January 1st 2013, New Year's Day. I will start with our commitment to the hash… with our train arriving from London at 10:53 into Great Missenden Station we hurried up to Prestwood to join an astonishing number of runners. We were blessed with beautiful weather (which less than 24 hours before had been torrential rain). The New Year brought out hashers new and old with some joining us after a four year gap! Mexican Des was present without his hat and shawl. Apparently it wasn't a special occasion! Disappointing Des!
After a number of New Year greetings and kisses from Mike and David the On-On was called. We set off on our 4 and bit mile run, the short cutters all hoping the phrase "Start the year as you mean to go on" comes true. Heading out of the car park I soon realised that Roger had taken us on our first loop which brought us back out near our starting spot, which we continued to encircle for the duration of the run (true hashman style). Like a flash of light Ant zipped past. Many hashers were envious of his exuberant energy, not least because they were still recovering from the effects of the night before. Despite the rain there still seemed a good amount of flour with the on backs and hangovers keeping the pack together.
Hopefully the people of Prestwood were not trying to have a lie in as our bugle playing Herts Hashers aided our calls. It was great that so many South Herts hashers could join us. With South Hert's 13 year old Harry giving Anthony run for his money. Helen also noted that canine presence was also extremely good. Poppy enjoyed her first hash and her perfect brown coat hides the shaggy exceptionally well.
Through shiggy, up and down dale we arrived back in the car park without losing Mike (hurrah!). Roger presented us with an amazing spread of wonderful homemade mince pies (the best I have ever tasted), Panatone, biscuits and beer. Some took to the hair of the dog sooner than others but despite the huge quantity of food it all disappeared! One thing hashers are good at is eating.
Once people had finished eating the delights Roger then appeared with the broken oar! Ahgah! I know… a naming ceremony. But who? It was David's lucky day. He knelt down on the sacred carpet tile and awaited his naming ceremony. "I Baptise you in the name of the hash! The putrid trainer! The gentleman's check! The shiggy bottom and the Rebellion Brewery! You are now Bench Breaker." These are not Roger's exact words but you get a feel for the quantity and amount of sense they made. Of course he had to do a 'down down'. Not once, but twice because no one got a photo of him the first time. Bench Breaker recalls how he got his name – while trying to tie up his laces he manages to break a bench and hit himself in the head with the plank at the same time.
All in all – a fantastic hash, great weather and awesome food. Thanks Roger!