Run 739, January 15th 2020.
WHERE: Wherever you wanted in Nailsea!
HOSTESS: Fast Forward.
WHO: 11 hashers and 2 hounds.
RUN REPORT: A cold snap of the fingers kept us huddled together at an On Out forewarning of themes to spot, viewpoints that demanded to be assembled at and a double dose of D cataching us up with hound number 2 (always a pleasure for Mudlark to find a pedigree chum). With not but checkpoints and the alphabet to guide us (head torches deserve a mention too, I guess), we hastened to our first view, the sandwich filling of Tithe Barn and Holy Trinity Church for once not chiming to the tune of our "On In" chant; that would normally be reserved for heading to the rafters of the Ring O'Bells which came hither, naturally with the ulterior motive of confusing Rocky Horror who wanted to Ring O Bells in earnest rather than make a suburban semi sprint in the direction of the Moorend Spout, a pub Bogged merely once but with a rich dose of Rewind trivia attached (most notably that "the good old Tories have closed up the public toilet opposite", but then the pub is where you should spend the most pennies). On we roared to the White Lion, again somehow posing for a view rather than a down down, but not even those who heard the distant bars bleeding dry could resist the allure of Nailsea's Garden of Rest, boasting deep water and a circuit braved only by Rewind and Deep Throat in the dark - other attendees (swelled by Double D by now) were busy decoding the theme of checkpoints having 2 quick blobs and then nothing, spliced with local hero Adge Cutler's eternal resting place opposite (rest ye were, weary hasher). Debate threatened to rage as to whether we would make all of Nailsea's pub stops, though consensus was quickly reached that the Sawyers Arms counts as part of Wraxall and thus the next viewpoint was merely that of Bumburner looking for flour the wrong side of a subway (not the sandwich chain sort, either). Keeping with our Adge, the site of his Live at The Royal Oak album recording soon beckoned, quite rightly still boasting about it with a statue snapped up by stand-in Hash Flash Walky Talky. Remembering though that a local hero would not want to soak up all the attention of a Bogs trail, though, we duly returned to non-stardom with a mostly demolished pack of chocolate peanuts and the comedy gold of Cinderella checking out a back alley, only to come across a staircase prop destined to be used in an upcoming production of...Cinderella! I was thus a little worried that some beavers may come out and destroy the trail, though the hare certainly did not want to play the tape back and avoid the offerings of the High Street - first there was a pub stop finally for half the pack alongside the Golden Horse (sadly I missed the name and Google Earth still thinks it is an opticians; they haven't been keeping up with their running problem), then we stopped to admire the stretch of the Coates House-was-Queen's Head and the Glassmaker in turn but not time for those bar driers to catch up. A hashing horticulturist's dream greeted those reaching the finishing stretch prior to 9 in the shape of a neighbouring Bonsai garden, easy enough to hash one's way through, not so easy if you're looking to resist Rewind trivia. Seasoning greetings!
CIRCLE: I had to call disorder to proceedings as skittles once again sounded the rallying cry, never without announcing the next hare raising experience though, viz:
ON ON ON: We had been treated to a bit of everything when it came to viewpoints and trail markings, and the no-expense-spared theme continued at Casa de Fast Forward with enough baked potatoes for Summer numbers, duly "garnished" with the finest that Heinz and Cheddar had to offer, not forgetting the mulled cider and cake platter to further tantalise the palate. Oh, and it was all on the house! Not so sure the Miner's Rest can be sustained with such generosity next week, even if they probably know our trails themselves by now...
Run 738, January 8th 2020.
WHERE: The Bird in Hand, Long Ashton.
HARES: Cinderella & Kerb Crawler.
WHO: 15 hashers and 1 hound.
RUN REPORT: What always threatened to be a damp squib began with divine intervention as I managed to seize a parking space right outside the pub, courtesy of a non-hasher's timely departure. Inspiration continued sufficiently to keep the downpour at a moderate level, a good thing seeing as we were destined to follow up runner and walker loops around Long Ashton with a stroll into the Wild Wood. Not only was there no Wind in our Willows, but also shiggy turned up en masse complete with a runners' lasso for those prepared to put their dignity in the hands of deteriorating flour. The festivities could continue once titular Way had been located, seemingly with a sweet stop in sight as well but nonetheless still with a couple of false On Ons to negotiate before we could finish the ascent forthwith. Tanked up on jelly babies, wine gums and maybe even some adrenalin, there beckoned the real reason as to why Cinders had displayed some concern about Down and Dirty's ever enthusiastic (and normally quite able) participation. Shiggy any more there were not, uphill without fish hooks there most certainly was! Perhaps trusting more to Long Ashton knowledge than a need for thorough back marking, Highlands Road certainly lived up to its name in making she-who-got-her-handle-before-she-hashed retire back down Providence Lane without looking for a beer stop which may not have been there anyway. 8:50 was our time of arrival, perhaps leaving enough time for Cinders (the real timekeeper) to have drunk a fraction of the bar dry.
CIRCLE: Too dry was this trail, presumably in terms of British wit, too much vandalism of trees by Inchworm (who better to have to duck beneath them?!) and too many instances already of Rocky being more attached to his wheels than keeping up with runners. You can never have too many Fondue birthdays though for those precious pecan pies though!
ON ON ON:ith its billowing fire and alcove tailor made for bedraggled Bogs out to demolish 4 gherkin and pickle-inspired Ploughmans, this not-so-frequented pub was certainly worth the two hashes in the bush that its name suggested. We need a little limbering up for a Rewind trail up a creek with only a few paddles next week, after all...
Run 737, December 18th 2019.
WHERE: Roman Road, Bleadon - later retiring to the much cosier abode of Bendy.
WHO: 13 hashers, 3 of whom played catch-up and none of whom had 4 legs.
RUN REPORT: Most fitting to end the storm production line that has been 2019 (geographical if not political) - a hardy double figure of hashers assembled against the onslaught of wind and lashing rain, and at the peak of Bleadon, to boot. Bendy duly appeared with the revelation of the trail being cut short due to geological migration of flour, not that it would perturb our running problem. Indeed, while guessing which blobs had survived along Roman road and which were freshly laid by an FRB hare, we encountered the increasingly rare phenomenon of a fish hook being obeyed to the letter, perhaps motivated by a desire to keep warm bodies huddled together. One checkpoint though had sneakily survived everything nature could throw at it and had even evaded being back-marked; that may of course had been the intended long-cut down to Bleadon in a West Mendip Way kind of direction. Confirmation followed that this was not an entire trail of Roman straightforwardness when we branched off onto Bleadon Hill Golf Course, thankfully destined not to find or be found by any stray balls which we nonetheless kept calm and checked for. We were also thankful for not having to opt for the ultimate downhill to Hutton and back again, what with all the shiggy underfoot and Rocky Horror keeping up the back marking/kicking amid reports of the Cinderella clan being lukewarm on our tail. Hashers had been fenced off from equines en route to Canada Coombe, but thankfully not from another fish hook which had transmogrified into a make believe checkpoint, nor from the quick fire quiz from Rocky to keep spirits up on the move (the theme was to go through the alphabet with three letter abbreviations, i.e. ATM, BTW, CRB - I think we were still in the process of hashing though lol). Back on tarmac and with the forlorn vehicles coming back into view, a pat on the back went the way of the well established Ropey who had gone ahead and FRB'ed like a good 'un - shame about the lack of car keys though. The quickest escape route to Bendy's took us back to ON IN rather than On OUT, to the merry sight of Cinders, Walky Talky and Kerb Crawler confirming that a more than adequate job had been done with the old back marking.
CIRCLE & ON ON ON: Once huddled around the kitchen of our talented restaurateur, the Christmassy number 40s to 20s began to pipe out along with the piping hot soup and its caramelising brie within - eat your heart out croutons. In fact everyone eat your heart out with all that turkey, roasties, cauliflower cheese and shredded sprout bake for the veggies and omnies. What followed was a scrumptious tart or two to fully justify inflating the full run and hash fee to £4:50 for the night; I think we would quite happily pay this every week of 2020 if the catering were to reach the same dizzy heights from which we and the typhoon had hashed...
Run 735, December 4th 2019.
WHERE: The Old Mill, Portishead.
HARES: Coppertone, Bag Lady and Inchworm.
WHO: 11+ 3 hashers and 1 hound.
RUN REPORT: Not the trend to be bucked, the hares were thankful for a 7:27 swelling of numbers to reach double figures for a joyous stroll with or without the high street's Christmassy bedecking. For having On Outed past Aldi without the urge to stock up on mince pies (or even the possible source of beer stop later), there came the Dare & Do of scaling a muddy bank and then skipping on the edge of the A369, all in anticipation of manoeuvring through yonder suburban labyrinth - a much easier undertaking on foot than wheel (one pleasant soul even had the audacity to step out and ask if we were lost; I think that would be a Herculean achievement for us in Portishead). No, the real highlight comprised Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve and its circumnavigation with the objective or spotting, if not recruiting, the Great Crested Newts who are hashing outside the perimeter while man changes their bedding. Alas we did not see any, but certainly got a Royal Institution-style Christmas lecture on them from Coppertone and a view of their recent residences and curiosity regarding freshly laid flour. Talking of which, we concluded our nature home run with a stroll past Flour Power's abode (we didn't knock, though - the wine gum sweet stop was calling), inevitably preceding a view of the 50 stone fingers waiting forever for the tide to come in. Unfortunately our crossing of the Atlantic riverside walk prior to Newfoundland Way revealed aromatic evidence of the type of hash which isn't good for your feet, mind or body, but thankfully we all chose to remain merely high on adrenalin as the Majestic Wine store came into view - along with BN rather than MWN symbols.
CIRCLE: On Old Mill Road us young and vibrant milled around, making light work of macaroon cakes, beer and orange juice to the tune of congratulating co-hares on getting a few fish hooks and turnbacks out of Inchworm (all obeyed to the letter, to boot). For Bag Lady and Eager Beaver the crime was having no hat on in the circle, so remember rule 1 - there are no rules, especially when it is scalp-numbingly cold.
ON ON ON: Swiftly On In to the revelation of Zider, Double D and Bumburner having been playing catchup (though thankfully not hunt the flour or follow the Rewind) all evening, bodies huddled together over most of the cosy Old Mill while cheesy, pepperoni and ham pizza came out in abundance with 2 bowls of chunky chips. Call it a warmup for next week's Christmas meal at the Salthouse if you wish, just make it a merry and happy new one.
Run 734, 27th November 2019.
WHERE: The Market Inn, Yatton.
HARES: Dongle and Software.
WHO: Around 14 hashers.
RUN REPORT (written by Cinders): A short route rearranged to avoid knee deep mud was what the hares told us, although the resulting 4.5 mile plus route with sufficient shiggy to keep us slithering slowly down from Cadbury Camp hill made us glad that we hadn’t done the longer originally planned route. Some warming mulled cider and mars bar crunch at the "beer" stop re-energised us before keeping to the straight and narrow as we ran in along the strawberry line back to the Market Inn.
CIRCLE and ON ON: Following stacks of sarnies and chips the hares were thanked, Rocky and Cinders regaled for following Rewind (we should know better by now), and Bendy gave us news that Croucher would be bringing a new hasher into the world next year.
Run 733, November 20th 2019.
WHERE: Grove Sports Centre, Nailsea.
HARES: Double D and Zider.
WHO: 23 committee members, one of them canine.
RUN REPORT: Thankfully annual general hash occasions do not merely involve dressing smart and nodding approval - there is also a walking come running problem to endure. On Out (very soon to be On In) took us out past the local junior and infant schools and with time sufficient to split the walkers and runners once, twice, and thrice with the aid of a fish hook which almost put Down & Dirty at the front of the pack at one point. Runners, though, set more of a pace with a lot more than a trundle along Trendlewood Way en route to the sweet stop with its tangy haribo, liquorice for all sorts of hashers and the waiting game for two groups of BRB (both well lit). As is threatening to become a custom, a touch of trial and error was required among a last allegiance of scribe/BRB/GM in following the far-ahead pack back to from whence we On Outed, no doubt finding some rebelled fish hooks along the way but never feeling too far from the church bells. As 'twere all were present and accounted for by a Down and not so Dirty time of 8:50, so no need to elect a new timekeeper/RA hybrid...
