|29 Sep 2019||David||Keith|
This hash seemed to be doomed from the start.
First, David, our Hare, discovered that his chosen hash venue, The Inn with The Well, was shut. Indomitably, that was not going to deter us. We would simply hash from The Inn with the Well, and then go elsewhere for the apres. Simple enough you might think.
I suggested The Horseshoe at Minal. A minor insurrection then took place in my absence at Runch due to The Horseshoe being “in the wrong direction” and too far ….
The Patriots’ Arms at Chiseldon was proposed by the Insurrectionists, and being outnumbered, and a Democrat, I acquiesced.
Then …. I was informed that The Patriots Arms might not be open as it was being said all the staff were ‘let go’ (fired) on Thursday ….
I scoured the pubs website-all seemed normal – and then rang the pub on Saturday; “No problem” I was told. So that was ok. At last, we had a start and end point.
Then the weather forecaster told of Gale Force Winds and Persistent Heavy Rain, due on Sunday and it really did seem like the Hash Gods had deserted us and were ominously sending us a message not to go hashing that day ….
Many walkers took the hint and stayed at home.
It transpired there were more runners than walkers (7 – how unusual is that?) And as many hounds as walkers (4). Unbeknown to me at that point, three more walkers turned up slightly late, after we had set off (I will leave you to guess who), evening up the numbers.
David briefed us on his trail. Around 6 for long and 4-ish for the short. There were some new signs, one being “VS” meaning “Very Short” and another that involved two overlapping circles in a kind of Venn Diagram fashion. David said it had something to do with runners & walkers arriving at the same spot. Attention had wandered by this point so I can’t be any clearer than that I’m afraid. David had laid the trail in places as he cycled along, and told us that on some long stretches where it was obvious there was no alternatives, he hadn’t put any flour as he couldn’t see the point (I’m using polite language; I think he said “I couldn’t be bothered“). Oh, and another thing to look for was a dead grass snake David had found, and had laid it in a straight line on the roadside with flour to form a macabre arrow.
Despite the weather warnings, it all seemed quite fine. A little grey overhead, a bit of a breeze, and even some early fine drizzle for a few moments but overall we stayed dry and even the ground wasn’t that muddy , despite all the rain.
We were away up the road out of the village and soon on what looked like an old railway line. I had not seen any flour anywhere thus far and neither had Viv. As we continued, doubts were being expressed. Were we actually on trail? Some flour was then spotted & on we went. Through fields and woods, the trail took us uphill and to the Ridgeway. There were many troublesome stiles to negotiate along the way.
A while later we spotted the dead grass snake by the roadside pointing the way ahead.
I ran with Mike, Maurice, and Viv in succession & it was with Viv towards the end that we wished we had listened more attentively to the Hare at briefing.
We had been out around 1 hour 20 mins and came upon the two circles intertwined. We carried on. At the top of the track was David. It was a junction we had already seen previously so had we carried on, we would likely have gone round a loop for a second time. No, we should have turned right at the Venn circles. Viv remonstrated with David saying “how were we to know to turn right by the presence of two interlocking circles?
David blustered something about ” it was obvious!”. I said there was something to be said for ARROWS (though preferably not snaky ones), and threatened to send David back to Hash Training School. All in good humour, as always. Seems nobody else made the same mistake as us and all returned eventually.
The beer in The Patriots was disappointing but the conversation vibrant and cheery. It was a grand hash after all despite all the apparent setbacks & David was thanked for his efforts. Kathy gave the heavily adorned Hash Shorts to Soma, who is looking forward to wearing them next time. Mike gave the Hash Horn to Kathy, who looked equally pleased.
Annie has suggested a Hash trip early next year to Devon, and I have agreed to circulate the details to see if there is enough interest in organising one.