|6 Mar 2022||Sonia & Mike||Jeremy|
Here I am driving to the hash and a motorcyclist pulls out from a turning ahead. Two more immediately appear and, without stopping to look, follow their leader – “idiots” I think.
At the last moment, a fourth emerges, seemingly intent on the same tactic, then realising this is somewhat suicidal, breaks, only to skid to a halt, then topple off, with the bike pinning them down. So I stop as well, and help to raise the bike. They dust themselves off, and then continue their journey.
Clearly it can be eventful going to a hash – or for a motorbike ride – but nothing like that happened today, so all was well in the world.
Except that it wasn’t … and it isn’t.
Firstly, Noodle was quite perturbed when we crossed Hungerford Common on the way to Kintbury – the Common being one of his favourite walks – although not the first time he went, when a train scared him so much he ran off to hide for 10 minutes. However, I shouldn’t bother telling you about that as we can always keep it for another day.
Secondly, coffee is another thing that has been bothering me. Having given up cigarettes we now all seem to be getting more and more addicted to the stuff.
Thursday mornings I do the shopping in Marlborough whilst the boss goes to Tai Chi. Since the class lasts 90 minutes and I can’t possibly spend more than half of that time actually in shops, I now look for somewhere to grab a coffee and a cake to while away the rest of the time.
I am told there are 28 different places in the town where you can get one, whether drink-in (?) or as a takeaway. The cafes seem to be full, people walk the streets carrying the stuff – and it’s not cheap. No wonder people can’t afford to buy a house or pay for their heating.
Also all cars now seem to come equipped with cupholders, all garages sell the stuff, even though it’s actually illegal to drink on the move. The underground car park in Newbury even has a self-service Costa machine next to the pay point – just in case.
In Ramsbury people walk around with coffee in hand and one of our neighbours regularly takes their dog out over the fields with it and only last week when we were walking out by South Cerney, there was a guy playing a round of golf, pushing his trolley in one hand and carrying coffee in the other. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry – so decided to sit down a bit later with a drink to think about it.
For another thing bothering me, You Know Who seems to have restarted the European pursuit of military manoeuvres across the North European Plain – much like Napoleon, Hitler, and Stalin before. Whether Farage, Johnson and Trump should be castigated for pursuing nationalistic policies that have weakened the EU and possibly encouraged Putin, or whether they should be applauded for the subsequent solidarity now starting to emerge in the EU, I leave for you to decide.
However, the concern I have here is that Russia and Ukraine are major growers of wheat – it’s that North European Plain, so beloved of farmers and Military Dictators. Will we continue to have enough flour to Hash? Should we stockpile supplies? Is that an appropriate worry at this time?
I’ve just read The Tatooist of Auschwitz which is a remarkable story and it reminds me of one of Alan Coren’s favourite Jewish jokes, from an article he wrote recently in The Times in response to news about non-Jewish actors playing Jews. In it he talks of someone giving a talk at Oxbridge about the Holocaust, Auschwitz and the family members who were sent there. Towards the end someone from the audience says they had a grandfather who had died there. “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that“. “Aw thanks” came the reply, “he fell off a watchtower“.
Quickly changing the subject – perhaps I should say a few words about the hash, so here goes:
fabulous fields, pretty paths, wonderful views, no rain, GOM, great countryside, hares and hashers, no farmer Giles, marvellous mud, kissing gates, great hash
Also, we had Fish Hooks which we haven’t experienced for some time, in which the first runners arriving at the hook have to turn round and head back ’til they meet the last person. I happened to be at the front when hitting the first, so dutifully turned round and jogged back. Simple eh? Oh no. The sods took one look at me returning and scattered – John to the left, Brian to the right, with the rest retreating rapidly. Had I suddenly caught Covid? When I eventually did reach back to the last runner, they all gave the feeble excuse that they thought I’d taken a false trail – as if !!
I won’t say more about the hash since we have lots of pictures and I’m sure you prefer them to a thousand more words from me – beyond that, and despite Putin, we had enough flour, and no one partook with coffee in hand, and Kathy was presented the horn, for being …. Kathy.
Well done Mike and Sonia, we all thoroughly enjoyed it – and that’s the long and short of it.