CIRCLE: A big thank you to the hares not only for getting us back in time to call annual proceedings to order but also for organising a more devilled than average soup and bread combo with our hosts (chilli flakes were not needed to spice it up this time), plus popular miniature pies containing mincemeat (I will not use that word on principle until December 1st). GM and Hash Cash then took up opposite ends of the ring for any business other than any other business:
ON ON ON: Among the mostly "As You Were" nominations, a bottle of Disaronno became the proud owner of a Brigadoon Bog thanks to the latter's ASS efforts, the tankard for master hare reappeared in order to disappear to the top of my trophy cabinet (all by itself), and our NPO status nonetheless made a few pledges ahead of next year's 10th Ass Hash and possible YHA hashing around Minehead (still skipping on the territory of the Dorset Hardy Hashers). Back to the near future, the Market Inn at Yatton welcomes each re-elected role save mine next week; keep up the running problem!
Run 732, November 6th 2019.
WHERE: Newton House, Clevedon.
HARE: Deep Throat.
WHO: 17 hashers, 1 hound larking in the mud, 1 visitor and 1 hostess.
RUN REPORT: During a brief respite from shiggy (i.e. On out) the host hare and his supporting cast quickly realised that a Deep Throat hash and Dial Hill go together like zig and zag, particularly when there was no firework debris to dodge thanks to that recent (and mostly ongoing) Severn-inspired deluge. Not that we were to miss out on displays this unsettled eve, of course - first there was the no less obligatory conquest of Clevedon's peak, followed 2 On Ons later by stopping to admire Bumburner's house under refurbishment with a sweet stop - Haribo and Chocolate Raisins for the slightly naughty, crystalline ginger for the nice and not running - the latter would have to wait until to close to On In for their share. It soon transpired that Dial Hill routes had become too tried and tested for a GM's sense of adventure, so it was time to send the pack down first the ripple (a footpath of local schoolchild legends) and then Strawberry hill into respective Falsehoods. Although the woodland realm provided an opportunity for Miss Fortune to toy with getting down and dirty next to a drop reckoned by Bogs folklore to be sheer, all of these twists and hairpins proved insufficient for the runners to catch up until we were mulling over some warm wine at an undercover beer stop:
CIRCLE & ON IN: The walkers were praised for their good behaviour and the hare for his hash oh-so-good, just in time for Rocky to step forward under the gaze of runners for always getting it right at checkpoints throughout. It was back out from whence to locate Park and Hill Roads, all with the motivation of finding home cooking for deep down our throats...
ON ON ON: Down & Dirty joined in for a sample of Red Light's Parsnip Soup with ciabatta just as the lure of the skittle alley called (alas, dear Bogs, 'twas a false alarm and I could have stayed to drink the cauldron dry). This has all worked up a Sweatmonster turning first party animal on Saturday and then Septuagenarian on next bogs hash. No doubt plenty more hare experience where that came from.
Run 728, October 9th 2019.
WHERE: The Golden Lion, Wrington.
WHO: 8 hardcore, houndless habidashers.
RUN REPORT: All seemed pretty ominous on a day when most of the Severn seemed keen to find a new home - en route to a wringing Wrington I had already received cancellations from Ropey and Miss Fortune, and my arrival at the Lion's mane at 7:27 swelled the numbers to 2. Luckily a trickle of us then followed mother nature's example and, lo and behold, play stopped rain! Thus a touched Bumburner put forward the executive/CEO/GM decision that we were to run the walkers' route and still make time for an extra loop later on - first though we had to pick up the surviving flour around All Saints Church and deduce that even tonight was not worthy of an On In after 5 minutes. Duly lectured, the tarmac stream up to the near peak of Wrington Hill was observed, and with sufficient time for Dongle to go out on a semi limb deciding that one might as well just shout On On unless the flour was as hardcore as us. A similar fate befell enough of us to constitute FRBs on the way down - a bellowed On Back reined them in and henceforth along shaggy galore to the outskirts of Barley Farm - the titular crop seemed too healthy for a snack stop and so instead Bumburner cracked open a Tesco Pick 'n Mix sweet stop, with a size perhaps budgeted for a fairer weather attendance. Once comfortably back at sea level and having observed a few Easyjets overhead, it was time to put in that extra loop of effort, even if it confirmed we still cannot yet conquer the footpath link to Redhill (all part of a trail which is just itching to come off my hare production line...); no - for now we quite happily made do with a hop back into suburbia like the far-from-drowned rats we were, sounding the On In infantry charge at a quite sociable 8:55. 5 cowardly lions and 3 lionesses we were not...
RECTANGLE & ON ON ON: Even if the rain had held off on all but our feet, the bar still seemed a very cosy place to head to as we were still but a motley crew - to welcome us there was firstly a canine rivalling a lion for size (thankfully without a matching appetite for scrawny hashers), then there was a more appropriate shape for our number as the down downs went the way of everything vegetable and mineral that had made tonight's stoic contribution possible. A struggle ensued to finish off chips and sandwiches again probably budgeted for many more (particularly as Eager deemed the sandwiches to all be cucumber, egg and tomato-tainted), but a very good account of our appetites was at least assured. The opposite end of the culinary spectrum shall strike at the Jubilee Inn next week, where we shall crown our efforts merely with a Down and Dirty beer stop spread. On On - One is most amused.
Run 727, October 2nd 2019.
WHERE: The Phoenix Bar, Portishead.
WHO: 12 hashers, 2 hounds and a visiting GM.
RUN REPORT: A little down on numbers, even in the knowledge that we were under the command of a hare permanently free of fish hooks but not hefty hikes. It was exactly that sort of upward immobility that quickly emerged from On Out towards the classic marina - prior to taking on the cobbles of Stoney Steep the hash-technology revelation came to that walkers may have wandered off flour, even if it only took a few polite words of encouragement and wisdom ("we're passing a pretty church!") to unite the paces again prior to a regroup overlooking a Bristol Channel defiantly retaining a millpond-like serenity against all these recent hurricanes. Runners still found it in them to take on and trounce a segment of the Gordano Round while the walkers ambled down to the Marine Lake, complete (not quite sure how recently) with love swan boats keeping a watchful eye over us flour louts. A sweet stop over by the open air pool beckoned once the faster head torches caught up - the perfect opportunity to meet your 5 a day quota of jelly babies, pastilles and apricots to suit. We even appeared to be rivalling the nearby lighthouse at Portishead Point in terms of rambling on in Morse code, so another ramble in two directions through the woods to the Royal Inn seemed like just the way to somehow literally up the stakes further. Now that the new marina was here to swallow us whole, a head count was substituted in favour of a group huddle. At the lock, we took stock and saw two long cutting bogs who had walked the last of a trio of runner routes, necessitating a charge across every man's land from the hare at anything but Inching Worm pace. Tried and well trusted was the way back, still nonetheless taking care as the only handle-less item here was not a virgin bog but a small, still-significant part of the wharf (not even Brigadoon would be keen on such a fall, splash and dash). The physics-defying cupid outside Bottelinos continued to give our Portishead hard-a-ports the blessing it always has, i.e. no sex on the hash before the 9pm watershed along the High Street for On In.
CIRCLE: A wide range of On In times was overlooked, not so Dongle having a limited taste range when it comes to hash bread or Croucher still failing to see the light when it comes to Winter Bog headgear. Thankfully there was nothing dark and mysterious about the classic Phoenix conservatory...
ON ON ON: 5 loaves (albeit zero fishes) and a Golden Lion's share (make that next week at Wrington) of Brie, Cheddar and Camembert made for the perfect qualitative and quantitative Ploughman's, as did Deep Throat stepping up to the leftover plates to help with the demolition job. Mutual failure to let down continues at the Phoenix...
Run 725, September 18th 2019.
WHERE: The Langford Inn, Langford.
HARES: Dongle, Software and a swift dash of Eager Beaver.
WHO: 16 hashers, 1 hound and 1 visitor.
RUN REPORT: A slight conflict of interest in writing this, but it was just too nice a trail not to - the cornfield at On Out had been monitored for months in the hope of receiving a much needed trimming, but 'twas not to be and so Dongle had elected for the crop circle approach to get us along this public footpath. Back-marking was high on the agenda too as you-know-who were playing catchup not just through the towering crop but also on the wide open expanse that was Langford Court Estate. The cattle within seemed disinterested enough to be used to homo sapiens, or perhaps all those recent recces there had taught them a hashing lesson. Once the far end had been reached, the late head torches duly came distantly into view so the back marking had done its job; all that was needed was to morse "Get A Life" and we would all be home and dry on Burrington Combe. Not that we had wanted to use it in earnest, but by the time uphill had been conquered Brigadoon began to creak under the pressure of his ASS and thus opted for the walker short cut (along with Houdini and Rebore) which was Dongle's personal trail tinkering. His polar opposite was Cinderella who took on the lengthy runner split up towards and back down Dolebury Warren just in time to bump into Eager who was trailblazing the genuine walker trail through the menacing undergrowth and the rocky downhill which only FRB Duracell would have been charging along. Surprises were still in store once the walking brigade (seemingly tailed by Fondue and Bag Lady) was spotted up ahead and with one head torch in its death throes - firstly Rewind suddenly appeared behind us having been lapped by Cinderella (either that or he took it upon himself to genuinely conquer Dolebury) and then it seemed the walker short cut had not cut enough short as we took in a few more shiggy fields prior to beer stop with liquorice and radishes, no less:
CIRCLE: We stood hardly freezing ourselves for a while waiting to down-down the still straggling Brigadoon, Houdini and Rebore, but decided that a running problem alone was enough for them to handle. Thus the hares were deemed Grand Old Dukes, Rewind was reminded how often he gets lost (I think it was Rewind we were talking to) and Bag Lady and Coppertone were initially deemed returnees though it then transpired they had only been away 3 weeks. A trail of hashers (including a Dongle search party) was left until 3 hobbling head torches in the distance finally came into view (technology on the hash was used with impunity to locate them), and On In took us back over that none-too soporific A38 and through a grove seemingly constructed specially for the weary and wary.
ON ON ON: With Down & Dirty back from hurling skittles up a blind alley, we tucked in to the Langford's non-oriental but still quantitative spread of sarnies and chips. Watch out for hash Olympics next week as we go running from a football club with a pool table which may be showing rugby on the TV...
Run 724, September 11th 2019.
WHERE: The Miner's Rest, Long Ashton.
WHO: 16 hashers including 2 late shows, 3 hounds and 2 visitors.
RUN REPORT: Our well worn stomping ground pub had recently received the makeover of a non-chocolate penguin outside the pub, but no such warmup song was on the agenda. Instead Rebore dictated a Spanish Hash Diatribe about things that may or may not be on the trail, i.e. they would be provided the weather had not disposed of them. Runners had the more rugged yet safer terrain at On Out, conquering the woods and a couple of fairways rather than the Providence Lane ascent of the walkers - care was needed all round though amidst B3128 crossing number 1, followed by its customary checking of all things flour which pointed to Ashton Court and its resident bikers. The walkers presumably had less to fear once the pack split, since runners not only had to cope with the slaloming headlights of a BMX brigade but also the prospect of reining in Bendy a few times to avoid head on collisions (a biker would of course not stand a chance against a Bog, but the insurance side of it is still a pain while we don't carry business cards). Rebore had demonstrated his cunning side, with a few runner branches off the beaten track prior to the banshee-like On Ons of the walkers being located near the deer park. As usual the inhabitants of said park were too timorous to put in an appearance, as not so usual the revelation came forth that Zider and Penny had now appeared among the walking fraternity, and there could not have been much more of a slalom through the trees and pitfalls prior to B3128 crossing number 2. It did thankfully precede a sweet stop with liquorice allsorts and eclairs; by now many a seasoned Bog would be able to find their way back to the Miner's without a head torch or sun, but all that bike dodging had motivated three quarters of the pack to imitate a Deep Throat Ass and take the fair way back On In. Punishment thankfully did not constitute following the On Out arrows - you merely were subjected to a Rewind glare.
