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The Plowden Arms, Shiplake


Hashgate, Daisy

The Frozen Few

Caboose Iceman Simple DunnyStumbler TinOpener Lilo and dog Emma Foghorn Cerberus Premature KnackerCatcher OldDog SlackBladder LoudonTasteless Spex UnionJackoff Bomber Posh Ms Whiplash Salome Quack ShutupWally with dog Bonnie Spot Dutch Donut Baldrick Motox Lonely BlouseBlazer Menstrual Shampoo and dogs Potty Nutcracker Snowballs GBH Florence Zebedee CabinBuoy

Hares Do It Twice (It’s Even Better The Second Time)

The golden sun blazed high in the azure sky. The sea was a sheet of dimpled blue glass, little wavelets lapping softly at the edge of the endless beach. The sun lounger was very comfy as I reached for another of those iced tumblers of singapore sling, lazily nosing the bright, miniature paper umbrella aside and drinking deeply of the refreshing liquid.

Well, that was the dream on Sunday morning. The reality, as I slid naked and stiff (steady girls) from my warm bed and crowbarred open my bleary eyes to peer through the curtain, was a barely light, freezing cold vista with a funereal pall of fog hanging outside. Not very inspiring when you know you have to run about in it laying a trail. The only thing that got me out and shivering into the car (apart from bringing joy to BH3, of course!) was the knowledge that I would be Haring with the friendly and attractive Daisy, who had very kindly agreed to step in when my official two other Hares had vanished off the face of the earth. In a frenzy of good-heartedness, fuelled by a couple of beers, at the AGM I had asked newish boys David and Mervyn if they would like to learn how to lay a trail with me. They had promptly agreed, then emigrated, or taken on new identities, or buried themselves in deep holes and refused to come out. Shame really; they missed a fun Hash.

It was -1 Centigrade when we started and those damn bags of flour cut off the circulation to the fingers allowing the cold to slice into the bones. Interesting how your hand can get so cold it feels like you’re wearing an iced boxing glove. Simple tasks get complicated, like scratching your ear. And nose-picking is an absolute non-starter. It made me remember Ray Mears (the survival expert) explaining how you can light a fire using a match in your mouth if your hands won’t work. Could be a bit of a problem for those with hirsute eyebrows, mind you. Once we got going things were not quite so cold and we splashed flour about with carefree abandon. I should point out here that, in order that the Hash members would not be confused if they saw any of last week’s flour, I had purchased from a multi-national store of high repute (Tesco) two containers of the finest pink Nesquik and mixed the contents with three bags of flour. It was no real surprise that the pink colour quickly dissipated, leaving only a gritty texture to the flour and an appalling odour of chemical strawberries – it’s still hanging about my hall! I figured that if anyone got confused they could always taste the blob. We had to rush a bit since Daisy was due in London later on so we left out the Long trail loop (just as well because certain Hashers ran an extra loop at the start anyway – more later). Luckily, we both know the area very well so we only got lost once, mainly thanks to Ordnance Survey, and managed to arrive back at the pub with some time to spare… to find the friendly pub landlady had let her two vicious Dobermanns out into the car park and was in the process of padlocking the gate so we wouldn’t be able to get out – or the Hash get in. You do wonder sometimes why people who rely on customers to earn their living don’t treat them with a little more friendliness. Luckily, the dogs didn’t tear the a*rse out of my trousers. So they didn’t get my shiggy-soaked plimsoll up theirs.

Premature On Outed with the merry cry of, “It’s bound to go to the river.” Then On Backed when he found it didn’t. Poor DunnyStumbler, who had bravely staggered to the Hash despite a week of heavy cold and a late night on the p*ss, slogged out of the car park. If her toxic body had decided to ‘park a pizza’ I figured most of us would be swimming and she would have turned completely inside out. Thank goodness she didn’t. The walkers: Dutch (no surprise there!), Ms Whiplash, Salome, Lilo, strode purposefully onwards, keeping up rather well as the Field Check in the Memorial Hall playing fields foxed everyone. As did the next Check where KnackerCatcher flew hither and thither like a newspaper in a gale, leading most people the wrong way. This is one of the joys of being a Hare. Watching the Pack desperately trying to work out the trail while you stand there with a smug grin (knowing it will be your turn to be confused next week). On the trail in the damp field I jogged next to GBH who had kindly made the effort to be there after travelling up from Wales – not just to be at the Hash I must say. You know how he likes to talk? Well I couldn’t really hang about, being the only Hare, so I pushed on a bit and the poor chap made increasingly noisy wheezing efforts to chat before falling into a bush and laying there panting with his legs sticking out. Honestly, it was like running next to a set of creaky old leather bellows. Just after this was where it all went horribly surreal. At the next Check Bomber decided to stump off up the road, completely ignoring an ‘F’, then another from the opposite direction! SlowSucker, Simple, Spot, Baldrick, LoudonTasteless, Spex (I think that’s all of them) shot off into the field opposite where no footpath was and blundered across the In trail, causing them to run all the way round the final loop, hit the ‘On Inn’ and have to run like blazes to catch everyone up – which they did finally, half an hour later, wheezing and unable to talk every bit as much as GBH. This was by a Two-way Check after a field in which the rather sad Donut and Posh attempted to hide behind me so that the three small horses, regarding us with friendly inquisitiveness about two hundred yards away, would ‘get you first’. Oh dear.

There was a bit of a squelchy forest loop from here so I hung about in the forest (rather like the mist) and waited. Finally, Cerberus appeared looking confused to see me. Then Zebedee et al. They were on a one-blob-and-On Check and were rather puzzled because the trail zig-zagged back on itself via an icy, muddy track that led over a stile to the second of the Regroups. I’m pleased to say that everyone (including Premature, surprisingly) waited until we were all together before lumbering across that leg-sapping rise over the open field. The view was superb. Flecks of fog hung around the still-leafed trees opposite, the thin sun spread itself meagerly across the wet field and a strange, dark cloud spread ominously above us indicating that the Hemel Hempstead oil depot smoke had travelled further than anyone wanted.

As we approached some of last week’s trail a superbly laid Check with five possibles kept the Pack together before the route ran backwards over it (er, last week’s trail that is) and Bomber had the opportunity to re-visit the area he had run through earlier just after finding one of Daisy’s ‘F’s that he thought had been written in Chinese. Cheeky tyke! After a swift trot past the exceptionally well-built Scout Hut (blush, blush) we were into well-trodden ground and Simple etc were keen to lead since they knew the way so well from here back to the pub. Just think yourselves lucky that we didn’t have time to lay the Long trail loop down and back up that bl**dy great hill into Harpsden Valley!

Hope you enjoyed it. On On. Hashgate.

Down Downs

RA Simple presented the following :-



Style points


Stopping in a yellow hatched area while driving. Spotted by Motox

Damn fine effort. She was reeling about later, not being used to beer. Wonderful!

OldDog, SlackBladder

Rampant sex on the Hash

A pint and two straws – blown, not sucked

Menstrual, Shampoo UnionJackoff

W. London visitors

Proper sucking this time and a good pint by Union


Power-walking superbly

Beautifully sipped – of course!


Mainly because SlowSucker gave her one

She had been daft enough to tell the RA she drank Cinzano & lemonade. So he gave her one too. A reasonable effort


Laying a truly stunning trail

Failed to drink one half – then failed to drink the other. Stick to Scribing

Up and Coming



Grid Reference






The Fox & Hounds, Theale





The Rising Sun
Burghfield Common