The Runday Shag
Date: 30 July 2023
Hare: The Bounder
Venue: Lea Coach Road cp, Witley
On On: The Dog & Pheasant, Brook
THE BOUNDER BREAKS OUT OF HIS BOUNDARIES
Many years ago, in the Surrey hash we had an axiom (since no rules are acknowledged) that the Bounder should never set another trail. His trails were so bizarre, and caused so much grief, that enough appeared to be enough. But you can’t keep a good man down, and since then he has set perfectly normal trails. If there are such things. Today was excellent: very largely original (naturally we have been in Brook before), a good length – some 5.5 miles? – in varied and attractive scenery. All right, the solutions were too far from the check circles, but our excellent front runners found flour for all that, though in one set of fields, with cows bellowing their distress at us, we searched for a very long time before stumbling on flour. We were also offered a sip stop, Growler and the Bounder in attendance: very pleasant. The hare was not with us otherwise, though when we started he cannot have been far off, since the in-trail was not there when we attempted the first check. (Actually this check, immediately at the start, had been solved by Belcher long before Bonn Bugle sent us off.)
We had no shortage of front runners, though Randy Pandy and Loopy Lou joined us very late (they had parked somewhere quite different from the rest of us.) It is impressive how well CL keeps up, and contributes advice at checks; Le Pro is prepared to check where others have been reluctant to venture.
Atalanta was with us almost from the start, and we had J. Arthur back after an absence. Kelinchi is still hashing without the unfortunate Pepper, so our only dogs were Raffles and Spud. In the final stages we were led by RHUM, Chastity Belt and ‘IsKnees.
Have recent trails been largely flat? Today seemed very hilly, or at least to be largely up and down, at times quite steeply. At one time we were right next to the A3, but did not cross it: hares have been known to include both Brook and Thursley in their trails, using tunnels and bridges. In the past the Bounder has cunningly used a bridge to effect a figure-of-eight trail seamlessly with the bridge over the junction, where other hares have kept to two dimensions and muddled the pack. So, well done the Bounder.
There is a disconcerting tendency in mainland Europe for Far Right political parties, which are surging everywhere, to focus especially on green issues, that is, denying there are green issues. You may say, well, fortunately here in Britain we have no far right parties of any consequence; in which case you have failed to notice how the “bastards” denounced by John Major have taken over the Tories.
They too are hostile to anything green – openly, unlike David Cameron, who promised (tongue-in-cheek) to be as Green as they come. Whatever Natural England says or does is automatically denounced. Labour are no better – Starmer is as silent as Sunak on anything green. In Europe, the far-right is making electoral gains everywhere; Hungary and Poland have had them in government for years, and so do Israel and Italy now. Spain almost found Vox close to power; Marine le Pen may well be France’s next president, AfD is on the march in Germany. And as well as being as nasty to outsiders as Suella Braverman here, they now all have every green development as targets. Denial is not enough: any response to the climate crisis, they say, would be an attack on our culture and living standards.
On On, FRB
A Dog’s logic. When Petal & I are in the car he is right of centre & I am left of centre. If I get out and keep moving left, he gets further to the right of me, until he is far right. But who has moved?
There were some grim faces, knowing it was a Bounder trail…
The Real Ale Train (one of few running on Saturday)!
Sometimes the best obituaries are not written by journalists.
Letter to a broadsheet.
Kindness of a star
SIR – I was greatly saddened by the death of Sinéad O’Connor. She was a very different person behind her fame.
In 1991, my 20-year-old daughter, Louise, was suffering from terminal cancer, when she received a phone call from Sinéad out of the blue.
Sinéad had heard of Louise’s illness from some source, probably the press, as we were raising funds for our local hospice. My daughter was a great admirer of her and loved her music.
During this long call, Sinéad invited my daughter to travel to London to spend some time with her. Needless to say, Louise was thrilled.
A few days later, she met Louise at Euston station and, to cut a long story short, Louise had the best week of her short life. They dined, they drank, they danced – but most of all they laughed irreverently. Sinéad was at the height of her fame at this time and found it highly amusing that, when they were out, people were asking for Louise’s autograph. Louise returned home exhausted and happier than I had seen her since her devastating cancer diagnosis.
It didn’t stop there: this lovely, compassionate woman always stayed in touch. She sent Louise wine and flowers and letters right up until her death in 1992.
On Louise’s last visit to London, Sinéad gave my daughter her platinum disc for her song Nothing Compares 2 U and dedicated her Christmas record Silent Night to her.
During all this time, Sinéad never sought any publicity for these acts of love and compassion. Today my thoughts are with two remarkable women who, I have no doubt, will be somewhere still laughing, dancing and singing.