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Run no. 1392
Date,7th March 2017
Venue The Wheel @ Naphill
Hares, Matt 'n Mick
Scribe, Rob H
Outside the Wheel, and following a call for volunteers to write up the run, with Andy a couple of weeks ago and Sarah this week publicly outing me as having not carried out my duty to write up the hash report the week after my own run, here I am, doing the hash report. B*****????.
Initially everyone was called upon to put on their red jackets and have a photograph taken with the friendly publican of the Wheel holding a plaque, as it had been chosen as the highest ranking of the HWHHH 2016 venues. Roger took it upon himself to take the group photograph and after trying two devices, and receiving no little help from Jess, actually managed it, although numerous latecomers kept delaying matters.
Eventually Matt one of our hares for the evening gave us a briefing which included an on-back sign which looked like a hangman's noose to me but meant that those finding the sign had to run back calling cheers to everyone. Maybe this was something to do with the fact that our two hares Matt and Mick had already partaken of the Wheel's hospitality earlier in the day. The longs were forecast to do a bit less than 6 and the shorts 3.5 miles.
It had been pretty wet in the days prior to the run so I suppose it was obvious that we would head out onto Naphill Common, one of the shiggiest places around. From the survey carried out by the Friends of Naphill Common the geology of Naphill Common is more complex than the published geological maps would suggest. Rather than simply being Clay-with-flints overlying Chalk, there are three main lithological areas: Reading Formation clay (north and west), Clay-with-flints (south and east) and loess (central and overlying both of these older clay units).
We had done at least a mile of paddling on the level Reading Formation Clay (so now you know) with deep shiggy everywhere, when suddenly out of nowhere appeared a group of mountain bikers with their lights shining; they received a great cheer from the hash. We were still struggling along on the Common when we arrived at the long short split.
The longs headed off left and I understand had a party around some telephone pole until the hare sorted them out - some rumour that the hare had lost the way, surely never - with some longs managing 7.5 miles for the evening.
The sensible shorts, led by Mick headed on along the Common, then right, back across the road, and eventually down into North Dean with lovely views of the valley on the way. By now the weather had turned fine, so it was a pleasant ramble down the road in North Dean and then back across the fields and up a cliff in the woods to arrive back in Naphill, with a short walk down the road to the pub.
Back in the pub it was a long wait for the longs but to keep us occupied we were supplied with buttered bread and chips, lots of them. When the longs finally arrived, there were further helpings, so that everyone was well fed.
Roger announced the monthly Tosca award for Zac wearing his Magneto helmet (with several hashers trying the helmet on, apparently, it blocks out sound quite efficiently) so he can't hear the many comments on his efforts. Well done Roger and many thanks to Matt and Mick for a very enjoyable evening.
Run no. 1391
Date, 28th February 2017
Venue Farnham Sports club
Unlike some, I don't shirk my duty as scribe. No, I didn't really try and get Kev to do it, did I? Cheers Kev it's an apple juice next time. Perhaps I should have tried Matt W as he seems to like writing for some reason?
I shall set aside my guide books to Vietnam /Cambodia and Angkor Wat 'n all that and attempt a hash trash before we travel to far off lands and before I forget what happened on Tuesday.
Well the hashers slowly trickled into the car park at The Sports Club Farnham Common, while the early arrivals were wondering:
a) were they in the right place?
b) would there be a quorum?
c) why is Zorro in a Father Christmas onesie?
Many hashers defected to Austria or somewhere cold to play in the snow but we managed to muster just over 20 I think, not bad for a dark, wet, February evening.
Hawkeye sauntered along from his back door and assured us of flour always on the right but beware a symbol, used in foreign hashes, which resembled "a hot cross bun" -I like that analogy Dave, whereas Alan thought Hawkeye didn't know his alphabet, F was too difficult a concept for a false trail. Its a pity Kevin arrived late and missed the speech and promptly ran on half a mile through the said check looking to catch the pack.
Meanwhile, the pack headed up Christmas Lane and arrived at a crossroads, but no Kevin. Audrey in a vibrant marshall outfit and Barney, decided to track back and look for the missing hasher. We hashers are a friendly lot, well done Aud and Barney putting in the extra mile.
The rest carried on through trees and out onto Andrew Hill Lane close to Hedgerley.
A left off said lane took us to Pennlands Farm where we regrouped. Andy and Anthony were dispatched to rround up the 3 missing hashers and they galloped off happy to oblige and tot up extra miles. The happy sight of 5 lights coming down through the woods reassured us that all were found and they soon joined the happy throng.
The long short split was announced and the Longs set off on a mammoth loop through Dorney Bottom and onto the A355 at Dorney Hill. While the shorts did an easy loop I know not where. Meanwhile Tick went awol and had to lifted over a barbed wire fence and then over a stile to rejoin the hash at the main road.
