The Red Lion, Preston
I know it was another lovely evening, the turnout was again good, the countryside was beautiful (if a bit unforgiving on the hay fever sufferers), I'm sure the trail continued to be excellent after I left it: I assume the Red Lion has maintained its high standards, and I am very conscious that it was Gorjoyce's 400th and Lady Pee's 150th and it's always good to see our friends from H4. But this isn't about all of that. It's about me – and a little thank-you to my Hash friends. And for the time being I'm Hash Scribe. So it's my call.
I'd arrived back relaxed, refreshed and invigorated by a weekend of peace and harmony spent acclimatising Smiffo and Screamer to their forthcoming marital status (or that's the way Cardiac said Screamer wanted to describe the piss up) and I was looking forward to a Hash. Especially from one of my favourite pubs. And I was sure that Donut would say "Thongo, what would Pongo have thought of that run?" and fairly confident the great man would again use the word "quintessential". And Private Parts had offered the chauffeuring services of Scooby, therefore driving would not be an issue. So all was well with the world. But then it went downhill.
It all started because Scooby was late – no blame, far from it, I'm just saying – it all started because Scooby was late picking us up. Fun as it was in the freezing cold of his lidless Land Rover – Private Parts even threaten me with a down-down when I bashed my head on the lack-of-roof - but we rattled into the car park to see Stallion and the other back markers heading off in the direction of Preston churchyard. So we jumped off the vehicle and ran after him, and so I didn't remember to take the Hash Camera, and so I didn't end up swanning around taking snaps in the vast rump of the Hash (I recall saying it was like the London Marathon at one point) and so I found myself about as far from the pub as we were going to get and FRBing with Smiffo. Now I'm the first to admit running is not my strong suit – I'm still looking for that – but I think the ill fortune which lead to me stepping on that particular tree stump in that particular narrow footpath, could have befallen any of us.
"Right ankle the size of a football" may be a bit of an exaggeration but it did swell up instantly and I was soon persuaded that my limp into a sunny spot was as far as tonight's Hash would take me. Touched I was by the assistance that came my way. Thanks to Gorjoyce who guided Scooby back to his 4WD (she eventually returned in it standing on the front seat making ambulance siren noises), to Thongo who provided a mobile phone, to Pussies who offered a piggy-back ride to the pub, to Underlay whose logistical help was as invaluable as ever and to Shagpile who walked around mawkishly taking photos. When the Land Rover did arrive Scooby could not resist being Scooby - I think the lack of shiggy had affected him - and insisted in taking a short-cut back to the pub which meant quite a lot of bumpy off-road driving for three times as long as the road route with Gorjoyce shouting at him to turn back. One of my fond memories of the evening and I'm most grateful to Scooby for that as well as taking me to the hospital.
And of course thanks to Lady Pee who stuck with me throughout giving advice, support and assistance and so delaying her own 150th run presentation: indeed it was she who persuaded me that – purely in the interests of my own wellbeing – I was much better off in A&E at Stevenage than The Red Lion at Preston. I take my (Captain's) hat off to her. Anyone who can do that must be a genius. Thanks finally to Forking. For it was only FDC who knew what I really needed as I was driven away from the pub. The taste of that mouthful of beer will live with me for a long while, although Ward 10's offer of the kiss of life was also welcome.
After a couple of tragi-comic hours at Lister I was told that I just had a bit of soft tissue damage – nothing broken as far as they could see – and the treatment for a sprained ankle these days is ...... not much, rest it a bit and use an ice-pack, no strapping, keep it moving to help it heal itself and carry on doing normal things. I didn't ask whether that included starting a 160 mile walk up, down and round the coast of Cornwall on 30 June. I think time will answer that one.
So that's a Scribe's eye view of the first Hash I've been on and missed both circles. Thanks for bearing with me – despite all the fuss I'll be at CAMBRIDGE on SATURDAY 21 JUNE to wish Capt F a Happy Birthday. ON ON.
PS For reasons too boring to repeat no Hash Pics this week.