Run No.1257/8

6-7th December 2008

Run Nos. 1257/58          6-7th December 2008

Venue:                         The Springhead Trust J;

Beer:                            Ruby Dark Mild, Red Squirrel RSC J;

Location:                     Fontmell Magna

Hares:                          Flip Top; Little Hole & Ellen

Runners:                      24

Virgins:                        0

Visitors:                       0

Newies:                        0                                 

Hounds:                       0

Après Hashers:          0

Total:                            24

Membership:               Christmas Party Time!

 

            That time of year had returned again, & after a year’s break the Hash returned to the Springhead Trust at Fontmell Magna.  About half of the Pack arrived on Friday, the three who used Public Transport ended up arriving in Gillingham early enough to have a drink at the Red Lion, a place that was paid a visit two years previous.

Their plan was to visit the local Pubs in the Good Pub Guide, the Red Lion was one.  They appreciated the friendly atmosphere within the Red Lion, & having enjoyed a great pint of Festive Feasant they decided to walk the few yards up to the Phoenix.  As he departed the Red Lion, Hyena said “See you on Sunday!” to the locals.

When the trio arrived at the Phoenix disappointment soon set in as they discovered that it was closed!  But as there was no sign of any opening hours to be seen, the trio headed back to the Red Lion & were soon greeted by a few “Is it Sunday already?” from the locals!  When it was explained that the Hashers were doing the real Ale Pubs, they were told that the wine Bar up Queen’s street sold real Ale.

Having finished their second Feasant in the Red Lion, Hyena once again said “See you Sunday!” to the locals as the trio moved on up to the Smouldering Boulder Wine Bar, this was open & they enjoyed a pint there before heading back to the Red Lino for the third time, & yes they got a lot more “Is it Sunday already?” from the locals.  They had time for one last pint of guess what?  Yes, Festive Feasant in Gillingham before getting a Taxi down to Fontmell Magna.

The Crown in Fontmell Magna was extremely busy, with a local kids party taking place when the Trio where dropped off there by the Cab, they would only have one pint before receiving a text from Psycho to inform them that the rest back at base were getting a Curry in & wanting to know their ETA.  Being famished the trio vacated the Crown to move up to the Springhead Trust to meet up with Flip Top, Kylie, Ketch Up, Psycho, Skip, Little Hole, Ellen, Ruth, Fartin Martin, 2-1-2 Maureen & No Eye Deer.

The early birds enjoyed an excellent curry that evening, when it finally arrived after a long delay with the driver having some trouble at finding the venue, the meal was accompanied with a brilliant choice of Dark Mild Ale or Cider.  After the Indian, the rest of the evening was spent upstairs around the wood-burning stove, where tales of past glories were recalled.

The Hash retired fairly early for a Friday night, which wasn’t a bad thing considering what was about to happen within a couple of hours. For around 02:30 hours those in the unStable & the Fruity Store were rudely awoken by the sound of diesel generators & loud voices, some of which were over a radio.  It turned out that two fire engines had arrived after Sis had called them out to deal with an overheating electricity panel on the main thatched building.  The Firemen were there for a few hours, but neither No Eye Deer & 2-1-2 Maureen were disturbed from their sleep by the noise made by the tenders or the crews.

In the unStable there was a disturbance of a different type occurred now that all in the dormitory were awake, a ‘dawn chorus’ of farting broke out, no doubt it was the same for the ‘Nutters’ in the Fruity Store as Skip was billeted there.  Mr. X got out of bed, probably for some fresh air more than to see what was happening in the courtyard, but he was soon back as a heavy frost was forming.  He had noted that there were two Fire Tenders from one emergency service on duty, he also took notice of the fact that Thames Water’s representative hadn’t got out of his pit when the noise outside disturbed him.  Mr Thames Water just farted & then rolled over in bed to begin snoring again!

The Hashers in the un-Stable pondered what the cause of the overheating electricity panel was?  Kylie soon began to realise how Mr. X’s mind works when the RA said that he reckoned it was the Sat-nav that had been left to charge up in the dining area, those milliamps could have been the straw that broke the camels back?

The unstable occupants came around once Hyena was up in the morning, like a very loud Bagpuss, (saggy & split at the seams?) once he’s awake everyone else has to be awake, well all except for Ketch Up!   Hyena’s must have been overcome by the previous night’s drinking, for the poor deluded fool believed that when Fartin Martin had quietly left the bunkhouse at 07:00hrs, that he had gone for a run!  This conversation had the rest of the Hashers in stitches as Hyena was adamant that Farts was out there running when the rest pooh-poohed the idea.

Hyena was still noisy as he ventured in to the little boys room kharzi, Mr. X & Sludge decided that the Hash could do with an alternative 12 days of Christmas about this weekend, ending with ‘two fire engines & a Hyena sitting on the bog!’

On the subject of Pooh-poohing, Farts had probably got up to beat everyone else to the use of the single toilet facility, & who could blame him with a dozen Ale guzzling & curry eating blokes billeted the room.  The one comfort was the fact that the kharzi still had a working stable door to the outside, so the top half could be opened to let in some fresh air.  Hyena had to open a window to the dorm to let in some fresh air as a) it was hot in there & b) it was pretty whiffy.

It soon commented on that there was no hand towel in the kharzi, the reason for this was discovered when Ketch Up went for a shower, he had removed the one from the toilet for his own personal use as he had forgotten to bring his own towel along!  This was criminal after he received an embroidered one at the Herts 1234 weekend!

