Run 598, June 14th 2017.
WHERE: The Druids Arms, Stanton Drew.
HARES: Cinders and No Shirt.
WHO: 36 Hashers and 4 hounds.
RUN REPORT: Another excellent turnout both from Bogs, K&As and hungry insects on this very warm evening – for all there was no trade off betwixt covering up against horseflies and preferring bites over being boiled; bare arms ‘twere then as we On Outed past Church Farm to the same spot where we searched many ways last year – this time we had a lot of shiggy mines to dodge as well as crop rotation/circumnavigation before reaching tarmac – runners comprised most of us (well, there were but 12 Bogs), though the walkers were not to feel too lonely as the pack promptly came charging back alongside the river to catch up and with still plenty of time left before even sweets had been split open. When they were next to the river, the insects were practically raining down on us though the repellent still held firm enough for them to dive into the water instead – either that or raindrops had miraculously appeared. Tangy Haribos downed, the next few fields were no less miraculous in only presenting us with the problem of crop mazes, rather than inquisitive cattle (nobody appeared to be adorned in red, our preparation on past experience had been that good). Still, we managed to stick to last year’s guns on one additional account in that On In took us past Church Farm again, with no temptation anywhere of executing a timewarp, and also touching down at a perfect average time for the two tribes at 8:45. Would Food and Drink be equally democratic?
CIRCLE: Kudos to the hares and to the returning Inchworm plus Double D who had successfully played 15 minute catchup – she also technically did not stop while down downing her glass either so an A star there for DD. All the rest made their own very big circle for down downing, even if there were no drinks left having been dispensed with to avoid sweltering. Quenched but not sated, I assume?
ON ON ON: Up in the pub garden again and there came upon several buckets of chips and baskets of sausages (the sauce arriving as an appetiser was the clue) along with plenty buttered bread to complete the DIY theme. One extra basket of sossies even appeared as I was making my exit – no other appeared after I was making a corrected second exit 10 minutes later. If you want to improve further on that, K&As, my advice would be to stick yer sausage in cider…
Run 597, June 7th 2017.
WHERE: The Jubilee Inn, Flax Bourton.
HARE: Rocky Horror and Strap On On On...
WHO: 22 hashers, 3 hounds and 1 visitor.
RUN REPORT: Wet and pretty wild we were – certainly a lot more precipitation tonight than the dew drop moniker that this pub used to have. Nonetheless the On Out obstacles comprised first a crossing before the road metamorphoses into the Long Ashton bypass, then a wade through tall grass laced with shiggy and the chance for 7 FRBs to go hook fishing – even with energy levels to the max we still did not count that many heading back. Perhaps then a lengthy runners’ route would instil more discipline, just after passing the site of Flax Bourton Magistrates Court if one is to believe Google Maps. All 6 off grounders did huff and puff for the promised extra mile, including Walky Talky who passed the burden of back runner on first to Eager Beaver and then to Rocky Horror who was as hare-brained as you would expect. Well we never – the prize that we got for nipping in amongst not too much traffic was a sweet stop where not even the presence of GM Deep Throat had been enough to keep the walkers waiting. They had, however, met us half way – there were no spelling or grammar errors in the squirted flour message that they did not wish to wait any longer and so had gone on and up to compare the sites of Tyntesfield to the left and, well, the views of Flax Bourton to the right. They were caught up pretty quickly – certainly quick enough for there still to be some jelly babies and allsorts to distribute and for us not to need Bed & Breakfast when passing said accommodation at Gatcombe Court. Indeed, a good share of the pack still found it in them to run further up towards Tyntesfield than to walk and tumble back down to Weston Road. By now we were remembering (both while walking it and me now typing it) the hares’ words of wisdom about the trail being altered to suit an event not quite as spectacular as cheese rolling, and so along Weston Road it was at a sufficiently leisurely pace to allow Strap On to adjust the markings from earlier towards a beer stop rather than to trap us all in a time warp. We were of course aquaplaning already, but the heavens really decided to open specially for our beer parade (Bend Over was particularly grateful for the tree cover alongside Rocky’s motor). Would we need soup spoons?!
CIRCLE: Not even knives and forks – Balti Mix, fruit and nuts were engulfed by the handful as were the cups full of beer and cordials – Amber and No Handle stepped forward for not doing the early fish hook and Kerb Crawler and Walky Talky caught up in time to be declared not in time for the circle. An eerie tunnel through distant trees was the On In Handle for tonight, touching down at 9:20 though we certainly hadn’t felt the strain yet. Oh the weather outside is not so spiteful.
ON ON ON: We already know the Jubilee to be one for hash protection from the elements rather than for hash grub, but some still put in their own orders from the menu while we all hid from prying non-hash eyes behind a curtain. Next up it’s the annual Kennet & Avoners hybrid run, never the type to be too short and sweet…
Run 594¾, May 19th-21st 2017.
WHERE: Xanten - Germany.
HARES: Woodcut aided by family.
WHO: 4 North Somerset travellers plus various Woodcuttings and family friends at various stages.
HASH WEEKEND REPORT:
Thursday: smooth travel arrangements, picked up by Woodcut from Weeze airport then taken to our wonderful old converted farmhouse accommodation, just 1/4 mile from Woodcut’s house, where we were joined by Familie Woodcut for tea. Following this Cheers Drive took us for a stroll to introduce us to the lovely town of Xanten, where we were forced to sit outside one of the many bars around the market place to sample a beer or two. before heading home.
Friday: A day for relaxing, so we spent half a day wandering around the immense archaeological park where the original Roman town used to be just outside of Xanten, before heading back for the evening hash. Meeting at Woodcut’s house at 5pm, and then starting on the two mini barrels of locally brewed beer and having some food, before starting the hash at 7pm, meant that it was a gently paced 5 mile hash. The English weather that we had taken with us resulted in it being a damp and cool hash, but that didn’t stop us, and we managed a beer garden stop (under a cover and with blankets to cover cooling legs) shortly followed by a bar stop for an hour or two to warm us up before the homeward leg..
