"If you would know the quality of your dinner, first look to the hors d'oeuvres"
Albert Pepys (son of Sam)
As for food – somewhat of a life interest for your scribe - so for a Hash.
Where was Matthew's review of Aide's sparkly drink as he lounged, glass of bubbly in hand, an enigmatic smile playing about his lips? Dressed in a slinky evening gown, Aide could so easily have passed for one of Aubrey Beardsley's louche cocktail ladies. Just what sort of trail awaited us?
Lightly marked if Aide's response to our GM was anything to go by.
GM "Aren't you taking spare flour to repair damaged marks?"
GM "Why not?"
Aide "Can't be bothered."
He relented but with no more flour than would have filled a louche cocktail lady's evening bag.
And how come Anthony, a humble teacher, turns up in a flash sports car when even head teachers turn up in 10 year old Skodas? The answer, friends, is to be found on a post-it note stuck to Anthony's basement- to-chimney height fridge:
"Call in at Iceland: buy cheap bulk M&Ms for the kids"
What? Already, Sarah? Not so, this is for the school kids who pay over the odds during their breaks for Ant's sweeties. Why didn't I think of it first, dammit?
Newly joined John's commercial interests also figured. Sporting a metal lasso early on in the trail, he took time out to explain that proceeds from the sale of the lasso's metal content would enable him to buy the turbo charged, drophead coupe version of Anthony's humbler model.
Reports persist that vicars in the area have since reported to Crimewatch the disappearance of several roof fulls of lead from their churches.
To the trail, however. The leaves on the Shorts trail did indeed well outnumber the rarest of flour markings. Just as well that Mick knew exactly where we were – oh woe to that phrase – though markings did turn up just as Mick was about to turn us off.
A most agreeable woodland stroll, returning us in time for cocktails at sunset. We could have done without the shiggy trench that took the shine off our sequined trainers during the On Inn to the pub.
Once there, our former GM + Mick showed that their multi-tasking skills were yet strong. Stuffing their mouths with bucketfulls of wonderful chips in no way prevented them from spraying half the contents over the rest of the clientele as they warned your scribe to temper his intake – cheek!
The Shorts were settling in for the night when the Longs returned from I know not where: murmurings of Beaconsfield Service Station drifted on the night air but your scribe was too engrossed with defending the last bowl of chips for the Longs to hear such whisperings.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening, though do take time to ask Audrey about the correct procedure for sitting on Mike Golby's memorial seat without drawing down upon your head, the publican's full and rich command of Anglo-Saxon vocabulary.