CIRCLE: Zider and the still-too-hot-to-handle Penny received latecomer Down Downs along with the Cinders brigade (the latter tend only to get them when they are on time), Rewind had simply been Rewind and Miss Fortune had made a welcome return to the running rather than drinking problem.
ON ON ON: We have conquered all three alcoves of the Miner's Rest on many occasions; tonight it was the turn of the midsection with subs being politely requested before the appearance of any grub. I had been holding back on full subs until pizza perfecto appeared (enough to make a leaning tower of them for both veggies and the rest) plus many an invention of the Earl of Sandwich. From well established Miner's Rest to only our third Langford Inn outing next week. Don't forget those searchlights...
Run 722.5 and 723, September 7th 2019.
WHERE: Pool Bridge Campsite, Porlock.
HARES: Brigadoon, Ballsport, Cowslip, Double D and Eager Beaver - ASS commitment!
WHO: 31 hashers and 1 hound.
RUN REPORTS: A much hyped Annual Somerset/Devon Scrumptious event which the weather has yet to disappoint for, even if I am rapidly running out of rectal double-entendres for my postscripts. Upon our arrival over a rickety non-rope bridge to the back end of the campsite which we had seemingly been relegated to, we quickly realised it would mean less campfire interruptions as a trade off for longer toilet trips in the night to work off all that cider. The Friday trail from a huffin' and puffin' Eager Beaver also inevitably had a longer On Out to go with all the stream crossings, symbols and pitfalls, with Deep Throat and Red Light being left a long way behind in the woods as a foreshadowing of what was to come on the Saturday. Nonetheless we were all intact as we touched down on Friday night ready for curry and wraps cooked in the best of Fondue sets (along with THAT Pavlova recipe which had loyally followed its owner, unlike hound Mudlark who perhaps wanted to save her from more hard work), and under the Briggy marquee to boot. Time there was thus but enough for part 1 of the welcome returnee Cowslip's campfire songs before turning into those canvases, save for Down and Dirty who may have decided not to take an evening shower at a nearby B&B resembling the Bates Motel...
Rise and shine along with the sun! Not bad considering the brief cloudburst we were subjected to on our arrival yesterday, all in time for a quick Briggy breakfast and briefing about the first half of the trail being in purple paper until Briggy threw down the flour. I have none but the most sincere doubts about our campsite repositioning having the ulterior motive of being right next to our On Out (and On In, so it were), but none could have asked for a more vigorous warm-up than leaving the campsite via a near 1 in 1 gradient, all but the jet-powered clinging to the non-barbed fence so as to ensure no fall would cometh before pride. Runners even had the stakes downed and upped shortly afterwards, with many of the branches specially sticking out for the unwary being hacked aside by none other than the long lost Walrus! Clearly none of the enthusiasm and knowledge of symbols had deserted him in his 2.5 year hiatus; fate was to decree though that a sense of hash balance needs persistent honing. For on the way down through the slipstreams of Hawkcombe Woods the very same rock left two stalwarts - Walrus and Kerb Crawler - on their Ass ass (good thing that pride had already gone AWOL).
It seemed a little early to be talking of BRBs considering that we often could not see the wood for the checkpoints, but the temptation to snipe at Drop 'Em and Fondue as they brought up the near rear was too great - they were just across from us on the hairpin and resisting the urge to short cut, after all. Instead the pack picked their way through what may pass as Devon's Amazon (i.e. with all the hashing gear they bought online), finishing with a course of gorse and horse (Exmoor ponies actually) before regrouping on tarmac at a time when it was still too early for us to seize up. Seize the moment offered by an imminent beer and sweet stop, though - now that's a different hash matter entirely! While strawberry and lemon drops, rhubarb and custards and pastilles were being handed out with the beer much like loaves and fishes, the sight of some humbugs suddenly reminded us that a regular provider of such goodies, namely Deep Throat and Red Light, were still yet to be seen on their trek through (and mostly up) the foliage. We waited around long enough not to notice our genuine back markers but nonetheless long enough to remind ourselves that this was a grandmaster we were waiting for, and also that first pub was not going to fill itself.
So with Rowberrow-rivalling views and oxygen levels on the way down, we hastened forth to the not-so-dizzy heights of Porlock Weir - the only vehicle encountered on the way down happened to be a Royal Mail van, yet today's speediest delivery had to be a shipment of 29 drinkers with a walking problem to the coastal Ship Inn. Grub was to be up at 2pm, but we had the outside benches conquered by 1pm and thus shot the breeze in as many ways as a Bog could. These included Eager with his pesky little Shut The Box game, the coaches that kept trying to reverse into us (we thankfully make a much louder alarm than any vehicle can) and the persistent rumours that Deep Throat and Red Light had it in them to set a hash of their own for us to catch up on later. The latter was to be dispelled only after we had feasted on the ultimate Ploughman's (say what you like about Branston Pickle, for me pickled onions are the coup de grace), and a drumroll naturally had to accompany their appearance round the corner without a limp, bump or bruise to show between them. Slow and steady wins the race; a good thing we frown on racing on the hash every bit as much now as we ever have. On On it was then, silencing the bells of St Nicholas Church and encountering the pleasant surprise of another Woodland trail that skipped once or twice on the edge of the notorious Porlock Hill - much easier to navigate with hashing boots than with petrol. This mentally wearying exertion had no untoward effect though on our newfound sense of looking out for the back markers - for once Ship Inn number 2 was reached the joint efforts of Missapp and Rebore ensured a regroup hastily appeared in an upstream car park for Brigadoon to take stock - glasses were taken this far afield from the pub, despite Rebore having previous when it comes to relocating pub property on the Ass Hash (see 2012).
Plans were well laid enough to allow for plenty of games and unofficial down downs at the nearby Castle Inn (and the Royal Oak within a stone's throw, if you were among the hard core who wanted to add a Clevedonian pub name into the mix); if however you had made haring pledges then it was up and away through the singular street of Hawkcombe (how reassuringly campsite-sounding) for a bit of live haring in the woods overlooking the Ass's namesake town if not namesake campsite just yet. Never one to turn down a reputation as a tease, Brigadoon's symbols on the way up included "Are We There Yet?" and "No" just to chalk the pack off a little bit more, though the final result will tell you that the title of surprise hasher had to nonetheless be bestowed elsewhere. For as the pack caught up to us just after the ON IN symbol had been squirted in a place where the horned cattle would not wander (they had even stepped aside for us hares; herbivores unite!) the mirror image of our mountainous ascent from this morning suddenly beckoned, with Deep Throat and Red Light manning the fort with Down and Dirty at the bottom! It turned out our king of GM surprises had set his own trail back from Porlock Weir after all - you'd think he'd done this sort of thing hundreds of times...
Back and suitably knackered, Game of Thrones had been the supposed theme for fancy dress by the fire, though it seems the ratio of fans of the show to costume adherents is disproportionate as you will see below. To literally warm up for the circle we first had a sausage casserole and chilli in abundance, this time courtesy of no Software kitchen failure and complete with all the chilli trimmings plus custard as a palate adjustment. Time to down those downs...
CIRCLE: Brigadoon actually complimented Kerb Crawler and Walrus's falls by takng a tumble himself at the hilltop beer stop, perhaps weighed down by all that refreshment, before going on to share the hare plaudits with Cowslip, Double D, Ballsport and a swift dash of Eager Beaver. By now the theme had moved on to "winner stays in the circle" and so Cowslip and Ballsport remained with Briggy to take the chef congrats along with Deep Throat, Fondue, Software and Dongle; the latter two stayed to show off their fancy dress with a Fred Flinstone Gazza plus Rosie, Inside Out and Walky Talky. To finish with Kerb Crawler was reminded about getting a day and a year older on the morrow, with a very chocolaty cake to prove it, and Matt (who no doubt had been keen to get his sausage in cider) was given the handle of Come Inside with all the appropriate ceremonies.
ON ON ON: The embers kept glowing until well into Cowslip's second helping of songs, no doubt fuelled by the heavy but hardy breathing of a troop's Amazonian conquest, and it even seemed to transfer just enough energy for us to tackle Dongle and Software's Sunday morning Olympics (despite being egged on, we kept losing our marbles and found a glass is more likely to be half empty than half full on a sports day)with every bit as much skill and competitiveness as helping Briggy to pack all of that admin away. The 10th ASS will descend on us in 2020; with this much merriment on offer I would think calling it the 10th anniversary a year early would be popular anyway...
Run 719, August 28th 2019.
WHERE: The King's Head, Bedminster Down.
HARES: Walky Talky and Kerb Crawler.
WHO: 13 bipeds only, of which two were late visitors.
RUN REPORT: Numbers were the polar opposite of spirit on a night when head torches made their seasonal debut among a sprightly hashing crew keen to show that it takes more than coolth and damp to make shaggy downhills a hazard. This attitude on back alley On Out thus yielded only curiosity rather than territoriality from the cattle, though it unsettled Rocky and Inside Out enough to seek a shortcut through the hedgerow just before the fellowship was briefly broken - for runners it was up and over the railway via the respect commanded by the crematorium; no less respect from the walkers who crept stealthily (and with chalk!) pas the gypsy camp of Rose Meadow View. A pretty view also beckoned once reunited as multiple sports fields were introduced to hashing (if they want to encourage hashing at grass roots level, I would demand more shiggy), but it was after a suburban taste to events that we discovered the non-uphill element for this being a hard core trail. For after On Oning our way down an innocent enough footpath there beckoned a bed, nay, sea of nettles posing us much a threat as any army of triffids, even if human evolution had cut a small swathe through them to a sweet stop alongside the somewhat devolved bus route. Down & Dirty had taken the seemingly dubious advice of dropping her trousers to protect against those feisty flora, but it was only for the sake of leggings to protect the legs and had certainly led to the whole pack emerging unscathed. The conditions did presently get the opportunity to rear up in defiance of us as runners finished their long loop number 2 with the sight of walkers emerging from whence hares did not intend. It would take a lot more than that though (the elements had already tried hard enough) to put us off our two strides, and so Feeder Road it was then to stoke our hunger further ahead of the serendipitous conquering of an overgrown footpath (those plants really had it in for this trail as much as the weather) to link us back to the A38 and its neighbouring beer stop - raring to go head torches were not going to miss that..
CIRCLE: More cider in its fruit and liquid form to make a hares' song and dance about, along with the announcement that Eager may do a small route copy and paste job from the Angel at Long Ashton next week, provided it ups the numbers and provides a beer stop as refreshingly close to a 9pm touchdown as this one was.
ON ON ON: Brigadoon and Ballsport showed the commitment needed to travel afar merely to get our ASSes in gear; I doubt the mountain of chips and sausages served up (along with a near trough of ketchup) were anything more than an ulterior motive. Perhaps we will soon have hot dogs again in every sense...
Run 718, August 21st 2019.
WHERE: The Ship Inn, Uphill.
HARE: Deep Throat.
WHO: 22 hashers, including 2 juniors, and 3 hounds.
RUN REPORT: We had long given up this venue as a shipwreck off of Black Rock when it came to hashing, but here it rose from the dark lagoon courtesy of our landlubber GM. I am pleased to report that turnbacks again outnumbered fishhooks, even if the score was 1-0 courtesy of a T3 at On Out which we pretended to miss while parking. Runners were easy to round up though and send through the playing fields (dare I say we have finally outgrown the zip wires that compulsorily adorn these, including this evening) and into the outskirts of Bluebell Woods at the wrong times of year for them. Some hashed in the direction of the hare's promised beach paradise, others dived into the undergrowth looking for a way to catch the runners, but all roads it seemed led back to the multicoloured checkpoint, and so it was diplomacy rather than flour which dictated a stomp in the direction of the sand. En route our public way ahead was helpfully staked out in blue by the golf club, reaching a sailor's delight of a sunset with flour still holding rule over sand where practical. Once past the yacht house and Black Rock the by now far distant runners Bendy and Cinders opted not to "check it out" along a jetty, but were quite happy to reclaim the FRB territory going round to a sweet stop in view of the Marina. With walkers as beacon none would have resisted the tangy haribo, pastilles and liquorice allsorts that burst open; however this may have been the point of pub return for Briggy and the juniors who decided that 5 stone throws is near enough. For those that kept with the flour there would of course be reward worth earning - firstly a circumnavigation of R and W varieties of the nature reserve, then more than a little bog wading rather than snorkelling on the cusp of the river Axe, but most importantly there being a point of no return without beer stop once one started the ascent to Uphill Beacon. Thankfully on our ascent it was merely bullocks who politely stood aside and invited us to walk through their latrine (thank the hash gods for that early head torch). We perhaps can thank our own efforts for the beacon usually being unlocked these days, so this time it really was called upon to storm the battlements...
