This week you have a change of author. Bambi has retired and is of course at least twice as busy as when he was working at IBM. He could not make this Hash and so we have stepped into the breach and tried to fill his capacious shoes. It is only now that I fully appreciate the powerful humorous prose that flows from his pen. Robin phoned to depict his changed circumstances. No Soapbox, No Linda, No Bambi and one minor distraction, an adopted newcomer to the Hash, aka Max, a big unknown. Having been caught on the hop, I had insufficient notice to think of an excuse or how to pass the honour onto some other poor unsuspecting soul. Still the venue was intriguing, with a personal map given in advance by Hash Flash and Panda, and new spot outside of my comfort zone (i.e. in Hampshire). Sunday brought a lovely day, so different from the last Hash I laid!
Hillsea Lido sounded rather retro. I checked on Google Earth just to make sure it really existed and expected to see Chavs in Primark bikinis disporting themselves. Alas! the picture was too small and on the day the Lido was closed. A small crew appeared on time, but then numbers were swelled by the late comers. "Believe it or not on this day the treaty of Utrecht was signed." The second new face Steve also looked a useful runner, especially useful if you were on fire. Max was definitely on fire, all of a tremble and flirting unashamedly with a local bitch scantily clad but sporting all the latest pink diamante fashion accessories. Max, as the youngest runner by a long way, showed great eagerness to run quite unlike anyone else and an was an inspiration to the rest of us setting off in the lead. In Robin's introduction we were told there would be lots of historical remains to see and the mystery of a third alternative, but we would be too busy trying to find the trail so we would not have time to seek them out. Flash hash commented on this hash being an experiment, mainly that we would need fitness, prowess and intelligence!!! Panda had her doubts on all of these. The trail, marked with chalk flour and dog doos, took us either side of a waterway meeting up at the first check marked with chalk and two egrets which flounced off as we surprised each other. Then the trail took us up over the Hillsea ramparts, it remains a mystery why anyone should build such extensive ramparts to defend a Lido but ours was not to reason why... we were on on... Robin had a tight rein on Max, but Max had the upper hand or should I say Paw (yes, you have guessed it Max is a dog) he was in control taking Robin for a run! The trail took us into a brick tunnel. The other side found us running along the waters edge, with the roar of the A27 on the other side, we ran under a low railway bridge with trains overhead and we found ourselves face to face with 2 beautiful nonchalant swans. The trail took us through an underpass under the A27, Old Faithful was not to be fooled by this check as we emerged from the tunnel, it must be a back check he shouted (road noise meant you needed to shout), he was right of course so back under the A27 we went, and a long straight run took us to a footbridge, with a re group at the top. Again we looked for the trail on the other side of A27 only to find a falsie, we were getting dizzy crossing over the A27.
Anyway third time lucky, an underpass took us to the north, where we ran amongst the houses and magnolia trees in Porstsmouth's suburbia. Yours truly was shocked by the sight of a shabby dressing gowned figure drawing back the curtains at 12:00. In a while, we had a spontaneous regroup, where newcomer Steve admitted to wearing new trainers (a hashable offence) this was opposite a podiatrist shop claiming to cure feet of all ailments and deal with running injuries, unfortunately it was shut, otherwise I am sure he would have several new clients. At the next check the false trail took us over a railway bridge, Hash Flash reminisced about how as a boy he would stand on the bridge watching the steam engines and go home covered in soot. Just before the on in, we saw a heron flying overhead probably returning from a good days fishing in someones pond. Dr Blood then noticed he was running past his tax office, what a thrill, confirmed by HashFlash, but I didn't have an annual return to post through the letter box. The on in took us under the roaring A27 back to the lido. Bizarrely, there was an ambulance waiting in the car park for our return, but due to our superb fitness, it was not required. However, another sight awaited us, Paul Mortimer had turned up to pick up the signs, for his hash in 2 weeks. He was too late to run. There were a few nominations for the hashit, Peter and Steven for new shoes, but once again the award went to Paul Mortimer for not carrying the hash on the last three times he was awarded it (next time as he is laying the hash so he can't escape this time ) We repaired to a local drinking establishment for refreshments and reminiscences. on.on.
One thing is clear, Bambi will be very welcome on return. His pencil and paper is so much more fluent than the battery and microchip.
Dr Blood (with help from The Pink Flamingo)