The majority made their way over the frosty courtyard for breakfast, in the downstairs dining area they found Fartin Martin who had been there since 07:05 that morning, no run then!  At breakfast there was another subject of conversation, & that was the night’s disturbance.  What is about women (Hash or otherwise) & Firemen, is it the uniform?  Is that why Pepé le Pew, Fartin Martin & Paxo wear combats so often on the Hash?

A lot of the Friday arrivals took advantage of the late start at 11:45, they went back to try & catch up on some of the lost sleep, that was a waste of time!  Meanwhile the remainder of the Pack made their way to the venue.  Kylie was still unimpressed at the RA’s belief of the cause of the overheating panel, then in conversation Kylie gave the RA more ammunition when he dropped a possible euphemism of “Your anorak’s fur lining is showing!” he may have used on some poor unfortunate girl?

Like Kylie, Lobby Lobster was suffering from the annual round of illness, as Pebble Dash, Pepé le Pew & the girls had been laid low a week earlier, & some of the Pack was treated to too much of all of the gory details.  It looked as if there was going to be a low turnout for the run, but there was a little rally by the time the Circle was called.

The Pack assembled in the courtyard, the Hash Beer finally appeared on the scene & the traditional Sherry was brought out, the GM could now welcome those present to the Hash.  This year the sherry was accompanied with cubes of Christmas Cheese on cocktail sticks.  The savoury snack was well matured, the odour was that of overpowering smelly socks!  From the resident ‘Hash Mr Cheese’, Ketch Up, there was lots of face pulling & groaning which indicated that he was not impressed by the fact that it contained fruit & nuts like a Christmas cake.  Perhaps this cheese will not be down the Goat this Christmas!

Others around the circle didn’t appreciate the sherry, most held their breath & necked it.  The Hash Beer had poured more glasses of Sherry than there were Hashers in the Circle, fortunately Sis was less than shy & coming forward at helping to dispose of the excess glasses, she managed to get rid of four shots!

The Hare was called forward & he told the Hash that they Trail was an A to B, he added that the Pack would scale some 433 feet (132 Metres) to see some Iron Age & Roman fortifications, plus a wee bit of Civil War thrown in.  The Hare also added that there could be a chance meeting with a local Hunt, who’s hounds would be chasing drag.  The RA felt that Skip should be worried as the beagles would easily pick up the scent of the Hashit he was wearing!  The Hare looked at Psycho, & some of the other Harriettes, when he warned that some of the Pack would fall over as there was lots of shiggy out there.

Flip Top finished his spiel by saying that the Hash had to walk down to the Bus stop down by the Crown in the village, just to make the 10 minute rule.  Before departing, Flip Top made sure that Little Hole & Ellen had flour & a map to set the Sunday Trail while the rest were out.

On the walk down the lane, most commented on how good the weather was at the start of the weekend, the Sun was up & it was now fairly warm after a very crisp, frosty start.  Some even ventured out in just double T-shirts.  The RA said it was funny how the Pack had forgotten that the weather is the RA’s responsibility after having comments over the last three weeks of drizzle.  Kylie wasn’t too bothered by the weather, or the surroundings as he was occupied in eating several rolls from breakfast along the way.

As the Pack gathered around the small stone Bus shelter outside the Crown, it soon became noticeable that Lobby Lobster was looking far from being rude health as she sat huddled within small open fronted stone outbuilding.  Flip Top explained to everyone that they needed to catch the Bus down south to Iwerne Courtney, or Shroton (its one of the few places in the UK to have two names), Mr. X was quick to notice that the timetable for the Bus had the stop down as Shroton (the Cricketers) & this was the type of timetable he liked when stops are named after Pubs!

At one point the air filled with the pungent smell of what was at first thought to be a bonfire, but it turned out to be Kylie who was puffing away on an old stogie.  Only Psycho was attracted to the clouds of smoke & she ran over to smell the burning weed, the RA had realised that she had given up smoking, for like Hyena she had kept this very quiet!

Flip Top stood on the opposite side of the road, just in case the Bus didn’t do the suspected loop around the village, he was right to as it stopped on the opposite side of the road from the Bus Shelter with the timetable on it!  The Bus driver & the couple of pensioners on board were all amazed as the Pack boarded & filled it up.  Some of the Pack flashed the driver with their Senior Citizen Bus Passes, some who don’t possess these certainly looked as if they could hold a bus pass after the previous days imbibing!

Ketch Up had brought along his 400th Run hipflask & Whiskey was sipped as the Bus trundled through the scenic countryside.  Two young Girls boarded the bus at the next Hamlet down, they were also surprised to see that the little hopper Bus was full to bursting with Hashers, they stood at the front as the Bus moved on to Iwerne Courtney or Shroton.  The Hare made no secret about the fact the Pack could stop off for a quick drink if they liked after debussing & it was no surprise that quite a few popped in to the Cricketers for a quick one, especially as the GM & the RA went straight in there.  Mr. X said that this was the Hash’s way of supporting the Rural Pub Economy!

The most popular choice of Real Ale in the Cricketers was the excellent Dorset Piddle Brewery’s Piddle, brewed at Piddlehinton Dorset, some 8 miles away.  While the Lads supped the Piddle Ale, Psycho & Ruth stopped for a different piddle before returning to the Bar & sampling Skip’s Piddle (the Ale)!  Soon it was time to depart this nice little rural Pub & head off after the other half of the Pack.

