Saturday 16 March 2013

Slowly come, slowly go

It takes something to irritate Walkie Talkie due to lateness, but at PH3 we have just the man!  Step forward (in your own time, obviously), Mrs Slocombe, co-hare for hash 428 who followed up making WT wait to set it the day before by keeping us standing and stretching in the thin sunshine beside the beach at Vila Cha for some twenty minutes, until we decided just to go anyway.  At which point he appeared.

The start did give leeway, however, as a quick loop over the sand brought us almost back to the start for a pit stop after about five minutes - beers at a cafe just seconds after Titchy Percy, running past another place had commented, "Oh, look in there - beers at this time of day, tut."  So, noone was irritated by Mrs S any more, although by the time he had managed to tie his dog to a suitable object, give it a (surely unnecessary) drink and find a fino for himself, we were ready to set off again and he was ready to be late again.

Then we were off once again and into the wilds and not-so-wilds of the area, well-known to many of us, of course, but set so as to give variation of recent hashes in the area.  In fact, it was so well set that we split into three groups, effectively, for a while, Walkie Talkie having got lost somewhere at the back with a couple of others and Mrs S having waved on the front runners before realising that the dog had jumped over a wall from which it couldn't get back.  How it could be well-enough set to allow us at one end to run without hares through fields and woods for about half an hour, but one of the hares to get lost one of only about three roads in a village is one of those delightful hash mysteries, like how Whippit can always find the wrong direction and how it takes Horny and Spanker so long to down a beer.

The terrain was varied, with country lanes, woodland and sodden fields, the latter wet with slurry as much as water, to everyone's delight.  It was dry, a relative rarity of late, even though the ailing sun gave up the ghost in the latter stages and near perfect for running, although had you witnessed Mrs Slocombe's amble finish you might have thought otherwise.  The end offered a nice, extended run home which stretched the field considerably but at least we did not have to wait too long for a limping Snorter with the keys to our hearts, I mean the beer.  Great food and crap service at the bash, which seems to be that restaurant's signature, then off we trotted, another one ticked off.

Spanker and I will miss the next one, due to hockey commitments, so it's on on until April.

Saturday 2 March 2013

Hail the heroes!

So, where were you all then?  Not getting soaked, scratched and knackered in the middle of nowhere, that's for certain for most of you and your lives can only be poorer for the fact.

Unlike the enriched few, the lionhearted eight, who assembled in the inclement conditions, opened their lungs, breathed in the scent of the eucalyptus trees and breathed out again rapidly when they noticed the sort of deposits at the feet of the eucalyptus trees.  The valiant band, the hearty handful showed no fear, no lack of spunk (enough at the back there, Droopy) as the thin rain seeped into the sodden turf, although Snorter did show a rather fetching coat and hat ensemble that somewhat obscured that indomitable spirit. 

From the cars we plunged into thick woodland then rose like salmon swimming upstream before dropping again and then rising like Pegasuses (no, really, there was more than one Pegasus) up the next incline, descending once more like Dante and Virgil contemplating eternal damnation and rearing back at the next slope like a set of soggy Sisyphuses (alliteration-a-go-go!).  At this point you might be detecting a pattern, not to mention a degree of mental instability (it has been a hard week).

Indeed, the hash that Snorter and I set did involve a fair bit of up and down work (Droopy, I've warned you), but it was almost entirely rural and afforded some pleasant country running, even if the weather took off some of the gloss (and I'm not just talking about Mrs Slocombe's bald patch).  There was indeed, as there should be, an element of challenge but these, as I think I might have mentioned, were no fair-weather hashers.  On no, through the undergrowth they hacked heroically;  faced with water hazards they charged like argonauts leaping from Jason's ship in search of the Golden On-On; and when they saw the biggest challenge, a towering rocky escarpment to be acsended they... well, okay, some of the dauntlessness seemed to fade at that point and the stoicism was temporarily replaced by a rather different philosophical school of thought.

All in all, then, it must be clear to you by now that, if you missed it, you missed out.  On the other hand, there is a small group, an anointed few who will, one day, when young, enquiring hashers of the future see in their eyes a faraway, ennobled gaze, be able to recall when they spent a couple of hours in the woodland east of Maia getting wet and scratched for the greater glory of PH3.

All hail the eight!

And, anyway, it wasn't as wet as the Povoa de Varzim hash.

On, on.