Saturday: Woodcut showed us that he had learned well from Brigadoon in how to set a weekend’s worth of hashes in advance, Whereas Friday evening was conventional flour, Saturday was ribbons of coloured paper stapled to trees and fence posts and checkpoints were paper plates stapled to trees and anything else that was tall and wooden. Fortunately the weather was sunny but not too hot for the 12+ miles hash (something else picked up from Briggy’s ASS Hash planning!)
The first mile took us down to the banks of the Rhine, where we caught a “pedestrian” ferry (which was crowded with about 40 cyclists) across to the east bank, where the hashing took us through beautiful countryside, along the banks of the river, past a nature reserve, small villages and quiet almost traffic free roads, to the first pub. Unfortunately it had a handwritten sign saying they wouldn’t be open until 2 pm ! Fortunately there was a cafe next to a lake the other side of the road which sold beer - and rum and hot chocolate for Bendy who doesn’t like to run much after beer.
More countryside, quiet roads and tracks took us to a picnic spot where Cheers Drive soon turned up with a picnic and a crate of beer. From here the next section took us through a long stretch of woodland before stopping at another bar/restaurant - although this one had only just reopened after being closed for 6 months and it didn’t have its drinks licence yet, so some of us had to settle for unfermented cider.
The pace was starting to tell on us now so Cheers Drive was persuaded to provide a shuttle service to take us part of the next section, leaving us to gently make our way back the last mile or so towards the Rhine, where we sat in the late afternoon sun looking out over the enormous barges carrying goods up and down the river, whilst enjoying a beer – except for Walky Talky who decided that Cinderella’s legs needed an early beer shower. A quick run down the slipway to catch the ferry, and then it was just a final mile to get home.
No rest for the wicked though – or BOGS Hashers – as it was then back round to Woodcuts for a BBQ and to try to make some inroads into those 2 mini barrels of beer.
A notable part of the day’s hash was 10 yr old Ben (Faceplant), and family friend Clara, doing a significant part of the hash as a 3 legged race, with their legs joined together, with a lot more energy than everyone else put together. (although they did go to bed earlier than KC and Cinders who were last to leave the Woodcut home just before the bells chimed at midnight – having tried, but failed, to finish off that beer.)
Sunday: Not enough time – or enough legs with energy – for a hangover hash, so we settled fore another look round the centre of Xanten, a visit to a church and its bell tower and an asparagus based lunch in the beer garden of a gothic hostelry on the market square before the homeward journey.
Run 594, May 17th 2017.
WHERE: The Beach, Clevedon, later The Sailing Club on the Promenade.
HARE: Happy Hooker and an appearing Fair Weather.
WHO: Approximately 20 hashers and 4 hounds.
RUN REPORT: Things were definitely hotting up around these parts – coats had already breathed their last of the season as we trotted up and along the promenade (runners taking in the supplementary Royal Oak and Copse Road), walkers above and runners alongside the splash 'n' hash site to come later. Rather than sheltering from the heat in The Salthouse, we opted instead to rise with it and take in the channel views atop Poet's Walk. Sunhats off here to Happy Hooker for finding some new material among this fairly familiar stomping ground – not only did runners have to hack through the undergrowth to keep up, but the sweet stop brought about both jelly babies en masse and a history lesson about the ruins we were in (and which the hare was helping to restore). Duly noted as a site for a future sunset beer stop, all but Down & Dirty & Eager opted for the rambo route downhill and back towards the Pill, taking the medicine of an only just setting sun followed by the idyllic rippling of the Blind Yeo (but for a turnback, we would have taken in Strode Golf Course and closer up channel views as well). Heading along the river bank, the back runners turned out to be the savviest in spotting the branch off through the trees and back towards Marshalls Field, even if the overtaking FRBs tasted fish hook and still threatened to leave them behind as we took to Poet's Walk again via the back end of St Andrew's Church. In slight danger of entering a time warp with the earlier markings, the most welcome sight of Fair Weather (eponymous with tonight's conditions) sheltering with a 5-a-day beer stop kept us on our toes, even if Fair Weather faced instant karma for treading on the BS symbol and going a little flying with a bump but hopefully not a bruise...
CIRCLE: Plenty to drink to apart from the need to cool off – Bogs virgins Drools on Balls and Lost in Space had huffed and puffed like there was no more hash until tomorrow, while Irish Spew was welcomed back at this usual brisk pace and those who had opted NOT to cut corners got the second last opportunity to quench their thirst. On In alas took us along much of On Out, though never one to resist a big splash was Rewind in the marine lake. Touchdown again coincided with distant bells – things clearly had been Plain Sailing Club.
ON ON ON: A baguette-bedecked Ploughman's supper greeted us along with a view of the beach which I have astonishingly never beheld, plus the promise of tales from Woodcut's Mainland Europe hash over the weekend from the Cinders Brigade spliced with Bend Over. Well worth plotting a course for en route to the Star at Star...
Run 590, April 19th 2017.
WHERE: The Old Inn, Congresbury.
HARES: Brigadoon and Ballsport.
WHO: A stupendous 32 hashers, 5 hounds and 1 visitor – would there be enough shiggy to spare?!
