|26 Dec 2016||Dai & Paul||Mike|
Our 19th Boxing Day hash dawned fine and clear and in accordance with tradition we turned up at the Salutation Inn in fancy dress. Adam was a fierce looking pirate and Sue was a pixie – or she could have been an elf – Brian was a Gandalf-looking wizard and Mike was a rather glamorous ugly sister. We were a bit thin on the ground this year as Margaret and John are in Africa, Jeremy in France, Keith and Kay in some tropical paradise and Maurice and Fiona in Dublin with the family. I counted 15 of us to start with and Lyne got lost and arrived just as the walkers set off- making 16.
What a superb trail ! It’s such a pity that there weren’t more of us to enjoy it. Through woods and along the banks of a river, over hills and dales and past some large interesting houses in the middle of nowhere with just a short bit on the roads. And all this in bright
sunshine under a clear blue sky. Brian and I decided to speed-walk the long at first and we set off at a cracking pace like a couple of race walkers but unable to keep it up on the muddy bits. Also the long was advertised at about six miles so we decided to speed walk the short instead. We did break into a run now and again, particularly when we saw families coming the other way on the river bank. That was huge fun as they all stood back to let us through and gave us a round of applause. We smiled and waved like visiting royalty. Despite our enormously fast pace and a very clearly marked trail we still only got back to the pub just before the runners and walkers. Our excuse was that after the long/short divide there were hundreds of circles and false trails which we had to check.
I was hugely impressed with the pub and the staff there. The new owners have kept the pub itself as a traditional pub where people can enjoy a pint and chat without having to listen to hip-hop/progressive rock and there is a magnificent tythe barn adjoining the pub for those who want to eat. The staff were brilliant – friendly, humorous and very efficient and they joined in the fun with comments about our fancy dress. We sat together at a long table in the barn and as always there was that relaxed feeling of being among friends of many years. Brian, in his penultimate speech as GOM, thanked Paul and Di for a truly great trail. We learned that they had been out checking and making fine adjustments to it on Christmas day. That’s dedication for you. And I’d like to add my thanks for one of the best Hashes I have ever been to.