“Oh what a glorious thing to be, a Didcot Hasher on a sunny Tuesdee”. Well, something like that anyway. A very large group gathered at the pub. Was it that we all fancied one of Gatecrasher’s classic hashes or that we wanted to see a Porsche with a bike rack? Hash words were a little painful and caused concern as Gatecrasher had been out laying the trail for over 3 hours – on a bike – so we were worried we would be out until well after dark. It was good to see a couple of virgins and to welcome Bat Girl back. Not only has she run her first half marathon, but she had had a fight with a hot cross bun and had the bandage on her eyelid to prove it!
The trail was 2 and on. Yet another variation on the rules – sorry, there are no rules in hashing, so On On! We set off past the church and down the hidden footpath between the cottages. On was called from the left, but no, the trail went right. So we doubled back (good to do extra miles this early on) and dog-legged (whilst avoiding Qualcast) up the lanes and back to the High Street which we crossed, before heading back to the Drayton Road. This was where we saw an amazing display from a couple of male peacocks in someone’s front garden. There were at least 5 females to be impressed. Imagine the bird poo from that lot on your patio! We then turned left (dodging the traffic as the sun was in our eyes) and ran down alongside Ginge Brook. A pointless loop round the field at the end led to an interesting conversation. “On back, Dipstick” called Lemony. “At least I care enough to call your son back” she said, pointedly, to Ringer. “But my son’s not called Dipstick!” Came the reply. “Well, at least I cared enough to try!” By this time we had made it to the other edge of the field, by the stream. Pyro had a go on the rope swing but Hell Boy couldn’t catch it. Funny Call Girl didn’t help him as she had bent down and tied his shoe laces for him earlier on the trail. Back on Mill Lane we found a roe deer hiding in the undergrowth. A veritable nature trail. Back towards The Plough and another dog-leg across the road took us out to the field. The pack wanted to go left when they found a check but were called back by the hare who had changed his plan during laying the trail and hadn’t realised he had got that close to crossing his own trail. So he called us On to the right, then back onto the main road and up to Bradstocks Way (with a false trail into the new housing estate – is he looking for yet another property?) and through the estate back to Harwell Road. It was here that Scrumptious told Hutch and Lemony off for talking to the locals, only to apologise when she realised that they are both, in fact, locals and knew the young lady in question.
There was a close up view of the power station before working our way back across the field. How many times can Qualcast double back through the whole field without taking anyone out? Epic was accused of running slowly to which his reply provided the quote of the week when he said “I’m hanging with my virgin”. Dipstick didn’t stop sniggering for the next kilometre. At the next junction Epic suggested David (his virgin) follow Hutch for a short cut, but was ignored. David continued on with the runners. Another right, left, left, right took us back to the check we visited earlier in the evening and past a lady collie dog. Qualcast was infatuated. The first time we have seen nooky on a hash for some time! And it was here Gatecrasher’s bike was attacked by a dog and he got a puncture! Just a co-incidence? Turning back through the trees we came out onto the lane, turned right and then left and left again before reaching Churchmere Lane. It was about here Whisper saw a cat and decided not to chase it. Another first. The trail must have been just the right length to wear her out that much. A quick jog between the hedges brought us out into All Saints Lane and up to the main road, and the On Inn. David was rather tired and wondered if he had died and gone to heaven, as heaven, in his view, is standing in a pub with a pint in his hand!
There was a request for chips and, just as they were due to arrive, the GM called us outside for Hash Words. There was dissention in the ranks and some of the hounds didn’t make it outside at all. Well, cold chips …???... Definitely not acceptable. Back in the pub Gatecrasher cradled his pint lovingly. Wimpey was surprised to see this and questioned if he had bought it. But no, it was his free pint for laying the trail. Gatecrasher’s response to Wimpey’s question was philosophical and rather sad, but probably true - “miracles never happen.”
A great trail with virgin territory. Well done, Gatecrasher.
There were no shirts to hand out but hash words were enlivened by Zorro who had no recollection of volunteering to lay the next run and no knowledge of the area chosen! It could be an interesting trail.
Hounds: Zorro, Lemony, Wimpey, Piscine Down, Ringer, Big Stiffy, Hotlips, Dingaling, Dipstick, Hutch, Rubber Sole, Rubber Sole’s Buddy, Epic Fail (and his virgin friend David), Gnome Alone, Scrumptious, Call Girl, Bat Girl, Hell Boy, Pressganger and Qualcast, Pyro and Whisper, Henry V, A Cruel Joke, Professional Peach, Sue and Vanessa
Date: 18 April 2017
Distance: 6.25 miles (but only if you did all the false checking that Zorro did!)