RUN REPORT: An assembling trickle outside the Old Inn quickly metamorphosed into a tidal wave of hashers with plenty of energy to spare seeing as it was well within daylight, comfortable temperatures and open pastures. Mainland Europe hashing also beckons for a few Bogs soon, so tonight gave us a taste of the continental weather – at On Out runners thankfully still looked “our” way when crossing a few back roads, reconvening promptly to scuttle down a few back alleys, over a prostrate zebra on Brinsea Road and (for runners) out on a limb in search of flour that the resident horses may have removed or at the very least displaced. After reckoning that a long dash towards Wrington probably would have put paid to our mingling with the walkers for one week, we opted back through a neglected gate and located them ploughing a way through an adjoining field, including late arrivals Zider senior and junior. Long returnee hound Oscar is now 70 in dog years and thus presumably in his hash prime, nevertheless a helping hand or 10 were needed for bramble-infested stile and footbridge aplenty as we marched through the solar farm (the panels were presumably a much more familiar sight than humans to the placid sheep we saw all around) courtesy of our own green energy towards a hazard less so – quite a lot of ducking and diving past traffic was needed as we not-quite-frantically ambled along the main road looking for an exit (only Rebore and Rocky Horror seeming keen to heed the classic “against traffic advice”), so it almost seemed like salt in the wound when a fish hook for 8 was encountered down the dirt track we settled on – thankfully back-marking hound Woodbine was sprightly enough to have left the road behind and the pack remained nice and closely knit. No less knit were they when Sour Haribo leapt out of the woods to be engulfed – certainly looking at the surroundings there were many routes it seemed to link up, however the runners' route here turned out to be another of those well worthwhile home runs with an arrow miraculously appearing once we had made it back to home base. Duly playing catchup, a lot of shiggy was picked up despite the bone dry conditions of late (Briggy's “watering hole” from St George's Day 2011 remained, though went unused this time), and Briggy's promise of a hash of “reasonable length” from earlier came expectedly to fruition as the church bells sounded just as we crossed a bridge over the untroubled Rhyne, touching down 5 minutes later. Let's pack 'em in!
CIRCLE & ON ON ON: In the back room nice and tight, we packed in a load of the ham and egg sarnies and crispy chippies, all to the tune of welcoming the returning Woodcut and singing a song that all but young bucks joined in with in toasting a load of FRBs following the leader the wrong way out of a field (including Down & Dirty who beamed in to finalise the latest Failand run). Limpet also announced her hash bash in August, specially to keep 2017 ticking over smoothly but not as rapidly as a hash...
Run 588, March 29th 2017.
WHERE: The Phoenix, Portishead.
HARES: Fondue and Houdini.
WHO: 14 hashers, 2 hounds and 4 visitors.
RUN REPORT: Daylight made the hash news, along with the customary forgetting of a few head torches as we departed from the ever trusty Phoenix (Bogs runs from there actually pre-date the credit crunch). With a late scribe in such searing pursuit that Fondue went back to the start on a whim, on up was quickly the order of the fading light, promptly encountering a speed split among the checkpoints and check what-nots – walkers in this case were thankful to encounter a well known slippery slope going uphill this time (it has indeed “turtled” a few Bogs going downhill in the past). By the time we had relocated the runners we were atop West Hill and careering down towards a sweet stop spliced with a lovely view of the Severn, with Denny Island still showing up among the twilit mud banks. Wine Gums and Fruit Pastilles were quickly finished off before we checked it out left, right and centre – centre and down was chosen by trial and error, as was another duly replenished arrow leading us on towards the still shallow Marine Lake. Much more flour to be seen than boats – runners though still had to be reined in from an attempted circumnavigation and led along the promenade towards the open air pool. Not just from this end, either – after opting instead to scale the steps alongside, we found some Banksy standard graffiti of somebody trying to sneak over the pool's perimeter fence! Another time, maybe another splash and hash – but for now the woods beckoned along with a fish hook at their peak which FRBs waited their own turn to obey, maybe because we were thinning out a little. Past the Royal Inn and the RNLI, we were too far distant to pose atop the “Fingers” or knock on Flour Power's door in passing, so alongside the ever-flourishing marina it was (au naturelle statues and all) in search of a consumerist beer stop. With good customer service for loyal Bogs plus convenience and good budgeting thrown into the bargain, nowt could top the Waitrose Car Park that stepped forward:
CIRCLE: 5 a day thanks to Fondue's apples, grapes and oranges (plus the egg white-inspired dessert which we somehow knew would follow imminently in the pub) and a most welcome down down to to the returning Inchworm, clearly as well versed as ever in scaling the heights and feeling the trail in the dark. This circle appeared to take the form of a rain dance as a few spots suddenly decided to join in – thankfully just a 10 minute On In was needed, spurred on no doubt by it being that ever-welcomer of outside food, The Phoenix...
ON ON ON: Swelled considerably by the introduction of Briggy, Ballsport, DT and Red Light, our stomachs swelled considerably with the introduction of a glorified, shipped-in Ploughmans plus Fondue's ever-pristine and irresistible Pavlova. Briggy was once again seen getting his ASS in gear (never any need to cover that up), while Rebore plot a course around the roadworks to the Princes Motto next week with flour and petrol alike – On Vrooming On!
Run 587, March 22nd 2017.
WHERE: The King's Head, Bedminster.
HARES: Walky Talky with a dash of Kerb Crawler.
WHO: 19 hashers and 2 hounds.
