The Runday Shag
Date: 22 October 2023
Hares: RHUM & Atalanta
Venue: Albury Heath Sports Ground
On On: Albury Heath Sports Ground
THE SUN SHINES ON OUR DILIGENT HARES
The Albury Sports Field has obvious merits as a hash venue: it is central, easily reached, rural and attractive: “Where every prospect pleases”. Yet such merits mean it is often crowded, and its frequent use means we recognise every area visited, every hamlet, every crossing of that inescapable railway line. Actually, I must confess that today, told near noon we had another 2.5 miles to do, with an ailing wife at home, I accepted the short-cut (though it could have been even shorter: the trail was then at the level crossing north of Farley Green). So perhaps the remainder of the trail was more original. Certainly many thanks to RHUM and Atalanta, who ensured we never got lost, diligently accompanying us round. They also chose a day in late October with brilliant warm sunshine, a very pleasant moment in an English autumn.
Le Pro and J Arthur were very successful in solving checks. I was about to solve one when Veggie Queen overtook me, only a metre or so from the first blobs.
Stevie Blunder must have arrived late, his presence (and that of Ms Bean) heralded by Spud suddenly joining us. Spud is faithful to flour: I saw him pursue the blobs to the edge of a stream, and stay there puzzled while others followed J Arthur to a remote path, enriched by two girls on ponies.
The trail had started by going north, as if towards Shere, or the village of Albury, but soon switched to the more usual direction of south and the railway. Those who live in the scattered houses and cottages (mostly nestling at the bottom of valleys) must be quite used to hashers disturbing their Sundays by this time: I suspect Surrey are not the only hash to run here.
We were short of front runners, with relatively few of our officials present, so that some checks took longer to solve than perhaps they should, but the hares scrupulously avoided betraying solutions. This allowed late-arrivals to catch us up very effectively.
I here express thanks to all who sent messages of sympathy to my wife Solange.
Unable to tell you about the second half of this trail, I can only report that the car park when I got back was not empty of SH3 members. Lord Raleigh was taking the sun on a bench, two of our older couples were in cars, and Ms Bean came in just after me.
Most people have heard of the Hundred Years War, and many can name English victories over those years – Crecy, Poitiers, Agincourt; but how many have registered that England lost this war? Our royal families were much better at fighting than those of the French; Henry V and his brothers were real military experts. The turning point was Joan of Arc; it is striking and strange that in the late Middle Ages soldiers accepted a girl at their head, but the effect was dramatic. Shaw suggests it was she who introduced nationalism to Europe; till then loyalties had been to one’s feudal lord, not to a nation. Her policy was “Bouter les Anglais hors de France”, “Chuck the English out of our country”; she had no problem with the English as such, though we were known as blasphemers, “les Goddams”. Joan took great pride in her virginity; her battle cry was La Pucelle!, The Maid! The English found this hard to stomach, and for a while used pucelle, anglicised as puzzle, to mean a harlot. Men have always been ready to denigrate women with sexual contempt, while priding themselves on their own exploits.
On On, FRB
Letters to the Editor
It seems like MB got his nemesis and the hares their epiphany last Sunday. I have always pointed out that MB has a penchant for tarmac and he pleaded with the hares to lay the trail on the A25. They would have none of it and surprised all of us with a beautiful countryside run in the sunshine.
You will remember that previously they set the worst run of the year with an egregious plagiarism of a Barnes H3 route and even had a help setting it from said hash members!!
So you would think everything was fine but they haven’t learned from the day at Runnymede when my wife and I were furious as there was no place to park. Remember that the definition of insanity is doing something badly and then to keep doing it. Meeting at a Sports Club with a football pitch in the winter season you might think there would be a match on on a Sunday. Now an independent and respected publication called Hare Hints says this:
Parking – Is there sufficient space? Where can we park?
Even the words I wrote for our website said under Notes for SH3 Hares:
The car park must hold some 30 more cars on a Sunday morning than is usual there. Confirm that your chosen pub wants hashers (you can never give an accurate assessment of number: say “About 30”). Check whether they can park at the pub.
Obviously for pub read club but this was ignored. Did they not speak to the Club during a recce or on the phone? Surely this a dereliction of duty? I made up for this by giving all the sinners down downs.
We heard that Wally and his siblings were going to the Drummond Arms and so I instructed everybody to retire to the Sports Club bar and the dregs remained there.
So great trail, terrible parking.
Uncle Gerry Atricks
P.S. The hares’ epiphany was the result of them having gone recently on one of the famous world wide courses called “Guidelines for Hares or Hairlines for Guides”
P.P.S. IS Tosser becoming a Will o’ the Wisp character as again he was nowhere on the run but then finished first and declared he had done the whole trail?
Sir, I find myself getting wound up by so many people these days. Are your members suffering too? Is it my age?
- I find the instruction on road signs to “use both lanes” difficult to follow.
- I am always intrigued by the term “pan-fried” on a menu. How else would you fry something?
- When did the response to the question “How are you?” become “I’m good”? And when did “my mistake” become “my bad”?
- The term “proud sponsors” always amuses me. Are there any ashamed ones?
- Has anybody received a “free gift” lately? (Think about it!)
- Why do we now reach out, share and pass when we mean contact, tell and die?
- I would like to know when skills became a skill set.
- Why are vehicles always parked up these days, rather than simply parked?
Ivan O Pinion