Saturday 24 July 2010

The long short hash!

Hash No. 360 on Sunday 4th July

Leca de Palmeira

Hares: Tongue Fu/ Dutch Cap

Proceedings got off to a good start with Dutch Cap arriving 20 minutes late at the Club for her own hash. By this time Droopy and Snorter had just about recovered from the injury caused by forcing down scalding coffee in the Club Bar when Hard Drive insisted everyone was waiting to leave at 10.30am.

Eventually the convoy arrived at the pre-designated start point outside Exponor, and hashers massaged and lubricated themselves with sun oil (calm down, Droopy) as protection against the blistering temperatures forecast for the whole of Portugal – with the exception of Leca, as it turned out, which was favoured by a cool breeze wafted in from the Atlantic, mingled with pungent gas fumes from the Galp Refinery.

The hash got off to an enthusiastic start with Snorter immediately sniffing out the trail and urging the following pack to advance at speed. It was at this point that Tongue Fu interjected “Slow down, Snorter – we will be finished in 40 minutes at this speed!” Needless to say, said Hare received a well deserved down-down later. Debate will rage for years whether the motive was to lengthen the hash or to conserve the worlds dwindling supply of natural resources by a very efficient use of chalk. Whatever the reason, the postage-stamp-sized arrows spaced at one km intervals certainly had the effect of slowing down the hash and turned what would otherwise have been a 40 minute affair into a very respectable 90 minute run. As confusion reigned at every checkpoint, Dutch Cap was heard to malign the hashers for not checking properly!

Despite the difficulty in finding the arrows, the hash progressed rapidly down to the beach, (as hashers rushed to get upwind of the Galp Refinery) and then, more sedately, along the promenade as walkers, skaters and cyclists all dived for cover as the hash pack advanced.

After twisting and turning through the residential streets of Leca, the hash approached the Exponor start point, only to find a sting in the tale in the form of an extended loop through the dockside park. Unfortunately, this was missed by Mrs Slocombe, Pussy and Snorter who, while valiantly checking for miniscule arrows inadvertently became lost, and were very fortunate to stumble across the cars some 10 minutes before the rest of the pack arrived.

There then followed a lengthy circle as down-downs were handed out by RA in celebration of birthdays, initiation of virgins, and in punishment of the many offenders. A show of hands was taken for those attending the bash at OBS which doubled as an American Independence Day Party. Bunbasher was seen to rapidly take his hand down again when it was learned that only soft drinks were being served.

On on!


Monday 5 July 2010

Muff ado about nothing

It was another bright day when we headed up to Castelo da Paiva on the 20th of June for another collaboration between Walkie-Talkie, Hard Drive and Family Jewels and the party from the club got out in the hot and dusty yard of a derelict factory expecting to be late yet only to find that Walkie-Talkie himself, and those who had made their way up separately were absent. Never mind - we could prepare ourselves for the sweating to come by getting some in early whilst we waited.

Eventually, we set off down a rustic little path that led past HD's in-laws' place at which we pit-stopped the last time we were in these parts. Familiar paths were trod for a while thereafter, but largely in reverse, as we climbed through a wooded hill to emerge onto village lanes. Beyond that it was mainly new territory in and out of the rural margins of the village, with some charming areas and beautiful scenery, not to mention the rather delicious cherries to be plucked. Bunbasher and I felt it to be an opportune moment to allow others to check whilst comparing the relative merits of the red and the black varieties.

As between them, HD and WT appear to have a hold on much of the village, we were able to wander (Sorry, did I write 'wander'? Surely I meant 'bound', 'hurtle', 'power' or some other verb far more fitting to this group of athletes? All right, 'amble' then, or 'pootle') through someone's lovely property to enjoy a pit stop with a view in a quinta whose gates one might more ordinarily drive past sighing.

Virgins Vitor and Laurent acquitted themselves well, although Gabi and Laurent were unfortunate to be sent by W-T to find stray hashers late on, with the only effect being that they became the strays instead and needed to be found. Whether it was my shouts or the smell of my beer that brought them back, I can't say, but I think I can say that they were not entirely unhappy to be lost in the woods together.

Gabi was named during the down-downs. There were only two of Beavis and Butthead, but we had a line of snorting schoolboys who were determined that the word 'muff' was going to feature and nothing was going to get in their way, hence the bizarrely marvellous epithet Wündermuff which which she is now landed. The bash was a wonderful, lazy repast underneath a vine in Walkie-Talkie's quinta with his mother, as ever, a delightful hostess, a great end to another excellent hash supported by another big turn-out.

Unfortunately, I missed the next hash, by Tongue Fu and Dutch Cap, but I hope to get something up in due course. If anyone would like to add their own comments, or posts, whilst I am away, thta would be great.

On, on!