Thursday 26 January 2012

Modivas merriment

On another fine Sunday morning we assembled at Modivas Sul metro for the traditional wait for Mrs Slocombe. With five virgins (although, I'd question whether any of them actually looked like a virgin) present at least it gave some time for explanations. Plenty of time. Anyway, with such holiday weather few minded standing around for a bit and eventually we were off, into the nearby woods and tracks.

Obviously, I don't have to justify my love of hashing, but when a whole bunch of newbies turn up I want them to fall for it too, so in many ways this was an ideal one with which to make one's bow. Set in the flat, pleasant, semi-rural environs of Modivas it was easy to get going so everyone was quickly into the groove, and virgins were soon to be seen checking, leading and calling from afar. Jade, as a PE teacher, one would expect to be somewhere near the front, and, although I am sure we will see her go faster she showed the sort of material Girl Power was made of - I feel a name coming, Sporty Spice. Fellow virgin, Alan, not a PE teacher, with an admirable sense of symmetry, ably ensured that there was usually a virgin at the back as well.

As mentioned in my blog about the Jingle Bells, we must present quite a sight at times and that was apparant on this one, too. I loved the bemusement in the centre of Modivas as one beautiful stranger after another, plus Droopy, sauntered past sweating and swearing. Nobody says a thing; they either stare intensely or look away as though offended by your unathletic appearance; clearly you are borderline crazy for you have got up on a Sunday morning, driven to the back of beyond, got out of your car and chosen to run through the muddiest, smelliest places available locally.

Well, anyway, it was a very smooth hash, without hiccoughs, which is more than can be said for the roadside shrine we passed near the outlet mall - smashed to bits, it was, madonna and child one side, candles the other, an unholy mess, (it looked like a prayer meeting had turned ugly) that for the supersticious could have boded ill (I could tell Master Baker was quaking, unless that was the result of his Saturday night curry). No, our lucky star was out and everyone made it back unscathed so that we could christen Nancy 'Bow Job' and Asha 'Deep Throat', paying homage to their personal talents, one of which was ably demonstrated to us all before their down-down. Shrotly afterwards, Inspect My Gadget caused gasps of horror and consternation as he threw beer over little Harry Trotter; his apologies to the dog appeared to involve sucking the Super Bock back off his muzzle.

After a long wait, surprisingly not for Mrs Slocombe this time, but for the restaurant which had a liberal approach to the concept of booking, we managed to sit down for a marvellous bash, by which time I think it's fair to say we were well-watered. Hopefully each of the virgins was able to live to tell the tale and will be back again.

Roll on the momentous 400th weekend. Order your t-shirt now!

On, on.

Saturday 14 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, hashers.

Okay, so I'm a little late in greeting you thus but at least we're still in January. So, we've had the Jingle Bells and the two Tonys' New Year cobweb-blower since I last wrote and they've provided plenty of moments to remember.

Let's start by going back to that grey day in December when Matosinhos was brightened by a record number of hashers (thirty-nine) arrayed in a variety of costumes and poised with keen athletic intent near the sea front. To paraphrase Linford Christie slightly, the pack set off on the G of BANG, trundling off round the roads leading to the bridge over the docks to Leca. In Droopy's absence, I looked for a replacement Religious Advisor and it was soon obvious that Snorter, dressed as a cardinal, had to be the one. As I (Scrooge) ran alongside him on Rua da Serpa Pinto, looking ahead at the masses of santas and elves, a pair of pirates chasing Peter Pan and Pocohontas (the Mutter-Allard clan), a Christmas tree in trainers (Master Baker), a wrapped present (Twirly), the least delicate looking pink fairy you could wish to see (Whip-it, presumably dressed by his daughter), and behind at the World's slowest motor racing driver (Walkie-Talkie), I could not help noticing the look of total indifference on the faces of some of the locals: nothing to be interested here, then, they appeared to be thinking - it's just another Sunday morning with costumed foreigners gallumphing round my town.

Similarly amusing were the looks that appeared on the faces of a pair of men out for a proper jog when half of us overtook them on the bridge. Emasculation was a word that sprung to mind as a pantomime Johnny Depp-alike (Horny) sprung past, cutlass gleaming in the faint morning light.

Among the thirty-nine it was good to have no less than five virgins, but especially to welcome back Hooker and Chalky, the latter for his first PH3 run in quite some time. Hopefully, they may be able to join us from time to time now they are back in Europe. There was ample time for catching up at the delightful pit stop, featuring mulled wine and a marvellous biscuit assortment all created by Spanker's fair hands in the pleasant environs of Quinta da Conciecao, that took some dragging away from.

Eventually, we did move again and headed for home via the back-ways of Matosinhos. Down-downs, as might be expected, were quite lengthy and drew a crowd of observers. Twirly was awarded best costume, then we repaired to a nearby restaurant for our attempt at recreating a British Xmas lunch in Portugal. There, Titchy Percy was nominated Hasher of the Year and Family Jewel's 'wine lecture' at Quinta de la Rosa was announced as the vote-winner for Hash Moment of the Year.

And so, suitably fed and watered, we said goodbye to 2011 ...

... only to emerge, like fattened butterflies from the cocoon of Christmas, in a cul-de-sac in Gulpilhares in 2012, ready to shake our thing for the Two Tonies.

As might be expected, it was an expertly constructed hash that managed to maintain a lot of off-road work in a fairly built-up area. Perhaps the phrase 'off-road work' is a little to purposeful-sounding for a hash, but, although not particularly quick, we all kept going steadily whatever the terrain. Okay, there were a few fallers, and Mrs Slocombe's Pussy had to get wet in order to avoid crossing a little cataract by means of a thin plank, but nevertheless ... it was all pretty steady and sensible, wasn't it?

Ah, but then there was Horny, who decided, even with the hares telling her it was completely unnecessary and not considering how some of the other hashers and animals would follow, to scale a ten-foot wire fence, then to return the same way, only for us all to get to the same point two minutes later via a nice path through the woods onto the fenced-off road. Still, she seemed to enjoy herself. What is it about Horny and fences or gates? Later, she tried something else with a fence to procure a short-cut home - I don't know what exactly, tunnelling, probably - but that also failed.

In between the two, Deviant had announced himself to the neighbourhood with a pee whose public nature could only have been outdone by a four-legged hasher - in fact, I'm sure little Harry Trotter's ears were drooped with embarassment - and Flasher had taken a tumble, so it was an auspicious day for that particular hash dynasty.

After a refreshing pit stop of cava and Bounty rip-off chocolate bars in a copse we headed for home, where we were treated to some barracking from a grumpy South African resident who complained that Gadget's parked car was dangerous for children ("So is shooting them in the streets" was Horny's feisty retort, soon followed by a v-sign (her fourth of the day!) flicked at the twattish driver of a car who made a show of accelerating past us. My, what a day she was having.).

All in all, it was a fine re-commencement. Now we look forward to Kitty Fiddler and Gender Bender's affair (no Droopy, con't get over-excited by my turn of phrase) and then the 400th weekend. If you haven't yet, get you booking for that in now.

On, on!