Treasure Hunt by Southern Belle

Five Go Mad in Rutland …… and nearly come to a sticky end (or not, depending on resourcefulness!)

Last to set off, and nearly missing our instructions which QT had left ‘on a chair’, it’s a good job we were being piloted by the ever calm, brilliant and resourceful Sarah, who was not at all phased as we, well, mostly Donna to be strictly accurate, frequently shouted out seemingly random ‘STOPS!’ and ‘Go BACKS!’ as we progressed through the twisting, single track lanes. Donna was in charge of identifying the photo clues, while Catherine and Louisa were hustled in and out of the car checking gates/notice boards we THOUGHT we had identified. Excitement mounting, we knew we were catching others up when we glimpsed Red Hatters gathered around the sign post at Lande Abbey, the tranquility of the beautiful grounds rent with frantic (and increasingly inaccurate) additions of the various mileages shown.

So far, so good, possibly…..
It was all going so well, then the great controversy of the night began: the anguished hunt for the sellotape ‘in the bole of an oak tree’, to stick down the various leaves we had collected. After fruitless searching where we thought this holy grail was secreted, we widened our field of operations and were rewarded with a prize view of the rump of Pooh Bear (aka Lady Jane Wordsmith), her upper half ENGULFED by oak tree. As she elegantly decanted herself and departed with a skittish wave in her chariot of fire, we couldn’t be certain whether she had actually found the sellotape, or, whisper it, the suspicious amongst us even thought she might have STOLEN it!! Or was her cheery attitude just a double bluff? Her enigmatic smile told us nothing, so we frantically carried on fruitlessly searching, then decided to Give Up and Carry On (a new slogan for mugs and tea towels, perhaps?)

From here on we passed through stunning scenery, down gated roads and through beautiful villages I mean to explore again; I had no idea this seemingly remote, unspoilt and fabulous countryside was right on our doorstep, and as usual, QT had arranged for a perfect, golden evening of sunshine for the Treasure Hunt – how does she do it? Some of the clues were fiendish, others easier to spot, but we had a real sense of achievement as ‘The Stilton Cheese’ pub hove into view, where sustenance was much needed by these five intrepid explorers.

Now for the REALLY amazing bit, apart from the fact that we found the pub without opening our envelope………we won, and were lucky enough to have the choice of very groovy berets or turbans as prizes, red, of course!! Thank you sooooo much to QT, and I’m SURE Little Miss Do a Lot had a hand in the most fiendish of the clues, for such an entertaining and brilliant Treasure Hunt!

PS The much sought sellotape had NOT been stolen by badgers keen to get ahead with their Christmas wrapping, we were all too wimpy to get really stuck under that oak tree, unlike Lady Jane (and also Marilyn’s team, who used their initiative and went home to Marilyn’s to get some!).

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