Mike was absent, so no fear of him heading up the A355 to the motorway service station this time! Not a pleasant section along the roadside to reach a footpath on the bend. A lumpy bumpy field followed and the pack endeavoured to stay together with many on backs. Andy must have clocked up 30+ but I gave up counting about 25 and lost the will to live at the back! Andy was still doing on backs in the car park back at the Sports Club. Perhaps he hadn't quite made 10 miles or whatever his target is!
I managed a decent 5.7 miles, thanks to all those on backers who offered words of encouragement to the septuagenarian. Its all a bit of a blur but apparently we went through Hangings Wood, Ship Hill, Jennings Farm and Harehatch Lane which brought us back to the A355 where I guess the shorts had crossed on their loop. On through Egypt Woods where Crazy Alan told me of crazy things they do bike training, onto Dukes Drive, and finally across the main road, down the footpath with a welcome On Inn as the rain began to fall.
It seems Zorro had an birthday, hence the dressing up and Nicky too, with brand new birthday trainers to prove it ( a present from Zac who muddied them up at the start by treading on them). They were to encounter a lot more shiggy than that by the time we finished, even if Nicky did bathe them in a stream to restore them to their former glory. Better that than the hash custom I am told to drink a pint of beer from your new shoes!
Talking of shoes........Mick stepped into the GM's shoes and led the birthday singing with our band of 'select' hashers and thanked Hawkeye for a well marked, enjoyable hash. Thanks also for well-received chips and to Nicky for cakes.
I think I deserve a siesta now .........zzzzzzzzz!
Run no. 1389
Date, 21th February 2017
Venue Hit or Miss @ Penn Street
Hares, Maggie & Dave
Scribe, Matt (W)
It was not cold. It was windy, as a few over 30 hashers gathered in the car park opposite the Hit and Miss in Penn street. The dogs were impatient and apparently the on backs would be on posts as an improvised measured, due to the fact that the ones on the ground had mysteriously disappeared.
Off we went down the road towards Winchmore Hill, and arrived at the first check. Most of the hounds immediately turned right into the woods. When questioned if they were “on”, someone said it was always right off that road on previous hashes. As a handful of remaining hashers looked down at the check, Maggie was forced to put down an arrow in the direction of the main pack, who were rapidly fading in the distance.
As we hit the shiggie in Charcoal Grove and Common wood, you could tell from the conversation that the gloom of January was well behind us. It seemed everyone was talking about going on holiday. The hashskiers were particularly demob happy about next week's trip to Austria.
On through more shiggie into the middle of Penn Wood, and finally after around 3 miles, we arrived at the long/short split. The shorts headed back to the pub, with the longs heading off to Beamond End and Mop End Farm. There was also a medium, which avoided the Mop End Farm loop.
As I was with the shorts, I can only go on hearsay from Alan as to the shenanigans in the car park near the Church on route back to the pub. It appears that there was some dogging going on in this car park. Some of the occupants had actually got out of their cars, and appeared to be very friendly with Mark Bellamy. When I asked Alan about the remaining occupants, he said “They were dogs”. I said “Not particularly attractive then?”. “No, they were real dogs!” Oh dear, I thought, no wonder they do what they do under cover of darkness!
The longs must have had a burst of energy after being released from the shorts, because they arrived back pretty soon after, or maybe the shorts just broke into a walk on the way back.
In the pub, the beer was good and hoppy, and the chips were very welcome and plentiful. Happy Birthday was sung a number of times, but mainly for Maggie who treated us to her delicious rocky roads. Also, T-shirts were presented to Jo and Judy for running many hashes. Thanks Maggie and Dave for a great hash.
Run no. 1388
Date, 14th February 2017
Venue Dasshwood Arms @ Piddington
Scribe, Matt (W)
So, for the 2nd week a row, we were in good ‘ol Lord Dashwood’s roistering territory, and for the 2nd week in a row I was in the writer’s chair….owing to a very strange mute affliction that seems to descend upon the hash when Roger asks for volunteers to write the Run Report. Still, what better to appease the old Dashwood rogue by an offering of comely maidens, resplendent in their silky red dresses, from the very young and innocent (i.e. Maggie’s grandchildren) to the rather more weather-beaten and worn (i.e. myself and Aaron)……I say that because for a run advertised as ‘Valentine’s Day Fancy Dress. WEAR RED - a red dress would be good’, there was a distinct lack of ‘dressing-up’, or indeed of ‘redness in general’ on show in the car park before the hash.
Kamikaze Kev insisted that he was actually wearing something red beneath his neon running gear (but he wouldn’t disclose what), Kitty (Sooper’s daughter) had gone anti-red dress (by wearing blue shorts over her black leggings), and other members of the hash couldn’t even pretend to affect a passing interest, “It’s on the website? Oh, I never look at that thing anyway” - Paul (aka Digital Marketing Guru). Quite.
