Hash 597 – Patriots Arms @ Chiseldon

25 Apr 2021MauriceKeith

It feels like we finally turned a corner today. This was our first hash in months since we were able to sit in a pub garden with a drink and chat to fellow hashers.

The ‘rule of six’ has become embedded in our hash psyches now, and for the most part we grudgingly accept it. Though on a sunny, cloudless, superb spring day like this one, it is so tempting to imagine life is fully back to normal. Virus, what virus? There isn’t much about now, it seems.

I hope the lockdown didn’t make you become irritable, morose and lazy like me – Kay swears she noticed no difference.

Maurice was back from laying his trail in good time to see off group one at 10.30. Keen long walkers Kevin and Julie, Kay, David, Caroline and Hilary set off with a spring in their step, with group two assembling in the car park and soon to follow them. Ditto with groups 3, 4 and 5 ….

I know this as I was hanging around waiting for my group to set off at 11.10, and accosting hashers for their t-shirt sizes, as we have an important hash in June – our 600th.

Debjit and Soma arrived and Debjit and I had a very technical discussion about vector files (necessary for our t-shirt logo) about which I pretended to know something, but I’m sure Debjit quickly sussed that I knew bugger all. He politely didn’t let on.¬†

Brian arrived on his bike, having tried several routes to get to Chiseldon, but being repulsed by road closures forcing him to cycle via Liddington. With all that he was still early and did not look as knackered as I would have expected.

I walked with Soma, whilst Brian and Debjit ran. Obviously they soon scooted away and we thought that would be that. As we carried on our walk downhill past the store, Brian and Debjit were running back towards us, having gone off trail. This happened another 2-3 times around the trail and, I kid you not, as Soma and I approached the pub after walking for two hours, Brian and Debjit ran in behind us! Lost again! They must have covered twice the distance we had. Despite that, Debjit managed a sprint finish, with a traffic cone cleverly balanced on his noggin! Well no, not really, an unfortunate accident of timing as I took the picture.

Grumpy stone

Brian had yet to cycle home though I suppose mostly downhill from Chiseldon.

Did anyone notice the very grumpy stone on the green? 

Smiley face – apparently

Soma and I generally found Maurice’s trail easy to follow (but see later). There was an odd chalk symbol on top of the curly bridge (see photo ) that we ignored as we could discern no relevance at all. Maurice had a bit of a fraught morning having misplaced his mobile phone en route and was lucky to retrieve it later. Kay’s group rang him as they were lost and his phone rang at the Coate Water cafe. So perhaps his mind was elsewhere.

It was a delightful trail that took us alongside the Coate Water lake before swinging back towards the curly bridge, where we climbed back towards the village, on a different route through grassy meadow arriving at the ridge overlooking Hodson valley. Here we saw a ‘long’ sign pointing along the ridge. We decided we had gone wrong somewhere and, given the time, we traversed the beautiful valley to hit the road pointing towards the pub.


What a pleasure it was to arrive at that sunny, noisy pub garden with hashers and others sat in glorious sunshine enjoying a drink, or food. The pub had a relaxed attitude towards covid rules, I would say, or perhaps more correctly we customers did. Probably both.

I would usually want to thank the Hare publicly for their efforts, as laying a trail requires a commitment of time, thought and effort. But these are still  not usual times and I was unsure whether I should or shouldn’t. I think the rules are against any loud talking ( fears of spreading virus droplets ) and so I chose not too, though I was sorely tempted. I know some are a little disappointed by this.

Needless to say, we did all appreciate our Hare and thoroughly enjoyed the hash due to his hard work!

The rules relax completely in June, and this means we can all experience hashing in its full glory- speeches and all.

Thanks to everyone who has ordered a 600th hash t-shirt, around 30 of you so far. If anyone else would like one, let me know soon as the order will be going in shortly.

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