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Hawks Walks 2015: the lion, the unicorn and the barbecue

  • Hawks Walks 2015 001
  • Hawks Walks 2015 - BBQ 001
  • Unicorn? 001

Here we are again. It’s the second weekend in May. It’s time for Hawks players new and old, near and far, to converge on a small village in Oxfordshire for the social event of the year: Hawks Walks.

Everyone has a role to play.

Caroline acts as team manager. Getting us all in the right place at the right time and well prepared for the match. Her team emails evolve each year. Next year she’ll be adding soup spoons to the kit list after a couple of members were shocked to find they’d have to eat their starter on Friday night with… a dessert spoon!

Phil and Linda P took on the role of captain and coach. Planning the route and strategy for our walk.

Linda B is our nutritionist. Ensuring that everyone has enough energy (in the form of trifle) to sustain us through a night of drinking.

On Saturday morning we were ready (ahead of schedule) to set off on our walk. Along the way we discovered that publishers and copywriters are never off duty as they spotted a spelling sin on a farmer’s sign: ‘Bridal path. No Axcess around barn please keep to the stone track.’

To show what a cultured lot we are, there was a stop off at an Arts Weeks exhibition in Great Rollright. We weren’t just sheltering from the torrential downpour, honest.

Onwards to Hook Norton for a pub lunch where many of us enjoyed a pint of Lion. And some took a fancy to the water glasses.

In recent years we’ve been known for wildlife spotting, and this year was no exception. Along with kites, deer, goslings and ducklings, Caroline spotted… wait for it… a unicorn! There it was just minding its own business, being ridden by an armoured stranger, outside the pub in Whichford. Some might say she was wrong. That there’s a more logical explanation. That a pub called ‘The Norman Knight’ might, just might, have a statue of a mounted knight carrying a lance outside it. Whatever the truth is, I doubt we’ll be able to beat this find. Unless we spot the Loch Ness Monster or a yeti next year.

For the first time since 2010 the weather was fine enough for us to have a barbecue after our walk. Although some of the soft southerners needed to layer up while Emma, the player on loan from Newcastle, sat out in just a t-shirt. Jacqui might have been better in a fireman’s outfit. She seemed determined to set the foil, the food, the clematis and nearly the wooden clad cottage on fire!

Every year the bonds in the group get stronger and we learn new things about our team mates. This year it was the discovery of what a dirty mind Phil has. During a game of Cards Against Humanity she was rechristened… Filth Williams. So now we’ve got Smut and Filth, what impression is that going to give of us?!

We all went our separate ways on Sunday morning (some earlier than others *glares at Sophie*) and there’s only one thing left to say: the post-match teas were ok.


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