So, the mood wasn’t exactly buoyant as we set off. Maybe this was because memories still abounded of Kamikaze Kev’s last winter run, almost a year ago, still referred to in hushed tones by the survivors as ‘The Grand of Duke of York’ run. This took place from up atop Stokenchurch on one of the filthiest nights of 2016 (yes, Kev did march us up and down the same hill, having got severely lost in the process…and then proceeded to take 2 weeks off work sick!).
Anyway, surprise surprise, from Paddington the only way was up, so we ascended what seemed like a mile long incline, then hung a right and ran down the other side of the same hill. Kev seemed rather pleased with himself at this point:
“See, at least I didn’t bring you up this hill did I?”, said Kev, running downhill. “No, but we had to run up the other side of this hill to be able to run down it” “Oh well, I think this side is much worse……” Kamikaze runs off again….to lay some live on-backs.
“Was that a 3 on a 2?” Roger thought he had spotted an unusually-positioned hash sign. “Do you mean a 3 on a poo? Shame it wasn’t a 2 on a poo…that would have rhymed far better!” Unfortunately, comedy value was already in short supply, but that didn’t stop the conversation taking a distinctly scatalogical tone:
"I judged that it was far enough from the path not to bother with” claimed Roger proudly, as he debated the etiquette of whether ‘To Bag’ or ‘Not to Bag’ Summer’s winter offerings. “What is the unit of measurement for how far a dog sh*t has to be off the path then Roger?” “Oh, about this long..” [Roger holds his hands about 6 inches apart] “Shall we call it a doggy cable then?"
Ah, now that opened a whole can of worms (pills are available from your vet), and the rest of the hash joined in ‘The Great Doggy Do-Do Discussion’. “Surely though, a doggy cable is going to vary greatly from dog to dog….I mean, a Great Dane could easily outsh*t, say, a Chichuaha….couldn’t it?”. “Oh, I’ve seen some small dogs do some VERY big sh*ts!” weighted in Sarah breathlessly, slightly late to the debate, having been caught by another phantom On-Back…. “And if you’ve ever seen any of Lucy’s nappy’s….they’re definitely 3’s!”
“Plus, if it’s Hector, he can clear a room at 40 paces…and that’s before he’s even dropped his doggy cable!” Phil adds his two-pennyworth….or is three by now…I’ve lost count?
Anyway, we then ascended again (obviously…because we’d just descended - doh!), which pleased Kamikaze Kev greatly; “Chiltern Hills - the clue is in the name….’cos it’s not bloody flat is it?!”. Any chivalry was similarly in short supply, as nobody stood aside to let a lady over the stile first, hence I had to grab Cockers by his neck and yank him back, “Look, I’m a f***ing lady, I go first, OK?!”. Manners……
After losing the shorts at the split, we kept on climbing in the direction of Adam’s Park, which seemed to comfort Simon…actually no, I tell a lie, it didn’t at all: “At least I can bloody well sit down when I go to Adam’s Park!”. However, the mood was then lifted when it transpired that Kerry had been put in charge of the flour at this point, much to Kev’s dismay. There followed a series of ‘inventive’ signs, such as smiley faced checks, circular arrows, and a new hash sign….the ‘Back On’.
We initially thought it was another Long/Short split, but it turned out to be a ‘6’ with an arrow next to it, pointing forwards…..”’cos that’s the direction they’re gonna ‘ave to run….innit?! [says he using his best Kerry accent]. We debated whether this meant the ‘6’ rearmost hashers had to run to the front, but by this point, everybody caught up anyway and in Kamikaze’s words ‘I don’t have a bloody clue what she’s on about…..I very rarely do!, and a brief flour splodge later marked the scuffle at the point where Kev had wrested back the bag of flour. Sorry Kerry, why don’t you set a hash on your own next time…eh? Just remind me so I can make sure I’m washing my hair that night…..
By this point, we were all drenched, very muddy, and those of us who had dressed up for the occasion were starting to complain of ‘female chafing’ issues, such as joggers nipple and the need to pop behind a tree for ‘a quick Paula [Radcliffe]’.
Evenutally back at the pub, we regrouped with the Shorts, and gate-crashed everybody else’s Valentine’s Night - just think of Roger invading your personal space on the one night of the year when you’ve just forked out a fortune fro be sat opposite your loved on? To be fair, the locals didn’t look like Valentine’s Night figured high on their romantic agenda, so Roger was, for once, welcomed in as a force for good. Or new blood, depending upon what stories you’ve heard about Piddington in the past?
