oatcake canapés accompanied by Scotch and shortbread. Full marks to Mike for manning it. The man’s a legend, most of us only meet him once a year in the cold and damp somewhere on the banks of the Thames where he cheerfully dispenses refreshments to the rest of us whatever the weather.

Back at the pub it was apparent that such was the hares skill in shepherding the pack (flock?) it had expanded greatly since the start, indeed one such confided that he had come because it was within cycling distance of home, promised a barbeque and the clincher was he had no food in the house!

The après run barbie was well up to the Grosvenor’s usual standard and with plenty of snags and chook, chips, pasta etc, most of us consumed more calories than we had used!

The Circle was held outside on the pavement thus lowering the tone of the district, down downs were awarded for the usual, often spurious reasons, to whom and for what I have no idea.

THE ENDPS. By way of linking Burns night and Australia day, that emotive and supremely Australian song “And the band played waltzing Matilda” was written /composed by a Scotsman, Eric Bogle. He is now an Australian citizen.


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