|27 Sep 2020||Maurice||Keith|
Today we had 13 hashers booked for our hash at The Village Inn, with Maurice our hare. For some, 13 represents an unlucky number, to be avoided at all costs. I don’t know why that is. Some people won’t even consider buying a house numbered 13 apparently. I’m not the superstitious kind.
It was our first go at staggered starts – walkers at 10.40, and two groups of runners at 10.50 and 11am. All to keep within the rule of 6 and limit the transmission of Covid-19. Hopefully everyone would get back around the same time (ahem).
My group (or ‘bubble’ in today’s parlance) included Mike, David, and Caroline. Mike was very early arriving, he confessed, and had been lightly chastised by Kathy for it. (Well done Kathy!). He saw the walkers all set off together on time.
I looked in vain for David, but of him there was no sign. So, a little late, our threesome set off after a short enigmatic (kind way of saying we didn’t really understand it) briefing from hare Maurice. But we were keen to get going before the next group arrived and the system was thrown into disarray. Within seconds of us leaving Jeremy arrived, so we just made it. Off we went.
Within moments we were on trail heading down a narrow grassy track adjoining a field, skating over fallen fruits lying like large green ball bearings at our feet. Nobody ended up flailing on the floor surprisingly – see photo of Mike.
Crossing the road into more farmland we managed to find flour taking us back uphill towards the village, with good views back towards Swindon.
It wasn’t too long before we were level with the village staring at flour trying to decide what it meant. It took Caroline to decipher it and point out we were looking at an S side on.
Our route finding never improved after this and, predictably, we ended up losing the trail, meeting the walkers soon after, lost, naturally, and walking back towards Liddington.
At the cemetery we found the missing hashers from Maurice’s Baydon hash in 2016.
Several calls to Maurice failed to get us back on track and we eventually emerged on a minor road that lead uphill back to the pub past some very fine houses. Here we met Maurice, and Caroline and I set off again with him, running the route again in a bid to see where we went wrong.
I envy Maurice’s positivity. Nothing gets him down. Even when you are lost and downhearted, cold and wet, shivering and in despair on one of his trails, Maurice remains above the chaos, cheerful and full of joie de vivre. Great.
I should say that, although chilly, the day was a sparkling day of bright Autumn sunshine, the sky a brilliant cloudless blue. It was a pleasure to be out enjoying the trail. Well some of it anyway.
It turns out we had been on trail until the cemetery and we would have gone up Liddington Hill (gutted that we missed that!) had we not gone astray. Every cloud and all that eh?
Maurice pointed out much of his flour had blown away (it was breezy) and here’s a photo of an example where a single flour dot had simply disappeared. So it wasn’t all his fault, you understand. Vagaries of the weather.
We did meet the runners (Jeremy, Debjit and Des) coming off the hill and we all then made our way to The Village Inn.
I sat with my group outside. Some had gone indoors to have lunch and apparently it was very enjoyable.
David Birley was among us as we got back and generously bought the beers. He had missed the run, sadly having got mixed up. No comment.
We bemoaned the impact of the virus on our hash, our holidays and our lives in terms of holidays lost, hashes losing their character and all the rest. And the anomalies thrown up by the rules. But we are still hashing – for now. Thanks to everyone for coming out!
There was no public thanking of the hare, as advertised – another Covid casualty – but despite many of us getting lost, it was still a very enjoyable event in a beautiful area, so thank you to our Hare – Maurice.
Maybe there is something in that number 13 thing though.
Sadly, Debjit told us that as he is in a bubble at school, he has been told there that he cannot join another bubble outside school, so will not be able to join us for some time – yet another Covid consequence.