RUN REPORT: Just teetering on the edge of hash territory (close enough probably for Greyhounds to sense our presence, though we have been half a mile further in previously), we knew that plenty of literally brand new views and footpaths beckoned as we were right on the doorstep of the A38's new Link Road. Most of us noticed, but practically none expected, the footpath leading straight into mud at On Out, followed by a well won battle by all to stay upright as we headed steeply downhill towards Colliter's Brook and confronted an R and W that had stayed intact for a day. For walkers this actually meant a tread of faith across voluminous shiggy followed by a brief emerge next to the A38's latest branch – a little early it seemed to contemplate crossing as the least likely On On once again emerged as the On On. Care was taken not to nosedive into an adjacent ditch, and for the second week running it was time to sing the praises of Coppertone – not for detecting the next On On, but for going below and beyond the trail in an effort to find it. Rocky and Eager were no less keen to go above and beyond once we had gone further on, and were themselves called back when Walky Talky subtly suggested a slalom through staked saplings and down to the road again, with the same ditch ready for the wary to negotiate. This time Bristol's own shortcut for cars was indeed crossed and some surely un-bogged fields were soaked up before a gap in the hedgerow with occasional headlights glimpsing through it seemed the logical way on – no less logical once emerging was to head back in a Bristolian direction, particularly as the runners had still yet to make up ground and kick the trail out. Hard work for the walkers as it turned out – after covering what must have felt like ¼ of a mile, they were called back to the right and then uphill, but it turned out to be a useful prolonging of movement. After ascending through tall grass rather than the tall shiggy they were now acclimatised to, a sweet stop appeared with the suspension bridge still a glowing distant sight, and due to our earlier misadventure we were waiting for the runners' arrival not for long enough for those limbs to seize up, though news did nonetheless filter through of 2 retirements – Duracell with an ankle knock and Rebore with his own bit of trailblazing. In fact, there was time for more still – after another link road crossing the final fifth beckoned with plenty more shiggy and horses not quite so used to whispering, and so Woodbine, Dressing Down & Up All Night chose the open road back to the pub. For the rest there was still both a tall gate and a couple of planks to hurdle, but intact we all were once On In sounded slightly later than 9. As we prophesied - new season, new heights to scale.
CIRCLE: Remarkably free of spills if not thrills, though the walkers did indeed need to admit to the complacency that led them the wrong way and the retirees got an honorable mention without a discharge. On indoors – so spacious that it would not be a tight fit for us even with a quiz going on...
ON ON ON: Oo-er! Not for those just starting a strict diet, even if hashing melts away the odd stone or two. Plenty of sausages (again of the omnivorous variety) plus chips and onion rings which would have been even more tempting had they been calamari in disguise, nonetheless all promptly scoffed or doggy-bagged by the throng. Well done Walky Talky – a hash with plenty of new highs!
Run 586, March 15th 2017.
WHERE: New Inn, Kewstoke.
HARES: Brigadoon and Ballsport.
WHO: Approx 16 hashers (2 latecomers) and 2 hounds.
RUN REPORT: Such a great deal of bog-snorkelling had welcomed in 2017 that this route simply HAD to be gone back to and done the other way around with several bonus titbits. On Out thus took us through a great deal of shiggy West of the Kewstoke Rhyne though thankfully still East of Sand Bay itself, and runners had already put a few stone throws between them and the stragglers by the time we briefly took to Beach Road to the tune of a wild and whistling wind. Evergreen Coppertone led the troops up off road but was called back when the pack remembered that it was Sand Farm Lane that we had emerged from last time – memory did not serve us well enough though to prevent a brief intrusion onto private property and the sharp tongue that went with it; at least the markings had survived rough weather better than our dignity had and once back on dirt track we quickly remembered just how muddy we were going to get again. After a little manoeuvring to find arrows we remembered the very well worn quagmire leading temporarily to gravel from before (presumably some non-hashers had indeed discovered it in the interim), and respite was only temporary for runners who bravely volunteered to get lost down a country lane or two in their efforts to locate the flour next to a massive mound of earth. Not quite so duly located, they twice mistook the barking of nearby kennels for a lurking regroup, but ended up still needing to body-swerve a few sinkholes-courtesy-or-ramblers before Dressing Down and Woodbine were finally sighted as a beacon of their achievement – namely catching up before the beer stop. Talking of such feats of endurance, no sooner had Briggy opened up his portable bar than this evening's eternal chasers Kerb Crawler and Cinders appeared round the corner (the mudpies that they were carrying on their feet were quite sufficient proof that they had done the whole trail) – just in time then to be toasted themselves, along with Briggy for amiably bringing his caretaker experience forward as a hare. To On In some were offered and took up a shortcut, while many more opted off road for the final not-quite-straight (Woodbine had displayed his complete fearlessness of traffic all evening, but ended up being carried through the nettles to douse all that chivalry) – a customary touchdown just after 9 for Brigadoon, even if a couple of us added 10 minutes on for going back to their hash wagons.
ON ON ON: This cosy little pub is now almost as popular as a venue for the musically talented Cowslip's performances as it is Briggy's runs, and you can see why. Not for the first time we were served up more than plenty veggy and omnivore chilli (darts tournament in the neighbouring bar also customary for us by now) and devoured it at the same pace that Kerb Crawler and Cinders must have set. New season's greetings will follow next week, courtesy of The King...
Run 585, March 15th 2017.
WHERE:The New Inn, Kewstoke, Weston Super Mare.
HARE: Brigadoon and Ballsport.
Run 584, March 8th 2017.
WHERE: The Ring O' Bells, St Mary's Grove, Nailsea.
HARE: Dressing Down and Up all Night.
Run 583, March 1st 2017.
WHERE: The Nova Scotia, Bristol.
WHO: 14 hashers and 2 hounds.
RUN REPORT: Storm Doris had had her couple of days, the rains had gone having not really came, and Cinders had reliably briefed us on the survival of all this Cumberland trail's markings, a feat of engineering worthy of Isambard himself. At On Out we remembered that the Last Nova Scotia trail had also been during a dry storm, but this wasn't going to stop the runners cantering out alongside the dock and encircling the Create Centre like killer sharks stalking their floury prey – after all, their other items of walking pursuit had neglected the remainder of their trail and hopped up onto the Cumberland Basin footpath and down again. Up we caught and regroup followed a whisk away from traffic- we heard here of an imminent chop and change of runner and walker splits through the trees ahead – and more than once it turned out the walkers were the ones made to go down and back up, though the runners did end up being the cliffhangers at one point (they may even have been as close as 20 metres from the cliff at one point – bless that flour). It felt as thought we had already had 90 minutes' worth of excitement packed into a mere 30, and this was one of many motivators (one being "there was nowhere else to hide the bag!") that Cinders fished out a very early (though certainly not unheard of) beer, cider and orange juice bag. Cue circle!
