The Runday Shag
Date: 16 July 2023
Hare: Hornblower & Strumpet
Venue: Albury Sports Club
On On: Albury Music Festival & picnic
ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR
At about 10:40, officials of the fair put up notices saying those using the cricket-field car park must pay £10 for the privilege. Many of us were already there (did you know that CL is almost always first to arrive at our trails?) and of course unaware of this development. Goodness knows how early Petal arrived today: I found him putting up gazebos most diligently. Should we in future years consider using the free car park down the hill, to the north? Last year bands were already making music when our trail started; this year, silence.
Hornblower as our hare arrived back with Teq at 10:59, irritated it was so late: I am not sure where Strumpet, our other hare, then was, though we found her on the in-trail. Certainly we needed no instructions from hares; every check on the trail was well-known from the work of such previous hares as J Arthur (not with us today) and RHUM (very much with us). This is not to decry the trail: it was attractive and coherent, even if predictions of a back-check solution were almost invariably correct. I can think of only one exception, but I must confess that when we reached the usual path for the On-In, I followed RHUM straight ahead at the check. It was in fact another back-check, (solved by Mother Brown, who had mysteriously acquired Dr Death as a comp-
anion), and I am not sure where the real On-In went. Maybe there was another solution not a back-check.
We did have Popeye with us at times today, though he was often doing his own thing. Chastity Belt had been a front runner throughout; I do not know where we lost her at the end, as also Bonn Bugle, and Silent Knight, who heroically solved a check of quite inordinate distance from the circle. His persistence is a lesson to us all. Belcher had drawn my attention to a red kite, performing sinister circles over our heads: it reminded me of vultures above my wife and myself when our ancient car broke down between the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. Their numbers increased as the day wore on…. Here, red kites tend to work alone. The best way to see wild life when hashing is to be the hare: I often find deer when setting a trail, and once a litter of fox cubs, looking at me hopefully. Anyway, thank-you to our hares: a pleasant morning.
Voltaire described England as having 300 religions and but one sauce. (He meant our gravy). Now in those days almost everyone went to church; the only religions available were the Anglicans and various Protestant splinter groups (certainly not 300!). Also Judaism – Cromwell, brutal with Catholics, had been courteous to the Jews.
Today we have Hindus, Sikhs, Islam, Wicca, Catholics, and scads of small sects, but only a tiny minority attend church or temple; religion is on the back foot. On the other hand, our eating habits have been transformed in my lifetime, and a wonderful variety of good food is available and is chosen. When I was a child, “foreign muck” was abominated, garlic unthinkable: how we have adapted, and adopted, other cuisines! De Gaulle is credited with asking “How can anyone govern a country like France with 246 types of cheese?”; he may have had Voltaire in mind. An openness to other cultures is of inestimable value to any civilisation, just as the US once prided itself on being a melting pot (nowadays they are as hostile to outsiders as are the Hungarians).
On On, FRB