Once the drinkers had ran down the footpath on the alley beside the Pub, they followed the Dust down to the local Cricket pitch, the RA was surprised that he could hear calls of “On!” echoing from the tiny figures at the very top of the massive hill ahead.

The Trail came out to a T junction & turned to the left, & up to a stile, once over this the Trail took to a stony grey uncapped track, Mr. X was surprised to see that majority of the Hash hadn’t got that far away from those who stopped off for a drink.  He approached the group of Hashers at a CHK by a split in the track, there he found Lobby Lobster was sitting on the verge, she was suffering after she had blown her nose & came over all light headed.  It looked as if she wouldn’t get any further.

In the end Lobby Lobster regained her composure & bravely soldiered on, but two figures did go back to the village before the rest embarked upon the long steady climb up the uncapped track up Hambledon Hill, it wouldn’t be Lobby Lobster, instead it was Sis who was finding the prospect of scaling the heights too much, after four Sherries it was now a daunting prospect.  Paxo ‘bravely’ volunteered to walk back with her into the village to get something to eat & not scale the heights!

The middle order headed up the incline, No Eye Deer said that she could feel the strain on her thighs, the RA said that to climb steep hillsides properly, you should go up weaving diagonally instead of taking a more strenuous direct route.  The Pack made it up to a Held CHK by a Trig point on the path running along the spine of the long ridge, but they weren’t at the top yet.  The Keenies who were first to this point didn’t hold the CHK, they knew the back markers would be some time in catching up.

Zing-a-long-a-max came back from taking the wrong option, down to the Long Barrow to the south. Radio Carbon dating places the finds there at 2900 – 2600 BC.  There was more of a climb as the Trail was picked up by Sludge & My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead along to the north as this led on up to the highest point of the Iron-Age Hill-fort.  The steep drop down the terraced sides to the west is home to plants like squinancywort, pyramidical orchid & horseshoe vetch as well as some rarer species, including Bastard Toadflax, Meadow Saxifrage & Dwarf Sedge!  2-1-2 Maureen wasn’t going to venture down there to find out, not at that height.  She would end up climbing the final steep incline, of the rampart of the smaller top fort, on her hands & knees, a bit like Spiderwoman?

At the very top the Pack were treated to a splendid panorama of a patchwork quilt of fields for 360˚, there were also a few little villages nestling in the distance, some of the FRBs wondered if one of the little buildings was a Pub & if they would descend to it?

I was time to move on & the Keenies gingerly picked their way down the steep slope in different routes, none wanted to get too close to each other in case there was a domino effect if one toppled over, Zing-a-long-a-max was the exception to the rule as he has a lower centre of gravity & so he has a better technique allowing him to get away with doing some fell-running.  

Almost on the level, the RA tried to look at an information board at the bottom of the North end of the ridge, but every time he tried to get near it he just slid backward in the shiggy.  In the end he gave up & said that he would look up the information on the internet!

For the descent a few like Hyena & 2-1-2 Maureen would find that they would make it down almost the same as some 300 Dorset Clubmen did after Cromwell sent up 50 Dragoons after them in 1645, they came down on their backsides!  For Cromwell’s men there was not much of a fight, the Clubmen were sent home after being locked up overnight in Shroton Church & receiving a lecture from Cromwell himself.

Cromwell called the captured men “Poor Silly creatures” they promised be very dutiful for time to come, and will be hanged before they come out again!  The FRBs heard other ‘Poor silly creatures’ as they waited at the CHK, which they did hold, the air rang out with a lot of squealing by the Back Markers on their descent.  Skip found his descent would take a lot longer as he assisted Ruth down to the level.

In the dazzling winter sunlight those holding he CHK could see thousands of gossamer threads of little spider ‘Ballooning’ through the air, Ketch Up didn’t quiet believe that this one way that some species of arachnid travel great distances through the ether.  Ballooning, or Dynamic Kiting, is the technical terms for where small spiders, mainly spiderlings, can move great distances on winds & thermals.

The FRBs held the CHK, the Hare arrived & sarcastically congratulated them on holding a CHK!  Mark E Mark came up to the CHK & said that there was a large dent in the Ridgeway where Hyena fell over on his way down!  Most of the FRBs were amazed to see that Lobby Lobster had carried on with the Trail, her spirit shone through & she was looking in much finer fettle at the start of the Run.

The Hare allowed the Keenies to start searching & the common consensus was to take a diagonal path over the small field of brassicas, My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead, Mr. X & Steamy Windows were quickly over the stile & into a small paddock, it was in there that the RA took a tumble.  Sludge made sure that anyone near enough would hear of the RA’s plight by shouting out what had happened, Sludge was beside himself when the RA went down again after only one step having got back up to his feet!

The Trail disappeared in the paddock, but Mr. X & Steamy Windows looked out in to the next field, there they could see a small Neolithic stone circle.  Suddenly a call of “On!” came from back in the field of brassicas, there the Trail had been found along the edge of the field by Green lines to New field lane.  On the way to the lane Mark E Mark said that he was suffering from “Women flu!” which he went on to explain “Goes on & on & on & on & on & on, for no apparent reason!” Well, Mr. X said that he ought to keep running for his own safety!

