The Runday Shag

Issue 2509

Date:        18 February 2024

Hare:        J Arthur

Venue:     Broadmoor Car Park, Wotton

On On:     The Abinger Hatch


This week, J. Arthur, last week Popeye.  Consult your records, and see how many trails these two have laid recently; and then examine your conscience.  How many have you laid during that period?

  Well, SH3 have hashed in the woods around Friday Street more often than in most others, but it is always a pleasure.  Hills, but not that high or steep, views occasionally, trees in abundance.  True, the access roads make passing oncoming vehicles quite a challenge; today the area was a venue for horses, on a rival trail sometimes corresponding to ours, laid in spray paint with arrows.  The riders were not of those equestrians who scorn or excoriate hashers; there were no clashes today.

  RHUM stood in as GM; our hare announced a trail 4.6 miles long. It took some 87 minutes, so that seems right.  Atalanta arrived at 11.20 and caught us up just after noon, which illustrates how the checks affect our progress; after all, our new front runner, Fagin, is as fast as she, though like Stevie Blunder he seems to make a point of checking in implausible directions.  No schoolboys today, though we did get two dogs (kept on leads, unlike Pepper – yes, for once Kelinchi was with us at the start).

  The solutions to the checks were often a fair distance away; another of our new runners, in fancy pants, distinguished herself by coming back from a check saying “Not this way!”, whereupon the hare sent us all in that very direction.  Unusually, we could see from our car park both the start and the finish of our trail; the hare had to confirm which flour was which.  The flour suggested a left-hander, and so it proved, though the first check, over the road, was perhaps intended to make us think of a right-hander.  Nobody was fooled: patently a back-check, in this instance back over that road.  Whom should I mention?  Birthing Blanket perhaps, insisting on our confirming that a short cut marked as a short cut was indeed a short cut; Chastity Belt was a model of courtesy in reassuring her.  Le Pro, always near the front; Belcher, contributing commentary.  Our new members were always in evidence: we needed keen new blood like this.  Silent Knight, keeping up admirably; Peay is assiduous in his attendance these days, even when, as today, the pack was not numerous.

  Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday did coincide 3 times in the first half of the last century, and will again in 2029, but not another time this century.  During Ash Wednesday adult Catholics not yet at retiring age are expected to eat only one real meal, and that without meat, not perhaps ideal for an evening of whoopee, though Holy Mother Church makes no mention of alcohol.  Indeed, inebriation is covered neither by the Ten Commandments nor by the Seven Deadly Sins, which do include over-eating.  Those who go to mass that day get ashes on their foreheads; in Ireland, at least in the old days, you were not meant to wash them off, though the readings you hear at mass tell you the exact opposite.  Custom and practice outgun Holy Writ. 

Everyone has heard of Shrove Tuesday, but I suspect very few could explain “Shrove”, which comes from a verb (shrive) little used today meaning to hear confession (in this context, as a preliminary to Lent). 

The heroic hare

England just serves pancakes, but elsewhere (Nice, say, or Rio) Mardi Gras is very big indeed.  Lent lasts 40 days; do the counting, and you will see that Sundays are not part of Lent.

  On On, FRB


Following last week’s romance…

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