Was a t-shirt presented….yes, I think it was…for 300 runs….can’t quite remember to whom….I just heard the words ‘A Gerry Special’ as I was playing ‘Snare-the-Chicken-Nuggets-from-underneath-the-chips’, under intense competition from Cockers and Kamikaze. This demanded all my concentration as one wrong move would have rendered me nugget-less and that red dress had already chafed away a fair bit, so I was already feeling semi-nuggeted…..
We did say a silent prayer for those absent hashers, no doubt enjoying themselves on Valentine’s Night with their loved ones, grimacing over the cost of a 3-course set menu complete with love-laden puns and a severe allergy to liberally scattered rose petal leaves. Ha! Serves you bloody well right, and oh, Dick, the going rate for a hash write-up in abstentia has just gone up to two pints for Valentine’s Night….well, I don’t see why I shouldn’t put my prices up as well?!
Run no. 1387
Date, 7th February 2017
Venue Le De Spencers Arms @ Downley
Hares, Dick 'n Tash
Scribe, Matt (W)
"The unique name of Le De Spencers Arms is down to Francis Dashwood who became the 15th Baron le Despencer and within whose estate the pub lies....",
....this being the same Dashwood who founded the Hell Fire Club which specialised in drinking, orgies and devil worship. Well, there’s a hash build up if ever there was one...mind you, 1 out of 3 'ain't bad....or maybe it could be more?!
Apparently, there used to be a golf course built around the pub as well, but it must have been a pretty poor one, 'cos there were very few flat, unrocky, untwiggy, unmuddy bits! Actually, Dick turned up looking decidedly 'unmuddy' considering that he claimed to have just set the hash. Methinks (oops, lapsing back into 'Dashwood' already...) the hare was pulling a swift one....
After watching a very entertaining game of car jenga in a pock-marked car park which resembled a heavily-shelled 1st World War section of no-man's land, we were called to order by the GM....nothing happened....then Dick spake and we fell hushed (hey, mega Dashwood there!). Somehow in the midst of the briefing, those answering to the name 'Matt' were asked to put their hand up; I didn't but was still singled out and told that I had to write the report as Matt R wasn't here (then again, when is he here at the start of a hash?!).
The shorts were accompanied Dick for the first section, like a group of overgrown schoolchildren on a rare outing, whilst the rowdy longs went careening and carousing off down a muddy lane…and then promptly looped round and caught up with the shorts agai. Hmmm....Hare....another swift one pulled....discuss? Sometime around this point, Matt R came swinging down the lane in his Magical Mystery Machine, and optimistically swung into the afore-mentioned 'car park'. How we roared....
In fact, there was a distinct bacchanalian air about the hash this evening, rather like a rowdy Carry On Film, where dashings of smut and innuendo abounded. At the first regroup, Helen (as per last week) asked Nikki to bend over and duly shone her light at her nether regions, like some deranged proctologist, before professing disappointment that she wasn't wearing the same Space Invader knickers as last week (they were pandas apparently...which would have made for a far more interesting arcade shoot 'em up game in the first place if you'd asked me....but you didn't).
This prompted a thigh-slapping debate (full panto version, no holds barred) as to whether it was acceptable to wear the same pants/knickers every week to the hash....after all, they could just be your favourite running pants?.....which quickly became a suggestion for next year’s Xmas Present - Hash Underwear!
'C u next Tuesday' was mentioned as a potential motif (well, it was accurate date-wise!), but some took offence at this suggestion……and then proceeded to take even more offence at the suggestion it should just be for the wenches (full Dashwood now...come onnnnn!). Thongs were also mentioned (printing would be tricky though), and then to cap it all off, Matt R pulled a moonie whilst running along ahead of us…not quite sure why - to prove he wasn't wearing any pants? Still, at least it was a full moon.
Helen meanwhile was not helped by having Arthur attached to her body. Arthur, to be fair, wasn’t exactly too chuffed at having Helen attached to his, and did his best to escape, notably downhill on the muddiest, slipperiest bits....just about the same time as I decided to recreated the opening boulder scene from Raiders of The Lost Ark. Sorry about that folks.....I'd still blame Arthur if I were you though. Or Helen. Maybe even Roger at a push....as the default option.
"Ah....at last, the Golden Balls! I know where I am now!". So spake Jo (who else - our very own Carry On Smut Queen!). Whilst the roisterers checked their breeches for signs of temporary disengagement - "I don't know about golden....mine are like those from a brass bloody monkey at present!" - Jo pointed skywards to the Dashwood's golden orb glowing high on the hillside beyond. Simon then started muttering something historic and factual about Dashwood, but as we were by now in full Carry On mode, nobody paid much attention.
To be fair, the trail had been very well marked (so Dick had been out after all!), with numerous on backs to keep the hash together (so thoughtful!) as well as those delicate little caring touches such as a 'C' for caution next to a narrow barbed-wire lined path. Or should that have been a 'C' for 'Coooorrrrr!!!!' ?
