I was rather surprised to see that I had not posted since March, and even more surprised that someone noticed (thank you, Gagging Ferret!). In the time of my silence there have been five hashes, although I had to miss two of them.
Firstly, Pimp-my-Dongle and Ladyboy took a small group from the Parque do Cidade to the Crystal Palace and back, but I wasn't there so I shall move to Hash 430, which I set for an even smaller group on a drizzly day in the Fanzares/Rio Tinto area. With just eight running, it was by necessity a pretty constant run so that at least we felt a good smug glow as we took our soggy down-downs after a decent bit of exercise. Greg was named Gagging Ferret before we cheerfully got ripped off in a local restaurant. Happy Days, eh?
It was a much better day for the next, Titchy Percy and Gender Bender's run in Malta (sadly not an ambitious away hash, but in the countryside inland form Modivas). Here and there we revisited familiar spots in a nicely constructed hash, but above and beyond the pleasant environment the highlight came, bless his ever-relaible comedy socks, from Walkie Talkie. The injured Master Baker had come with his bike to cycle round, but WT soon lapsed into such a pitiful state that he was offered it instead. The sight of Wobbly Talkie trying to stay upright on the seat provided some initial amusement but was surpassed by the way he then managed still to be the slowest in the field. In fact, I was taken back on a reverie of reminiscence to Primary School sports days and one of my favourite events, the Slow Bicycle Race, as I watched his torturous meanderings.
That led to 432, by Master Baker and Gaelica, in Lavra, which was the next I missed, so I shall jump to 433, last week, set by Snorter and, yes, the inimitable WT. This was in the Canelas area and was pleasantly rural. It was as well set as you'd expect from such an experienced pair of hares, however that guaranteed nothing with a somewhat hungover WT warning us at the start that he didn't think he knew the way round most of his own hash.
It started okay, however, with everyone more or less together and content. I had a feeling that many of the strings were not being picked up as we ran, but little did I know that was clearly a cunning plan on the part of the hares as was discovered when, at a checkpoint, the question was asked, 'has anybody seen Spanker?' Now, this is not the rarest of questions, of course, she being left behind after checking at regular intervals throughout her hashing career, but on this occasion she really was quite a long way back. This was where the uncollected strings came into their own (what a masterstroke) as I worked my way back through a dense copse, past the point at which, as the last checker to return after an on-on, I had just caught sight of the back of the back-marking hare (I'll let you guess which one that might have been) disappearing down an otherwise hidden track into the copse, and back about a kilometre to where Spanker was waiting at the top of a ridge.
Well, at least that had the lost hasher moment out of the way. Ah, but you can't jsut dismiss the Walkie-Talkie genius so easily. There was a pit stop and, whilst I managed to pick up a leter set of signs and run on past it, the real delay (well, it would have been a delay had we not just got on with the pitstop anyway before noticing) came from the great man himself, who managed to take half a dozen hashers off in the wrong direction for about ten minutes. By the time they reached us there was a thimbleful of white port and tonic left for each. There is surely a lesson to be learned: run faster than Walkie Talkie - it's not hard!
Anyway, it was a good hash, with varied terrain, and was followed by another visit to Snorter's chicken place in Serzedo, at which Deviant preceeded to get quite bladdered and all had a jolly fine time.
On now to 434, which as I write may be an evening run or the barbecue special. With the sheer aray of numpties and buffoons that make up our number, surely I will be able to pick on someone other than Walkie Talkie next time. Come on, lots of you are really stupid and it's time to step up to the plate ... Mrs Slocombe, you've been so quiet. Finally, for those who know the programme, try matching hashers to Dad's Army characters - Spanker, Titchy Percy and I found it a most entertaining game last week. Well, for a quiet five minutes, anyway.