CIRCLE: This was by no means an invitation to invite unpunished crimes for the rest of the trail – we awere also thirsty from all those ups and downs! Every walker thus made a circle within a circle for encroaching onto runners' turf, one Bristol hasher from nothing like afar was welcomed in for definitely not the last time, and the trail was felt "too long" already. Would it be a case of calling our suspension bridge bluff?
RUN REPORT REMAINDER: Not twice in a row – prior to a crossing at altitude Cinders found time for a runners' sweet stop while at the summit Eager Beaver and Rocky Horror briefly called the trail's bluff and went searching for for an alternative way across the gorgor (perhaps a helipad laid in flour), but in the end all were happy to take in the views while NOT debating just how much Brunel had contributed to all this. On Down took in several checkpoints and a couple of former Shaun The Sheep spots from 2015, plus another speed split for extra good measure. Like before at Nova Scotia, early touchdown was sounded to the tune of more Banksy artwork at 8:40, and just as keen was this migrating flock to huddle together indoors...
ON ON ON: A dash to a skittle match already completed was thankfully performed late enough to witness a bucketload (albeit on plates) of mini-bangers and chips enter and quickly leave the fray in the cosy and well made-over Nova Scotia, after all semi-veggie Rebore was trustworthy enough with them and what may initially have felt like an over-budget turned out just right to stuff us all good. No less cosy no doubt next week will be the Ring O'Bells in Nailsea, complete with enough Dressing Down to keep us Up All Night
Run 582, February 22nd 2017.
WHERE: Backwell Village Club, probably in Backwell.
WHO: 17 hashers and 1 hound.
RUN REPORT: Well, nobody gatecrashed the spread that followed this upwardly mobile, yet quite sane for Rewind, trail, and so I assume that the weather accounted for the numbers being as watered down as the flour. Upon arriving at the hare's briefing from several directions and time zones, the longest circumnavigation of neighbouring Fairfield School was selected prior to ascending Church Lane and onto a Field that was anything but Fair. Normally bovines are the hazard here, but tonight it was entered via a shiggy cesspit, followed by several attempts by FRBs to disappear over the horizon before "On Back!!!" bought them back out behind St Andrew's Church. Veterans and recent Bogs virgins alike then proceeded to pretend not to see a footpath up to the left and right, perhapos because they knew it led somewhere very steep or perhaps because, being a Rewind trail, they expected to be pointed towards it via a T40 first. Well, as has been alluded, sanity was to prevail on this trail, along with all the grit and graft needed to reach the near crest of Backwell Hill and regroup to admire the most man-made of views above the quarry. Puffing and panting having promptly subsided, it was time for runners to plot a semi-course around the scaled heights and back again, while for walkers it was a quick sneak across Cheston Combe in search of the Jubilee Stone. Duly collided with, not only did we have Walky Talky to thank for rationing out some leftover tangy non-haribos, but also no less than the National Grid for the twilit view below, with Backwell almost resembling its own planetarium quite far below and making up for the blanketed constellations above. Certainly a good enough visual feast to desire beating the church bells back to the village club, and so On Down it was and with plenty of mire thrown into the shiggy. Although a couple elcted to briefly tumble, nobody elected to roll and so our surroundings were eventually recognised once on Uncombe Close, still missing a runner or 9. No need for manners – we knew there would be enough grub therein to feed the 5 thousand, aka 20 hashers...
CIRCLE & ON ON ON: We hospitably acquired a secluded corner of the club to set up an indeed plentiful picnic hamper, and so it was quite gentleman's-club-like to sing the down downs in our head for the evening. Quality and quantity prevailed – tiger baguette was softened up with plenty of cheese ham and pate, with houmous, carrot sticks and good old pickled onions contributing to the runners' feed once they were back all told. Keep the Winter this friendly and warm please!
Run 581, February 15th 2017.
WHERE: The Walnut Tree, Weston-super-Mare.
HARES: Eager Beaver and Down & Dirty.
Run 580, February 8th 2017.
WHERE: Clevedon Sailing Club, Clevedon.
HARES: Kerb Crawler.
RUN REPORT: The pre-hash started with a take over bid by Bristol Greyhounds HHH, but the just-on-time arrival of BOGS stalwarts soon redressed the balance. A well-planned route soon had the most local of the pack uncertain which direction "must" be the obvious route at the various checks, as we traversed the heights and length of Clevedon.
Strap On turned into Recruit On as she sang the praises of hashing to a local couple out for an evening run – we'll see how successfully if they actually turn up at a future hash!
Then it was back to the sailing club, where we tried very hard (honestly) to not disturb the gig rowers having a meeting at the far end of the bar whilst we tucked into KC prepared fare.
CIRCLE: The hare and returnees were celebrated, along with Walky Talky having celebrated getting another year older, but still remaining younger than most (all) of the rest of us.
Run 579, February 4th 2017.
WHERE: Youth Hostel, Litton Cheney.
HARE: Rocky Horror.
WHO: 16 hares, 1 hound and 1 chauffeuress.
