|26 Dec 2017||Viv & John||Kathy|
First of all a resounding vote of thanks to our much-loved hares, Viv & John, who – not for the first time in hashing history, please note – rose early on Boxing Day to lay us a pair of cracking hash trails (I don’t recall that route being used before, it was lovely and open – making it easier to walk side by side and gossip! – and very scenic). And this they achieved, in their inimitably relaxed style, on the same day they were flying to Budapest for a few days’ holiday as well. Would the majority of us have been that altruistic? Would we, heck…! And we were greeted half-way around with delicious and bountiful home-made mince pies too (baked by ever modest John)!
Secondly, the weather was surprisingly good; in fact, near perfect hash weather. The sun shone, it neither rained nor threatened to, and the breeze was never more than playful. As befits an ideal hash, it only started to drizzle as it got darker and we started to head home, and we couldn’t have cared less then.
There was a good turnout, as is nearly always the case at a Boxing Day hash, and it was lovely to greet several old friends again, though we had no “little people” join us this time (despite my having brought an assortment of sweets to hand out, hey ho). Here I feel a bonus point should be awarded to young Ollie, fresh from his studies in Falmouth, who looked in remarkably fine fettle (there were more than a few mutterings of “fit” and “hot” – though I, for one, am just grateful he never makes us superannuated females feel invisible!).
But now to the optional ‘themed’ head-gear. Many hashers rose to the challenge by sporting a range of very cheerful, and surprisingly not too dog-eared, seasonal or otherwise eye-catching millinery (I do like that word). At one point I even thought I was being dogged by the ghost of Somerset Maugham, but that turned out to be just Mad Mike Fisher wearing a fetching Panama hat, making him look even more preposterously youthful than usual – how on earth does he keep doing it? Where’s that attic where he keeps that wretched portrait?!
However, I do feel an entire section should be devoted to ‘Le Birley’, who sported such an outstanding and unique headdress that even I, your scribe, was left speechless (no titters, please)! Perched on David’s head was a creature of such rare and brooding magnificence (I’m not sure whether it was dead or merely resting, poised to peck anyone’s eyes out who didn’t concur its superiority, rather like Rod Hull’s emu, who made every interviewer wary) that it improved David’s sartorial appearance in one fell swoop. Apparently, this helmut was no other than an “Alsatian Stork”. It took me a minute to work out that this was not related to the four-legged creature that barks, but originates from the Alsace region in Eastern France. No common-or-garden Swindon, or even Wiltshire, stork for ‘Le Birley’. The region is even home to an ‘animated astronomical clock’ I read (I think that relates to the heavens, and not its monetary value). You just cannot make it up. See, you come along to a hash and you even get an education…. of sorts.
And as to the hash itself? Well. It was muddy for the walkers (I can’t say I noticed it much, but my trousers and wellies certainly did). However, I have it on good authority from Sue that it was very, very, VERY muddy for the runners. ‘Nough said. And several of the wonky bridges and stiles (a few of the latter were even a bit stratospheric for petite folk like me) were a tad challenging to overcome (pun, get it?) – but who’s complaining?
The atmosphere at the apres was, as always, very relaxing and enjoyable. We had a
spacious section of the pub all to ourselves enabling everyone to mingle and catch-up on Christmas news, and the landlady of the Village Inn did us proud with an excellent and imaginative home-made buffet. Plentiful, high-quality food that was ready and waiting for us – what more could we ask for? On on!