The Runday Shag
Date: 15 October 2023
Hares: Tequil’over & Chunderos
Venue: Trailhead Brewery, Dorking
On On: Trailhead Brewery, Dorking
Windy in the Willows
Take the Adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes! ‘Tis but a banging of the door behind you, a blithesome step forward, and you are out of the old life and into the new! Then some day, some day long hence, jog home here if you will, when the cup has been drained and the play has been played, and sit down by your quiet river with a store of goodly memories for company. Such is the hash!
Mrs Mole had been working very hard, spring-cleaning her little home, and now she was strolling through the countryside beside her beloved Mr Mole.
Toad, having escaped his cell following a “minor misdemeanour”, was back on the road again. “Glorious, stirring sight! The poetry of motion! The real way to travel! The only way to travel! Villages skipped, towns and cities jumped — always somebody else’s horizon! O bliss! O poop-poop! O my! O my! Cycles, Out of may way! Horses, Out of my way! Roadworks, Out of my way! Pesky people holding me up! Toot-toot!”
When he arrived at Trailhead Hall, there was no-one to be seen. His friends had left without him. Were they early to leave now that the boss was back? But, O joy! There was a pink trail for all his LGBQIDIOT+ friends to follow.
Frustratingly, it kept leading him astray and the little Toad and his canine friend were getting agitated, when all of a sudden they happened upon Ratty and Red-eye enjoying a morning stroll by the lake. Now Ratty is a worldly creature, devoted to finding adventure, but also capable and practical. This was a perfect morning for such a jaunt.
Magnificently, for mid-October, the sun’s broad golden disc showed itself over the horizon facing them; and the rays, shooting across the level water-meadows, took the little hashers full in the eyes and dazzled them. When they were able to look once more, the Vision had vanished, and the air was full of the carol of birds.
The sun was fully up now, and hot on them, birds sang lustily and without restraint, and flowers smiled and nodded from either bank, but somehow — so thought Ratty & Red-eye, with less of richness and blaze of colour than they seemed to remember seeing quite recently somewhere and they wondered where.
Toad hopped along and soon came upon Mole & Mrs Mole. Mole is quick to understand others, which makes him a compassionate and loyal friend. He easily endears himself to others, even when he complicates their lives. He also acts as a mediator between other hashers who are more given to extremes. He advised, “It is a goodly life that you lead, friend; no doubt the best in the world, if only you are strong enough to lead it!”
They soon came to yet another back-check and Mole mused, “We should have heard some calling by now.” Toad muttered, “But this is Surrey, no-one calls, but the fair Atalanta!”
Mole stood still a moment, held in thought. As one wakened suddenly from a beautiful dream, who struggles to recall it, and can re-capture nothing but a dim sense of the beauty of it, the beauty! Till that, too, fades away in its turn, and the dreamer bitterly accepts the hard, cold waking and all its penalties; so Mole, after struggling with his memory for a brief space, logged his down-down, shook his head and followed the Toad.
The whole wood seemed running now, running hard, hunting, chasing, closing in round something or — somebody? In panic, Toad began to run too, aimlessly, he knew not whither. Soon he encountered a washerwoman known as Madonna, discrete sort of person who thought she spied the Badger ahead. Madonna was confused by the sign on the ground seen from the wrong angle! The Badger had escaped from his vast underground dwelling and Miss Twinkletoes was further ahead somewhere. Then the Badger disappeared as if returning to his sett.
Eventually they turned the corner to Trailhead Hall and it was overrun with Weasels, laughing and joking merrily, spurred on by copious intoxicating fluids.
Word had it that Mrs Mole had had a mishap on a stile and a search party was out.
Soon they returned and Mole felt a great awe fall upon him, an awe that turned his muscles to water, bowed his head, and rooted his feet to the ground. It was no panic terror – indeed he felt wonderfully at peace and happy (Mrs Mole was safely beside him) – but it was an awe that smote and held him and, without seeing, he knew it could only mean that some august presence was very, very near. Bonn Bugle was back!
Bonn Bugle called the throng to order and thanked her JMs for keeping things on track whilst she was away. She welcomed new members Big Foot and Mee Sing in Action, thanked the hares then sent them on their way with the other weasels to an alternative event.
The Mole took the stage and told a tall story about what Toad did not say, but that is his job, isn’t it?
Secrets have an immense attraction to him, because he never could keep one, and he enjoyed the sort of unhallowed thrill he experienced when he went and told other hashers in a circular gathering, after having faithfully promised not to.
There’s nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as hashing. Beyond the Wild Wood comes the Wild World,” said the Mole. “And that’s something that matters to me, for I am off to Singapore! The Wild Wood is pretty well populated by now; with all the usual lot, good, bad, and indifferent — I name no names. It takes all sorts to make a world.
Toad (with some thanks to Kenneth Grahame and EH Shepard)
Letters to the Editor (they're back)
Dear Sir, the last three trails (2489-2491), apart from running in picturesque countryside in glorious sunny weather, had a particular attribute in common viz. they all started at the OnOn (no need to drive and re-park). The Parrot at Forest Green (one can’t get much more Surrey Hills/scenic than that), the pretty canal-side Pelican near Weybridge and the wonderful Trailhead BrewCo. near Dorking. They are all, of necessity, located on roads and e.g. when the2pack emerged from the latter car park they had to run 200 yards along a road before encountering a path, so bloody what! Yet, this seems to chap the arses (asses, Jerry) of a certain faction of the SH3. Indeed, they seem to deprecate any hard surface being used as a trail. It seems to stem from some erotic obsession or fetishistic phobia and is used as a yardstick to judge a run.
Now running on a hard surface is to be avoided, whenever possible, in order to avoid physical injury to our running bits. But it is not possible, even the excellent territory offered by Newlands Corner is mostly hard under foot in summer. Even the paths through the woods are as hard as tarmac with the added features of unevenness and trip hazards from roots. If we only allow running on grass, we should, perhaps confine our hashing to golf courses! By the by, if any use of roads is banned, the hashing potential of Newlands Corner would be reduced to about 20% and if hard surfaces are banned, 0%.
If we want to avoid progressive injury, and we should, there is a low cost solution: orthopaedic running shoe insoles. I’m not talking about cut-to-size Dr Scholl’s Odour Eaters (although they do afford some protection). These are 3D mouldings and provide really effective shock absorption.
On my run (2490) there was a 50 acre area of countryside, where we had never hashed before, bounded by the meandering River Bourne and crowned by a picturesque lake. I thought it was worth crossing a main road for that.
Yours open-mindedly, Master Bates
Bates Hobble 17-10-23
Some feedback from me on last week’s Runday Shag.
Whilst personally I don’t disagree with the views expressed on the Israel situation I felt it inappropriate to air them in a hash publication.
One of the great things about the hash is it has always been in my experience apolitical and secular. Everyone should feel welcome.
I actually felt that Wally’s ramblings were more suited to hashing than the first summary!
A Friend of SH3, 12-10-23