Hash 414 – Wheatsheaf @ Chilton Foliat

Date Hare Scribe
21 July 2013 Maurice Kathy

I’ve just re-read Maurice’s splendid mag for hash 413, which sets a precedent for writing topsy-turvy, so I’m going to begin with the end of the last hash at Letcombe Regis, when Brian and I dashed back to watch in rapt wonder THAT splendid Wimbledon final… couldn’t believe we were the only hashers to show any interest at all!! Brian remained a gentleman throughout the match and restrained himself from yelling “belt up Kathy” when I kept wittering things like “Murray doesn’t look half as groomed as Novak” and “why doesn’t he change his top every few games?” as it was wringing with sweat, unlike his rival’s…. er, perhaps that’s why he actually won??! (A fellow female spectator would have understood.)

Back to the beginning, Maurice laid a truly faultless trail today and at no point did the walkers have any cause for panic (though he did protectively shepherd us part of the way, love him). Instead we were able to concentrate on a variety of wonderful vistas from the serene swan and tiny ducks on the incredibly clear and beautiful wide stretch of the River Kennet that we first encountered, to the sheltered fields of rape and barley, the Kennet and Avon Canal – whose tow paths boasted some fabulous wild mauve and purple flowers – then across a crystal-clear River Dun towards a large stretch of open land, back towards the pub. This latter was a bit of a challenge as there was no shelter from the, by now, very intense sunshine. However, we regrouped in some much-needed shade eventually, at which point Maurice valiantly – we like that word so here it is again – valiantly – went back to “bring up the rear”, even carrying a tiny toddler (whatever that is) up on his shoulders for the last leg of the journey.

There were a few references to “odd wenches” (Annie and I took exception to that as we didn’t think we looked at all odd) when we chanced upon not one but two derelict buildings that we thought could be transformed into magnificent “man sheds” for James…. to retire to with the odd wench. But that’s what we love about hashes… so much to look at and comment on. There were some wonderful cottage-type properties along the stroll to admire, some in the process of being converted… Sorry, should that read ‘coveted’?

An astonishing range of colourful butterflies accompanied us along this hash too. Scribe was thus reluctantly forced to keep her mouth closed a lot of the time(!) lest she should swallow one, like the old woman who swallowed a fly and we know what a sad – if somewhat improbable – end she met, don’t we? But you can’t be too careful…

Our small band of runners – Mike, Margaret, John, Keith and Viv – faithfully stuck together, and I believe they completed the trail without much incident (save for Mike unfortunately losing his lurid turquoise “knee savers” en route). Although I understand there was some confusion about the short and long, they all ended up back at the pub before the walkers did, so all’s well that ends well, though scribe was a bit perplexed by this as she tried to walk with more speed than usual to ensure Annie and Mike departed for their hols on time!

To round up a very happy hash – many thanks again Maurice – I’d just like to ask what’s happened to some of our popular regulars like Colin, Hillary, Jeremy and Des? They are much missed, and must be encouraged to return to the fold. There, you all have your mission!

P.S. To clear up a perplexing, and rather out of character, remark attributed to the lovely Vivien on the previous hash, please note that what she actually said in Letcombe Regis was “my lips tasted really salty after the run due to perspiration from the heat!”. Quite so, quite so. The mind boggles at where Maurice’s imagination was taking him that day, but – please be kind here folks – it was extremely hot that day!

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