A healthy number of hashers arrived at The Red Lion, despite the evenings real life drama in politics making being a couch potato an appealing option. Little did we know that this hash would continue on while governments rose and fell.
(Artwork courtsey of Jane)
A few of us wondered how complex a hash it would be, looking at mystic symbols on the pavement, but when Mike was allowed to speak (accompanied by the noisiest dog in hashing history, of course) it turned out that the dots and lines were the same as ever, though particular warning was given of impending disaster should we run through an inverted F.
Moving onto the maths, we were informed that the short was about 4.0 and the long “about six”. Now I’ve been hashing a while now but I have only just worked out what this means. Having used the same ploy last week, I recognised that “about six” (henceforth referred to as a hashers six) actually means “this hash is longer than six miles but that’s not the done thing, so I’ll be a little economical with the truth”.
We were in for a long one.
The hash set off to the tunes of some local youngsters imitating Ade’s “yrup” which I think means “on on” but they weren’t up to actually running, so they were left behind as we headed out under the railway bridge to a beautiful spring evening view across the valley. Turning right, alongside the railway we were then back into woods and possibly the last chance this year to enjoy the bluebells before heading back across the fields towards Little Chalfont.
After crossing the Chess River, a check gave the longs the choice of heading out across the fields or going into Latimer. With no flour up the road and Ade taking ages to check the fields (aka stopping for a pee) I handed the map over to Dick, as without glasses or any idea where we were, it was something of a chocolate teapot in my hands. Phil spotted the opportunity for a short cut while the rest of us headed over the fields. Just as we reached the next stile we found a necessary burst of speed as a herd of young bullocks decided to head our way and join in the fun. Running quickly through the gate, we continued on, with relief towards Chenies Bottom, only to realise the hash turned back on itself and back through the said field of bullocks. Never let it be said that hashers are not chivalrous as Jo and I were escorted back through the bullocks who had, I am pleased to report, quickly lost interest.
Running past Latimer House, the longs realised they had lost their way and were now on the short hash. However, with recorded mileage suggesting we were near the end of the hash and the map suggesting we weren’t, there wasn’t much appetite for turning back ( knowing if Mike was involved with food it should be good and we should get there quickly), so we followed the wood edge up a gentle but never ending slope. As the light faded the longs once again joined their intended trail and headed along the Chess Valley Walk before turning left to go back over the river.
Heading back through a tunnel under the railway, the usual cacophony was made, alerting the walkers to the longs imminent arrival. This highlighted a last minute option for a short cut, readily taken by 4 of us while the die hard longs continued to St Leonards Road and back, so completing the 6 miles of hash that was actually 6.33 miles and if the longs had stuck to their own path would have been 6.42 miles (I have measured carefully using my accurate contours!)
Back at the pub, no chips but healthy sandwiches & less healthy chocolate rolls were a welcome and well deserved snack after a great hash over some unfamiliar paths with great views. 10 /10 to the teacher and his boss.