While most Hashers were still in bed, dreaming about handfuls of Self Raising, yours truly and Kinky were trudging through rain, gloom and frigid three degree air. Thinking back, I am amazed at how the afterglow of a Hash and half a pint of cider can induce the enthusiasm to volunteer.
The rain had stopped and it was a bit warmer by the usual kick off time when our JM's appeared wearing what appeared to be cheap lampshades that turned out to be Chinese hats, and dished out fortune cookies. It is of course the Chinese New Year, “année du coq”, as the French would say.
Then we had quite a long list of "this day in history" notes one of which was about the time when that famous French hasher General de Gaulle was miss translated when asked if the UK could become part of the EU. He was very enthusiastic and immediately responded On On!, however the press, not being Hashers, thought that he had said Non Non!. Later, being French, he was too embarrassed to correct the error.
A new Hasher Andie introduced herself and we said “welcome back” to Albert.
The Hares had little of any importance to say, so the pack set off into the virgin medieval territory of Hollybank Woods, another remnant of the once great Forest of Bere. Soon we found plenty of aluminium-age artefacts, alas Can Man was sans plaggy bag, a wasted opportunity.
Keeping to the West of the woods, Hairbrush, Sinbad and Old Faithful were at the head of the pack until we reached the recreation of an ancient wattle animal enclosure. So many ways to go here, all seemingly false, until we all heard Flash bellowing in the direction of Emsworth Common Road, which we soon crossed to find a regroup in the middle of a fly-tip.
From the restart, most of the pack went West towards The Havant Rifle and Pistol Club range, but returned before they were all shot to find the rest had gone North into Southleigh Forest. It was at the next check that Splasher seemed to start accidentally whacking people with the Hash-It, his first victim being Snake Charmer who did not cry like a girlie, probably because she is used to something similar on the hockey pitch. Later, Two Ferrets was to cop a bash from the same source, I doubt that she cried either.
Next it was into Blackbush Copse and check after check in the fairly open tall pine landscape. Now more accidents started happening, as Splasher's floppy yellow tam started flying like a Frisbee, off his head, deep into the undergrowth.
Now we headed South through Shuffle Plantation on the bridleway, and the slog stretched us out until a fish hook was encountered just before recrossing the Common Road which caught Snake Charmer, Old Faithful, Pancsi, Sinbad, Prancer and Flash.
All that was left now was a short loop towards Hollybank House through a maze of paths that somehow did not prove a problem for the pack, perhaps the urban noise of Emsworth acted as a beacon.
We reached the On-In after one hour and twenty five minutes of moist hashing.
At the circle we talked about Pancsi as the cause of the flight of Splasher's tam and Splasher's whacking habits but gave the Hash-It to Prancer for his ballet dancing demo around the shiggy.
We retired to The King's Arms, to squeeze in our chariots, warm up and enjoy the many excellent beverages that are on offer.
Have a look at their web site, the last time I looked they still advertise their 2014 Christmas menu.
On On! Bambi