CIRCLE: High up but still well below the cumulonimbi, we took in the sights of a St Georges Flag mistaken by some for the moon along with the local head torch populace no doubt up on the mount to investigate some mysterious Goings On On. Ever the healthy GM, Deep Throat passed around the apples, pears and fruit juices to go with the slightly less soft liquor; quite the backdrop for us to crown 600 runs with Bogs for Cinderella and Bumburner for deciding a trail was too silly to trace flour on (thankfully he didn't have to sit in the beacon to burn his bum for that down down). Deep Throat reminded some that it was not all downhill from here - there was the slight bump on the terrain to the church lit up specially for us, after all, followed by the roll or gentle pitter patter down to Uphill Way, whichever tickled your feet's fancy. 9:25 was the departing time by now for short-cutting juniors; remember no school in the morning unless you're Briggy...
ON ON ON: Almost like we'd never been away. Chunky chips and sandwiches in baskets if not blankets came out in force - some egg, some ham, some ham and cheese, all white and doorstep in nature. Next week we shall teeter on the edge of Bristol at the King's Head; better make sure we keep eating like one.
Run 717, August 14th 2019.
WHERE: Uppy, Downy and Woodbine's, Clevedon.
HARES: Dressing Down and Up All Night, to put it formally.
WHO: 20 hashers and 2 hounds.
RUN REPORT: On a day when destiny decreed that bringing out the barbecue would actually stop the rain, the trail nonetheless dictated that we head to earn the gap in the elements. Only the foolish or virginous would have breathed a sigh of relief after being promised uphill slogs by the hares while avoiding Court Woods at On Out (even if we certainly have NOT done that foliage to death by now). Instead we threw up the gravel on the Valley Road approach to Dial Hill, resisting the school grounds in favour of the unrelenting 1 in 3 that is the Ripple. The Cinders Brigade catching us up at the peak was customary; Rocky Horror accompanying them less so - perhaps Down and Dirty's words had been heeded to keep loneliness from setting in to those BRBs. The dispersing pack was quickly spotted up ahead anywho, with nearly as many arrows pointing us briefly onto the grounds of the golf club and the battlements of Walton Castle which miraculously remain unstormed by hashers. For today was the day for another visit (via plenty of bramble and nettle-inspired yelps) to the dizzy heights of the coastal path above Ladye Bay. With runners sent more AWOL than out on a limb and walkers faced with a landslide more forgiving to us on the up in the past, me and Down and Dirty would normally have expected to discover that slow and steady loses the race. However, runners waited until Ladye Bay came crashing into view before sounding the bugle, and of course there was no racing anyway! Even though St Mary's Church did not have the quarter hourly to chime us uphill again, the prospect of a not-so-distant Uppy and Downy spread was too tempting not to finish a route for. So much so that several stalwarts (scribe included) got into such a culinary chatter that they wandered off flour and back down Dial Hill as the crow would have liked to have flown. The coup de grace for being put in one's place duly arrived in the form of a "finished" text from Ropey, back on All Saints Lane and chomping at the BBQ bit.
CIRCLE and ON ON ON: Such DIY consternation had prevailed throughout a 90 minute nuance - after congratulating the hares for this bubble and squeak like mashup of Clevedon's tried and mostly trusted hash routes, it seemed almost a crime in itself to not go in the circle for committing one. Onto the subject of replacing calories with 900% APR - this was not so much brownie points from the hares as Michelin Stars - Uppy kept calm throughout and checked everything (perhaps not including meatballs) on the barbecue, throwing in some chicken wings for those who stuck with the savoury (no barrier it seems for Ropey who has no qualms at all about the pecking order savoury-sweet-savoury-indigestion); meanwhile the indoor highlights included olives mostly for yours truly, ganache with panache, Rocky Road and a strawberry conglomeration which we all inadvertently activated the red pepper taste buds for beforehand. To the Ship at Uphill we shall hence set sail - no need for rationing after that.
Run 716, 7th August 2019.
WHERE: The Woodborough Inn, Winscombe.
HARES: Cinders and Kerb Crawler.
WHO: 29 hashers and 1 hound, not that there was any bipedal bias.
RUN REPORT: Classic ingredients both in terms of territory and hares guaranteed that a good share of both merriment and misdemeanour was squeezed into a just over the hour mark trail; the buck hare could probably have sprinted round the trail again to touch down at his regular 9pm if so desired. Perhaps wearied with all the times these symbols have been confused, the hares unequivocally informed us of one turnback and no fishhooks throughout, and it only went and popped up at On Out just as we had dived off the petrol-beaten track and into the undergrowth sandwiching the glamorous Strawberry Line. I mentioned no bipedal bias, but it was certainly extraordinary that no pedalling keep-fits managed to disturb our multiple checkpoints and runners loop through the bracken and onto the appendix of pretty much every sports club in Winscombe (all except the Mendip Challenge's dizzy heights). Entirely typical August rainfall had laid out the shaggy carpet, not just for FRBs but also for an always welcome returnee Drop 'Em, who miraculously teleported ahead of Eager and Ropey who were straggling themselves in an unnecessary attempt to keep the pack in one piece. Perhaps more compassion should have been directed towards the runners, whose genuine diversion had led to them reaching the sweet stop 5 minutes after the foot-on-the-grounds. Here in the shade and glade of the Orchard of East Well we did indeed Eat Well with fruit pastilles budgeted for high Summer numbers - Walky Talky also managed to squeeze us all into a hash flash, bar lonely quadruped Poppy who had practically frog-marched Bendy and Croucher to its location. After deciding that this orchard was not boring or bearing anything we headed via a few hurdles back to tarmac, only to pick up Double D and Zider who had elected to pick up the 10 minute crumbs of the cake that was this trail. The Lynch mob who proceeded leisurely and fishhook-free back along tarmac into Winscombe probably much approved of being given 3 sides of a square for On In, otherwise another half hash may have elapsed before Down Downs, let alone On On On.
CIRCLE and ON ON ON: The rugby stereotypes were sitting out on the Woodborough Boardwalk before we appeared en masse, sufficiently intrigued by Down Down banter (i.e. free drinks) to declare they would definitely take up hashing if such festivities always followed. It was curiosity and acquaintance respectively that had drawn in virgins Matt and Tash; perhaps it was also an increasing liberalism that bought out their sex on the hash, even if we had one junior not watching. Double D and Zider continued to deny their half-hashed attempts were merely for free drinks (so we gave them each a free drink), while Coppertone and Bag Lady crowned 48th anniversary sex on the hash with equal joviality. Casting my doubts heavenward, some threatening clouds appeared prior to plenty of chunky chips and sandwiches, though thankfully my raincoat did its job of keeping the rain off (along with all those ravenous insects). Keep those numbers up if you will for next week's Uppy and Downy BYOBBBBQ (I think we all know what the extra BB is for).
Run 715, 31st July 2019.
WHERE: The Rudgleigh Inn, Easton-in-Gordano.
WHO: around 18 hashers.
RUN REPORT (written by Cinders): Before we started Rocky regaled us with reports of rampaging cows, rearrangements to the route he had to make when setting the hash, and even an unexpected cricket match causing the car park to be filled up, but it all worked out on the run. A walker/runner split after the first mile meant that the two groups didn’t see each other again for another 3 miles where we met up at the beer stop, shortly after running through the motorway services..
CIRCLE & ON ON: A down down for Rocky and then we welcomed back once a year visitor from Xanten, Wolfgang, and Sam was named after an ailment affecting runners, and is now known as Athlete’s Vest. Then it was back to the pub for sarnies and chips sitting outside alongside the now empty cricket pitch.
Run 714, July 24th 2019.
WHERE: Grove Sports Centre, Nailsea.
HARES: Double D and Zider.
WHO: 23 hashers and 3 hounds.
RUN REPORT: Believe what you will about the Mercury coming as close as it ever has to boiling in Britain this week; it was still bearable enough for an AGPU-standard attendance for tonight's AGPU venue trail. The bare-legged members of the motley crew were presumably too fast to fall foul of nettles galore at On Out over the neighbouring common - no less a worry for fresh flesh though was the abundance of armed-to-the-teeth insects in abundance (I write this thankfully with my only affected digit being the left pinky, and even that was sustained while recceing the ASS hash down at Porlock with Brigadoon). They swarmed over us as much on the common as on the back doubles of Youngwood Lane which we emerged onto, complete with the serendipity that there were other life forms out there for us to attempt to recruit, inspire or intrigue. For after passing a dog walker or 5 on a well-concealed bovine greenbelt we stood chomping at the Regroup bit waiting for the famous FRB 5 of Briggy, Fondue, Inside Out, Deep Throat and Red Light, only for a group of genuine lady joggers to make a merry procession through our midst (one of them may even have stepped on the regroup symbol; if only down downs could be dished out so autocratically). Top that? Step forward, or rather lie down wearily, a resting hound Luna who for once was packing a physics-obeying amount of energy into that tiny frame. No biped or quadruped though was tempted to invent their own early On In when back near the vicinity of Engine Lane, particularly with conditions on the approach to Nailsea RFC less on the Winter treacherous side. Recent and long distant hashes round these parts have included leaping faithlessly into thorns, plunging halfway up my leg into a quagmire while I still had no hares to my name, being one of an entire pack snared by a T24 and being part of half a pack whose joint efforts were required to decipher a 300th run symbol. Perhaps an anti-climax, then, for us to emerge onto the West End and for some rugby players to pretend-flirt (what stereotype?!) with Zider who had quickly caught the trail up after On Out. To give a sign of the quantitative and qualitative menu on offer indoors later, the sweet stop to rev us up back on Engine Lane packed frosted and plain wine gums, jelly babies and liquorice allsorts (the latter of course being backup in case Cinderella ate all the other three). Meandering through many a checkpoint remained a necessity for those wishing to reach a co-harent abode which transmogrified into a well-fuelled beer stop; we even second-guessed Brigadoon's decision to turn back early and get stuck into that On On On grub.
CIRCLE: The hounds seemed determined to stay in the circle and take the credit for being hares on a flat mountain, but they quickly evacuated when down downs came the way of those using technology on a hash not for the purposes of finding one's way or arranging pyrotechnics - take note Clawed Balls, Croucher and Deep Throat. Needless to say, the blessing of Holy Trinity Church bells spliced with Tithe Barn ensured a Cinderella touch-down of 9pm.
ON ON ON: As if the air-conditioned AGPU room to hide from a skittles match in full swing did not suffice, there was plenty of culinary novelty on the cards too - chicken nuggets came disguised as Rostis, wraps and mini pizzas came in all shapes and sizes though as you would expect cocktail sausages not so; the highlight though had to be the split pea and ham toasties to propel us all the way to the Rudgleigh for some serious ASS-training.
Run 712, July 10th 2019.
WHERE: Bendy's Stables, Puxton.
HARES: Bendy and Fondue.
WHO: 25 hashers, 3 hounds and 90 cows.