The Trail would now take to several long stretches, the Pack would be strung out as many of the footpaths were hard going, full of deep ruts made by horses hooves.  The Trail turned away from the direct route home & took to a path of grey slurry, toward Park Farm, & this stunk as it contained manure used to fertilize the field.  The wide farm track looked like it was level but it was deceiving as Mr. X found out.  The RA put his foot in to a deep hole covered by the shiggy, it was like the scene in ‘Way out west’ when Stan Laurel walks through the puddle & then as Oliver Hardy does the same he disappears in to a deep hole.

With one leg covered in grey, smelly shiggy the RA slowed up & hobbled along with Sludge as the Trail turned on to a footpath at the edge of a field to lead away from the farm as it was so rutted by equines.  It was a long winding shiggy route of just over ¾ of a mile northward, passing through Wigmoor Coppices on the way.  There were various obstacles as well as the shiggy en route, including wooden bridges over a streams & large flooded tracts, to add to this there was some clinging clay to weigh down Hash boots.

A brief respite from the claggy boots came when the Trail came out to a harvested corn field, at this point Zing-a-long-a-max shot off over toward a five-bar gate in the hedgerow.  Meanwhile Mr. X, Sludge & My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead crossed straight over to a stile in the hedge, where they found an other Held CHK, but their thoughts of waiting there were soon cut short as Zing-a-long-a-max called on along the lane to the east & only Pepé le Pew was in sight when they looked back over the Trail they had covered!

The trot up the lane led to a CHK by a black & white gatehouse beside Westhill Plantation.  Zing-a-long-a-max may have got away from the other FRBs but he soon found himself in the middle of the field, on the north side of the lane, with no Trail at all!  It was down to the RA to find the Trail down to the west, on a footpath parallel to the lane, then it broke away to head diagonally across the field toward a gap in the hedgerow.  It was here that three roe deer ran off away from the advancing Keenies to hide in the protection of the corn left to shelter pheasants & the like.  Did No Eye Deer see these?

Zing-a-long-a-max managed to catch up with the other FRBs too quickly, the RA said that there was no way that he could have gone back to the CHK & follow the correct Trail, as much as he denied it, the only way he could have achieved it was to short cut across the seeded crop!  This whole area is hunting land, all the fields had horse jumps cut in to the hedgerows to allow the mounts a clear leap to chase the quarry.

The going through the next few meadows proved to be very damp underfoot, especially when it passed through the gate where cattle had obviously congregated to churn up the mud in the flooded hollow.  The path eventually began to dry out as the Keenies made their way up to the hamlet of Sutton Waldron, inspired by the sight of a Church Spire My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead & Mr. X ran on down a hedged-in track to the main lane believing that “Where there’s a Church, there’s a Pub!”

A Held CHK was found where the Track joined the lane, Mr. X went off to the east & soon encountered a local woman walking toward them, enquiring where the nearest Pub was, the RA was shocked to hear that there wasn’t one in this particular village!  Mr. X returned to the CHK muttering that he couldn’t live in such a disappointing place, for as picturesque as it is, there’s no Pub!  

With one option searched, the only other choice was down the bending lane to a footpath escaping away across the fields north of Sutton Waldron.  It was a fairly straight forward run through the next couple of CHKs as the Trail led in to the southwest of Fontmell Magna, it was here that the Pack ran by a local School where they saw the large figures, which looked like crucified teachers or mermaids in the playground.  It was almost like being in a cheap horror B film, the RA recalled the far superior film the Wicker Man!

The FRBs soon found their way up to the Crown, My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead dithered as whether to go in, but the RA wasn’t even going to think about it twice & with Pepé le Pew seconding the RA’s suggestion, it was straight in to the Bar once shiggy covered shoes were removed, soon there was a motley collection outside of the pub’s door that were guaranteed to keep way travelling Hawkers & Jehovah’s’ Witnesses.  Some Hasher’s socks were just a soiled as the shoes they were removed from.

The Keenies settled in for a nice Badger (a pint of Ale, Pebble Dash) while picking at an array of crisps & peanuts.  The comfort of the Pub had one slight drawback & that was the flagstone floor, just wearing socks meant that steaming damp feet soon felt the cold, so there was some shuffling around to the carpeted parts of the Bar.

Pepé le Pew & Pebble Dash were impressed when they were told of the trip to Malta, & the moment Mark E Mark spotted that T-B-T & Ketch Up looked like father & son!   The someone said that 2-1-2 Maureen & No Eye Deer could be mother & daughter, it was like playing happy families on the Hash.  No Eye Deer soon lived up to her name when she admitted that she had failed to see the any of the five does out on the Trail, or in her case it should Dohs!!

The Hare arrived & let the rest know the timings for the rest of the afternoon before carrying on back to base.  The Pack set off at different intervals, Hyena & Ketch up were among the last to leave the Crown.  When My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead left, he was one of those who had to sift through the jumble of muddy Hash shoes that all looked the same. 

My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead quickly spotted the pair of Wellington boots that stood out form the trainers, these belonged to Mark E Mark, at first My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead was tempted to fill them with water from the stream running by the Pub, but he placed them on the lintel above the Pub Door!  However, this didn’t last long as he soon thought about possible reprisals fro Mark E Mark & he went back & fetched them down, all to the sound of lots of chicken noises from the RA & others!

The Trail was over but there was still the walk up the lane, passing by the part of the stream that was used to wash sheep in, this would still be more hygienic than washing Hashers in it!  It seemed as if the Trust was further away than it should be, perhaps it was the fact that the shoes left outside the Pub had hardened in the now freezing cold air & were not that comfortable to walk in that it appeared a longer hike in.

