|15 May 2022||Ainslie||Jeremy|
Following our recent trip to France, delayed by only 2 years – à cause de Covid – I have at last found a benefit for Brexit; we now get stamps in our passports, and that’s just for venturing across the channel – no longer the need to accrue Air Points flying to far flung exotic destinations.
Our trip went smoothly enough – except for when our 10 year old tried to leave the country. He has dual nationality (and in fact 3 passports, but that’s another story) and we used the French one to leave – or at least tried to.
First off they denied it was valid – ce n’est pas valable – mais, oui, c’est valable, …., ….
- then they were unhappy that he hadn’t entered with the same passport,
- then they didn’t accept it was his passport anyway as the biometrics were wrong,
- and things didn’t improve much when I said I had two more passports for him we could try.
The 10 year old, who doesn’t speak French very well, just looked at me quizzically throughout as though saying ”What the feck is going on?”. But of course he didn’t as, unlike me, he is much too polite.
But, suffice to say, things eventually got sorted – although the queue of cars behind us at Check In had got considerably longer – and we were able to go and park up and wait to board the ferry. The 10 year old yawned, then curled up and went to sleep in the boot.
So here we are, successfully back in the UK and at yet another wonderful Hash – hurrah!
This one was laid entirely by Ainslie, without assistance from Simon, who’d sensibly decided that staying in bed was a much better idea for a Sunday morning. He did manage to recover sufficiently to be there for the off, no doubt to verify that she hadn’t let the side down – she hadn’t. Of course, they could have laid it on a sunny Sunday, but for some reason had kept re-scheduling to have it on one a bit damper – why?
At the briefing Ainslie announced that there were no hazards (tick), it was flat (double tick), the short was just under 3 miles (tick), the long just under 5 miles (another tick), but there was also an option for the keen runners to add an extra loop around a lake (9.43 km – sixth tick if you’re counting properly). The briefing over and ….. nobody moved. I can’t remember a hash where the hashers spent so long doing nothing. Was it the threat of rain, the need to repeat the briefing to Colin and Eleanor who’d unusually turned up late, waiting for Margaret and John who always turn up late, or … ?
But we did eventually get moving, with the other John, as often the case, leading the way. What became quickly apparent was that Ainslie, aware no doubt of the expected wheat crisis, had perfected the art of laying a trail with the absolute minimum of flour. Congratulations, as the majority were well able to follow the trail successfully.
A surprise exception was the last runner back, Colin, who, possibly in order to get a mention in the mag (fame or infamy, he doesn’t seem to care), got lost. And what should a Hasher do when lost? Obvious – you wade across the River Coln to see if the trail is on the other side (it wasn’t). Despite being last, he at least managed to get to the finish with his dog this time – well done.
At the pub, there was still plenty of room when we arrived and a large table reserved for us, which is always encouraging.
Mike, our founding GOM, hadn’t been able to get there for the start, having spent 11 hours in A&E at the Great Western Hospital on Wednesday and was still not fully recovered from the experience. But he and Annie arrived for the après and as this was his 81 birthday, received a round of Happy Birthday, a round of applause and plenty of commiserations – but I’m unclear for what exactly he was being commiserated.
Mike did share with me that he’d been unhappy with the previous mag as it drifted too far from being a Traditional Hash Mag. I of course had to agree with him and said it was disappointing to be let down like that. So I hope you like this one MIke, with all my best wishes.
Kevin finished by thanking Ainslie for what everyone agreed had been a wonderful trail, some then left, and others stayed to eat.
PS Next time I write a mag, I can, if you like, explain why all Hashers are amazing, despite being only 10% human.