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Est 1983 - ON PRES: Robin Low

RunDateHare(s)DescriptionMapRef1:500001:250001:10000 Aerial
7042011-01-30Dogwhistle & Miss Perfect - Selsey Rd/B2145Pagham Nature Reserve Visitor Centre SZ856966

A perfect day for a hash. A Sunday, 11.00 and bitterly cold and fresh but there was not a cloud in the sky. There was the slight anxiety of hoping we were on the right side of the harbour as the venue was unfamiliar but just as I was getting worried it came into view.
We arrived at the twitchers paradise to have the unnerving experience of having the birdies high powered optics trained on us as we emerged from the car. Had they not seen any Lesser Spotted Yellow Bellied Hashers at close range before? Our names were presumably scribed into grubby notebooks once we were identified and the breeding pairs counted.
Our numbers were depleted of the leanest and keenest, by that I mean no Max and no Jan (competing again) , however Gerry was rumored to be running to the venue and he was late, 2 early nominations then...
We were goaded into a circle and brought to attention by a solitary multi-tasking JM. There were several moments of reverend silence as the Hasher of the Year trophy was bestowed with all due pomp and ceremony. I was just about to start a tearful acceptance speech, modeled on the Oscars, full of hyperbole and thanks for my mother’s love and attention and gratitude for all my fans, when a quick photo was taken and instead of being passed a microphone, we were rallied for the off.

My moment of glory had passed. No Golden Globe, just something that looks remarkably like a loo seat with a chain. Still the gong had my name on it in a couple of little brass plaques and I felt truly humbled after reading all those august names enshrined before mine.
Some people seemed to be more interested in Sue Spooner’s remarkable recovery than me. Now I know how Miss Piggy feels when someone upstages her and the moment passes.
We were warned about mountains to climb and mud to wade through and pointed onwards.

Some quality in the sea air had prevented the flour from either being laid or seen. However, it takes more than a lack of markings to stop a Hash and those with local knowledge just seemed to steam on ahead using a seventh sense for where the trail lay.
Perhaps most were spellbound by the frozen salt marsh with ice and white encrustations where the reeds had oozed liquid freezing in the frigid night air. If we were impressed, the birds were not and they generally skulked out of sight.
Can Man lost a shoe, literally littorally as it was sucked off by the hungry mud below the high tide mark. He was reunited with his shoe but remained without cans to the end. Bruce, however, was going remarkably well, leaping gazelle like thus avoiding all the boggy sods. He admitted to have been training which along with short cutting brought him the the attention of the nominating committee.
The rest of us, more terrestrial beings, just got wet feet. We were chastised for our half hearted attempts at a regroup but some were for surging on and could not be restrained. ESP and sense of smell seemed to guide the pack but those who were expecting flour were to be disappointed, so were the hares as checks were run over and flasies ignored. Generally the world was put to rights as we hastened to the “On In”. It was too cold to tarry long.

With Bruce’s example fresh in our minds, we all resolved to indulge in some ‘training’ too. Our luck was in, as a cheery Jim and Jan showed us how to focus on that other discipline in the Hashing biathlon, of course I mean enjoying a drink in the pub. On On (come back Bambi, soon!)

Paul Stross eee@stross.net

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