We gathered together at the Old Swan at Swan Bottom for our first Tuesday hash since the last one. Our hare, Matt "Rambo" Rayner, remarked that he had set the trail earlier that day and there would be no absence of flour unlike some recent hashes. Anyway it was warmish and dry.
Matt explained two new markings to the hash that would be discovered on tonight's run. The first was a question mark in a circle, more on this later, and the second marking was a "butt check" and was represented as a "B" in a circle. Matt called for a willing volunteer and Aaron very quickly suggested Helen to take on this role. Helen was asked to stand in the circle and to bend over. Matt then clearly demonstrated the point of the butt check by running past and firmly smacking Helen on the butt. It was explained that each runner in turn had to stand in the circle to be smacked in turn. For some unknown reason Roger asked if a horse whip could be used and amazingly as if on cue, Matt immediately fetched one from his car. Roger took great delight in taking charge of the whip and took this with him as he galloped away with the others.
We were off. Elvis in his eagerness to follow the runners tripped over his own feet and face planted in the dirt. Bless him! We turned right out of the pub car park and then right again down Swan Lane. Now you, like me, may be thinking that's a lot of Swans (Old Swan, Swan Bottom, Swan Lane) but there was not a swan of the feathered variety to be seen. I guess there was a swan here in the distant past, or maybe not? Maybe it was just a Mr or Mrs Swan?
Right, now back to the question mark in a circle that I spoke of earlier. No more than 100 yards into the hash and there it was on the ground. Matt set a poser about what sitcom was filmed here - pointing to some rather quaint looking cottages? Gerry got the answer (or was it Rose?) not totally sure, anyway Gerry was to be rewarded with a prize of a pint of beer once we returned to the pub. The answer was "My Wife Next Door" for those that can remember TV in the 1970s or was it 1980s?
Now from here on in I have little to go on in terms of facts, as I was only walking tonight due to straining my back last week, whilst being showered with champagne, well not the real stuff, but something fizzy but cheaper (thanks to my mate Woody). As we split from the runners, I could hear the distant call from Roz gradually disappearing into the woods "Summer coming through, Summer coming through".
I followed the short trail with Louise, Kerry, Rose, David, Twist and of course Elvis and it seemed to be almost entirely in woodland. When we did venture out of the trees the sunlight appeared especially bright as a result.
Due to my absence from the long run, I courted the opinions of a few that had not been so lucky. Here are a few comments heard from the crowd.
"It's was like Rambo First Blood out there with bobby-traps in the woods and everything"
"That was bloody awful"
"There were so many falsies it must have been a world record for falsies"
"It was like an obstacle course"
"We gave up shouting heads as there was no need, we were constantly ducking, you would have loved it Kev"
"It was long!"
"All the FRB's were wearing blue - Ant, Alan, Aaron…even Andy." "Well, technically that was more dark blue, and Andy's more of a FB than an FRB"
"So many F Falses!
Many thanks to Matt for his considerable efforts, the lovely chips (of the thin and thick variety) and a very enjoyable hash for some at least!