We gathered at The Red Lion in Little Missenden where the GM announced that the billed hare Gerry was indisposed due to a dodgy Thai-green curry the night before (which sounded like a spurious excuse at the time) and therefore under-study Ant had agreed to step up to the plate and set the night's hash. Dick said something unmentionable about how Gerry would have come in handy setting the hash a fortnight ago in the snow (ew!), before Roger handed over to Ant to present this week's cryptographic key. It turns out that Gerry was actually in Cambodian all along and his name had been on the runs list as a cunning ruse to throw Sarah off the fact that this was always going to be Ant's hash, set in honour of Sarah's 30th birthday. Ant proceeded to explain a curious array of symbols which baffled at least half of the runners and which I repeat here for the sake of those who didn't grasp it first-time:-
>30 : greater than 30, i.e. those who are older than 30 years of age go back (practically all of us).
<30 : less than 30, i.e. those who are younger than 30 go back (about 3 of us - or should I say them?).
=30 : equals 30, i.e. those who are aged 30 go back (Sarah).
>=30 : greater than or equal to 30, i.e. those who are older than 30 + Sarah go back.
<=30 : less than or equal to 30, i.e.…..I'm sure you get the picture by now.
<>30 : greater than or less than but not equal to 30, i.e. everyone except Sarah goes back.
You'll know next time!
On-on left was called and I have no idea where we went after that because, having attended a talk by the CEO of Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust the day before, I was too busy chatting about the future of the NHS with Dr. Dan for 90% of the run - I can report that we discussed the challenges of an aging demographic, the effects of an increase in long-term conditions, potential future budget cuts, insufficient budgets to meet current service requirements and outdated or inappropriate service or workforce models.
Meanwhile I'm told that Paul had resumed his Moosiness having Moosed the previous week and again this week and everyone managed to on-back when they were supposed to. Otherwise the hash was highly enjoyable, well-marked and relatively uneventful.
We arrived back at the pub by around 9:15 where we all sang Happy Birthday to Sarah and enjoyed what were generally voted as chip-of-the-year chips, followed by a choice of photographically emblazoned chocolate or vanilla cakes.
Roger summed-up the night's ramble by declaring that, “It was probably too dry and too short for the longs and too wet and too long for the shorts, but for this GM bear….” (and for me) “…it was just right”. Thank you Ant for a fabbie hash and to Sarah for having a 30th birthday.
And from three bears to three beers: since Gerry couldn't be there, here are the dispatches from our-man in “warm (90+) sunny Cambodia”:
“The country is brilliant - the temples stunning and interesting and, away from the big cities and tourist traps the food is excellent and cheap - our best so far was a lunch for five people, with three beers and a coconut. The total was $8.50 !”
So, if Gerry really did have gut-rot, now we know why.