RUN REPORT: One year on from THAT weekend and fate decreed that for 2017 we would have to write our own, non-python headlines about hash lunatics on the loose, rather than those surrounding the hostel with searchlights. After an evening of settling in which included Rocky charming us with his guitar just like any python would be, plus Eager Beaver doing a low budget impression of Richard Osman with some Pointless quizzes, we awoke to the revelation of it merely being breakfast time and with but not a trace of anything escaped or dangerous, or even that feasted on Rocky's ever-meticulous flour. 10:30's the customary circle up time for getting both your ASS and your Cheney in gear, and after sending Down & Dirty off on her pub and beer stop rounds it was On Out with conditions quite literally the polar opposite of last year. Back then the banks of the stream had been-a-bursting outside the YHA, but here we were greeted with dazzling sunshine as we quickly branched off from last year's trail and conquered the terraced hills leading to Chalk Pit Lane (soon to be Flour Pit Lane) in a way even the Grand Old Duke of York would have been proud of. Yonder checkpoint spliced with photo stop surprisingly kept us with the shiggy, and once over the piste the FRBs found themselves a little off-beat. First Eager and Walky Talky were reined in and frog marched back through a gate, and then Bend Over almost disappeared into the sunshine before Rocky could warn us of the Horrors of the busy-for-a-Saturday A35 up ahead. Sitting ducks at the crossing we were not, even if the flock quickly thinned out after a quarter mile of roadside daring do's and dont's. So thinned out, in fact, that an increasingly common scandal soon struck us – 4 fish hook rebels out of a possible 5! Was it something the hardly slacking back-runners Fondue, Dressing Down and Up All Night said? Or perhaps they could already sense their first pint stop a few crossroads ahead? Well, first there was a generous trade-off in store – for the slightly problematic deep shiggy encountered off road by runners, there was a road rendered off-road for vehicles specially for the walkers, owing to recent precipitous landslides. By the time the first quench stop at The Crown in Uploders came around, Down & Dirty had parked up and done a mini hash in search of walkers, returning with all of them let off the lead and promptly drinking the bar half dry, quite necessary given the mountain of sandwiches and sausage rolls that awaited demolition in the Bogs' back room. With the weather still making a sincere effort to dry out Lytton Cheney from last year, On On took us briskly along New Road, this time ignoring the shiggy footpaths on either side until most of the pack found another way to negotiate the A35 – duck beneath it, while a few wannabe rambos decided to head uphill first to wave to traffic and then to set a traffic-rivalling pace at the cost of getting lost. The latter was of course most necessary – once this select pack of 6 had convinced themselves to stick to tarmac rather than overgrown footpaths (since technically it wasn't a Rambo trail), they found themselves needing to dash across the A35 again and seek refuge off-A-road. Once Shipton Gorge had been galloped towards, the lack of companions plus beer stops had started to make its presence felt, and right on cue there appeared The New Inn, always ready to welcome those with a running problem, even when unannounced and only just into Saturday afternoon. Both parties had done well for themselves by the time resumption quickly followed, and as if the ante could not be further upped, revelations then arose that we were not the only ones following a trail! Whilst locating the track towards Bredy Farm Cider Shop (where we "steam-dried" ourselves least year) we happened upon not a cavalry charge but a cavalry stopped for a chat while engaged on a scent trail with Bassets aplenty and not far off. A couple of telephone boxes were not the place for a hare to seek cover from so many canines, and so following the walkers' distant chatter proved almost as fruitful as the cider served up in abundance once there. There was even Marble Maze entertainment and first-cider-of-a-lifetime for yours truly (not half bad, but still not half as good as Glitter Berry J20) before the reassembled pack trudged ever onwards and with Roman straightforwardness along Bredy Road oh so straight and long. So long in fact that Rocky duly remembered a runners' route back in the direction of the hunt who may even have picked us as their new quarry by now – clearly Rocky was trying to throw them off the scent. For back stragglers if not quite strugglers Fondue and Houdini now was the time to call the last pub quits and head straight for the Hostel Showers and spreads, but for the rest the lure of another Crown Inn in Puncknowle was too strong, even if another gruelling ascent was in the offing at first. Not only was the cosy interior there to reward us, there was also the chance for the hare to finally show all those hounds and horses who was boss as both trailblazers collided head on outside the pub and the hunters scarpered with no intention of roles being reversed. Memories not of the 2016 trail but that of 2014 were imminently roused as Rocky promised a slap up meal for those willing to cross the same quagmires from before, with the added challenge that Spotted Dick was not present to become Walter Raleigh on this occasion. THAT Vicar-of-Dibley-swallowing puddle was indeed still there under the rapidly fading light, and on this occasion it was Rebore who turned knight in spit-polished armour to help Inside Out, Woodbine and Dressing Down to negotiate it. 5:30 'twere when we touched down and sank a few in the White Horse alongside the YHA, just in time for the rain to start as it had NOT been threatening to all day. Time to get in and ask Rocky to name those witch doctors...
CIRCLE: Turns out it was all in Rocky's positive vibes and so we toasted those along with his generous helpings of flour before heading indoors, though fish hook rebels still clearly need to have a zero tolerance policy enforced an early finishers encouraged so if it means an extra down down. And of course all glasses were compulsorily raised to the dear departed Koko, no doubt still smiling down at how bonkers we make each away weekend.
ON ON ON: With omnivorous and carnivorous (and even Rebore) curry options to choose from followed by extra Rebore birthday cake now that he was a year wiser for real, we did indeed declare ourselves stuffed and spit roast in time for some more Rocky serenading, some Shut The Box and, of course, Pass The Pigs now that we had gamesmistress Down & Dirty back among the ranks to save our bacon, having enjoyed her day's hop down to Dorchester.
As a little postscript, Eager and Down & Dirty deflated the ranks on Monday morning rather than stopping off with the hardies in Dorchester, though cross my scribe's heart and hope to die, it had NOTHING to do with that footpath-turned-river that we had to wade through last year. Inspiration will obviously have to be drawn for KC's Sailing Club Trail next week. On On and here's to never knowing what normality is...
Run 578, February 1st 2017.
WHERE: The Pelican, Chew Magna.
HARES: Never Enough and Mr Mannering.
WHO: Approx 21 hashers and 1 shiggy hound.
