The Runday Shag

Issue 2516

Date:        7 April 2024

Hare:        Le Pro

Venue:     Rodborough Common

On On:     The Refectory


  We had everything going for us: a new area to enjoy, fine spring weather, attractive scenery…

  What could go wrong?  Well, a trail you would be forgiven for declaring to have been set by an imbecile.  Le Pro is not an imbecile; but he wishes to be different.  He confuses originality with perverse eccentricity.  So today we had flour in all directions, random blobs, blobs set in a complete circle only 10 metres across, and at the end no blobs at all for the in-trail, itself about a mile long, with the only flour that of a resumption of the out-trail.  At least both Veggie Queen and Hash Flash could recognise where to leave this and make for our car park.  Yes, well, that car park….. SH3 may not have been there often, but others know it well, and by 11 a.m. it was more than full: one has to be impressed by the ingenuity displayed by people parking.  By noon (this was, mercifully, a short trail) the congestion was over, and the Surrey Hash could enjoy their beer (a female visitor was impressed we also offered white wine) without feeling further guilt about over-filling the car park.  Snatches of conversation intrigued me; Mrs Robinson, speaking of Petal and Raffles, “His dog is in just the state I said it would be in”, which as you can see is a pure chain of  monosyllables.  This is seldom easy: try it yourself!  Kelinchi, whom few if any of us had seen on the trail, airily describing how much of it she had done – which is more than most of us would care to remember.  A visitor from North Hants SH3, who felt that his own group were out of order in running that morning at Micheldever; our Uncle Gerry had to admit that Surrey had recently been similarly eccentric. Well, in our case even more so.

Le Pro did succeed in keeping all of his trail within the exiguous confines of Rodborough Common, which seemed at the start unlikely.  We did get onto a road, and thought we were destined to explore other terrain, but no, after the customary confusion we were back on our Common.  The hare did occasionally appear and keep us company; at the end he asserted that there had been flour on our flourless on-in, but we could see no trace of it.  Well, a trail best forgotten.

  Many people see the opposite sex as sexual partners, but for company, conversation, friendship, greatly prefer their own sex. This is understandable; for a great number the preferred topic of conversation is themselves. Hearing the dreaded words “Take me for example”, few of us dare say “No, thank you!”; now, it is easier to rabbit on about oneself to people of one’s own sex. Ask your partner returning from coffee bar, teashop or pub “What did you talk about?” You may, just, get a real answer, but more often “Oh, you know, this and that…” They have been talking about  themselves. You may think “Well, that is the subject people know  best”; you would be wrong. “Know thyself” was difficult advice even in ancient Greece. Genuine self-knowledge is painful and disconcerting; no, fascination with oneself, a universal trait, is not the same as insight. People also like to sound off their opinions, preferably without these being exposed as prejudices, implying a choice of like-minded company, and therefore probably of the same sex. If, unusually, your approach to conversation is to learn new things, you will ask questions, preferably of the opposite sex: a new world!

  On On, FRB


  After a lot of neat double-parking the troops gathered and looked around for some leadership! J Arthur seized the reins.  Anyone would think he was a budding GM.  Soon we were off and away from the huffing & puffing late arrivals.  It wasn’t long before I realised that we had run out of flour.  I looked around and whom did I see?  Just CL & BodyshopQuelle horreur!  This meant that we were well and truly lost.  Who else would you wish to be lost with?  Anyone but these two!

  To be fair, CL was quite fastidious in his checking and he kept finding patches of flour that could be checks kicked in more than one direction or a blob that a cyclist had skidded through.  Soon we found ourselves on the orange trail (above).  At least by now I was calmed by the soothing company of Fleur D’Or.  Thinking it must be the in-trail, we decided to go west in the expectation of meeting the pack coming the other way.  It never happened as we were now following some distance behind.  We trotted along a length of black top with checks into more scenic paths  to the side that, sadly, were not on trail.

  Eventually we came once again upon the check that brought back memories of Titanic Dickhead’s infamous figure of 8 with arrows pointing in all directions.  This was also a figure of 8 of sorts.  There was an “on in” with no more flour, but the only path that was not marked was the best way home.  At the check, CL & Bodyshop were close behind, then they were lost again!


  CL, Bodyshop, Veggie Queen.

  Search parties were dispatched after the circle.  CL was discovered by a petrol station on the A3.  (His phone with all his mapping apps was in his car).  Petal rang Bodyshop.  “Where are you?”  “No idea!”  “Do you think you can get back to the check with all the arrows?  If so, follow the only path with no flour on it!”  He was back within minutes!

  As there were no JMs there were no mugs.  It turned out that First On had spotted them abandoned last week and took them into her care at home.  The only trouble was that was where they remained!  Petal managed to rustle up some party shot cups, which explains the thimble sized down downs in the pictures.

  Uncle Gerry stepped into the breach as assistant, deputy RA. Visitors were welcomed from Northants and a couple and their Belgian Malinois dog who had come to BH3 Ripley a couple of weeks ago, followed by the usual suspects…

Higher resolution versions of these  pictures and many, many more can be found at Google drive or Dropbox

Cerebral Corner

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