For those of you who like to know where we ran....Matt R did hand me a sodden map afterwards, but just check out the Hashalator site eh, it's far easier. My Strava stays suggested 9km with 150m of ascent (seemed like a damned sight hillier than that) with a running time (ex stops) of just over an hour.
This meant we got back to the pub at a reasonable time, and after a sneaky one-legged stork move (involving getting changed over a muddy puddle) I managed to get to the cosy bar before the general masses and sat down with Stadler & Waldorf to discuss the pub scores for the Hashalator.....in between Roger announcing the Tosca awards, won by Zac for apparently challenging achievement of managing to run into something. High standards indeed!
Then, after giving thanks to the hare for his flouring and chippings, and £4.20 poorer after a pint of ESB (Dashwood would have had a heart attack at those prices!), I climbed into my steed and set off, leaving the bright light (note singular) of Downley behind until another day. What a Carry On though, eh?!
Run no. 1386
Date, 31st January 2017
Venue, Golden Ball @ Pinkney's Green
Hares, DoorMatt (R)
The rain was falling delicately on the heads of all of the excited hashers, though somewhat more heavily on the heads of the hashers who weren't so excited but were rather more in a state of weary acceptance of the mud we knew was on its way.
The Late GM (not that he was dead or anything, he just called us together late), had obviously mistaken the car park for the pub and started to make his weekly speech, which went largely unheard through the general hubbub and chit chat. Eventually Matt, the evening's hare, announced that the long was under five miles! This shocked some of us to silence before we realised it was hare-speak that loosely translated into "over six miles, but if I told you that a lot of people would just go short which would be a shame because of all of the gorgeous mud for you to moose in." At some point we welcomed Debbie Shaw as a Virgin Hasher. Poor Girl.
The first, but almost certainly not the last Moose of the evening was Nickey, she had managed a few hundred yards from the pub before launching into a mud-wrestling contest with an especially wet, slippery and oozy piece of ground. I fear, by the state of her mud-coated leggings, that she was the runner up in the contest.
A few hundred yards further north of the pub and we arrived at Turpin Lodge – which, it is rumoured, is the place that Dick Turpin used as one of his hide outs while robbing passers-by in Maidenhead Thicket. The truth is actually a touch more lurid than the legend as, although it is extraordinarily unlikely that he ever came within 15 miles of the place, this is almost certainly the site of Hangman's Corner where several highwaymen were hanged. It is said (in the Royal Berkshire Histories) that horses will not pass this point! Moreover, if we had carried straight on to Quarry Wood, rather than turning sharp left to Herons Place, we may have met the Ghost of Quarry Wood.
We headed past a point that was only some 50 or 60 yards from where we had been ten minutes earlier and then on to a place within 150 yards or so of where we would be three miles later. Then we turned back north again to pass even closer to our trail than we had been before (Note to hare: extra Brownie points for the neat and sneaky double double-back).
A muddy mile later and we arrived at Long Lane, possibly so called as it is a long way from anywhere. Aside to all women: - is it true that childbirth is so painful that women can almost feel what it's like to be a man with flu?
South to Hindhay Lane, when we ran parallel to Furze Platt but were caught by numerous wickedly long on-backs. The mud that had been with us all of the way around seem to become both stickier and more slippery at the same time. This was the cause of one of my feet becoming stuck while the other shot out violently to the left. Happily, I was saved from having to write about my own moose by a conveniently placed gatepost, through which my verticality was restored. (Ed's Aside: unlike a hashing slip, a Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.)
On-on to the deliciously named hamlet of Ditton Maze and down to Furze Platt Road where the glow from the lights of the pub shone invitingly from just a few hundred yards away. So naturally, full of the expectant joys of a nearby on-inn, we turned in the wrong direction and headed south across Pinkney's Green common. Pinkney's Green common is depressingly large, especially when you are tired and heading in the direction away from the pub. Eventually we did turn around to follow the edge of the trees, and then turned slightly more back towards the pub. At last, the end was in sight and nothing could possibly go wrong. Except of course the mean and vicious on-back that made me understand just how desperately far spread out the pack had become.
Bedraggled, tired and muddy we, eventually, arrived at the pub where an excellent and restorative pint of Roasted Nuts made everything all right with the world again. A gentleman was overheard explaining that he had tripped over his girlfriend's bra. Apparently it was a booby trap.
Roger presented Hells Bells with an inscribed drinking vessel for achieving a massive 500 runs to help her with her next Jagermeister hangover.
Despite the rain, after I got home I needed to have a shower to wash the copious layers of mud off me before I could even get in the bath, it was a particularly well laid and enjoyable hash.
Run no. 1385
Date, 24th January 2017
Venue, Lions,@ Bledlow
As the hash gathered there was, as usual, too much chatter going on to realise that we should have set off some while ago.
