The final hash of the year, and forgetting the just above zero wind chill, it was one of the clearest and sunny mornings. A good crowd turned up at the triangle car park, decorated in tinsel, Santa Claus hats and various other garb to soak up the depression beating sunshine.
This was Snake Charmer's first hare experience. Worryingly, she admitted that there had been threats of being shot at during the search for possible routes, so to see that she and Dogwhistle had at least survived the flour laying was of some consolation.
Eager to get moving at the appointed hour we briefly welcomed back visitor Splitpin and for the first time with us, Bollocks both from HHHH (Henfield ….) before starting out down the road to St Roche's Gate. We did not wait around for Bika who screeched into the car park at the last moment before the off.
After a short dice of death with speeding traffic that was making its way to a petrol head's meeting at Goodwood racing circuit we took the path over to the car park at the top of Chalkpit Lane where we ground to a halt looking for the trail. Inevitably the last one to be checked proved to be good, with the finder Pancsi getting a long way in front and above on the south easterly path just below the top of the Trundle.
Better late than never Dr Blood and Pink Flamingo caught up with us here as we had a regroup just through the gate on the edge of the wind blocking tree line. Some of us were tempted into checking the falsies from here that headed towards the summit while the rest headed down the steep descent towards the grandstand. Spiderman managed to get unstuck from his web on the way down and performed the quick sit down and roll over manoeuvre that has recently become the prelude to broken limbs. Thankfully this time no damage was done except to pride which Spiderman sought to restore by muttering something about being able to fall correctly not like those other wimps.
Next we followed Stitchup as he found flour to the top of Kennel Hill and then north east up the road towards Counter's Gate. This was followed by a long trombone like route in the woods of the Country Park, first eastward on a lower path to have Hash Flash snap us under a yew tree at Counter's Gate and then westward on a higher path back to the grandstand. Of course there were several testing little falsies along these paths with their many cross trails.
As a finale, rather than just making a gentle climb along the road back to the chariots we were treated to the steep climb up the tarmac path that heads towards the mast before plunging back down to the triangle. A tired but elated stream of rosy cheeked hashers made their way on-in after one hour and twenty minutes of well marked and challenging trail. Thanks Snake Charmer.
At the circle the JMs expressed their regret that this was the end of their term in office, and after the cheering died down they admitted that they were devoid of any candidate for the Hash-It. The obvious nomination of Spiderman was ruled out as he had threatened to lock Spiderwoman out of their house if he was chosen, so she presented to herself for being too cowardly to call his bluff. I regret that I did not follow the large contingent that went down to The Fox Goes Free in Charlton for the apres hash.
Merry Christmas, Bambi