I approached the site of the run and actually got to the carpark at the Creech before seeing any hash signs. "That was because you came the wrong way" the hares declared "we signposted it from the other direction". This is a bit like putting signs on the M6 which only give instructions in the event that you are coming from Birmingham. In fact now I think of it that is probably where the hares got the idea because it is exactly how it is signposted on the M6!
The hares are credited to Old Faithful and Rasta but in reality Robert had to step in as Rasta seemed to think that having a cold was enough of an excuse not to get covered in mud and guarded the chariot where the food and drink were housed. Never mind, a reasonable pack gathered dressed in Xmas attire to receive a short preamble from the hares before being set off on their way through the woods.
It took all of a minute before the pack were split and lost sight of the trail but it was soon found again and we were off again splashing through the mud.
The promise had been made at the beginning that there would be Xmas balls to find and each ball would mean a prize. This made for keener than usual trail checking and the little balls began to be found. To confuse matters even more they were colour coded for the type of prize. This was of course gilding the lily as most hashers had trouble with the concept of finding and retaining the balls without having to remember which colour was for which prize.
We were amazed to find that in such a small area the hares managed to turn the pack around frequently with all of the hashers being sure they would be on the true trail until if proved to be false. We came to a large pond and were told to regroup. It was indicated that there was a bauble in the vicinity and many hashers began looking in the water, sure that Old Faithful wanted us to get wet. After finding nothing I glanced upward for divine inspiration and there high in the tree (well high if you are only 164cm tall) was a bauble. Suitably cheered up we set off through the forest only to find that the dots had again been covered by leaves or kicked out. Is there an anti hashing faction dogging our steps? Twice in a month? Please send all conspiracy theories to the Webmaster as soon as possible.
So being led gently to the car park we found the On In and dripped slowley back to the chariots where Rasta had laid on her usual excellent pre-Xmas spread. I
The pack dried off and presents were exchanged for baubles and Mr Bean received the hashit for \J so many offences that the JMs could not even name them.
The day would not be complete without mentioning Cheshire's silver shirt and festive top hat and the acquisition a new hash nickname for Patrick. Not enough that he came dressed as an elf, full of elf confidence and completely elf assured; not enough that his own father refered to him as 'Patch' not once but twice in the hearing of your humble scribe but the film showing his exploits was on Xmas Eve. Once I had reported this to the naming committee they lost no time in confirming that Patrick was a name of the past and henceforth the name of PATCH would be used.