So, called to order we heard from the hare that the short was to be around three and a half miles, with the long a whole two miles longer. We also learned a new hashing term that Rob (our hare for the evening) had just made up. He explained that the evening was to be was a "Rolling flat" run- but based on his previously "Incredibly flat run" which had turned out to be one of the hilliest of all time, you could feel the collective dread as hashers shot nervous sideways glances at each other. After much girding of loins (an historical term which, according to Historyzine, was something people did thousands of years ago before going into battle) we set off.
With hindsight this wasn't entirely a wise move as Rob's "Rolling flat" turned into a battle against seeming oceans of nasty, sticky, claggy, strength-sapping mud, with the odd vicious hill and mean on-back along thorn or barbed-wire constrained footpaths thrown in for good measure.
However, the evening sky was glorious - a brilliantly gleaming canopy of star-strewn light. The Milky Way etched its gentle path deeply across the heavens and all would have been right with the world - if only it hadn't been for the hash that we needed to get out of the way before we go to the pub.
We started off with a right turn out of the car park followed by quick left and up the very long (and sticky) Midshires Way that leads up Wain Hill. It made my legs feel as if they had a hangover. Near the top we turned east to skirt around the Cop (no not a bolshie doughnut-filled constable Aside: remember Matt on his Red Dress Run? but the name of the hill) not going quite far enough up the Cop to visit the ancient tumuli perched on top. On around above Warren wood and we came to the long straightish Chiltern Way path.
Two miles of views along the Chiltern Way later and we turned right to skirt Lodge Hill, somewhere near the outskirts of downtown Saunderton and our furthest point from the pub. Somewhere around here I overheard the comment (but won't name the male hasher) "I used to think a woman's place was in the kitchen, then I remembered that's where the knives are kept."
More muddy fields passed underfoot, the fog came and went and Kev and Andy also came and went, this time past me on yet another back check that had caught them at the front.
A check in the wrong direction and we headed along Wiggins Lane for a half a mile or so, then turned right up the Ickneild Way which rapidly turned into a very muddy way before bringing us face to face with a car stuck deep in the aforesaid shiggy. A hash full of helping hands plus several hashers' feet pushing through the mud later and the car, like the hash, was off on its way again.
A random thought crossed my mind as I briefly wondered what "Don't Touch" was in Braille?
Back on the trail and just a couple of hundred yards from where we had been at the Cop half an hour earlier, and we came to the rabbit-hole strewn path the hare had warned us of at the beginning of the run. Cursing both the gloopy mud and the hare for forcing us to go through it, we hit (yet another) on-back which added nearly a quarter of a mile of clinging clay to my run. Typically the on-back had been only a matter of yards from the on-in.
Back in the pub the beer was both welcome and spot-on. Roger announced that not only had it been a beautifully star-drenched night but (somewhat strangely to my mind) said that the hills on the run had been in "just the right places." OK Roger, keep taking the tablets.
Eventually we ventured homewards with the hope of recovering enough in the next week to enjoy the glorious mud, hills and weather that will soon become next week's hash.
Run no. 1384
Date, 17th January 2017
Venue, Chequers,@ Wheeler End
GM's Note. At the request of an incoming administration, certain items that bore too close a resemblance to Alternative Facts that didn't fit the correct world view have been redacted thus XXX. Pink showing solidarity with women of the world.
Fluid dynamics is a fantastically complicated yet completely fascinating field of science. For example, a non-Newtonian fluid will behave thixotropically when placed under stress. A familiar demonstration of this effect is, as I'm sure you're all aware, whacking some custard with a hammer. (This is happily one of the true facts in this write up).
The mysteries of hydrodynamics then will go some way to explaining the counter-intuitive situation we found ourselves in during Gerry's run from The Chequers at Wheeler End last Tuesday. To wit: how can there be so much mud still around when it's so bloody freezing.
Now because I have exciting things to get on to (and because I've just spent the last hour reading obscure science pages on Wikipedia) I shall be brief in the actual description of the hash (pause for ironic cheers). In summary then:
It was very, very cold. Us valley dwellers always feel the drop in temperature once we scale the giddy heights to Wheeler End but this was bitter.
It was spectacularly muddy. The very first check through Rickets Farm was some of the worst shiggy we've had for ages. Honestly, it was like unwhacked custard in there.
Ian's neighbours are worried that he'll scare the horses. Well not just Ian, but he's the one who's probably put the idea into their head. We had to tiptoe silently past the stables so as not to upset them (horses and neigh-bours).
Gerry has a cruel streak (or was suffering from hypothermia when he set the last half mile). When we were practically in sight of the pub we meandered all over the common like a drunken crow.
