|03 Nov 2013||Brian||Hilary|
Press-ganged, I was! There I stood, newly arrived back at the Queen’s Arms in East Garston, lulled into a post hash state of satisfaction and reverie, having enjoyed my second only hash for many, many months, and what happens? Yep, I get press-ganged by Kathy into writing up the hash mag, dammit! Yikes, I think, I don’t know if I can remember either the protocol of writing it or a blind thing about the walk itself which I’d only just completed!
However, one full week since the hash, here I go trying to give an account of Hash Number Four Hundred and Twenty Three (see, if I use words instead of digits, I can make the mag look longer ……….. an old school essay trick!)
What I can say for certain to start with, was that it was a proper posh pub, that Queen’s Arms. VERY posh indeed, location, décor, the full Monty – but I am definitely not complaining. One of the many interesting aspects of hashing is the variety of boozers we get to frequent. And this one almost (but not quite) had marble loo seats. Not for the Queen’s Arms were regular signs on the loo doors indicating clearly ‘Gents’ and ‘Ladies’, no ……. instead we had tasteful etchings of the naked male and female forms.
Nevertheless, pre hash, I of course tried to push open the wrong door before realising my mistake. Sorry, Queen’s Arms, but I always prefer plain ol’ English to icons or drawings. The latter intend of course always to give clear guidance – but invariably they result in me choosing the incorrect course of action.
Anyway, off we set from said posh boozer, situated opposite a large stables, and in the sunshine. GOM had warned us it would be a route of ups and downs (times three, I think he said), with a long and short divide for the walkers. But quite honestly, I can’t remember much about the detail of the walk at all, as I was way too relaxed and chatty to be noting landmarks, events or special features.
I vaguely remember the long / short divide roughly about two thirds of the way through, because it was a surprisingly instant and unanimous decision by the walkers to take the easy option of the short. Normally there is a bit of umm-ing and aah-ing at that point, where walkers try to ensure they keep each other company and do a bit of negotiating about time frames, injuries and such like. However on Hash 423 it was a straightforward ‘OK. We’ll just hang a left’ for everyone. (Never, ever expect me to relate whether we headed westwards / northwards etc – I am WAY too female for that!)
I remember it seemed just a lovely rural walk and that, in spite of the warnings about inclines, these were fairly gentle rather than steep. And that GOM’s master plan must have been pretty good, because no one got lost, and we all arrived back at the pub at about the same time. We all sat outside on the lovely terrace – and this was in November, remember – which would have been fab in the summer, but was a bit challenging after a while for cold blooded little me.
The runners probably work up a better head of steam and are hence better able to maintain a normal body temperature. They also apparently have to attempt to maintain their self-esteem by ensuring that they are not outflanked by their various canine companions. Maurice was most miffed when it was pointed out in an essential correction to the podium result, that he came in in fact third, not second, which position was secured instead by his hound. (I wouldn’t have noticed, but a fellow lady hasher did, and for being such an acute hawkeye aka ‘smart-arse’, Maurice later awarded her the bags by way of retaliation.)
I do apologise for such a vague account of the hash itself – other than ‘Ooh, it was lovely’. However, having explored online the really pretty village of East Garston, I have a tip for you. If you want to relive the joys of wandering along the footpaths surrounding the village, then go to the following website http://www.east-garston.com/site-content/community-page/videos/videos.htm (you may need to copy and paste this into your browser, but boy, will you be glad you took the trouble so to do!)
Please do check out the videos called ‘A Woodland Wander’ and ‘A Spring Walk’ and bless the lovely Ken Tarbox who made them. Well done that man! I did laugh a couple of times, especially the bit where the two purple shirted men walk past each other. And the music’s a bit cheesy. But hey, the landscape is, yes, stunning. If you are really, really, really bored, you could also try sampling the gripping video of the ‘East Garston Book Launch 1999’……go on, you know you want to!
And a post script – although I’m not sure this was really meant for publishing (Ed)
GOM, over and out as Strictly is on the tele any moment. Please feel free to funk up this account with photos plus amusing captions as per usual. And don’t worry – re last hash mag – I haven’t ever seen Paul Potts sing either. But you simply MUST make more of an effort to keep your finger on the pulse of modern culture! I shall quiz you next week on the goings on in the celebrity jungle ….