Run No. 703 13th Feb 2005

The Strathmore Arms, St Pauls Walden

Runners:  21
Mutts:  2
Ankle Biters:  1
Knitting Circle:  -
Apres:  2
Newies/Returnees:  0

Timing. Getting the hash back to the warmth of an alehouse in one piece and on the hour. It's all about timing.

So, the hares thought, this one seems a bit short. Let's build in a few distractions, to eat the time up. It's a Valentinesy, red dressy sort of run - though no-one told the RA - so how about:

  • Every kissing gate's a kissing gate - gender matching excepted of course. This was popular; there were queues at some gates and a few red (lippy-stained) faces notably the one on Mincer.

  • A Gispert check. 11 to the back in honour of our illustrious leader's intimate knowledge of his illustrious forebear. This worked well and was observed to the letter by a duly respectful teamful, including Ringer himself.
  • Every check's a held check. A vain attempt to keep the hash together which succeeded only in isolating a steadfast knitting circle - with Pongo its core surrounded by harriets. Ho, hum.
  • A Lover's check complete with romantic setting, buck's fizz, lovehearts and delicious heart-shaped bickies crafted by the fair hand of Lady P herself. This was universally acclaimed - apart from by those with paws endangered by the rusty metal adorning the picnic site - and even allowed the knitters to catch up and be greeted by an uncommonly patient Smiffo in waiter mode.

But was this enough to stretch the 3 miles into an hour? More than enough actually. Added to an early tendency for the hash to buy every false trail going, and enough deep shiggy for half a dozen hashes, we were already over the hour with the trail only two thirds through. The hares called "all on by the short cut" and it was straight back to the pub.

The circle was joined by a migratory Big Bird and there were down-downs for G-String for many things but principally for 150 runs for which he also received a very fetching pair a shorts. Despite being attired commando style he changed into his new kit centre stage to the groans of a very unappreciative circle who, to be fair, had demanded it.

There were many fallers in the treacherous shiggy but Stallion deserves a special mention for not making it out of the pub car park on two feet. Many made the effort to red dress to the usual bafflement of walkers and motorists alike and your humble correspondent feels he should receive some credit for the nerve and panache with which he carried off a little Jane Norman number in only size 10 despite problems with a slippy strap.

Count Roadkill