A drizzly cold early morning gave way to a dry misty grey sky with the promise of improvement later permaybe. Early arrivals at the Spur were able to catch the hares emerging from the FP that runs across from behind the school, they were in a bit of a fluster having by their own admission ?got a bit lost? earlier in the day.
The landlord of the pub had a few words with our JM about being back by noon, because a large party was expected at half past so this galvanised Flash into action a little before the appointed hour and this nearly caught Mussolini out as he made his usual just in time arrival.
Quite a large pack by our recent standards had massed, including a Simon who was wearing a 100th run shirt, jeans and walking boots, admitting that the shirt marked his one and only previous hash. There was also strong representation from Dogwhistle's and Bika's familys which probably lowered the average age of the pack to something like the national average.
The hare's only useful information concerned care at road crossings and a request to be a little quieter than usual on account of a tetchy NT warden's dislike of strange noises in the woods. Bang on time we issued forth south and then south east down the B2132 with Kermit showing a surprising burst of speed at the front and calling like there was no tomorrow or wardens.
A FP bisects this road and here was the expected check which in the past has taken the trail north east and up into Madehurst Wood. A whole bunch of folk took this option which proved a long false, so they returned to the check to see the rest way down the long slog south west to the sports field on the edge of Slindon Common south of the hum of traffic on the A29.
Finding the trail proved difficult here with some like Snake Charmer and the walking boot shod Simon running a long way without finding any white stuff. Meanwhile Mussolini was busy denying that the pristine shoes that he was wearing were in fact new. At long last the true trail was found down the long, long straight bridleway north of Ashbeds all the way down to the A29/A27 roundabout where we all diced with the Grim Reaper to reach a regroup on the other side, just on the edge of Slindon Wood.
At the restart Bika and Old Faithful were lured falsely a long way north while Snake Charmer, Pancsi etc found the less obvious way over to the Duke's Road car park. It was not obvious how we made our way over the next section, hashers were ambling along in a vaguely north easterly direction spotting the odd dollup and trusting their instinct that we would be heading for the village pond. Here the entertainment was provided by Pansci and Mussolini as they sprinted round that limpid pool trying in vain to treat Splasher to and early bath.
From here it was easy peasy, especially for the observant early arrivers, to find the trail behind the school and over to the On-In after one hour and fifteen minutes of bracing hashing, although it should be noted that Mussolini and Sinbad came in via the FP south of Highfield House, too much knowledge having lead them astray.
After a rush to get the beer in before the rush, the circle was convened to thank the hares for a classic hash, then rake up quite a few possible culprits for mentions before rounding on Snake Charmer for being out front for most of the hash, perhaps the Hash-It will slow her down next time.