The unholy trinity of wind, rain and cold were conspiring to make this hash a thoroughly unpleasant experience. Looking on the bright side, the rain did cease while we were running and the wind brought a refreshing ozone rich blast of salty air fresh from the sea. The cold however does not have a bright side and it seems that it has been our daily discomfort for ever and ever...
With no latecomers, no newcomers and just hardcore hashers present there was a minimum of preliminaries before being directed north up Southmoor Lane and for a while in the lee of the car park mound. It was soon evident that Canman was faced with the dilemma of having Buddy pull his arm off while at the same time trying to collect some of the rich supply of discarded beverage containers that are endemic in this area.
Snake Charmer and then Mussolini found our trail east and then north again around a surprising number of small business units and offices, until we reached what, in its hay day was the IBM car park. We have been here before, notably the last time that Popeye and Olive Oyl used this venue, so a bunch of us were thinking that a double bluff would take us into all those concrete and railings options beneath the Langstone flyover. With some relief we were called back as good flour was found east on the other side of the continuous flow of chariots that charge in both directions along Langstone Road.
Continuing east we meandered through the houses only pausing for Dr Blood to go scrumping kiwi fruit which turned out to be "nothing special". The hares seemed quite proud that they had discovered an unmarked path from the end of what appeared to be a cul-de-sac to The Hayling Billy Trail (THBT), although the pack seemed to find it soon enough.
By now Buddy had been offloaded to a series of people and it was Snake Charmer's turn as we headed north up THBT and under the thundering A27 to an N way check just short of the old station car park. More than a few moments passed until Sinbad was discovered disappearing east on Emsworth Road and probably considering the possibility of using the Warblington underpass to get back under the A27. Not so, we all caught up as the trail headed south on Pook Lane and over the bouncy metal bridge.
Old faithful found himself way out front here and was sort of running forward while looking backward to see if anyone else was following when BAM! he nearly decapitated himself on a piece of iron work resulting in a badly bruised larynx which literally left him speechless.
The path to the shore from the bottom of the lane is a muddy slog these days, the judicious use of a fish hook which caught Snake Charmer, OF, Pancsi and Pink Flamingo managed to keep the pack nicely bunched as we emerged on to the shingle heading south west towards the Mill Pond.
Sinbad was again suckered into taking a falsie towards the pond while Mussolini lead the pack north up Wade Lane and back to THBT exactly opposite where we had joined it earlier, this seemed to confuse Snake Charmer more than it should, however a big arrow pointed us south without delay.
A regroup by the TURNING DIFFICULT sign when we reached Mill Lane gave time to ponder that the warning could be interpreted differently depending on who were to read it, for example a motorist, a spy, a woodworker or perhaps today Old Faithful ?
As a finale there was a check on the east side of South Moor with the Chariots visible ahead, alas over a falsie, so we had to go the long way on the pebbly ankle testing shore, tacking into the wind in order to remain upright and reaching the chariots after one hour and twenty minutes of bracing exercise.
After thanking our hares the JMs launched a litany of misdemeanors, Pink Flamingo for a fish hook offence, Snake Charmer for dog usage and falsie blindness and Mussolini for a relapse into standing on three dots. Bambi was surprised to be singled out for the Hash-It just because a JM was fooled into thinking that a fish hook was ahead. Sanctury from the elements was then sought at The Ship.
Just to mention our two quiz teams had a whale of a time at The Fountain on the evening of the 21st. Initially there was some difficulty in comprehending the rules, but then we discovered that you have to be inebriated before they make any sense. It's clever really because the next morning you can't remember the rules along with a load of other things. I do recall that we scooped the prize in the True or False round which involved seeing how long one is prepared to walk back and fore, outside, in the rain and that we came within a gnats bollock of the £75 jackpot.