Hash 619 – Patriots Arms @ Chiseldon

20 Mar 2022JeremyKeith

Many of us will recall our last hash at Chiseldon in January, when our hapless hare, Maurice, was roundly ragged after all but one of those present became hopelessly lost amongst the admittedly pleasant trails around the village. I don’t recall what the precise explanation was for the problems that day, but it was along the lines that a dog had licked away an important hash marker. Such things happen.

For myself, I ended up looping towards Ogbourne St George having found myself back at the pub in around twenty minutes that day. Ogbourne wasn’t on Maurice’s menu at all that day but I couldn’t kill time at the pub for an hour waiting for everyone else to return. It transpired it wasn’t just me who couldn’t find the way.

Only Jeremy completed Maurice’s trail in full on that hash. He even had time to stop off for morning coffee at his daughter’s in Badbury Park as I recall.

That calamitous hash became the spur for Jeremy to bring us all back to Chiseldon two months later to have another go, and see if we could get it right this time, hence the REDEMPTION hash.

So to today’s hash. Spring had finally sprung for this Redemption hash and it was a chilly though sunny day that greeted us. Jeremy seemed chipper and confident all would go to plan today – imagine if it didn’t and we all got lost again!

Mike was GOM for the day, as Kevin was away. Mike echoed Jeremy’s confidence that all would be well today – after all our Hare was/is a GOM and knows all about laying trails etc etc.

The briefing was concise. Jeremy told us it was our opportunity to put right our mistake at the January hash by simply following the flour and not getting lost. He didn’t mince his words. It was all our own fault in January (not quite what he said at the time!).

The trail today was either just over 5 miles or 2.5, with a long-short divide 2 miles in. No hazards, little mud. Great. And our new friend the fish hook would make another appearance. Only this time, instead of the 4 fastest front runners running back to the “last man”, this time the goal was to run back until Viv was met. Jeremy recounted how on the last hash Viv had avoided the need to run back herself by ensuring she wasn’t in the first 4. I’m not sure what this new arrangement was meant to achieve but it handed Viv the power to hang well back and have everyone run a very long way back from the hook to her.

On on! We set off along New Road before descending through the village and then rising, skirting the village towards the curly bridge but not going that far, instead taking the ridge towards Hodson. I should say that Jeremy ran his trail with us and several times, (early on too which was disappointing ) offered Caroline and I a ‘short cut’ that we declined – obviously. We didn’t regard ourselves as looking that knackered only ten minutes in.

At the far end of the ridge Jeremy had placed the fish-hook, made evident to us slower runners by the faster runners suddenly appearing running back towards us in search of Viv. Viv was intent on moving very slowly so as to make the distance greater the others had to run. When my turn came at the fish hook, Viv in fact started to run away from the direction of the fishhook meaning I had to shift gear to catch her. This I did having moved up all the way to second gear.

Pete saw all this and commented that in hashing days of yore, when a male hasher caught a female hasher “he earns the right to take her” which explains well Viv’s determination to run in the other direction!

We descended into that shady pretty valley after the fishhook and along the valley bottom, over boggy ground sure to soak your feet, eventually winding back towards the pub via Wash pool.

It was a classic hash. Great trail, well marked and on a lovely Spring day. Nobody got lost it seems though Colin’s dog Maisie went off trail and Colin had to go looking.

We sat in the pub garden where Mike made the thanks to Jeremy, and Kathy awarded the hash horn to Sherilyn, a new hash walker, who, she said, “never complained about the hills”. 

We were redeemed.

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