RUN REPORT: Hashers are now practically a breed unto themselves (Bogs every bit as much as K&As, Bristolians and Greyhounds), however Mother Nature was out to have every last word it could with us as the mercury soared the second time while Bendy's equine chums looked on. I opted to be slowly roasted inside a coat rather than mercilessly shredded by the insects that were again out in force (one still found its mark on my scalp though). Bendy though had something much more cloven in store for the trail - first there was the forewarning of horned cattle (at least our last visit had met with plain-headed bovines) along with "you'll know when you smell it" tales of a departed deer in possible roadkill form later on. Nature even seemed to have lent its own hand in presenting a trail sufficiently flat and grassy for Down & Dirty to go the extra 4 miles (FRB status was even within a stone's throw at one point), but Wimps and Rambos were easy to distinguish once the Wannabe Minotaurs pawed forward in their dozens to cut off the path into a nettle-infested bridge. Rocky Horror, Brigadoon (whom we will never forget misplaced his car keys around these parts under the coalition) and Dongle shared the honours in dispersing them, being duly rewarded along with Clawed Balls with a fish hook which had survived nature's four-legged (and possibly Farmer Giles) fury. Behold a long detour atop tarmac which featured many attempts to convince ourselves that the stables must be due West rather than due East in a trail sense (it was merely 8:15 at this stage, so they weren't due at all). The inevitable Oh Deer moment then came to pass without too many caps removed even from veggie hashers (hardened no doubt by repeated viewings of Bambi), in fact some up and running four-legged friends pretending to be foe came our way once we had reached the banks of Oldbridge River - that they resembled deserted calves caused brief panic amongst those who feared Ma and Pa's backlash, but they quickly left us alone after realising we had left all our BYO grub back at the stables. With light now dwindling and many FRBs having already started Down Downs with Grub Up, there came the welcome sight of a co-harent Fondue at a stage when we were supposed to use (shock, horror) common sense in locating the flour this far afield. With only insectoid harm done, though, the On In showed it could survive these bovine elements every bit as much as a fish hook, and so round the far side of the horses it was. Oh, to be satisfied with merely grass, oats and bran...
CIRCLE: More a case of applause for the hares, a returning Red Light and a Down and Dirty contribution devoid of beer stop, lift or co-haring assistance, even if a few caps in the circle did not mean you had to drink from your Wellington.
ON ON ON: A few compulsory contributions in amongst this Bring Your Own Banquet OUT OUT OUT - Pavlova made of Fondue, Houdini's prawn burritos (a nice spicy kick to them), Uppy and Downy's personalised cakes (the lime and chocolate mix definitely filled a void) and certainly no Software Failure when it came to the Tiffin. Believe it or not, more picnicking will follow away from Ye Olde Inn, Clevedon next week, with Down and Dirty back in her accustomed culinary role.
RUN 709, June 19th 2019.
WHERE: Software & Dongle's abode, Weston-super-Mare.
HARES: Host and hostess.
WHO: 29 hashers and 2 hounds.
RUN REPORT: The June we know and love - dry! Not to mention a hash with numbers ballooned by another hybrid run and the promise (let alone fulfilment) of lengthy runner/walker splits. As we ventured forth towards Castle Batch a few murmurs of discontent could be heard about merely having to search for "one blob and you're on" at checkpoints, though we still fished out a few methods to call On On the wrong way (even if we didn't fish out two hookers like the trail clearly wanted us to!). Without the need to conquer the castle or even storm its grounds (we settled for a circumnavigation), some FRBs needed to be reined in to escape the temptation of hashing as far as Sand Bay and settled for more huffing and puffing near the welcoming Ebdon Arms. Fate (or excellent hare timing; I suspect a dose of both) decreed that we would reconvene alongside Riverbank Medical Centre (and once again with no need to make use of it) prior to picking the winding path through Walford Avenue Park to our reasonably early On In - so temptingly early, it seemed, that we had all grown up sufficiently to ignore yonder zip wire on offer and locate EL NI NO at a paltry 2030 hours. Parking diversity of course remained to make the whole shebang of "Locate Vehicle, Boots Off, Possibly Smart Clothes On, Plod/Stride/Hash to Hare Venue" take anything up to a sixth of a hash - and wasn't the circle going to let them know about it, viz:
CIRCLE: With many acquaintances of a co-hare came many a crime despite our early arrival - as well as the rebels against fish hooks for a mere 2 FRBs we also (despite our non-racing tradition) deemed Rocky Horror too fast (having completed seemingly every check before near-FRBs reached them) and Deep Throat, Red Light and Fondue as too slow! Some would cry regular law-breaker, I would just say standing back and strolling through the lovely suburban scenery. For visiting mole hasher Squatter to break tradition and NOT fall over on the hash - not so forgivable, for Dongle to imminently become another year wiser - likewise.
ON ON ON: A Software failure resulted in an oven-inspired delay to culinary proceedings, though well worth waiting for despite a chill that sent a fair proportion of us indoors and off with those nonetheless clean boots. For veggies there appeared a shepherdess pie to compliment a surplus of garlic bread; for those with a Neanderthal diet there was just as much chickpea as chicken to line their bowl (yes, I had thirds). Tiffin chocolate tart debuted with every bit as much popularity as Fondue's Pavlova had once upon a Weston hash, particularly as one could garnish it with cheesecake to taste. I think we are quite sufficiently warmed up for Houdini's beach hash and party next week, particularly Ropey and I who will be freshly fattened and basted courtesy of Za Za Bazaar...
Run 708, June 12th 2019.
WHERE: The Druids Arms, Stanton Drew.
HARES: Cinders and Kerb Crawler.
WHO: 35 hashers, 5 hounds and 1 visitor.
RUN REPORT: This inevitably quantitative and qualitative K&A/Bogs hybrid turned into a major washout...unless you were flour, in which case a stoic defiance of the markings against this June deluge predominated the trail. We frequently neglect Sandy Lane both for On Out and On In but not this evening - perhaps it was the presence of a Tithe Barn and a field of cattle doing the herding that tempted us. Or maybe the pack were so keen to make a tardy scribe plus Ropey and Fondue trail in their wake that they quickly sought the open, very tall grass? Whatever the cause, Croucher remained on hand to maintain the link between the BRBs and the dim and distant, and the cattle seemed well accustomed to a pack running through them without a Rebore-in-Red, so much so that they failed to sniff out the many bovinophobes on offer. Also stinking the trail out for the wrong reasons was the normally wary hound Mudlark who had gone for a roll in something not even recommended among the canine elite - prior to finally colliding with the runners who had been seen scaling distant heights (particularly Cinderella in his beacon orange), the weather nearly opted to ease off to turn Mudlark into some repugnant street art, but it did have a heart and duly opened half a heaven once we reached the sweet stop en masse. Not content with a view of a coombe or two, there was ample dried fruit on offer along with non-tangy pastilles, complete with the universal resumption of "Check It Out"! Despite assertions to either side, Bendy (and of course Poppy, with Sweet FA encouragement) saw fit to sprint ahead in search of flour while the rest briefly parted their separate ways. By now we had noticed the prevalence of R/L as opposed to R/W splits, so as to emphasise how long runner routes can be and how much shorter a walker/wimp route is - no such hard luck in finding a way back through several stiles and shiggified farmland to the tarmac preceding a pretty regular On In/Out unlike that Sandy Lane. Here we have grown accustomed to negotiating the electric fences only to be confronted by less respectful cattle than the rest of the trail (in Rebore's absence Fondue stepped up to the plate and simply uttered "Hey!" a couple of times to disperse We The Curious Cows - no need for concern from them, after all they were not even destined to be on the menu...
CIRCLE: Suited and de-booted for a crowded pub, we had to applaud Fondue and Mudlark for their helping hand from nature in cleaning up, though we may have gone too far in suggesting Houdini had not come dressed for British Summer (there are technically 9 days or 1.5 hashes still to go, for those like me who only speak Solstice).
ON ON ON: Butcombe Beer either made you hastily disappear or stay to drink the bar dry, the former missing out on the duo of chip trays that came out with enough sausages for 3 per omnivore; you even had enough resources to make them swim in ketchup and mayo. Dongle and Software's residence par excellence beckons next week - you have my testimony that haute cuisine will reign supreme.
Run 707, June 5th 2019.
WHERE: Morrisons Car Park, Weston-Super-Mare, later upgrading to Fondue's stately abode.
HARES: Fondue and Bendy.
WHO: 17 hashers and 2 hounds.
RUN REPORT: Good old Morrisons with their 2 hours of free parking - particularly if you pop in to stock up on drinks for complimenting your hare hostess. While teetering a few times between Milton and Locking Castle the FRBs played hard to get a few times, though one meeting was perfectly timed and ended up with the walkers doing more than their share of the checking and On Backs. Being asked to drop and give me twenty circuits clearly brought about their enthusiasm for a sweet stop in amongst the statue symbols of Plumley Park, with the healthier option of dried fruit every bit as keen to appear in a group photo as the hashers who wouldn't keep tranquil long enough to be counted. I remember how this enormous Castle-come-Estate appeared almost overnight back at the turn of the millennium and has never been easy to find a way out of on any number of wheels; thankfully we were not only on several pairs of stumpy legs but also had a runway with Roman straightforwardness to it pointing us to one of Weston's blooming cycle paths. Once mounted, it was an easy 8:30 retrace to where the hares no longer felt we could go wrong, ready to distribute maps to those naturally lured to the lower reaches of West Wick by the concept of far-from-cheesy Fondue cooking...
CIRCLE & ON ON ON: Make that a simple polygon praising the hare for the late recruit of a compatriot to maintain disorderly proceedings while she returnd On Outward to finish the culinary prep. Pavlova retained its title of Fondue's piece de resistance, though partly though stoic resistance against the rivalry of her even Garfield-satisfying veggie and standard lasagne with garlic bread better than supermarket made. Blue enough above too for us to eat it all up out on the patio in preparation for the hike further afield and inland with the K&As next week. Here's to a vain attempt to convert them onto fish hooks, turnbacks, R/Ws et al...
RUN 705, May 22nd 2019.
WHERE: The Village Hall turned Tannery Bar, Claverham.
HARES: Kerb Crawler and Cinderella.
WHO: 16 minus 1 plus 1 plus 2 hashers and 2 hounds.
RUN REPORT: Probable virgin location inspired a lot of virgin territory for us to bedeck a third of this trail with, and it was all soaked up by an up and plodding Coppertone who made it cross country to the A370 before turning back in an On In manner. Quite an understandable reaction for the convalescent, given that by this stage we had already needed to contend with a trio of electric fences and a herding by horned cattle made that little bit trickier by the fact that we had no Rebore-in-Red among our posse. All ways seemed as good as any by the time we were called on to monitor traffic again, but "thankfully" it was only brief as our emergence alongside Littlewood Lane preceded a very steep hill up into Bigwood. FRBs both walking and running had no need to feel guilty about finishing off their sweet stop wine gums as gelatins of a similar vein were already being shared with the BWBs by Kerb Crawler, though once we restarted before lactic acid could some concern emerged when the co-hares were overheard muttering "may not see you again". There was indeed some cause for bewilderment, though I sit here still in wonder as to whether it was some divine intervention that got the walkers ahead of the runners or (far more likely) that my sense of runners' direction had been dulled by the many checkpoints (and a dozing caravan) on the runners' trail. Whatever the motive, we emerged on the evergreen trail around Goblin Combe with the walkers having cut the swathe through foliage to end up on very much the wrong side (thankfully not the wrong end) of barbed wire. It quickly bowed its head to give us a choice of oxygen rich trails; the one for choice has previously featured Scoutz In The Wood but not tonight - perhaps they had been warned about an even more dangerous creature than their usual repertoire that marks its territory with flour and yells "On On!" in banshee style. Daylight and even sunshine were still in abundance as we navigated sheepishly through the outskirts of Cleeve, spotting a pair of R/W splits outside the ex-Lord Nelson which may yet host future hashes in another guise. To count Coppertone as FRB now seemed fair, no less the fact that he had destroyed no checkpoints and left the runners to circumnavigate the cricket club prior to a lengthy On In. This ensured yet another Cinderella-perfected arrival back at 8:58 - it's all becoming so natural after nearly 13 years.
CIRCLE: As well as an extremely happy returns for Coppertone in all his half-trailblazing glory, there was also the desperation for Clawed Balls to land himself a more family friendly handle by going above and far beyond false at every checkpoint he came to on the trail; no such hard luck...
ON ON ON: A teetotallist may not be the best person to gauge a venue promised to be cheap with beer, but a £1:60 pint of Coke is definitely a great starting point. Great value for hash grub money too out in the Sprummer twilight - anchovy and veggie pizzas (no, they didn't have herbivores on top of them), along with carrots, cucumber and Pringles to make light work of the Hummous. Puts one right in the mood for next week's Castle Trail-Blaising.
Run 702, May 1st 2019.
WHERE: The Old Inn, Congresbury.
HARE: Rocky Horror.
