|17 Sep 2017||Fiona||Keith|
Today we gathered at the Roebuck in Marlborough on a cool, grey, misty morning. Despite this, we were twenty in number, though notably missing Margaret and John, who are very much in our thoughts currently, and we wish Margaret a thorough and speedy recovery.
After an update on Margaret, Fiona gave her briefing as Hare for the day, describing where we were about to go in some detail; “turn right out of the car park, then after 100 yards go down the path on the right….” such that it seemed there might be no flour at all and we would need to memorise the route. But that was not the case. Fiona was simply adopting a ‘belt and braces’ approach ensuring we could not get lost. She introduced us to a new symbol, the triangle, meant to inform us of a hill we would clamber up, only to immediately descend on the other side. Distances were an estimated 6 miles and 3.5/4 miles.
And so we were off. I could not persuade anyone else to write the mag, so here I am. Annie agreed to be the official photographer and managed to take one of us all before we set off. There was plenty of flour on this lush, well-laid trail.
I do not generally have a good memory for where we have been, or for direction, (but am nowhere near as helpless as Sue). I know the landscape was very varied and pleasant, and involved some hill climbs where we enjoyed views across valleys to distant verdant hillsides.
I ran near the back of the pack (sounds like a choice, doesn’t it? – it wasn’t) variously with Brian, David and Viv, whilst Sue, Jeremy and John broke away from us. We eventually reached a fairly steep tree-lined muddy track where, at the top, another track crossed it. We had seen flour coming up the hill but towards the top and beyond – none! It was clear a tractor or some vehicle had been over and obliterated a vital sign.
John, Jeremy , David and Sue had already set off looking for the trail but returned empty-handed. David plodded off again and the rest of us milled around discussing what to do. It was suggested we ring Fiona, and this I did.
David returned and assailed us as “a load of useless lemons!” for resorting to the mobile phone. This seemed clearly meant as an insult. He does seem to be getting more irascible these days, don’t you think? For instance, he insulted our walkers en masse in his recent hash mag . Another less civilised group of hashers might have summarily lynched him.
We set off again on the trail which remained varied and enjoyable eventually taking us through a nature reserve, a field of horses,a churchyard and back into Marlborough.
As we continued together (David, Viv and I), David continued with his haranguing of his fellow hashers, declaring us “pusillanimous”, and with Viv and I not confidently knowing this word, there followed debate as to its meaning. David said “weak, feeble – minded” whereas I consulted some of our intelligent walking hash colleagues who, like me, thought it meant “tight-fisted, mean, mean-spirited” .
I regret to say that the matter was (ironically) resolved by recourse to a mobile phone internet dictionary that appeared to side with David, whose gleeful delight to finally being right about something was clear for all to see. (Happy to rely on the phone this time then, David?)
It is noteworthy that David appeared after the run wearing a clean tee shirt, sans paint spatter, which was commented on by several of those present (so perhaps is off to meet the Queen this afternoon.)
As if the morning hadn’t been educational enough, Kathy introduced us to “pulchritude”, an ugly word that actually refers to physical beauty or comeliness.
I’m fairly certain she wasn’t thinking of me when she thought to mention this. (I suppose I could be wrong ? Oh, ok then).
We sat huddled around a round wooden table by a window, packed tightly, snugly, even (snug; def. “comfortable, warm, and cosy; well protected from the weather or cold, very tight or close- fitting”.) enjoying the banter and bonhomie.
Mike awarded the red shorts to Maurice, (who is lesser-spotted these days) who has recently been helping Iceland recover from its’ financial meltdown, and soon plans an arctic circle marathon jaunt, (so is off the sauce) and did his damnedest to look sincere as he said he wasn’t missing it at all.
I thanked Fiona , who was warmly applauded for laying a most enjoyable trail .