To really understand Tuesday night we must go back in time.
May 22nd 2009, a gray-headed lemur passed an excessive amount of wind due to overindulging on some overripe fruit. Of itself this might not have mattered, but two days later a sheep on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores also passed an excessive amount of wind after finding a way into a field fully of newly sprouted cabbages.
This two pronged event meandered through time and space to England on the evening of Monday, December 21st causing a more extensive snowfall than was predicted by the Meteorological Office.
The event rolled on.
The local council based their road gritting plans on this prediction and did nothing. Consequently, after the snow had fallen traffic in High Wycombe did nothing either. Doctors, nurses, redundant gritters submitted themselves to being but a small piece in the gridlock puzzle.
At 4pm Mr and Mrs Lodge left Eastbourne.
At 1am, Mrs Lodge tottered up Cryers Hill in knee high boots and red dress, taking care to walk in the footsteps of her guiding husband. Recriminations were muted, but heartly felt, about the reason Mr Lodge had not taken up the four wheel drive option for his car.
At 10:59 am, Tuesday morning, a pleading email circulated from the hare, wondering whether she or anyone else would be able to attend the evenings hash. (Ed’s note. In its near 1000 run history, never has a Hash been cancelled or hounds not attend. Real ed's note - actually one was when the hare was snowed in - he had sert the run but then couldn't get out of his villiage).
At 7:40 pm it was clear that tonights Hashers would not have to fight for a parking space.
3 hounds, 1 hare and a lonely cyclist (Dick) stood shivering outside the Royal Standard, all dressed up in their Christmas finest.
At 7:45 we walked to the end of the road to help push Dave and Maggie’s car up the 1 in 100 slope. This just shows how treacherous the conditions were and just how brave and daring the hounds were, even to turn up.
D&M were just back from New Zealand, so they chose the walking option.
The rest of us listened to the hash rules that the hare annunciated.
So we did, setting off into the farmland behind the pub, passing 3 cars on our left, all laden with 4 young men each, all encouraging we mad Santas to be even madder. After short distance, the bike hasher decided the trail was impassible and turned back. We wheelless 4 ploughed on across a football pitch.
If you could look down on our tracks, it would have looked like a drunken snail trail, going where ever and when ever it suited our hare. Off piste, on track,it made no difference to us. Lift your feet high to clear the snow. Bow your head to clear the snow laden branches.
Occasionally there was a “one back” that only seemed to apply to the hare who ran back to an imaginary friend some 50 metres behind the last runner.
The trail we created was roughly an anticlockwise circle around the edge of an area bounded by Four Ashes, Terriers, Hazlemere and Widmer.
Given that this is roughly a square having 1km sides, how we managed to clock up 4.5 miles is a little puzzling but as the aim was to arrive back at the pub as close to 9pm as possible, it mattered little. My suspicion is that once the periphery of the area was exhausted we indulged in multiple diametrical passes. As the ground was covered in deep snow, it was little wonder that we had no clue where we were nor how many times we passed the same spot.
Needless to say, we got back to the pub with 10 seconds to spare. Well done to our hare and those Hashers who braved the elements.
Inside the pub, we were treated to fine fare of chips, sausages, chicken, pizza etc.
And not least, the beer was really tasty.
Competition. We want a collective noun for Hashers - send your best answers to Roger.
In the event, entries were limited to those present plus email entries before the day.
Entries: Flour blob, huddle, haggle, hoard, Kurjumblum(?), numptie, whip, scandal, turnfoot, gaggle, hassle, argument, rush, puddle, grump, trash, pod, squabble, murder, disagreement.
The winner, based on the 2 judge voting system, was Graham Edwards with Scandal.
The next day, Mick Jones seemed to have a few free minutes at work and submitted a veritable tome of nouns. One that I think that would have stood a good chance is “a spurt of hashers”.
Hope you enjoyed your Xmas.