As the hashers arrived the god fearing departed which was just as well given the limited space beside St. Leodegar's. Most had festive hats, some with added tinsel and a few, for example Olive Oyl and Bika were fully clad as Santas albeit a green one in Bika's case.
Earlier in the day the hares had had the pleasure of attempting to lay flour in a cold monsoon, but now that they were finished and we were ready to start, the day had been transformed into fresh breezes and blasts of faintly warming sunshine.
A pack of all regulars with no visitors made a tentative start north east towards Hunston Copse led by Flash and Dr Blood who passed the washed out false mark by a long way before being called back along with everyone else. South to the golf course, and its fifteenth tee proved the right choice, where again a section of washed out trail made it hard work to find the way south west to a check on the edge of the club's strangely deserted car park.
A voice from the doorway of the clubhouse asking Panda if she was lost had a slight tone of censure to it, Panda replied "yes" and sped on, the voice's owner did not look fit enough to give chase.
Soon enough the pack discovered the trail to the tee junction at Brinfast Cottage and then good flour east into lush green fields. Somewhere in the long grass was a trail that eluded all seekers as we fanned out into ever more soggy pasture. By the time we reached the only stile in the corner we might as well have been running through a watercress bed.
We ended up having an impromptu regroup here as sploshers gradually arrived from all directions. Dr Blood, Pink Flamingo, Flash, Popeye, Snake Charmer water skiing behind Buddy, Bika, Old Faithful, Panda ... I stopped taking down names.
Just the other side of the stile was the Bill Trail so suddenly we new exactly where we were and headed for Fisher Lane on dry tarmac with Flash getting way out in front on the long slog north. In due course he was caught as he failed to notice the check at Fisher Farm and took a random falsie.
The green Santa a.k.a Bika made the right choice, taking the FP east to Manor Farm straight through the initial aromatic slurry, leaving the more fastidious to attempt to pick their way along the fence posts on the edge. A choice of three ways to go here and plenty of puddles to wash off the slurry before heading north up Manor Lane to South Mundham Farm.
Bambi was lured up the northerly FP while the rest had the sense to head west on the path to Fisher because they could see a bunch of shortcutters in the distance.
The top of Fisher Lane was flooded, that's where we waded to the Fisher Common junction followed by a squelchy slog over the recently ploughed path north west to the On-In at Church Farm, after one hour and ten minutes of moist hashing.
At the circle the hares thanked themselves and we applauded, then we grumbled about the shortcutters that missed the shitty loop round South Mundham, and Flash was mentioned for his reminiscences of tough runs of yore and how folk today are namby pambies.
Hairbrush took the Hash-It by using his chariot for the long journey of thirty yards to the circle.
We all then decamped to The Spotted Cow where Snake Charmer had mistressminded a festive meal for nearly forty, Olive Oyl, Thom and Popeye provided a Christmas song quiz sheet and our Hon President thanked just about everyone for everything this year.