Saturday 22 October 2011

Donnellys at the Double

Squirrel and Gnasher stepped in to set this one, which, in Snorter's words, was never going to be a long'un; indeed it wasn't, but on another beautiful, sunny day this was an excellent jaunt around the coastal strip south of Espinho, and at an hour and a quarter running time for the front runners would still have caused Lisbon hashers to raise their eyebrows.

At the beginning, young Tigger, self-declared RA for the day due to Droopy's absence (oh, how quickly the power gets to them!), was scouring for signs below the level of his knees, on the reasoning that the hares were not very tall. By the time he had raised his head, we realised that we were on the wrong path and the hash headed towards the dunes.

We had three hash dogs with us, but that was temporarily reduced to two when the Donnellys' Charlie disappeared, but he was back with us by the time we made the pit stop - Buck's Fizz beside the beach (actually, in a car park near the beach, but that sounded more romantic and alliterative). At that stage we had already had our hash thunder (no, that's not what came from Bunbasher after the bash) stolen when the curiosity of the locals as we blundered past was diverted by a rather motley parade of bikers arrived noisily for their seaside outing. Brighton 1963 this wasn't, but it excited some of the local boys, who pursued them on pushbikes chanting, oddly, 'Esmoriz, olé' as if to show these invaders whose turf they were in. Or near, at any rate.

After finishing with a good, long run-in and dealing with the down-downs, it was, of course to the 'chicken place' in Arcozelo for the bash, at which the post-prandial brandies made a pleasant return.

So, we are into Walkie-Talkie zone now, with two successive hashes set by him, including the weekend affair in Ponte de Lima next weekend (itself a double header, don't forget). Soon after, we will have news of other events coming up, such as the Jingle Bells - start thinking up those costumes - and the 400th, in the Caminha area at the start of February.

On, on.

Sunday 9 October 2011

Is it something I said?

Well, after the low attendances for my two hashes, commented upon in the last post, numbers have risen dramatically. If they drop off again for the next one I set, I'll start to get paranoid.

Anyway, after a respectable eighteen for Titchy Percy and Pink Extender's short but demanding run in mid-September, a very healthy twenty-six appeared for the next, Inspect My Gadget and Kitty Fiddler's jaunt around Modivas, although I reckon the promise of the home-cooked Mexican bash was the prime draw (and with good reason, as it turned out). As I write, ahead of Squirrel and Gnasher's Espinho affair, we are expecting another twenty-plus outing, so long may it continue.

Let's go back to no.388. I still don't know where it took place, and TP couldn't remember by the time we'd got back to town. With such an obscure location it makes sense to arrive together, in a convoy, following directions, which we did. Except for Mrs Slocombe. Being the nice hash we are, we waited half an hour for him to arrive, despite grumpy mutterings about 'my day...' from some of the more senior brethren. Having set a profile for himself, he continued in the same vein, and the sight of him puffing up a hill to a rest and viewpoint just at the point that the rest of us decided we had rested and viewed sufficiently remains in my mind. Oh, the look of despair and loathing in those usually sparkly eyes. Most amusing (well I am a teacher - causing anguish and hatred is part of my raison d'être).

It was a hilly hash, but only about an hour and a quarter in time, so Squirrel's refusal to attend due to TP being a hare was perhaps a little hasty. The bash, in a place one would never identify as a restaurant, was splendid, a good introduction to virgins, Joe and Claire, and in the general spirit of lubrication, it was decided that Droopy needed an assistant as RA. Clearly the sneakiest hasher, based on that morning's showing, was Tigger, who was duly installed.

His first opportunity to use his newly-aquired powers came two weeks later as we assembled beside Modivas metro stop. It was, once again, a belter of a day, our Indian Summer showing no sign of abatement, and the sweat was soon pouring as we made our way around some patches familiar from several recent hashes yet nicely reconstructed. With Kitty Fiddler slaving over hot stoves for the bash, IMG had to control twenty-five hashers single-handedly. I'd like to say he did so immacculately, but as he managed to lose me on about the third checkpoint, a fact of which I believe he remains oblivious, I think it might be better to say that the hash sort of held itself together. With some long runs (classic IMG-style), the crowd was quite often stretched as a number of people found it surprisingly tough. It was hot and, once again, pit-stop free (what has happened to pit-stops - is it the crise economico?) and with the hare measuring the distance at about eleven kilometres a one hour forty-nine finish time was reasonable, if not exactly record-breaking. Droopy made the American contingent feel warm and welcome at the down-downs by punishing IMG for Americanisms in his pre-hash briefing (and, Droopy, don't forget that he is a Maths teacher) then Tigger went all bashful at his big moment but whispered in Droopy's ear like a conspirator in a Greek tragedy.

So, on we go to Espinho, with a number of enticing events on the horizon, including a weekend in Ponte da Lima, the Jingle Bells, with Chalky and Hooker back in town, and the 400th hash weekend in Caminha.

On, on!