What could be better than to welcome the New Year in than a great Hash?
OK, quite a lot really, but we turned up anyway with a somewhat jaded outlook and a somewhat more jaded hangover from the festivities of the night before. Much cheer and good wishes were spread around, though possibly through a miasma of somewhat stale alcohol. Everyone commented how cold it was.
The enthusiasm was positively underwhelming as the first check was called with most people staggering feebly like the athletes they had become. I checked left and it was, naturally, called straight on, so I ploughed back only to find it was called wrong and I had accidentally gone the right way – so I re-ploughed back and was immediately caught by a 6 on-back – meaning I had run up and down the same road a full five times!
A series of Holmer Green's scenic backwaters flooded past before we struck mud and slowed to a somewhat gloopy snail's pace, which continued through Beamond End with surprisingly few mooses. Next came a ploughed and extra sticky field leading to a cruel four way check with three obvious routes and another hidden very nearly back along the way we had just come. So we re-crossed the self-same adhesive field via a marginally different route.
Soon we found the walkers going in the other direction as we descended an inevitably steep and slippery field to the equally inevitable eight back at the bottom. Staggering back up the hill I began to forget the results of the previous evening's excesses as I wallowed in the pity of pain caused by the steep uphill wall of mud I was struggling to negotiate. Returning to the bottom we realised that Rob, Simon and son of Simon had all vanished, presumably sucked down in the new-year mud.
We contemplated mounting a search mission but as nobody fancied going up the hill again we simply contemplated their loss and did nothing. Fortunately the three lost souls appeared over the crest of the hill and we returned to the misery of gloop that lay ahead of us.
Some aeons of pain and mush-induced misery later the On-in appeared like a mini-miracle from the mud and I realised I was feeling better.
A jolly celebration, curtesy of our noble hosts Mr & Mrs GM and a 400 runs award for Sarah (not to mention a reviving beer or two) and we departed in almost eager anticipation of the next hash.