WHO: 16 hashers, 1 hound and 1 visitor - wtflour?
RUN REPORT: Nothing personal against Rocky doing a little copy and pasting from the St George's Eve hash, surely - just lower than expected Sprummer numbers. Dongle and Software were out to score as many home made brownie points as possible prior to On Out debrief, and such an abundance of energy was soon in demand as soon as we had made rare use of a traffic light (not even for regrouping). A few checkpoints pointed us across the A370 and out past a back garden which we had been advised to skirt rather than invade - plenty of near-equilateral triangles promptly followed to keep our heads clear of the obstacles around the back of Cadbury-without-chocolate, before a hybrid of walker and runner uphills led us further astray to the surroundings of the non-chocolate hill fort (Croucher briefly vanished up a coombe without a paddle before a combination of hashers and sheep herded her in the right direction). It turned out that walkers were decreed as the Rambos as some stubborn (but thankfully unhorned) cattle emerged from where Rocky could not foretell - luckily none of us were in Rebore Red and it was a quick couple of hops back onto the territory of ruminants with wool, and then of course the shared territory of running bipeds. Out briefly onto the A road again the Star on Rhodyate Hill beckoned (many a provider of £100 worth of hash grub for the sum of £30), but the haute cuisine instead constituted a sweet stop with humbugs, tangy pastilles and wine gums (the reappearance of tarmac even irked Duracell sufficiently to temporarily wander off and use technology on the hash). By now we had a good inkling of how to reach that copy and paste from fortnights gone by, and that it would mean a good deal of A370 conquering again spliced with a good half hour under interception storage. Before we could even think of emerging from the foliage we needed to take in the sights and smells of more wild garlic, some bluebells blooming their last and a fish hook for 5 which may even have been fully obeyed! Perhaps they knew that reward beckoned in the long downhill that was long uphill (no flour remained, though I wouldn't put it past Rocky's organisation skills to have found a way to recycle each blob). Once again it was walkers taking the Rambo high road back to tarmac, though we were all united in noticing the slightly disconcerting absence of a galloping Cinderella once a regroup appeared to finish off the sweets. Off briefly lolloped Walky Talky to find Cinders (still occasionally called "Dad" on bogs hashes") doing none but gallivanting his way back down to earth.. We passed on the chance to recruit wondrous dog walkers who had passed the regroup before we then passed them, preferring to reminisce about St George's Eves gone by while wrapping the trail up around a neighbourhood who thankfully don't take hash symbols as imminent signs of burglary. The means of preventing an On Out / On In crossover proved to be effective if not quite ingenious, and so Millennium Green Down Downs it was with all past it and accounted for:
CIRCLE: Somehow this wasn't quite enough of a Grand Old Duke hash to warrant the same song for the hare; perhaps our ascent had been less punishing. Bendy though would certainly not have felt punished when told to "get a life, get a life, get a life life life" on account of her recent centurion status, and nor could Cinders put his brief disorientation down to a mighty respectable 2102 finishing time.
ON ON ON: Down and Dirty had already commandeered the Old Inn's back room for the secretive remainder of then brownies plus plenty of chips and sandwiches of the ham, egg, cheese and even mystery variety. Good thing the seldom drunk dry Airport Tavern run next hash cycle will be all her own haute cuisine...
Run 701, April 24nd 2019.
WHERE: The Downs School, Wraxall.
HARE: Inchworm – aided by REWIND.
WHO: Around 21 hashers.
RUN REPORT: Advertised as the Bluebell hash, the trail lived up to its name with bluebells a plenty. Eager Beaver had to disappear early, although managed to see the first of the bluebell glades, and reserve scribe, Cinderella, managed to catch up with the pack shortly after Eager had left, and just in time for the sweet stop. A few more bluebells and wild garlic, then a gentle run in past the this year’s lambs enjoying the pleasant evening, before a short drive took us to the Failand Arms just before 9 for a bread and chips supper.
CIRCLE and ON ON: Bumbaye bought good news on Coppertone’s improving health ( and told to pass on everyone’s best wishes to him), and received a down down for only coming once a year. And Doug, who only came out for his first hash on run 700 on Monday made his mark, or rather Poppy did with one of her paws on the front of his shorts. So it seemed natural that Doug should receive his new name of "Clawed Balls" as a result.
PS: did anyone else note that the route this week took on the shape of a hare’s head?
Run 700, April 22nd 2019.
WHERE: The Plough, Congresbury.
HARES: Software and Dongle.
WHO: 40 hashers and 5 hounds.
RUN REPORT: Behold the dizzy heights of a joint hash, complete with an Easter heatwave to bring out the crowds young, old and canine. At limber up (not designed to make us any warmer) the well established hares mentioned ups and downs spliced with wild garlic and a separation at the rallying cry of runners and walkers - virtually an even split as it transpired. Millennium Bridge and Green inevitably followed local rival pub the Congresbury Arms (formerly the Ship and Castle that never sailed and was only ever stormed by hashers), followed by a staking of our claim to what remains of Congresbury's depleting greenbelt (if the building site was anything to go by); Missapp even saw fit to do a long loop of her own in the direction of the perimeter fence. Time for some of that up and up and up - not only paying a visit to the undercover nature reserve en route but also coming across the bane of vampires as a regroup appeared in crossroads form. Not all of the young bucks had arrived when it came time for the FRBs to call On On with a Check It out, inevitably still upwards and into a runner/walker split with a 300 metre summit promised for the former. When two tribes fail to go to war, one food stop is not all you can score - sweet stop at first seemed unique for runners who had a few hash flashers among them (a perch was even sought for those cinematic poses), but when we emerged from the foliage on the Gothic outskirts of Wrington it became clear that reward would follow on many fronts. Even those who ignored/claimed ignorance of the meaning of the downhill fish hooks were not to be denied - for a forced obstacle to overcome would appear in the form of farm machinery. One tractor with trailer came up, another went back down, the provocative gender stereotypes about driving also prevailed, though patience was a virtue when it came to manoeuvring those enormous wheels round a corner with hashers watching at their beer stop. Duly obliged before another tractor or two (plus the young walking family fraternity caught us up), the culinary highlights included veggie and omnie sausage rolls, quiche without Lorraine, cheese with the only fruit it permits to share a cocktail stick with and of course a mixture of down down bevvies.
CIRCLE and ON ON ON: Grand Old Duke of York was the compulsory toasting for the hares, along with a reminder from Duracell that this trail certainly had not had too much concrete. A pleasant riverside On In to the Plough beckoned with the Vitamin D still beating down on us, arriving back at base sufficiently early to reach a consensus that daytime hashing had not been exploited with a lengthy trail. A garden shindig helped us to bask in the sun, taking in enough energy for two more trails in as many twilights. Plough one's way through that!
RUN 699, April 17th 2019.
WHERE: The Old Inn, Clevedon.
WHO: 20 hashers and one hound.
RUN REPORT: There are no rules! The virgin hare certainly knew whether we we coming, going or On-back-outing even if a bum had burnt bridges in setting it. A second Land Yeo crossing beckoned in as many weeks for lengthy On Out, though all on concrete for the time being as those in all surface shoes started to bemoan. One of these was Duracell who may have found it was draining his internal battery, though surely some expenditure was saved by it being a "one blob and you're on" trail with Court Woods seemingly not on the Old Inn agenda. A sense of culinary teasing was as short-lived as it was excruciating - first we went through a subway without a sandwich, then the Belly Busters snack van had seemingly shut up shop from Hither Green, and then ALDI was bypassed without the concept of an enormous sweet stop being realised. No, food would have to be the reward for petroleum hi-spirits - firstly a swift dash across, up and off Ettlingen Way, then a Green Cross Code inspired crossing of On and Off sliproads for the M5 (at least we didn't reverse up them), and then a more gentle pace past Clevedon Craft Centre to lull those false senses of security. For next there beheld the walkers' mad march up Court Lane (I used to go about 50mph along here, as a learner) while the runners finally quenched their cravings for tall grass alongside. They were quick enough to rejoin though in time for another of the safe M5 type crossings, branching off again for walker and runner greenery alongside the Land Yeo (the re-established and certainly not rusty Rebore even led the pack at one stage with enough time to turn a corner and...ahem..."water some flowers"). Even those with a Virgin On The Ridiculous lack of direction felt we were destined to now On In at 8:30; therefore surely nobody was unpleasantly surprised to be led down All Saints Lane and viva la Court Woods! If another M5 crossing were to beckon we would have been touching on ASS hash lengths, so the balance was deemed just right when various ups and downs led us to a semi-cliffhanger sweet stop. Plenty of liquorice appeared in non-allsorts form here (we were the ragtag group for tonight, after all) and at most people were frightened a tenth to death by the descent alongside a gully to the lesser known Court Woods doorway opposite Valley Road. One best laid plan was to not quite be tonight - a dash up the ripple to a beer stop with Mrs Bumburner had been planned, and normally we would never shun a trail's non-hasher but for 9pm already being very near - rest assured then it was nothing you didn't say and smiles were all round for this trail, complete with the stroll past Strawberry Hill in semi daylight; somewhere on said hill a NI NO symbol is still currently being deciphered...
CIRCLE and ON ON ON: Duracell had already scarpered away from a Down Down for whining about too much tarmac, Software though had not for whining about those that whine about too much tarmac. For a virgin hare there also appeared three virgin Bogs who had been recruited from the bar at the Star last week (just to blow my own hash horn, I was also a non-scribing virgin here once upon a time). Take note the grub is usually as top notch as tonight - plenty of chips were garnished with an abundance of white and granary sandwiches, mostly ham and egg. We finished all but a doggy bag's worth of this out on the patio while the quiz was in full swing, and a quick reminder went around that the 700th run will resurrect the Monday hash with Bristol hashers, with two more hashes including the bluebell run in as many days to follow. Perhaps I really should give up my day job...
RUN 698, April 10th 2019.
WHERE: The Star Inn, Tickenham.
HARE: Deep Throat.
WHO: 22 hashers and 3 hounds.
RUN REPORT: Classic never dies when it comes to Bogs territory, particularly when your grandmaster hare continually comes up with new cherries to put on the cake. We remain well accustomed to a slightly harey On Out up Clevedon Road (in hope of not quite hashing that far) then diving out of petrol's reach onto the Land Yeo greenbelt. Make that a wet woodland history lesson from the hare as a Moorend Spout regroup followed a bridge with wimp and Rambo ways across it - no less a W/R followed as walkers retraced their small springs footsteps to the riverside and the runners drained away along the Middle Yeo. Software suffered no namesake failures in the promptly acquired role of pressing flours for the runners, not even with a dwarfing pylon in close proximity - indeed it was the entire off the floor contingent that tried to catch up with the distant walkers as the crow would have flown; not a great ploy if you need energy in reserve for an uphill that the hare prophesised for later. At one point leading (and welcomingly returning) FRB Bend Over looked destined for a leap of faith over the water (Yeodelling?) but came to her lack of hash senses and trod flour again just as the Cinders plus one pack completed their not yet customary game of catch-up over the tall grass. A long burst of speed proved insufficient to catch those walkers in time for sweet stop, though thankfully also insufficient for arrows seemingly pointing On In to be trusted - an Out and In pair of symbols dutifully made as much of a ruckus as their homophonous instrument, thus ensuring a drumroll from the walkers and their sweet stop remnants - not just tangy haribo but the regular good example from Deep Throat of dried fruit in abundance. No less regular came our tried and tested ascent to Cadbury Camp, to some a pity it had to be such an equilateral angle (what were you expecting - a Scalene scale?!). Having glanced at the natural monolith rearing up before her, Kerb Crawler may at this point have decided to rest her calf and head On In - perhaps a foal would have been more successful. Slowed did the walkers considerably, but Ropey and Roisin showed considerable quick adjustment to the Bogs trade by reaching the semi summit of a beer stop right beneath the fort, pipped to the post only by a far from rusty Croucher and...ahem...Brigadoon! All that possible lack of checking and talk of early beer could have played a part; defiance in the face of any relapsing prepatellar bursitis no less so. Here we stood (some even sat!) waiting, waiting and waiting for runners to emerge from a route branching on and off of Cadbury Camp's tarmac - even the setting sun seemed hesitant to turn in for the night without the knowledge that Bogs had again stormed the fort without casualties - but with lactic acid again influencing our decision the walking fellowship split into short cutters, fort circumnavigators and the hare and scribe who stayed back to illuminate the landing strip for runners. Alas, they emerged from the same uphill as us one-step-at-a-times, claiming not a trace of flour until Deep Throat put them so right they may have been tempted to go back looking for it. Time was beer, though, and so on and around it was to find a fish hook for four on the descent to civilisation had certainly survived - for runners the best rule to adhere to here was number 1 - there are no rules! So scuffed out that symbol was then before heading along Washing Pound Lane to hang out those exhausted hashers on the Siegfried line On In - conquering the fort and its battlements turned out to be easier for some than hurdling a stile-less gate which was not even intended for use at On In, taking the latest touchdown to a tried and testing 9:25 (though of course it is Cinderella's On In time that grabs the headlines).
