Hash 621 – Sun @ Coate Water

17 Apr 2022Hilary & HelenKathy

Dear Hashers,

I hope by the time you read this you’ll have had an enjoyable and restful Easter. Hilary & Helen…. It sounds like a refreshing new soft drink combo, doesn’t it? And refreshing their trails certainly were, as the pair of them took their responsibilities very seriously (it was Helen’s first time remember) to create an uplifting and delightful Easter hash. It was thankfully free of stiles, puddles, hazards, livestock and narrow paths – but complete with a helpful map (which we all disregarded – the arrows never lie, do they?), lots of chocolate and plenty of flour.

Admittedly there were dark mutterings from Helen – unused to the rigours and self-sacrifice involved in laying the trails – about the ‘early Easter rising’. (The original, which left its indelible mark on history, being much earlier and darker, of course, way back in 1916…. ain’t Google wonderful?) But in fact both hares beamed with smug satisfaction and looked as fresh as daisies in the glorious sunshine, when they greeted us in the carpark to deliver their well-prepared pre-hash notes.

What could possibly go wrong? Without further ado, the runners and walkers sallied forth confident they knew where they were going. True to tradition, there were lots of reliable flour markers right from the off, and the trails we followed were just the right length for us oldies – much loved; never bettered. (That’s the original hash format I’m talking about, not us oldies, though one of two of you still scrub up pretty well – could I be talking about you?) Even when we ALL took a sharp right turn well before the approach to the famed helter-skelter M4 footbridge and filed across a flat field, thus avoiding any sharp incline (despite Helen’s earlier warning), we didn’t think anything was amiss. In fact most of us were secretly pleased that we’d been seemingly directed away from any hardship whatsoever. It was a Bank Holiday after all.

It was only when our hares met us early on to distribute Easter treats – a little bemused that we’d covered so much ground already (we’d barely earned them by then) – that we learned that we should have ignored said sharp-right-arrow and instead proceeded straight ahead over the ascending curly-wurly bridge (what are we, mind-readers now?). Apparently that particular arrow was intended only to direct us on our return descent from the footbridge (to be fair, our trails seldom criss-cross the same ground), but every time H & H kept mentioning the cursed curly-wurly, all I could think about was more chocolate…. please!

I must mention here that Des’s beautiful daughter Becca, her boyfriend Wade and even elder statesman Des himself were determined to do justice to H&H’s efforts, and retraced their steps to indeed run up the curly-wurly bridge into some woodlands on the other side. Beautiful and Spring-like, apparently. So we’re told. We’ll have to take their word for it, won’t we? To misquote Morecambe & Wise, they did indeed take the right steps, but not necessarily in the right order… The trio didn’t even break into a sweat, and we could only look at them in wonder and admiration when they re-joined us back at the pub looking as though they’d only done a brief detour.

Talking of which we were very lucky to find a pub prepared to welcome a large crowd on Easter Sunday, and thankfully the Sun Inn at Coate didn’t let us down. They were very well-organized and friendly. We relaxed outside on a lovely sunny terrace, and scribe and Henry enjoyed an unexpectedly superior Sunday roast there afterwards. Hilary & Helen were affectionately teased about our new name: – KVH4, aka Kennet Valley Half Hash House Harriers. Blimey. That ain’t half hard to say, GOM!

We all agreed it was a very enjoyable hash, ladies – well done, and thank you. The markings were incredibly clear (as were the hares’ intentions ha ha), and we all felt it was the perfect-length hash for a lazy, sunny Bank Holiday Sunday. And anyway, if we’d included that infamous bridge as well, most of us would have been too knackered afterwards to enjoy our lovely apres!

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