The sun was shining in Chi but on the common it was hiding behind mackerel skies with a blustery autumnal breeze, at least it was dry.
The committee of hares was in conference as the rest of us assembled, as two subcommittees they had each laid half of the route and were now concerned that they had not joined them up seamlessly.
We were called to order by the JMs who had a hard time being heard over the incessant barking of a mob of sausage dogs coming from the far end of the car park. There was a big welcome for Stitch Up (aka Rudolph), a Frenchman who had just started work in the area after extensive hashing in India. The hare committee could not reach a decision as to what lies to tell us, so they simply let us set off with a warning to be on the lookout for sabotage.
We soon found a trail east across the road and immediately south parallel to it, and as the tail end of the pack was leaving Canman and Max arrived. Here I must confess that due to a knee injury I was unable to keep up with the pack, so shortly after the run it was necessary to corner Spiderman and beat him until he divulged some information about what transpired, it was not necessary to use the electrodes this time.
Canman soon caught up, blaming his late arrival on being glued to the rugby world cup final, as the pack continued south west to Fitzhall before turning east along the southern edge of the sand pit. It might have been wise to have explained our marks to Stitchup who was proving to be an FRB and thinking that three dots was a check. This might have been what caused everyone to take the long straight path between the firs towards the Minsted Road rather than the wiggly one towards Minsted Farm.
Having recovered from this setback and found good flour east and into The Warren the pack was completely stumped by a back check in the rhododendrons, but eventually found a way north into Severals. Unbeknown to everyone, Snake Charmer, who had arrived even later than Canman, was charging about trying to catch up, hearing lots of calling, seeing some flour but not making contact.
After negotiating a cluster of checks (one having been sabotaged) in Severals and re-encountering the yap yap yapping posse of sausage dogs, to Max's amusement, the good flour led to Woolmer Bridge and the roar of traffic. Most of the pack being familiar with this area knew the way home from here quickly finding the alternative path around the falsie on the direct route. So we all made our way west back over Minsted Road through Stedham Common and to the On-In after one hour and ten minutes of refreshing hashing.
At the circle there was applause for the hare committee, mention of the late arrivers Canman and Snake Charmer (who had her shirt on outside out for a change), Wee Ginge for being a loud mouth and Old Faithful for being a granddad again. The Hash-It was awarded to Max for barging.
We then retired to The Half Moon where we overwhelmed the barman, drank beer and tried to calculate the total age of the hares.
Spiderman and Bambi (editor).