Since the start of the year dry days have been in short supply, so we were fortunate to have been allocated one for this Hash, with a calm clear blue sky to boot. It would be churlish to complain that it was a bit cool, after all, physical exertion soon took care of that.
Our new JMs were pleased to welcome a crowd of first timers, Andy, Louise, Lauren, Jasmine, Owen and Barry. Then Popeye attempted to explain the Hash markings to them while the eyes of the rest glazed over and there was much jigging about to keep warm.
Then suddenly we were off, well at least a third of us headed north up the road, the rest just milled around in case we came back, lazy gits. Yes, there was a falsie west towards Warren Down and even better Bambi found the true trail east opposite the church, so the rest of the large pack had to play catch up.
Kinky was soon heard tooting his ex Royal Artillery bugle as he found the right way east along the northern boundary of the woods. Our throng was then swelled by Debbie (Bell) and son George another first timer.
North now on a long slog over open fields through Lodge Farm and out to a regroup at Oldhouse Lane with Pancsi, Keith, Bika, Snake Charmer, Kinky, Barry etc. getting there first.
Quite a bit of time for a natter here, and a failed attempt to decipher the very worn Latin motto on the bugle.
From the restart, falsies NE and NW, left downhill and SE and then S on the very shiggy upper path towards Watergate Hanger. I did not see much of what transpired here because I mistakenly followed Bika through leg tearing brambles on to a lower track as he chased after some deer.
Heading up out of the trees we found everyone else heading SW through Broadreed Farm to another regroup at Lumley Seat.
More nattering, the late arrival of Dogwhistle, and Canman turning into a terracotta warrior as he had taken successive slurry baths.
Off again, now NW past Long Copse and back into the forest at Rosamond's Hill, N through Batty's Park then W back to the church and On-In after one hour and ten minutes of soggy, sloggy hashing.
At the circle the JMs thanked themselves for laying the trail and we talked about how Spiderman had spent so much time tiptoeing round to keep his shoes clean and how Andy, on his first Hash, had baptised himself in the quagmire right at the start and then walked the rest of the way.
The Hash-It was presented to Lauren, Jasmine and Owen for being so young and enthusiastic. Youth is wasted on the young (G.B. Shaw).
Most then retired to The Castle in Rowland's Castle for the usual.
P.S. Quo Fas Et Gloria Ducunt ( Where right and glory lead).