Rain in the days before this hash had had little impact on the bone dry soil, a heavy dew in the long grass meant that the hares suffered the discomfort of wet feet while they laid the flour and mused on the chances that no one would turn up for this holiday weekend run.
As the morning developed into a bright breezy affair with a hint of autumn the arrivals in the car park confirmed that many of the hardcore regulars would be absent. Fate made up for this by arranging an influx of enthusiastic youth that transformed the hashing experience for the old timers. Dogwhistle welcomed her daughter Jenny and granddaughter Jessie, returning dad Dave, with sons Carl and Aaron, and youngsters Katie and Rosie who were first timers on the last run, returning for another go. So many fresh faces prompted a brief review of the markings and the so called Rules before the pack started on out west up into Bonney's Hanger.
The first few checks took us around the edge of Astead Down and its turf board ramps with a better late than never Olive Oyl and Popeye catching us up on our way down into Potcomb. Several souls were lured on to falsies along the way notably Dr Blood who plodded doggedly all the way to the end of a steep uphill tester long after the pack had passed through the check on the true trail.
Meanwhile the youngsters seemed to be running round like crazed ferrets, making short work of finding the steep climb up the east side of Chiseldown to a regroup in the shade of the trees near the top. Here we paused while Tigger amazed us by making it to the top without medical assistance and we took some snaps to prove it.
After the restart we headed south into the heart of the forest with Olive Oyl, Katie and Aaron sharing the lead. The hares had to provide a small amount of directional assistance here so that the pack could make progress on a well hidden trail east through the undergrowth. The juxtaposition of low spiky brambles and young tender legs was not beneficial, leading to evidence of lachrymal leakage on the face of at least one young lady.
Bravely we continued and made our way out to the wide path that is parallel to Selhurstpark Road, just next to the grave of Ross and Pat who were the south of England sheep dog champions from 1950 to 1953.
Then it was a long bash downhill north east, under the pylons, through some more brambles and east to climb the west slope of Selhurstpark Hill. At last the ferrets showed signs of tiring, as the plod up the hill had one young lad texting his mum to let her know that he was next to knackered, not in those terms of course. To his great relief we all reached the downhill charge to the chariots and the On-In shortly, after one hour and eighteen minutes of frantic rushing about.
At the circle there were various nominations the details of which I failed to note, although Popeye was mentioned for some reason. The Hash-It was eventually presented to Jenny, apparently for threats to the continued existence of the hares. Further chatter was adjourned to The George at Eartham.
On On Bambi.