Having returned to base there was a lull in the proceedings after the Pack had cleaned themselves up, there were nearly four hours to kill before dressing up for the Down-Downs & the evening meal.  Ewok had arrived at the site & like a few others she was suffering from the lurgy for the past few days.

Over the next hour, the cleaned up Hashers made their way to the upstairs room, where a Mr. X, Pepé le Pew, Pebble Dash, My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead, 2-1-2 Maureen & No Eye Deer had already gone upstairs to enjoy a drink while sitting around the wood burning fire.  As Steamy Windows entered the room he received a loud cheer, Mr. X then said that the Next Hasher in should receive a Boo, well it is Pantomime season.

So, as each Hasher came through the door the received either a ‘Hurrah’ or a ‘Boooo’!  It just happened that when Hyena came in he received a ‘Boo’, to which his reply was to stick two fingers up & tell everyone to “F*ck off!” as he had learnt at the ‘Atfield Finishing skool!

Lobby Lobster arrived & she got a Cheer, while Mark E Mark who was just behind her was on the receiving end of a Jeer!  When Zing-a-long-a-max made his entrance & he received a Boo, when he left & came back a little later on he was again on the end of a jeer.  He later remedied this by bringing up a pitcher of Ale!

Most delivered their Christmas cards at this point in the evening, Ewok soon discovered that all of the cards to her & Paxo didn’t have Back Pack’s name on the envelope or in the card, later on she noticed that her & Paxo’s card from Lobby Lobster & Mark E Mark was to “Ewok, Paxo & Pebble Dash”!  Is there something going on there that we should know?  Skip put forward he idea that next year the Hash should pool the money they would have spent on cards & send this to charity from the Hash.  Quite a few agreed with this.

The usual idle banter took place as the circle of chairs expanded, No Eye Deer soon jumped in to Pepé le Pew’s seat when he got up from sitting right by the fire.  It was like musical chairs but with Beer instead of music determining who lost their seat when they went to refresh their glass & the ‘3 second rule’ came in to play.  He got his revenge & regained his place by the fire when No Eye Deer disappeared for more than 3 seconds.  The RA wasn’t going to give his seat up, & he sat there mumbling inanely like the Fast show’s Roly Birkin QC. “Ah, that reminds me of when we left him in the Serengeti & he was chased by Maasai Mara tribesmen!” 

Fartin Martin came in for a lot of stick as it was quickly noticed that he hadn’t gelled his hair, he looked like Roy Walker (or was it Peter Kay’s Geraldine?) & so began a load of awful impressions & dodgy Northern Irish accents as there were lots of his most famous catchphrases from the show ‘Catchphrase", like “Say what you see!”.

Ewok went in to hysterics when she heard My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead call Mr Chips, sorry, Fartin Martin a “Fat bloke with a Bouffant!” (what compared with the Fat Blokes with Skin Head cuts?).  Farts tried to parry as much of the flack as he could but it seemed like he was on a hiding to nothing.  There was a brief lull in the ‘Fartin Martin bashing’ as Hyena mentioned the Herts away weekend in Portugal & the lads returned one hot night wearing yellow waterproofs, the sight of this, & especially Mark E Mark with the yellow hood hooked on his ears, had her wetting herself with laughter!

Hyena then brought up the subject of how long Pebble Dash & Pepé le Pew had been Hashing, they said that this was their second Herts Christmas Party.  Recalling the state that some where in on the previous years one, Ewok asked Pebble Dash who’s dress she was going to honk over this year?

No Eye Deer suddenly disappeared, & after the ‘3 second rule’ had expired Pepé le Pew soon stole back his seat by the fire!  She returned with a couple of bowls of olives, these went around the Pack but hyena turned his nose up at them as olives, like peanuts they aren’t Hyena food since can’t get their big paws on such small morsels.

Once things had settled down, Ewok came out with a statement that she couldn’t decide which dress to wear in the evening, would it be the little black dress or a safer strapped black alternative.  What was safer about the alternative to the little black dress I hear you ask?  Well, she admitted that if she wore the little black one & danced around to vigorously, she would pop out of the top!  Mr. X said that he would put a request in with Flip Top to play Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ & House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’!  That’s where Ewok is wrong when she says that “More than a handful is a waste!”

A slight change of subject had the room sounding like a confessional as Pepé le Pew & Pebble Dash divulged to the rest too much information as to how they managed to break a toilet seat in a Mafia run Hotel in Bulgaria on their holiday this year.  It was like a scene from “The Sex lives of the Potato men!”  Who said that romance was dead, eh?

2-1-2 Maureen was shown Ketch Up’s hip flask so she had an idea of what Sludge should have engraved on his, she asked the RA if they should abbreviate Hash House Harriers to save money?  The RA said if you have completed 400 Runs, then no expense should be spared & the whole legend should be engraved & he has a short name any way.

Apart from Ketch Up, the rest of the Hash departed to put on their glad rags.  Mr.X soon found that after he had tied his own bow-tie he was in demand from Kylie to do his, as Kylie likes the idea of wearing an undone one at the end of the evening as it looks cool!  What like the Fast show’s 13th Duke of Wybourne, who always ends up in some place like a girls’ school & with his reputation!  

Kylie had looked up how to tie a real bow-tie on the internet for last year’s do, but this year he hadn’t bothered & he couldn’t remember how to do it!  So, Mr.X was roped in to tying Kylie’s as well!  Meanwhile Fartin Martin was all fingers & thumbs as he struggled to do up his clip-on bow-tie!

