|27 Jul 2014||Brian||Jeremy|
A week ago . . .
Tom (Pocket Rocket) isn’t on the hash. The privilege of writing the mag falls elsewhere. I apologise for where it falls.
Mike is away. Margaret and John aren’t expected. We have the possibility of a prompt start at 11am.
At 11am it promptly fails to materialise.
GOM is our hare this fortnight. He welcomes 2 new hashers (Stewart and Sheila). He explains the route. No hazards. A choice of trails around or through the village. The regular long – short divide comes later. We are passing the church. It has a hash friendly vicar. He is unable to join because of a pressing prior engagement.
We are off. Stewart joins the runners. We quickly reach the first divide. Left we are going, running a narrow path between the gardens. We are in open countryside. I am in the lead. I am going in the wrong direction. We are backtracking. We are back on the correct trail. Looping around the field and now just yards from where we were before we got lost.
On we are going. Back into the village. GOM is here. Past the church. We reach the long – short divide. We are out in the country again. The lead is changing, John leads, Fiona leads. At 3 miles Paul is leading. He is wearing the shorts . Diane wears the trousers. We know he can’t run beyond 3 miles. We are jogging gently. We are waiting for him to slow. He still runs. The ground is ploughed. Progress is difficult. John falls. I am in the lead.
Stiles lead into a meadow. Progress is easy. I freeze . . .
Cows and their calves eye me. I am mid-meadow, fifty yards to the fence, alone with no sap to act as distraction whilst I try a surreptitious strategic exit. The calves are nervous. They are undecided whether to approach or flee. Their mothers are restless. I make it across (obviously). The herd divides around the field. Fiona and Paul arrive at the stile. They see the commotion I am causing. A strategic long-cut is found; John finds the same one, and so too Viv. She is chaperoning Stewart.
Back past the church for a second time. ON INN. We’re here, at the pub. Annie and Kathy are sitting with their drinks. The runners come in. Val, Diane and Sheila arrive.
Drinks are being drunk, words are being spoken, I am thanking GOM for his enjoyable but hot trail. Paul is throwing the shorts to GOM for the lumps in the fields. Viv is standing on the dog. We are leaving.
I am driving home. I am reflecting. Hazards we had, but no ‘fireworks’ this time. Just as well as Stewart will have been blamed and Andrew will have been needed to defuse them.
This mag is written in appreciation of John Humphrys’ and Melvyn Bragg’s current grammatical spat on the use of the Historic Present.
The former also narrates the story of a clever, but unsophisticated, young man from rural Mississippi who wins a scholarship to Harvard. On his first day there he approaches a couple of elegant young toffs strolling around the campus.
“Hey y’all,” he says, “can you tell me where the library’s at?”. They look at him with scorn.
“Old man, here at Harvard we tend not to end sentences with prepositions,” says one.
The new boy thinks for a moment. “Ah’m SO sorry! Can you tell me where the library’s at . . . asshole?”