CIRCLE and ON ON ON: Rebore and Down & Dirty showed up to help drink the bar dry after storming the fort, after the hare had received the customary Grand Old Duke of York Down Down (we never dreamt of leaving him up there) and Bend Over had pretended not to have been a returnee. Along with a trough or two of chips plus many a sandwich variety there also came bar entertainment in Ropey and Roisin's hit it and hope pool, plus the constantly buffering TV which actually added occasional drama to those watching a sport played with floodlights rather than head torches. No doubt we will provide the entertainment at On On On for the Old Inn quizzers next week...
RUN 697, April 3rd 2019.
WHERE: The Blue Flame, Nailsea-ish.
HARES: Dressing Down and Up All Night.
WHO: A dirty, houndless dozen.
RUN REPORT: If you believe everything you read, you will be anticipating a big soak and a big freeze before Spring truly hits us - well, a little bit of the former may have put paid to a good turnout at the eternally burning Blue Flame, though handsome reward was certainly part of the itinerary. At mission briefing we were told about runners' routes potentially washed out, along with the first arrow it seemed as the hares reeled themselves and the FRBs back in and out onto the shaggy par excrement excellence. A very good thing too that we had welcome returnee Rebore (fresh from cancelled speedway - he likes dirt tracks in general) on call to whisper to any livestock, but it was mainly the latecoming Cinders brigade that heeded his metaphorical red rag and took in a lengthy runner circuit - in fact once the walkers spotted a miraculously surviving Regroup symbol a very brightly coloured set of runners homed in - one was Rewind in his signature yellow cape and the other was Cinders making the trail's future look bright. They were soon to jet off again though - by which stage we were back in suburbia and fearing a relapse of an eternal turnback a la classic Brigadoon from these parts. Well, there was some symbol unrest - somewhat bedraggled walkers grew a little weary/lactic acidic at waiting for the runners' second return at a sweet stop that they firstly finished off many of the tangy Haribos themselves, and then even briefly started talking about Brexshiggy before opting to plod on. The trade agreement reached of course was to keep some sweeties in reserve for those whose boots were made for takeoff, and they caught up quickly just as us walkers were passing the shock horror of a "Sprint!" symbol on the grounds of Nailsea and Backwell RFC. No sign of the 200th run symbol (another Briggy signature) but plenty of opportunity still for us to come a trail cropper - first there was a brick of a bridge over deep albeit watered-down shaggy, which fate conspired would form a mutually destructive pact with Eager Beaver. The latter picked up a stubborn but eventually extricated thorn for his troubles, but we all briefly found the briefly hare-less going tough in relocating petrol for the lengthy West End On In. Either the night's farmer gossip or simply our Somerset fame had spread, for one wannabe boy racer apparently chose the long diversion around our motley crew (clearly they had been briefed that hashers hunt in packs of at least 6), so a nice flat end to proceedings it was then to the delightfully uniform Blue Flame.
CIRCLE and ON ON ON: Still plenty of pumps to choose from at this drinking den comfortable enough to allow the hares a deli-teful ship in of garden grub - most of the cheeses vanished as quickly as the olives, baguettes and even cornerchons, even if the neighbouring sheep quickly realised they weren't getting any and scarpered back to their grass. As well as a toast to returnees and dried off hare pieces, a literally sparkling happy return was presented to Up All Night (enough for me to save some doggy-bag-style for Down & Dirty). The Bogs classics revival theme continues next week with a DT-inspired march to the Star at Tickenham - just when you thought we had combed all of that territory, up steps the GM...
Run 695, March 20th 2019.
WHERE: The White Hart, Weston in Gordano.
WHO: 21 hashers and 2 hounds.
RUN REPORT: Following the wrong paint blobs as opposed to flour blobs led to a late arrival by yours truly along with Ropey and the as-yet-handle-less Roisin, though helping ourselves to the most convenient space in the car park and previous co-haring experience from here (albeit in the direction) helped a massive dollop. It took but a light jog or two down Weston Drove to quickly pick out the jogging lights in the distance, no doubt well briefed by Houdini planning another miraculous escape from the shiggy in time for a 9pm down down. Still, a little navigational nous was needed to spot the bridge too near and to make sure it wasn't the sheep doing the herding - treading tarmac once more, the revelation soon reached us BRB whippersnappers that fish hooks for 5 and 6 were completed in the assumption that our head torches were not those of hashers. Scandal was thankfully not heaped upon scandal when reaching the sweet stop just prior to Walton Brook's shiggy and boggy return - not only were enough gelatin goodies retained for the omnivorous Eager and Ropey, Roisin also snapped up a share of the remaining chocolate peanuts - a vegan's best friend. Runners then briefly caught the notion that they should stick with this Z road, but even then 'twere not long before the tardy trio were left to their own paces again. Many a helpful arrow across the non-babbling Brook prevented us from treading water or even thin air, many a Deep Throat meanwhile turned lollipop man once a B-road crossing back to Beer Stop was called for - we did of course have the quarter-hourly nearby chimes of St Peter and Paul to remind us a brisk pace would be needed for that 9pm homecoming.
CIRCLE: Drinks emerged for all tastes and tolerances, far enough off the road for safety and not too far off to avoid this advertising opportunity for Bogs to traffic. Hot Fuzz and Wet Fuzz (what, no shiggy fuzz?) were the Bogs virgins presumably not recruited while out driving, Houdini was the hare with a backwards memory well appreciated.
ON ON ON: Meadows, Orchards, molehills-come-mountains, a slightly puzzling shanked granny knot to undo in opening a gate - this On In made sure it was all squeezed in; likewise the food that I did at least take a visual sample of ahead of skittles duty. Chips were not quite chunky but also certainly wider than the McDonalds variety, as were the ragtag sandwiches and a salad with enough rocket to make you blast off to Rewind's Back well voyage mystery...
Run 694, March 13th 2019.
WHERE: The Sawyer's Arms, Nailsea.
HARES: Eager Beaver.
Run 693, March 6th 2019.
WHERE: The George, Abbots Leigh.
HARES: Coppertone and Inchworm.
WHO: 12 hashers, 1 well wisher and 3 visitors.
RUN REPORT: It wasn't just the scenery that quickly lured us back to these parts as will be revealed - our well-wishing but convalescent Inside Out indeed preferred the Inside to any On Out and so it was a non-baker's dozen that were going to get dirty. Runners and Walkers had their own Manor of reaching said Road out near Abbots Pool, with some friendly and naturally well-lit bikers pointing out flour arrows to the latter. The lack so far of copious shaggy meant we did not literally stick to the tarmac, instead simply calling back those who checked far and above at the various surviving circles of flour (not usually a location with many screams of "petrol", but needs must). We had been forewarned of the slippery stuff underfoot, but not so much the novelty of an enormous figure of 8 that would meet, greet and ye - treat our visit to West Tanpit Wood. Particularly as it came with a speed split away from the traffic and an upping of the stakes when it came to flour hunting. Walkers were quick to feel lonely when they heard the runners' distant On Ons tantalising their way through the trees, and so a makeshift marshmallow stop from Bag Lady was most welcome prior to a return to the regroup symbol miraculously just as intact as it was 0.33 hashes previously. A return here of course meant a likely splice of On Out and On in, but not before Abbots Pool had been visited by all (not sure if the runners may have On-Outed it; I'm flagging) and duly declared a hashers' nature reserve (if that doesn't preserve it, what will). We had kept within recovery's distance of home base all night (one more plus side to a figure of 8 in amongst a figure of 0) but the legs told us it was getting on somewhat before a touchdown at 9:20 albeit with nobody shivering; could Spring beckon?
CIRCLE: Make that a low-key rectangle in our crowded, cosy corner, keeping the hare congratulations to a minimum in terms of length and volume - plenty instead to fill our mouths...
ON ON ON: Ulterior hashing motive - the ciabattas were back! While not yet provoking a chorus of "can we hash here every week?!", they certainly made the popping-in-to-say-hello-and-eat-dinner Woodbine, Inside Out and Dressing Down feel welcome in culinary and numerical terms. They even had Eager Beaver friendly chip/wedge hybrids on offer - turns out Doggy bags have another purpose than merely for carrying your haggard hound home...
RUN 691, February 20th 2019.
WHERE: Casa de Deep Throat y Red Light, Clevedon.
HARE: Deep Throat.
WHO: 13 hashers, 2 hounds and 2 visitors.
RUN REPORT: A grandmasterly trail and warm-up just as we were in danger of forgetting how to do the hoki-coki, and a welcome return as well to Dressing Down and Up All Night plus Woodbine, especially as Mudlark has had few companions at her eye level on recent shiggy splashes. No runner was about to spurn a loop-de-loop around Herbert Gardens, particularly on a night when several checkpoints ended up being solved by the walking fraternity (Rewind in particular being reined in from false On Ons and Coppertone taking point as he is becoming re-accustomed). We have thrown the footpaths around Highdale in the blender more than thrice over time, and this time the resulting conglomeration was two runners' loops, one of which had Houdini as a brave participant with a gammy foot. Well, none but the sturdiest of souls and soles could win out against the looming ascent onto Dial Hill's less familiar playing field - after all, there were but fallen trees to hurdle as well as absent rope swings to motivate, and so the real impetus for reaching these dizzy heights (still ahead of runners, to boot) was a sweet stop of the ultra-guilt-free variety. Assorted haribo there was but a few, but much more of a demolition job was done on the crystalline ginger, darker than dark chocolate and the very regular DT choice of prunes; after all that it was no surprise to see running head torches come tumbling down form above and afar. Now that we were ensconced within one of our well mapped stomping grounds it was left to chance just what way we could be brought back down to earth - a Rippleside? A strawberry hill out of season? No - we somehow found a New Dark Way along Old Park Road en route to the well worn lines and arrows just underneath Clevedon's peak, where constellations and sitters on the hash were always likely to abound, what with all the running witnesses having found another limb to briefly go off on...
CIRCLE: None too many misdemeanours to report though we certainly preferred to christen this as a "He Marched Them Up To The Top" hash rather than as boring and simple as the hare had prophesised. In terms of the marching down again, almost a novelty befell us after all these years - a speed split after the beer stop. To walk was to encounter some reggae music fans marching themselves to a spot where they assumed peace would prevail, to run was to savour the cricket club pavilion all ahead of the by-now-compulsory zigzag back down to a Hill Road On In - a far from exhaustive 8:45 loomed at the finishing straight, that's the time rather than the fish hook number.
ON ON ON: It was a case of Red Light serving up what was insisted was a DT soup concoction of leek, cauliflower and broccoli complimented by ciabatta - we had been good enough to eat up all our sweets first, after all. With the weather continuously on the up we may not need cosy indoors at the end of a hash much longer, but On On to the Grove Sports Centre possibly with chilli next week all the very scrumptious same!
Run 690, February 13th 2019.
WHERE: The Kings Arms, Easton-in-Gordano.
HARES: Kerb Crawler and Walky Talky.
WHO: 13 hashers, 1 hound and 1 pub-sitter.