Hyena & My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead were sure that the RA was going to wearing a kilt with his Black tie again this year, sure enough they were right but this time it was a real one!  The RA explained that Hoggy had sent it down to him after he had seen the picture in the Herts 1234 Trash of the RA wearing the ‘emergency kilt-towel’, Hoggy wasn’t going to have his mate wearing a fake one again! 

Steamy Windows asked the RA if he was Scottish, the answer of course is no, but there is a connection via marriage, & his Great Uncle was a Gordon Highlander (Hence the green tartan flashes) Mr.X added that the real reason is that the Girls seem to like men in kilts, especially Ewok!

Each of the freshly spruced up Pack entered the upstairs living room to have their picture taken by Flip Top, who was being the Hash’s resident ‘David Bailey’ with his new toy of a top of the range camera, this resulted in some of the chaps seemed to have more than a passing resemblance to that iconic picture of the Kray twins that David Bailey took in the 1960’s.

With most of the Harriettes wearing black dresses, & the Hashers in dinner jackets, it proved that the Hash can ‘scrub up well’ (to quote Sis) when they have to!  The Down-Downs were held in the ground floor dining room, recipients had to lean forward slightly to avoid spillage, & at least the Hashit wasn’t being awarded with all of the formal gear being worn!  Everyone present would receive one hit.  The Hare was rewarded for the day’s Trail, as Flip Top dispatched his half there was a lot of comments from Sludge about the RA falling over (it was noted!). 

Here are just a few & they are in no particular order:  Hyena for believing Fartin martin had gone for a run at 7 o’clock in the morning; No Eye Deer & 2-1-2 Maureen were out for being Sleeping Beauties & not being awoken by the Firemen!  Hyena was out for Thames Water’s lack of action at the early morning, some emergency service they are, no wonder there are always pipes leaking in the Capital.

Sis was out for disposing of four sherries, Kylie for powering up of his Sat Nav & overheating the electricity Panel, My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead received his for chickening out at leaving Mark E Mark’s Wellingtons above the Pub door, Mark E Mark took notice of this!  T-B-T was out for the crashing of yet another car; Kylie was again called forward for his euphemism about “Your anorak’s fur lining showing!”  (Now, now Pebble Dash!)

Sludge received his Down-Down for his 400th Herts Run; My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead had his hit for chickening out of leaving Mark E Mark’s Wellington’s above the Pub door; Pebble Dash was out for making it only 5 minutes in to the opening Circle before she came out with a smutty remark; lastly the RA called forward all of those who had fallen over on the Trail, this of course included himself (as an over enthusiastic Sludge pointed out) & since he fell over twice so the RA ended up with a Pint!

After the Down-Downs the Pack climbed the creaky wooden stairs to the upper dining room, the RA told those still downstairs not to peer up his kilt!  Kylie’s stuffed ‘ship’s cat’ was found at the top of the stairs, he had an idea to look for a silver dome serving cover to hide it under, & then place it in Sis & Flip Tops room to make her jump when revealing it as she doesn’t like the moth-eaten moggie.

Places were taken & after the dumbwaiter had brought the food up through the floor, three more dumb waiters (Flip Top, Paxo & Mr. X) set about dishing out the first courses.  By now most had forgotten what they had chosen as their first course, so Sis had to get out the lap top & go through her database, even then some didn’t think that they had ordered soup.

It had been noticed by the GM that Pepé le Pew had removed his jacket, he was quickly reprimanded & the jacket put back on, then the diner’s attention was brought around to Ketch Up.  He hadn’t changed at all, T-B-T soon came in for some cutting remarks of “What kind of dad are you!” & “Look at the state of your boy!”  But it was deemed best to let Ketch Up remain unchanged due to the state he was in, the other problem was that if he had gone to get changed he would be too near his tempting bed & it was doubtful in whether he could resist its allure!

Sludge was the other Hasher present who hadn’t gone for Black Tie, he had changed & was wearing his best VD sweater (Val Doonican Pebble Dash!) as he would have to change after lunch to be the not so secret Santa.  While still on the subject of dress code, Flip Top was sporting a pair of snazzy Arsenal cufflinks, red ones in a style of mini replica kits with ‘Fly Emirates’ on them.  But, just like his team they wouldn’t last the distance & one of them fell apart before the end of the night & look like they will not make it to Europe!

Crackers were pulled, Fartin Martin bemoaned the fact that he always gets the short end of the cracker, the RA advised him that he was probably better of if he pulled his own!  Paper hats were worn & the corny jokes were read out!  Though some were not the jokes that were written on the paper from out of the crackers!

As the meal progressed through the courses, the help yourself system soon faltered, well it would with Kylie piling up his plate at the front of the queue, Mark E Mark wasn’t shy at digging in either & Fartin Martin was unimpressed to find that the roast spuds had all but gone when it came around to his turn.  Farts was even less impressed that there were no bacon wrapped sausages left by the time the last few got to the hot plates.

The RA noted that for someone who doesn’t like sausages, it was strange that Mark E Mark had two ‘pigs in blankets’ on his plate.  However, there were plenty of Brussels sprouts left, Mark E Mark took one & lobbed it at Mr.X & this hit him right in the eye, Sis looked on at Mark E Mark with a ‘Don’t start a food fight!” stare & he sank back in to his chair!