RUN REPORT: I do not recall darkness greeting us in Chew Magna, though Father Abraham has certainly been just as happy to do so in the past as he was tonight, courtesy of Deep Throat. Never Enough was definitely out to show Mr Mannering the ropes as a hare, including a forewarning to all about both a very steep hill to come and the trail needing a little resetting after overnight rain reduced it to dough that wouldn't rise. Well, a big W and R at On Out were certainly clear enough, and for those setting a fast pace it was a still respectful canter through Church of St Andrew's graveyard to find The Queen's Arms still open (our previous visit had been made out as that pub's supposed last stand - clearly they have found many more drinking clubs with a running problem). A lot of pondering about which whether the "big" hill now stood before us runners followed, and was swiftly refuted - the hidden footpath did turn from tarmac to gravel, to shiggy and almost to marsh before we emerged on Chew Hill. Not even the absent Brigadoon would have assumed that this was time for On In - instead we headed right and through a few fields to find the walkers and the solution to the next checkpoint long gone. With catch-up already being played, this of course was the best time of all for Mr Mannering to separate the Rambos from the Runners, with 6 of the latter opting for "the" hill up Nutgrove Lane, on which more shiggy mines than vehicles were encountered. The Chew Hill traffic was then braved for all of 5 metres before heading back into the shiggy with the twinkling views of distant Winford (too dark to spot where Farmer Giles ranted last year). Previously this footpath had sent some of heels over head, but this time we added into that mix a touch of extra uphill and some very slippery steps, all crowned with a dim light at the end of a non-tunnel (actually a lonely front room). We had been led into Battle Lane and promptly feared the wrath of another goliath uphill with very insistent arrows, however this uphill quickly evened out and even offered the idyllic views and sounds of Chew Magna Reservoir into the bargain. By this stage the rambos' minds had already falsely convinced them that they had seen distant walkers' headtorches several times, so it was most welcoming to behold them finally flickering in the distance after negotiating both the B3130 and an electric fence (they may well have been yelling "hurry up!" in Morse code). The ulterior motive for stopping to let lactic acid take a foothold was, of course, a very generous smorgasbord of sweets - wine gums, tangy and orthodox haribo, Opal Fruits-come-Starburst and no Cinderella-proof Liquorice Allsorts were present, as was Rebore who I assumed was a latecomer but whom had probably already been round the trail twice. After all that time apart, we thought that time and grub would be waiting for no hasher, but quickly found our bearings once we were on a shiggy strewn back alley which we have probably Bogged down more than Joe Public - familiarly over the road and into crops that were as tall as one would expect in February, we found the time and expanse to encounter a surviving fish hook for 4, let alone actually obey it! With a little undergrowth and another quick split of speeds duly accounted for, we once again thanked our built-in compasses, stopwatches and probably GPS trackers as we snuck back into the Pelican car park around the back just as St Andrews' bells were tolling for 9.
CIRCLE: Mostly a crime-free night apart from those who were late for the circle (including Rocky Horror who of course has to prepare aliases and python-proof footwear for Lytton Cheney), and only "Grand Old Duke of York" would suffice for these quickly evolving hares. Chew on that!
ON ON ON: After sitting briefly in front of a log effect fire we were duly promoted to the spacious and equally cosy barn out back, complete with more than enough ham, cheese and egg sarnies plus chips to go around, not to mention slabs of non-birthday chocolate cake and birthday chocolate cake for Rebore, though he will actually be blowing out the candles at Lytton Cheney - I assume nobody was complaining about getting an extra cake helping...
Run 577, January 25th 2017.
WHERE: The Bristol House, Milton Road, Weston Super Mare.
HARES: Brigadoon and Ballsport.
RUN REPORT: A short (ish) hash roving the streets and Ashcombe Park in Weston Super Mare. The mix of walkers’ shortcuts and runners routes kept us all meeting up at regular intervals, with a welcome whisky beer stop 3/4 of the way round to celebrate something Scottish.
CIRCLE: took place in the pub after we had all partaken of a dead haggis, plus a vegetarian version, tatties and neeps. Just Jim was recognised for leading the pack straight along the road, missing a very obvious bend around a corner, earning himself the new name of Missed It, or was it Miss Tit? what difference does a bit of spelling make?
Run 576, January 18th 2017.
WHERE: Byron Road, Locking.
HARES: Bend Over and Amber.
WHO: Approximately 21 hashers and 2 hounds.
RUN REPORT: We'd got the number in Byron road correct after all – 21 was also about the number of yards that runners and walkers managed to stay together for, all well wrapped up against Locking's elements of cold but dry. Upon splitting the pack which made for a very encouraging co-haring debut from junior Amber (feet on the ground), the runners manoeuvred a checkpoint or 5 before happening across the less frequented Old Banwell Road. Here we already called to mind Bend Over's words of wisdom at warmup ("crossing the main road twice in quick succession, once on a blind bend!") and assumed it was left towards the footbridge spanned by Bogs many moons ago. Wrong! In the correct direction, we also had to rein in Mr Mainwaring who threatened to collide with what turned out to be the On In. Duly corrected (again!) and with a little horse whispering along the way, the off the floor contingent quickly happened upon the first road crossing, figuring that the next one probably would be a long time coming due to the looming ascent into the woods neighbouring Canada Coombe. Tension-breaking highlights here included a trio diving into a makeshift alcove to avoid petrol, Eager Beaver gracelessly hurdling a gate that could have just been skirted, and specially for the scandal section – Strap On expressing fear at the many cowpats and their sources that emerged from the darkness while eventually succeeding in finding the flour that led back to tarmac. Luckily cows it seems do not smell fear as much as sharks do, though huddling together appeared just as effective a deterrent and there was even enough time and space for a few near-cow-slips to occur en route to Windmill Hill. Here the presence of R and W seemed to confirm that walkers had done checkpoint checking if not the most efficient of back-to-front marking – just as well then that the uphill R quickly produced an F and back downhill it was to disturb more locals with our symbols. If the walkers had done this earlier, then they certainly hadn't provoked a Locking rebellion and the shiggy-encrusted route onwards beckoned back up towards Mr Mainwaring's On Out. An arrow had naturally appeared over the course of the run and led us through the allotments – no, it wasn't a dieters' beer stop, it was simply On In to the tune of the walkers' cheers (not so long having touched down themselves) and out of those shiggy shoes if you wanted true sustenance:
CIRCLE: Nice and tightly packed in for extra warmth, we toasted the hares who had excelled in getting us back here safely and with flour to spare, even with some fish hook rebels thrown into the mix – most appropriate on newbie hare night though that we had a re-christening: for her (always friendly and well-meaning) ramblings about running from the cows, Strap-On shall henceforth be known as Strap On, and On, and On...! Add any number of Ons depending on how much she/we go on, and on.
