The Runday Shag
Date: 31 December 2023
Hare: Le Pro
Venue: Shere Recreation Ground
On On: White Horse
LE PRO ENDS OUR YEAR IN IMPRESSIVE STYLE
When Bonn Bugle and I reached the car park on our return from the heights to the north of Shere, we found virtually everyone already at the food and drink. Yes, Cool Box had been up there with us, and doubtless the speed merchants (Bigfoot, Simple, Miss Bean, Missing IA, qu’est-ce que j’en sais?) had preceded us (well, Stevie Blunder and Atalanta overtook us) but there seems little doubt most of you just came back to Shere on the A25. Shame on those who could have attempted Mount Olympus!
Le Pro has set a trail from this same Shere car park before; it went the other way round, and he came with us, solving every check on our behalf. Today on the contrary he was entirely absent, fetching our hot haggis for the Circle. Delicious, I admit. Indeed the spread of food on offer was most impressive. He did apparently request or require us to start from the village pond and not the car park [Ed – it would be useful to have known!], but then vanished.
His early trail included two hair-pin bends, and extensive hills (though not to be compared with the later heights). Almost all the solutions to the checks were straight ahead, which caught some of the front runners; I was able to show Bonn Bugle that at one check, when all were casting forward, the solution was back – beautifully timed, the back-markers rejoined us as we emerged in Gomshall, and spared themselves the effort. In the past Madonna has been seen attempting weirdly implausible solutions to checks, an admirable trait, but today he trod the straight and narrow.
Le Pro’s trail, for those who actually ran it, included a most impressive mansion; the flour took us past the front door. Is this a right of way? Bonn Bugle inferred the owner was a wealthy crony of the hare. The throng around the food and drink included numerous visitors of whose names I have no inkling (yes, I know, I could have asked) which offers an excellent chance of survival to our elderly hash. I repeat myself? Well, yes, in season and out of season, our future depends on finding and keeping such newcomers. We are exceptionally good at retaining members now unable to run the trails; the turn-out at our Circles is truly impressive, and I hope attracted the admiration of Shere’s residents.
January 1st starts the calendar year, but nothing else. The solar year may be regarded as beginning several days earlier, with the winter solstice; the financial year begins in April, the academic year in September, the liturgical year, with Advent, 4 weeks before Christmas. By all means think of other “years”; none starts on 1st January. Many will think of football, for example, which once did have a “year” but now seems permanent, non-stop.
You will have noticed that September, and the next 3 months, all have the “wrong” name – 7th, 8th etc. (The Roman year began in March until 153 BC). You will also have heard of the riots – “Give us back our 11 days!” – when Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar, long after most of Europe (we had been reluctant to accept a suggestion by a Pope). Russia waited till the 1917 revolution to catch up; the Orthodox Church there did not approve. “AD” is misleading; Christ must have been born before “4 BC”, when Herod died. And did you know there was no Year Zero? 1 BC was followed by 1 AD.
Well, for all this numerical detail, I wish every one of our readers a very Happy New Year.
On On, FRB
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Here is a topical message from Donovan (not Blue Suit, but
from the days of our youth when protesting was really cool).
written by Buffy Sainte-Marie.