Once the main course was out of the way, the RA stood up to go through the successful Away Weekend that Herts have attended this year, everyone got to hear what the RA was saying without any interruptions from TC!  Since the last Christmas Party Herts have attended the following: Yorkshires 2007 AGPU in January, the Bus Tour From HHHell (part 3) down the east coast of Australia, InterHash in Perth Australia, the Alternative WinterHash in Perth Scotland, Singapore Lion City Hash, Essex 1221, the only Fri 13th Murder Run of 2008 in June, the F.U.K Full Moon’s 250th Weekend, The Herts 1234 (Which had the highest attendance of any UK event of 2008) best described by Olymprick as a mini-Nash Hash!  Then there was Isca XI, Newcastle’s 900th, Teign Valley’s 1234, Guernsey & Guernsey Harriettes not to mention all the other F.U.K Full Moons in 2008 & Flip Top’s 50+ Run.

The Pack left the dining room to settle down to Port, Cheese & biscuits in the living room, a nice Port was accompanied by some splendid Stilton, Cheddar & an excellent smoked Red Leicester.  There was plenty of Port & cheese on offer & many went back several times over the course of the night.  The RA & Hare Razor were two who took advantage of the Port.  The RA did warn Hyena not to overindulge on the cheese as it gives him nightmares, but this advice went unheeded!

After the first round of Port & Cheese it was time for the presents & as everyone on the Hash knows there’s only one fat guy with a beard who hands out Hash presents, so Sludge changed from his VD outfit (Val Doonican Pebble Dash) into a flimsy red suit to become the Hash’s not so secret Santa, his poor old knees were going to take a pounding.  At least he was far better value for money than the Lapland New Forest experience that had been in the press!

Hyena was first on to Satan’s Santa’s knee, what a start for his creaky joints & you could hear the strain!  Now, Hyena’s present just happened to be bottle-shaped, he hasn’t quite grasped the idea of ‘Secret Sana’ & he had made it clear on the journey down that he was going to try & pick out his own contribution!  Sludge made sure this didn’t happen & he ended up with something totally different.

2-1-2 Maureen ended up with Hyena’s wine, which she seemed really pleased about.  There was the usual drink related prizes, like wine openers & bottle stoppers, either Mark E Mark or Lobby pulled out a Bomb Alarm clock, in the shape of the type that appear in cartoons like the Pink Panther.  By rights Ketch Up should have pulled that out of Santa’s sack.

One of the best prizes was the one Fartin Martin pulled out of Santa’s sack, he got a battery power hamster that went around the room in its own hamster ball.  T-B-T pulled a somewhat slimmer present out, he got the ‘Designer Beaver’ game, where you used the magnetic pen to shape the iron filings like the old kids game where you made a man’s hair & beard, this is just a bit more adult with a beard of a different kind.

Experienced Hashers know there is one golden rule about cameras & Hash do’s, & that is “Don’t leave them lying around!”   But Ruth had yet to find this out, but not for long as Kylie picked her camera up & took a picture up the RA’s kilt without his knowledge, luckily it’s a digital one & Ruth doesn’t have to have the film developed at Supersnaps where they could all see the RA’s King Edwards on display.

Later on Ruth proved she was a bit of a party animal as she danced the night away, she was not alone at tottering around the room to ‘top tunes’ from Flip Top’s ipod.  Also on the dance floor Ketch Up was seen flailing around like a whirling Dervish ‘spinning for the Glory of God’, his spiritual worship came in the shape of his hipflask & his tankard, but he seemed to oblivious to the fact that he was spilling a lot of his ‘Holy water’ as he wasn’t rotating fast enough for centrifugal forces to work & the Beer was sent flying.

This was not the worst of the spillages, oh no!  For Hyena, who ended up slumped in a chair by the patio door, somehow managed to knock over a lot of Red Wine on to the doormat.  In a case of “rub it into the carpet, no one will notice!” it was just left to permeate through the mat & it to the wooden parquet floor!  Hyena should have put some White Wine on it to get the stain out, but this would have proved almost impossible since the likes of Pebble Dash & No Eye Dear wouldn’t surrender any to be rubbed in to the Red on the floor!

Mr. X handed out ‘special mint condoms’ to some of the couples, these claim to enhance the experience but had the undesired effect of making the users laugh, as the mint smells like mint sauce & reminds the wearer of Sunday lunch of roast lamb!  Ewok pinned her one to the strap of her black dress, let’s hope she has thrown it away or Back Pack made be getting a sibling in July!

The last few, the skeleton crew, were not going to leave until Flip Top had played the Wurzel’s ‘Combine Harvester’ song, time to turn-in came around 02:00 Hrs once the West Country’s famous sons’ best known track was played.  No Eye Deer, Mr. X, Ruth, Ewok, Pebble Dash, Flip Top & incredibly Ketch Up was still there among the last to leave, the RA noted that Pepé le Pew had abandoned his wife & left her tottering around the dance floor!

At least there was an undisturbed sleep Sunday morning & considering the amount of sprouts that were devoured it wasn’t as smelly!  Ketch Up awoke & seemed to be startled by something else, as he let out a surprised “Oh, there’s my whistle!” when he saw his dinner jacket in its cover, hanging unused by his bunk. 

Time for breakfast & the Pack discussed how good the previous night was.  Fartin Martin could now bulk up prunes & organic stuff after missing out on the Pigs in blankets!

Unfortunately a few feathers were ruffled as Zing-a-long-a-max let the cat out of the bag about where the Sunday Trail went, after he had inadvertently ran part of it the day before.  Oh Dear, he was not in some peoples good books that morning.

