Although water was oozing out the Downs all over the place, the day was sunny for a change. However there was a decided icy nip in the air. JM Paul was absent, being on yet another world tour, last heard disappearing into the New Zealand hinterland no doubt soon to be eaten my Maoris. The remaining 'sore-joint' master, namely Graham, said he would join the nearly as numerous pack of walkers. The Hare then explained he had used one bag of flour we assumed that it would be reasonably snappy Hash (in our dreams).
We started up the track by the pub which quickly turned into a river of icy water, quite deep considering it was not supposed to be there (see pictures on the web). We then spent some time by a football pitch where the flour was cunningly laid among guano. Indeed the whole trail was pretty difficult to follow with dogs or other creatures having a taste for uncooked flour, with the white frosty patches, with white chalky bits everywhere and lengthy trails of nothingness. We then headed north towards the forest and then back over a meadow to a road. Robin's dog seemed to know the way and so Dave followed him until he returned reporting that it was lost. We then passed by the Church and across an open bit which then doubled back. We would no doubt get into Charlton forest here, but no, we skirted the south side for another 10' minutes. By this time an hour had elapsed and folk where guessing that we would be aiming back but we headed north for another 30 minutes nearly to the South Downs Way.
Occasionally the pack would catch up the walkers but they were still ahead near Newhouse farm. It was here that the pack split in two one party were drawn inexorably downhill towards the pub while the rest did some more hill climbing before rejoining the rest. So we all had a very nice time despite being criticised constantly by the front hare.
The initial candidates for the Hashit were Robin's dog for wandering off, Simon and Selwyn for using foul language in front of Jennifer who then revealed that she did not notice anything particularly strong. Finally the award went to Joyce for training every day during the previous fortnight and then being too keen during the Hash. She should give others a chance to check the odd route.
Thanks again to Stephen & Csilla Hajnal-Smith for laying an excellent trail.