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The Reformation
Gallowstree Common


Cloggs, Nonstick

Snowmen and Women

Motox Septic Dumper C5 Baldrick J-Wax Donut Hashgate Iceman Bomber Posh Desperate Shitfor OldDog Spot Heybabe cerberus Billy Bullshit Shitshoveller Penny Pitstop Lonely Barney the dog with PP Nappyrash and Diver C5 Emma the dog with Tinopener and Lilo Slackbladder Little Stiffy Itsyor Fiddler Florence Zebedee BGB

All White? Yes.

Waking up to what was almost a white-out one wondered how Cloggs and Nonstick were going to cope with laying the Trail with white flour. They figured it out by mixing the stuff with some of Nonstick’s lurid green eyeshadow and sticking most of it on tree trunks. They even dipped a toe in the seething pond of innovation by putting two blobs on trees near the Checks in case the Checks got snowed over. Very clever, and it worked a treat. I guess Wally will have to rewrite the Rules of Trail Laying to include the new markings.

Arriving at the car park was a risky business. BH3 was in snowball mode. OldDog and Desperate were taking splotshots at all and sundry; OldDog running around yapping almost as much as Barney and Desperate, worryingly, calling for the hurlers to, “Put some stones in ‘em!” Luckily, the one she caught me with on the ear was not ‘loaded’. Though how she and OldDog managed to hit anybody was surprising. They might be aiming for someone just three feet away but still managed to miss most of the time. Iceman’s style was more mortar than grenade. He patted large, handfuls into a rough approximation of a basketball, then lobbed it skywards, standing back and waiting to see who might ‘benefit’ from his efforts. Bomber, I believe it was, even managed to splatter poor Barney with one. Serious dog-abuse although he (and Posh) were only half-awake, having flown in from warmer lands at 5:30 that morning. Curiously, he had grown facial hair. Fortunately, this was not as a consequence of having flown a very long way otherwise Posh too would have had a seriously hirsute beaver (I’ve just re-read that – please don’t take it the wrong way). Our picture to the right is a close approximation of the furry objects under review. I toyed with Zapata but, no, more ‘tache than anything else and Bomber wasn’t wearing a sombrero. I flirted briefly with Emile Zola (No – a) I’m not that way inclined, b) he’s dead) but the forehead was way too high. So a young Ezra Pound it is. You may need to pencil in a tad more eyebrowage but the rest is almost spot-on. Meanwhile, Dumper had gone for a number two (oh, for goodness sake – I mean haircut! Mind you, appropriate that, given his nickname. I digress) which made him look rather like a large Roman Catholic cardinal without the frock and the hat. Comparing the two tonsorial styles I’d have to go for Bomber’s. He was, as T.S. Eliot described the good Mr Pound, ‘Il miglior fabro’… in a facial hair sort of way.

All of which has almost nothing to do with the Trail which was surreal, cold and beautiful – especially in the forest. The cold trees provided a perfect sticking surface for the slightly wet snow and every drooping branch was highlighted in white powder, every spring-budded bush coated with clinging white softness. Itsyor and I found ourselves running pell-mell up a False at one point and the slender, light-barked silver birches formed a graceful, lightly fluttering arch above us. I had stopped to enjoy the view and was savouring that peculiar brightness that snow brings to the eye when Itsyor caught me up and threw his own verbal snowball at me even as we heard the ‘On On’ from back along the Trail and in another direction. “You plonker.” The words splattered on the back of my neck and trickled down my shirt. “You’ve run up a False!” What he didn’t seem to have noticed was that he had run after me... I’m glad we did. Otherwise we would have missed that sight. Lovely.

Of course, the snow-dusted trees were a bonus for the Hash who delighted in shaking the branches as they ran underneath, covering the following Hasher in a blizzard and resulting in squeals and squeaks. Let me offer congratulations to Donut and Dumper for FRBing at this point. They beetled off down the track that we had all just returned from, thinking it was a False. Determined of purpose, they trotted resolutely on and Bomber and I could not find it in our hearts to overtake them. Unlike Zebedee and C5, who sped past oblivious to the history that was being made. It all got a bit fragmented after this, with Spot, Itsyor, Fiddler and myself losing the rest of the Pack near The Fox at Cane End. We nipped across the A4074, calling all the while, but nary a soul followed. I assume we missed the Regroup around here somehow. By now the sun had started shining quite warmly. The contrast between it, the still laying snow and the very cold air was sharply defined. Very nice though – even if we had lost everybody else. We came upon a mountain bike race. The bikers looked at us, slipping and slopping our way exhaustedly up the muddy hill. We looked at them. Skidding, sliding and in one case falling, exhaustedly down the muddy hill. Each party thought the other was completely barmy. And each was perfectly correct.

Having crossed back over the A4074 the four of us hit a Check. Sadly for me, I turned left into the forest while the rest clattered up the hill. Having clambered over a couple of soaking wet fallen trees and lost the flour, followed by a frown and pursed-lip inducing ‘On On’ from back up and over the hill I was just about to turn when a flapping, clattering alarm-chortling young pheasant burst out of the undergrowth closely pusued by a fox not ten yards from me. Both were completely oblivious to the uncomfortably wet-bottomed, rather knackered Hasher standing near their life-and-death race. The sleek form of the speckled bird sped up into the trees. The fox snarled silently, its eyes locked on to its disappearing lunch, then gave up. A ruddy, bottlebrush tail assassin disappearing silently through a holly bush.

Somehow I managed to link up with Zebedee, Bomber, BillyBullshit and Nappyrash. Then C5. And somehow all of us except Zebedee managed to get off-Trail and do an extra ¼ mile before joining up again with the Pack as they popped out of a bush by the side of the narrow road that led to the pub. Along the way we were treated to one more hugely enjoyable natural phenomenon. While running next to a high bush a the side of the road which was covered in snow the wind suddenly blew and we found ourselves in the middle of a snowstorm – in the sunshine and under a blue sky! Brilliant! What a fine (long) Trail it was and full marks to Cloggs and Nonstick for laying it in that cold and snowy morning.

On On. Hashgate.

Down Downs

RA Shitfor presented the following in the warmth of the pub’s double-glazed gazebo:-



Style points




Insulting Desperate by confusing her with a blonde…
Saying Desperate’s T-shirt matches her hair – which is yellow
Slapping handfuls of snow on Desperate’s bottom

Obviously a Desperate-bashing day.
Bomber got there first. Closely followed by Florence.


Being almost indistinguishable from the snow due to his highly attractive, titanium hair

Slammed it down in one (mind you, it was only a thimble-glass)


From a distance, confusing the bike racers for wind surfers!

Smoothly downed


Whinging about his forgotten birthday

Obviously enjoyed his birthday pint

Cloggs, Nonstick

Today’s Hares

A bit of blowback, gulping and nostrils-full by both. Most enjoyable to watch.

Up and Coming



Grid Reference




* 19:00 *


The Bull, Arborfield Cross
(park in the rec. at 760669)



* 19:00 *


The George and Dragon
Wolverton, Towns End RG26 5ST