Sis & Flip Top would set off before the Circle was called outside, T-B-T had to go as well, though he was going into work & not by choice! 

The remaining members of the Pack circled up & to while away the time before the Hare’s appeared on the scene Psycho parted with some information she thought would be beneficial for the Hash, she has discovered a fungal nail cure of using mouth wash, or was it on athlete’s foot or was it foot & mouth? 

Talking of infectious diseases, Hyena was presented with the Hashit to run around in that morning, the RA let Hyena off of putting the Hashit on next to skin, mainly for the benefit of those of the Pack who were feeling a little delicate from the night before, than saving Hyena’s modesty.  Hyena was none too pleased to be awarded a Down-Down before the Trail, the old humbug was almost going to let My Lil’ Sperm ‘ead wear the Down-Down as the old ‘red mist’ descended & he chased the Hare Razor out of the circle for baiting him, Hyena was calmed down & took it like a man (an angry one at that) for spilling the Red Wine.

The Hares were finally presented to the Pack, after the GM had welcomed everyone to the Run.  They said that the Trail wasn’t what the Pack may expect, which was all very cryptic, & they added that they had used normal Herts markings & then the Pack were ushered away. 

The Trail led around the back of the Springhead Trust property, the going was hard underfoot on the frosty ground.  The Dust ran down the footpath along the edge of the Trust’s grounds & out along by an open, silver frosted field to the south, along the way, Hyena’s bum-bag kept coming undone due to the over-indulging the night before.

The Trail led up to a CHK by a crossroad with another footpath, Skip was one of the first down the path back toward the village & the RA wondered if there was some inside knowledge as “On!” was called that way?  The Dust ran down to the mill pond, a light mist rose from the body of water before the weir, the Trail led over the wooden boards across the weir & on to an arrow pointing to a footpath directly over the lane from the Trust.

Once over the stile in the hedgerow, the Pack had a run through the open fields, covered in a frost shining in the sun that would have poets like Keats waxing lyrically about this archetypical of English landscapes.  However beautiful it may have looked, it was still bloody hard underfoot!

The Keenies made their way through a series of fields in a northward direction toward Compton Abbas, there was a brief respite at a stile in the hedgerow as just beyond this was a ditch & the Hash needed to balance on their way on a narrow wooden footbridge.  Being lithe & dexterous is one quality gymnasts need to master discipline of the beam, which may explain why overweight, drunk Hashers aren’t gymnasts!

Halfway up the next field & there was a change in direction to the east, over another stile to negotiate another ditch & again a balancing act was needed to get on to a permissive path. It was around this point that the RA heard a cockerel crowing, this carried on & on, the RA soon realised where this was emanating from as he caught up with Zing-a-long-a-max, who was on his phone as it picked a signal up.

The Trail ran along the field’s edge until it reached the opposite corner & it looked as if the Pack were going to head up the imposing edifice of Fore Top, but the Keenies soon found them selves at the electric fence one of the Hares had warned about.

After a lot of searching, with no idea where the Trail or the footpath went to, it was finally established that the Trail terminated at this point.  The Keenies headed back to find there was a lot of girly screaming back at the stile, where the GM had clambered down into the ditch to assist the girls (& some of the men) over the narrow plank.  There was even more squealing when the Pack reached the other ditch & stile, Ellen seemed to be the main culprit here as she struggled to get her leg over! (Now, Pebble Dash!)

The Pack returned to the lane to find that that was the end of the Trail, some followed the whole Trail backward & went all around the outside of the grounds.  Most took the option of walking back up the lane & in to the Springhead Trust.  Hardly any time was wasted getting the Down-Downs ready, so once everyone had returned the Circle was called.

The Hares were reward for a 40 minute wander, which the RA said was all that was needed for a proper ‘Recovery Run’ & most agreed with his sentiments, so Little Hole & Ellen were awarded their hits; Hyena & Skip had their for the Hashit & it was discarded in the centre of the Circle for some other unfortunate to wear…..

Among the other Down-Downs were: Kylie for the up-kilt picture on Ruth’s camera; Mark E Mark for more RA abuse when he hit Mr. X in the eye with a sprout; Psycho was out for her foot-mange cure; Pepé le Pew was out for leaving the last of the Hardcore with his wife in the wee hours!  No Eye Deer was out for missing the Deer on the Saturday Run.

As the Circle began to conclude, the RA came out with the fact there were going to be two namings, Ruth & Ellen were called forward, knelt down & received the Christening with the Holy Dust, Shiggy & the Ale to be known as Party Animal & Wacko, the later was apt as next year she is becoming part of the ‘family Nutter’, not only that but the Haberdasher can get rid of that Herts sweatshirt with Wacko embroidered on it, that’s been hanging around for years!

Zing-a-long-a-max received the Hashit for spilling the beans about the Trail before it had even began & the cockerel calling ringtone that kept going off on the Trail to indicate that he had text messages & had missed calls!

The Pack settled in for lunch & to finish off the last of the Ale, the final couple of Pints of Mild ended up in a plastic coke bottle for the Train journey home.  But this wasn’t cracked open as Pepé le Pew & Pebble Dash gave the trio a lift to the Horse & Groom in Hatfield, so they never fulfilled Hyena’s promises of popping back in to the Red Lion, Gillingham, on Sunday!

A great weekend was had by all, well done to those who organised it.