RUN REPORT: Never a big ask to take in new surroundings from the Kings Arms, never a bitter Pill to swallow. A convalescent Inside Out wished us a well way out while keeping watch over those preparing grub, signifying another On Out with circumnavigation of the St George's Parish without the parishioners (or the roadkill of our last such outing!). Petrol paid us the proper respect as we commandeered the elevated way over the M5 and down onto Avon Cycle Way terrain, and the non-motorised transport was just as forgiving for a runners' loop into a turnback. In fact, the only non-homo-sapiens transport that did lay insult to this trail was the equine shiggy dotted along this back-back route, so it was up to our good selves to make things a little more of a challenge than maybe even a co-hare would want. First there was Fondue, Coppertone and a much cleaner Mudlark getting sufficiently lost to force Deep Throat into mid-hash use of technology, amidst that there were On Ons from every direction thankfully including the correct one, and then the Sweet Stop threw its own massive spanner and hammer in the works while nonetheless having the chivalry to offer up non-tangy pastilles. Walky Talky opted to pave the way for the still-looping runners at this point, but the hagglers didn't have too long to wait for the stragglers before venturing forth (with a little favour repayment for bikers, of course) to Pill Harbour not via our accustomed itinerary. This also meant a few walkers completing the checkpoints (and, since a lot of turns came forth, with aplomb!); if anything was likely to finally rein n the runners it was a regroup to replenish apparent flour supplies, followed by the revelation out on the grassy knoll that it was actually to round up the beer stop! Cue flattened sphere:
CIRCLE: We didn't need much of a clean-up, but that didn't stop the mango juice fermenting into something tasting of soap for some and mango for others; for others the beverage of choice was that stuff apple and sometimes pear juice ferments into. A down-down from high up was necessary for those who got lost and called premature On Ons, though we probably also would have awarded one for the declaration that 5 miles-nay-minutes of the trail remained, with yet another 9pm touchdown or as good as. I hope this isn't enough of a norm now to be an unwritten rule among Bogs lore...
ON ON ON: Guitarists of the aspiring professional variety were just packing up before we encouraged them to stay around for a few jester jigs in the front lounge, taking in a still studious and semi-scribing Inside Out in the process. If the foreshadowed chunky chips and stacked-high sarnies were not to your...okay, my taste then there was a small slice of delicious buttery coffee cake to opt for from the bar. Given its "small size", one can assume the large slice would have been the rest of the cake. On on to another fine host with generous hash run and culinary portions next week, of the GM variety in one sense...
Run 689, February 6th 2019.
WHERE: The Langford Inn, probably in Langford.
HARES: Software and Dongle.
WHO: 14 hashers and 1 hound.
RUN REPORT: A pretty persistent precipitation we normally do not mind on the hash (even if it made the increasingly solitary hound Mudlark resemble a Baked Alaska by the time of On In), but when fragile markings became the mainly non-existent kind, consternation threatened to reign supreme. Traffic cooperated by making plenty of way for us at On Out, and then those who were merely in it for the comfortable and cosy aftermath pretended they had not seen the On In symbol which would later substitute itself for cider and water stop, all the while missing the massive white arrows that grew in their descendants' place (a tutorial on the concept of a checkpoint was even deemed a necessity at one point). In between some daring dashes over bridges and shin-deep shiggy it was Coppertone who began leading the troops beyond footwear enemy lines, capturing the runners' flag while they were making an effort to wander into Wrington territory, though even they returned in time to savour the surrounding smells of Monaghan Mushrooms who really would be more popular if they grew in floral shiggy. No better time than the future then for a non-aromatic sweet stop; first we needed to kiss a few gates en route to non-bovine civilisation and perform a redundant circumnavigation of a field - all in the name of hash fun rather than a co-hare's bearings getting lost in the shiggy, of course. If it really was a bit of AWOL you were after, head back in the direction of the smell. First there was Eager Beaver who (having spent most of the night boasting about knowledge of this area by daylight) took a tumble into light shiggy following a plunge of faith over a stile, and then seemed to briefly inspire BRBs to opt for the tarmac track back to base. No let up for those fun guys who followed the mushrooms, though - with the bracken-emblazoned footpath swallowing up and then spewing us out onto Stock Lane (farm and veterinary traffic country), the rain did at least let up a little, though not sufficiently for our route back to the vet grounds to constitute dry or permeable land. Reward did come though with extra liquorice on Maysmead Lane plus the executive decision to down-down indoors. All that ducking and diving had dulled our sense of time, but no bother - it was yet another 9pm-on-the-Cinderella-dot touchdown!
CIRCLE & ON ON ON: A slight lack of order was quickly explained by the grandmasterly Deep Throat's appearance at the pub only, with many items of attire left to dry under the glare of the octagonal gazebo's heater. After congratulating the hares again for expanding their repertoire and promptly forgetting all the twists and tumbles we had endured, grub was promptly up. Not sure if the Langford is a Virgin Bogs (or hash altogether) pub*, but it was certainly out to impress a la the Ciabatta George at Abbots Leigh. Spicy salsa, ketchup and mustard were among the pick of the dipping sauces, with sausage quarters, spring rolls, filo wraps, chunky chips and a multitude of sarnies all taking turns to dive in. All well worth the tiny increase in subs - time to eat like the King's Arms at our tried and definitely trusted Pill next time under the stars...
*Once before. Hallowe'en 2007.
Run 687, January 23rd 2019.
WHERE: The Bristol House, Weston-super-Mare.
HARES: Naughty bairns Brigadoon and Ballsport .
WHO: 21 hashers and 2 hounds.
We're on the march with Briggy's Army!
We're going to the Bristol House!
And we'll really climb high up, though we didn't reach the top
Yet we are still the greatest Bogging team!
I heard it said that Drop 'Em was a returning Bog Queen
Some people said the sweet stop was the tangiest they'd seen
That Eager and Rocky were the only fish hooked 2
But Briggy's Tartan Army loved the Grove Park sweet stop 2!
Back on the march with Briggy's Army
We headed fast past the Blakehay
And we huffed and puffed so hard when we reached the Boulevard
Cos Briggy stopped us going down Highway!
When we reached the Milton Road we really were to show
The BRBs a short cut that they could never know.
They represent pace setters and they have to do or die
For runners cannae do it, no matter how hard they try!
We're on the trudge with Briggy's Army, we're heading back to Bristol House
And the runners shook us up..appearing to fill their cups
Cos Briggy's are the greatest Bogging Team. Yes Briggy's are the greatest Bogging Team!
Yes, Briggy's are the greatest Burns Night Team!
CIRCLE: Snap out of it - those shameful 12 out of 15 fish hook rebels were overlooked in favour of Software's description of a checkpoint as a circle (clearly we just needed to turn her off and back on to remedy this) as well as welcoming Virgin Amy who had doubtless needed little persuasion from her connoisseur acquaintance Missapp. Speaking of excellent taste...
ON ON ON: Climbing one half mountain means demolishing another of the Haggis, Neap and Tattie variety, including those that prefer not to line their stomach with stomach. Pastures new for the ASS Hash were also announced in the form of coastal Porlock - better get saving that cider!
Run 686, January 16th 2019.
WHERE: Grove Sports Centre, Nailsea.
HARE: A "live" Kerb Crawler.
WHO: 17 hashers and 1 hound.
RUN REPORT: A hunting pack quite aptly set off from the sports centre with the intention of merely down downing the hare rather than feeding her to the hounds – luckily the persistent threat of precipitation meant she was anything but crawling along the many kerbs and making it a “one blob and you’re on” night. During the early stages the gap was undoubtedly stretched by multiple On On echoes which fooled front runners into returning – “you’re correct, we were calling back the falsies” – you get the idea if you’re a Bog (or anyone who likes to pretend it’s army training). The fact that the hare scent was by now diminishing rapidly was further exacerbated by the much stronger aroma of rival eateries the White Lion, Noggins' Chippy and the Moorend Spout (though I last went in there under Labour). We had at least scared off the Nailsea boy racers prior to trudging our way to a sweet stop with midget gems and tangy fruit pastilles; all perhaps an elaborate ruse to lure many the tranquil way On On when really we were meant to take on the Parish Brook shiggy coupled with that small hole in the bridge which even hounds have been known to struggle with. Just as we roared up Engine Lane with the news that the hare was back under cover the heavens decided they were left sufficiently ajar to give both us and the blobs a good soaking, enough to send a few FRBs AWOL and for Briggy to briefly forget 'tis but a mere 5 stone throws (or Football Field On In for the rest of us) that separates the Ring o Bells from the Sports Centre. 9pm Touchdown!!
CIRCLE: Once finished drying off indoors and directing our sweet stop bitterness towards the bone dry hare, a Conga line was formed consisting of the short-cutters-by-design Woodcut, Brigadoon, Ballsport, Double D and Soggy Bottom (I didn’t check, but most of us were close to wringing anyway), plus the emphasis of incorrect On Ons from Rewind and Deep Throat (I’m sure there were at least 5 throughout; we need to raise our game!). An announcement followed about an Easter Monday hash that will not be on a Wednesday (undoubtedly with an article 50 theme about a failed attempt to convert Greyhounds and K&As to fish hooks and runner/walker splits) – let’s get those hash grub resolutions sorted first.
ON ON ON: Tempting though it was to bring up that On On issue (since we were at our established AGPU venue) the cauldron of scrumptious veggie soup and DIY buttered baguettes quickly got our minds on replenishing all those calories with merely 100% interest. Tartan hash was also announced at the Bristol House next week by Briggy so no need for stereotyping - Och Aye The Noo!
Run 685, January 9th 2019.
WHERE: The George, Abbots Leigh.
HARE: Rocky Horror.
WHO: 14 hashers and 2 hounds
RUN REPORT: Rocky Horror is fast becoming the king of the solo hare - no disputes present; the flour either gets dotted his way or not at all. A lot of info was passed to this well-insulated mob at On Out, including an immediate runners' route with a steep Rocky incline/decline after an equilateral warning, plus of course a prophecy of this being through bikers' country. If taking a tumble was not on one's agenda then walkers' shiggy needed negotiating, not to mention making sure we didn't merge with On In arrows which were to appear later on Monarch's Way. The real Kings and Queens of course emerged from their up, down and off the ground escapade at a regroup on the skirt of Leigh Woods with the coffee stand mysteriously shut in the pitch black. No worry - we were kept well alert by twisting and turning our way through the colour coded trails, sensibly avoiding those designed for BMX hashers and even answering the occasional number 1 call of nature en route to the sweet stop. It was quite a choice of viewing here - we either had the suspension bridge still dressed up to welcome in 2019 to the East, or the sight of the returning Brigadoon to the West, equipped with searchlight as usual but not equipped with Ballsport. Novelty too among the sweeties - deluxe jelly babies quickly grew up inside us, while white mice and humbugs engaged us oh so curiously. For R and W it was again to be a case of "nice knowing you" until the next regroup - walkers were there first after finding the going as easy as falling off a few logs, and perhaps their caution deserted them as a result - two distant headtorches materialised into those of the forewarned bikers, basically FWBs over FRBs, and in trying to stand out of their way we stood right in their way - they don't follow flour quite as keenly. A tale to tell the runners who soon reappeared for more sweets of the unexplained - Sherbet Flying Saucers were certainly a blast from the past, as were humbugs as we'd started the pack 20 minutes previously. Familiar too was Monarch's Way which we soon dived shiggy boot first onto, finding a transmogrified arrow leading over more empty fields to the church with silent bells at 9pm - oh what a Holy Trinity!
CIRCLE: With the On In in plain sight we toasted another rocky Rocky hash with cider and spring water depending on your constitution, calling to order Brigadoon, Deep Throat and Up All Night for tinkling on the hash - we always were likely "to know what you were doing". This enabled a touch down at ten past 9, leaving us suitably ravenous for what lay within.
ON ON ON: Bedazzled by the Louis XV Chandelier above we made fine use of Stourbridge Crystal cutlery to promptly consume Lobster a la Grecque with lashings of truffle and caviar, all washed down with Bollinger 75. Or at least, that's how haute cuisine the pub grub felt - enough wonderous golden chips were brought out for a mountain each, and the same could be said for pulled pork, beef and cheesy ciabattas which we finished off almost half as quickly as they appeared. Let's not forget too both the half pint of cordial that the scribe got on the house, and the ample thus reasons to return here! Even the Grove Sports Centre, purveyor chilli and AGPU spreads par excellence, will be doing well to surpass this next week.
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