There were plentiful chips and warm welcome back at the pub. But no custard. Although ketchup is actually a non-Newtonian fluid as well now I come to think of it; and tasty.
One last thing to note was that a couple of people genuinely, and as far as I can tell unironically, mentioned how well the trail had been set; with plenty of flour and clear marks. So thanks for that Gerry. Just a shame about all the mud and ice.
So. I'm sure you're asking yourself what could be more exciting than one of my write ups? After all, I do know words. I have all the best words.
The answer could of course only be...
Oh yes. It's that time of year again - about a month after I could have sorted them out if I wasn't so lazy - when we cast our eyes back over the hashalator highlights of the last year.
These carefully collected and collated numbers have been processed using the most rigorous statistical methods known to man (to this man at least).
First up. The XXXXest hash of the year.
Coming in at a eminently reasonable X.XX miles is XXXX run from the XXXX at the start of the year.
This is in fact such an unimpressive distance that it didn't even break into the top ten longest hashes currently in the Hashalator. We're obviously getting better at setting reasonable lengths (maybe Ken didn't set as many in 2016).
Given that stat though, it's somewhat less reassuring to see that 2016 has seven entries in the top ten slowest ever hashes. A remarkable effort given they were all so short. Technically the slowest was Hawkeye's run round Farnham Common in June at 133 mins, but that did include a very enjoyable beer stop in his garden so I'm not entirely sure it counts. A close second though and with no beerstop that I remember, was Paul's run from The Village Hall (which is not in fact a village hall) in Chalfont, taking us 130 mins ... although I had to park about a mile away so maybe that slowed things down.
The 'honour' of the XXXXest hash of the year goes to XXX for his hash from the XXX in XXX. The only entry in the top 10 for 2016 but in with a bullet at number two. A mighty XXX. No mean feet (sic) given that there's hardly any hills up there on on the escarpment (really there's just the one).
The most popular hash of the year was of by one of our most popular hashers (purely judging by the number of people who came to his hash). XXX's run from the XXX. An all time high of XXX hashers.
I think we should try and be less popular this year otherwise it's going to cost a fortune to buy enough chips.
And finally, just for miserable old Alan who would like to know, the hash with the fewest number of hounds was the very last hash of the year.
XXX's run from the XXX on XXX had XXX runners (although all of a very high quality I seem to remember). Seems a little odd to me; a freezing cold night, XXX, a pub just round the corner from where the XXXest hash of the year and set byXXX - how could anyone resist? And yet mysteriously it's not only the lowest turn out of the year but also the lowest in the database so far (I'm sure Gerry will be only too willing to tell you all about the early days when there was only 3.5 hashers in the entire Hash - so steer clear of him).
I was dragged along to it by Kitty, who hasn't learnt to spot the warning signs yet - and it a fine hash it was too (plenty of chips to go round).
So all in all 2016 turned out to be a fine year indeed. Oh, apart from all those people dying and all the dreadful politics and so on.
Run no. 1383
Date, 10th January 2017
Venue, Britannia,@ Marlow
Hounds, not sure
The Britannia from the outside seemed a bland 1960's Estate pub but was easy to locate and had good parking. While I was doing up my laces, Roger asked for a scribe, so I was somewhat surprised when I stood up to find that the rest of the hash had stepped back 20 paces! Sooper was the hare and dispensed with much of the usual chit chat with a cursory off you go .
Hashes in built-up areas require more checks than in open country so we progressed at a modest pace all the same we were shocked when the long-short split was announced almost immediately. Heading north we reached countryside and encountered a long upwards incline sadly not quite steep enough to justify walking. However in the absence of the A-team (Ant & Andy) the pace continued to be reasonable and checks became places to chat.
There was even a minor outbreak of old jokes including 'Nostalgia is not what it used to be'. Matthew Rayner suddenly appeared amongst us arriving in that somewhat mysterious and slightly unnerving way. Sooper and Paul's daughters were exceptionally allowed out on a school night and they scampered excitedly back and forth like two young fawns; oh why did they make cross country seem so dull when I was at school? Winding in and out of the woods the Glittering Lights of Marlow were occasionally seen below. We headed towards Marlow Bottom and at a certain moment Sooper asked us to pass a warning by Chinese Whisper to Simon that there was a razor wire across the route and that it might trouble one as tall as he. Fortunately he survived the hazard because by the time it got to him the message had become something about going to a dance.
The weather was incredibly mild for January and runners could be seen stripping off superfluous layers it was great night to be out running.
Arriving back at the Britannia it turned out that the interior had been thoroughly modernised and was quite delightful. We had an end to ourselves and there was an elderly live band playing Rock Classics from groups such as Dire Straights, Status Quo and The Who which I for one very much enjoyed. The music prevented Roger from doing his words to the great disappointment of .. Roger but he still presented T-shirts to three hashers who celebrated an incredible total of 600 runs , xx 300, Sarah 250, and yy 50. Jessica passed around eagerly accepted 'kids' sweets in a multi-section Tupperware bowl. As I left the pub to the sound of the Who's Substitute it seemed to me that Nostalgia was what it used to be!