ON ON ON: Flavoursome soups of the chicken and butternut squash variety, plus plenty of tiger bread and baguettes for mopping up, had pulled in the crowds every bit as much as the up and down trail. Rocky continued his hash cash practice for Lytton Cheney, and the absence of pythons or helping police with their investigations tonight at the very least bodes well. Note to the Bristol House next week – keep those fresh Weston trails a-coming!
Run 575, January 11th 2017.
WHERE: Market Inn, Yatton.
HARE: Deep Throat.
WHO: 18 hashers, 2 hounds and 2 visitors.
RUN REPORT: Not the scariest thing to befall a Bog to On Out and nearly collide with a tardy scribe, but most certainly out of the ordinary for a trail close to home. "Punishment" ensued by going all of 20 yards to the start of the trail and then commencing it properly, opting for the immediate walkers' trail as the internal compass suspected that runners were out on a very quick limb. That suspicion was correct; however once quickly back together it was time for a longer speed split to ensue once back over the road – first the off-ground contingent saw a checkpoint by a blind alley (and a grassy one, to boot), but found tarmac the right way – flour markings by properties were kept to a minimum, as is our unwritten 2017 policy. Bamboozlement was next on the agenda – upon seeing "another" checkpoint by a blind alley, it was theorised that the original blind alley led there, but actually the runners had merely gone in a big loop and now had a bit of catching up to do. They didn't make enough light work of it – there was a fish hook for 5 which only Rewind ended up obeying. Well, as that method at keeping the pack together didn't work, it seemeda better try was to stop for sweets aplenty – liquorice allsorts and tangy haribo did indeed make us huddle (did I forget to mention it was trying to be sub-zero?). Many would have feared rather than hoped for a pre-8:30 return when we emerged next to the Station; quashed were they very quickly as it was up and over the bridge and waving to the distant Strawberry Line (more of a Bog popularity in daylight). Keeping with last week's theme, an early beer stop beckoned under tree cover, complete with plenty of fresh fruit and teetotal.non-teetotal quench thirsters:
CIRCLE: A strictly enforced down down to the fish hook rebels and a couple of corner cutters, plus a silent song for Houdini who, in a rare capacity as FRB, chose not to shout "On On" at the station. Welcome back too for Red Light, though this was far from where the trail stoppe. The GM announced a further mile or so for those still with running in them, and at least half opted for this, trusting in the Market Inn grub to arrive on time rather than early. There was even time to set our sights on the again distant station before branching off to Stowey Road and back again. By now the Market Inn seemed rather cosy then small...
ON ON ON: The chips were just in on our early arrival (the clue was the ketchup on tables), but tuna, ham and cheese sarnies soon appeared and disappeared in abundance, with Rocky Horror already well accustomed to his hash cashing. I left just late enough to see Briggy and Ballsport arriving to help finish things off; let's raise our goblets to something soup-er at Bendover's abode next week.
Run 574, January 4th 2017.
WHERE: New Inn, Kewstoke.
HARES: Brigadoon and Ballsport.
WHO: 20 hashers, 2 hounds and 1 visitor.
RUN REPORT: A tale of two terrains as we welcomed in 2017 with a Sand Bay hash that miraculously featured neither heading out to sea nor an ascent of Monk's Steps (naturally with a turnback at the top). Some assumed that was the itinerary at first as we ambled along Kewstoke Road finding many a marking either washed away or rubbed out by those who have not read the website's new disclaimer. Back to the terrain topic, we remained firmly planted on tarmac until long after a surviving checkpoint was spotted by Norton Lane, then its Lower namesake, but then we got our wish both for an overdue overdose of shiggy coupled with a mostly un-bogged route which only flour knew the way out of. The splits needed to be done a few times before the backmarkers emerged onto farm country (including an under-the-weather scribe plus pint-sized Woodbine who seemed to have no problem swimming through it all). In spite of the erased markings from earlier, excellent back marking came to the fore with many an arrow that was indeed parallel to a long distant stile (each of which was sufficiently popular with walkers to be free of brambles and triffids), though by the time the final third of the trail dawned on us we did have something of a distant beacon to follow – to modify a phrase from Basil: "you can see Kewstoke – it's over there between the sea and the sky!". No fawlts could be found though once tarmac was rediscovered in Sand Farm Lane form, particularly as an early beer stop beckoned:
CIRCLE: In the absence of FRBs who feared the wrath of lactic acid, we did indeed down down them in their absence plus the hares for adding another most welcome quagmire to our repertoire. Early refreshment had come at a tiny price – a long walk oh so good along Beach Road (with the homing beacon taking a long time to appear to be getting nearer), and then a branch off for On In, hoping there was still at the very least crumbs to be had...
ON ON ON: And then some! With the welcome addition of Deep Throat and mention too of the returning Missapp, the sandwiches, mini pizzas, pork pies and co disappeared pretty quickly, with a course promptly plotted by the visitor for the Market Inn at Yatton next week. Oh, where have the first 4 days of this year gone?!
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