Date : 05/04/16
Hare : Helles Belles , Ron
Scribe : Whipping Boy
Hounds : 41     Dogs : 0
Recorded distance : 9.56 km
Recorded time : 84.43 min
Uphillness : 776.00 ft

According to TS Eliot, 'April is the cruellest month', but not so if you're a hasher, since it generally marks the first daylight starts of the year. Such was the case as we gathered at the recently-renamed Chequers Tree (formerly The Chequers - though according to someone posting on the Prestwood Village Association's website it should have been The Chequer Tree, since "chequers refers to the fruit of the Chequer tree, in the same way that cherries come from a Cherry tree."; and someone else tells us the Chequer tree is in fact the "Wild Service Tree, Sorbus torminalis. Although a native tree it is now quite rare in the wild. Anyone wishing to see one could visit Priestfield Arboretum in Little Kingshill, where there is a specimen." So there you go.)

A well-laid and relatively uneventful hash ensued, with plenty of pleasantly dry paths, relatively few descents and correspondingly few ascents. We had been promised a short, a medium, and a long at the start, with other combinations also possible, which was fortunate since we had not only virgin hashers with us but at least one family group making the most of the Easter holidays. However, it was at the last of these baleout points that one of our hares, Hell's Belles herself, goofed big time by sending us down the wrong track - for once we managed to get lost under someone else's guidance, rather than on our own initiative as we normally do. So it was that I found myself on a long, straight trail with no junctions, but with no flour either, a fact I commented on to Cockers; after some discussion we decided the best course of action was to blithely and blindly carry on and hope for the best - a tactic that has never let us down in the past as far, apart from all the times when it has. I was then informed by someone else that "there is someone leading the way who knows exactly where we're going." Momentarily reassured, I then realised that that "someone" was Gerry IGSH, at which point I became remarkably less reassured for some reason. But against all odds it seems that IGSH did indeed have some vague inkling of where we were headed, since, after a further lengthy stretch of running down Honor End Lane, we arrived back at The Chequers Tree/The Chequer Tree/The Chequers.

Once the longs, mediums, shorts, short-mediums, medium-shorts, long-mediums, walkers, dogs, assorted family members and other miscellaneous hangers on had assembled in the pub, we were subjected to the usual month-end ramblings of our beloved GM as he awarded the Tosca - to be honest I wasn't paying much attention to his speech, I think he was refusing to comment on allegations that hash funds had ended up in Panama and insisting it was a private matter, but I did catch the fact that the winner of this prestigious award was none other than Mini Cooper, so well done to Kitty for using the word 'muddy' six times! There was also a brief sing-song for some miserable old git whose birthday it had been the day before, not sure who that was but I'm sure it warmed the cockles of his heart.

Thanks Mr & Mrs Belles, a great hash on a lovely evening and tasty snacks to boot!