Run no. 1382
Date, 3rd January 2017
Venue, Stag & Hounds,@ Farnham Common
Hares, David & the Blonde
Where's Ken when you most need him? Probably safely tucked up where he likes being tucked.
So, it befalls to me to make good.
Farnham Common. Home to rich, and slightly less rich, alike.
As I approached from the cold and distant North, I mentally turned on Radio 4 (local) in my Walter Mitty alternative universe. The same old, same old, news. As there is no crime in Farnham Common, there is nothing to report. And why is there no crime? At this moment in my musings I passed the answer on my left. Robo-cop was whirr-clicking at great speed towards the Stag and Hounds, long range battery pack steaming on his back.
When I eventually got to the S&H, I found that he had prevented potential disorder (probability 17.3%) by shepherding some flat footed ne'er-do-wells into the outdoor smoking area and turning up the heat(ers).
Unfortunately, the heat started a chain reaction that culminated in a blast from the past from the master of the greens. OI (only really big and bold). "I've got two things to warn you about:
1. The publican has received an award for the quality of his beer (cue Mick, who dashes over to the local ATM) and
2. The run is flat and not very longish.
If only all warnings were as benign. It must be the Robo-Cop effect.
End of fore-chat. No checking. Go south. The blonde half of the joint hare was taking command.
One of our younger brethren decided he would overtake me. And promptly ran into a bollard, hitting it amidships. "Silly boy Pike". (I won't give his true identity because I do not want to embarrass his mother). Afterwards, he told me that it caused no real damage. His propects remained undiminished.
Past the village hall, scene of many a happy quiz night complete with home made beer.
Sarah decided that being a Robo-Cop acolyte was the way forward, and promptly overtook me as we ran into and through THE Farnham Common (which happens to be heavily wooded). My shiggy meter pointer (it is analogue/non digital, I am afraid to say) was firmly stuck on moderate.
The hares must have decided that the common was TOO common because we were then lead a merry dance around the outside to the North. Sarah overtook me again. I can tell it is her because her whirr-clicky sound is higher pitched than the other.
Upon hitting Templewood Lane, we made a right swerve and took our chances with the traffic and the locals. House prices seemed to added another digit or two, even with us there. Curiously, there was a Timber wood and a Stoke Wood on our route, but no Temple Wood to be seen.
The trail quickly regained shiggy moderate status as we hit Stoke Wood, and ran around what looks like an Egyptian Hieroglyph (probably means MINE. KEEP OUT).
At Gypsy Lane, the shorts said Sayonara (or was it See you later). We longs were treated with the respect we deserved and lead a merry loop around Timber Wood before galloping over to Hanging Wood (fortunately deserted) where the Blonde took pity on us, and turned for home. In Footpath wood we were spoilt for choice (or the hares were) before hitting the aptly named Christmas Lane.
Hitting the A355, we tripped over an old geezer lying in wait. "Come with me and I will show you a good (shorter) time". We declined, being 'ard 'ashers who had listened to our mothers in our yoof, accepting the travails of Egypt Lane rather than easy seducements.
A quick tour of the Blondes front garden and we were back.
The beer was overwhelming (choice and quality) and the chips seemed to be on a conveyor belt (which we coped with). Good choice of venue. Excellent run. Great to see the hares again. Many thanks from your fellow hashers.
Run no. 1382
Date, 1 Jan 2017
Venue, The GM's House
Hares, The GM
Scribe, Eve & Dulcie Williams
NEW YEAR’S DAY HASH POEM
BY EVE AND DULCIE WILLIAMS
It was a cold and wet day
We were all on our way,
To the house in Holmer Green,
It was a very beautiful scene.
Mr. Roger welcomed the hash,
We all ate potato mash (not really)
We went up the hill
And felt the chill.
All the dogs started to run,
They had lots of fun!
There was Peggy, Deefa and Summer
Don’t forget Opal and Hecter.
There were loads of on ons and checks
Schools and empty playgrounds.
We didn’t find Shrek
We went round and round.
The walkers were having trouble.
Opal was in a muddle.
Was she stuck in a puddle?
Perhaps she needed a cuddle.
Roger bumped into a holly bush - ouch!
The leaves on the path were mush.
Down the hill very fast,
We were at the house at last.
We were welcomed by the smell of mince pies
And we were snuggly and dry.
We ate the Eve and Dulcie rocky roads
Rogers cake was froze ….n.
Rob Green got his 600 shirt,
Luckily it was kept out of the dirt!
Thank you for the hash,
Please can we come to the hash bash?