15th January - Warren CP, Woodbury Common - Tampa
Myself (Twice Nightly) and Larks arrived at the Warren car park early to find it almost completely full of non-hashers / ‘ordinary people’. There were horses and bikes and dogs and walkers and people in old-fashioned costumes for no obvious reason and it was all quite surreal. Luckily after a few minutes the familiar form of Groucho appeared, thus reassuring us that we were in fact in the right place, unlike Stix and co. who cocked it up completely and went to Four Firs instead.
The wind was positively arctic and chilled us to the bone as we waited for the troops to assemble. Finally Groucho called the circle together. Tampa, as the hare, gave the pre-hash talk: flour, on the right, 3 long-short splits, yadda yadda yadda. Then ‘check it out!’ and for once quite a few people did, as running proved a useful way of warming up. Despite all these hashers dispersing in all directions no one could find the bloody trail. We scampered back in forth until we saw our hare standing smugly off in the distance next to a path no one had got to. ‘On on!’ was cried and on on we went.
As it was a Tampa trail we were expecting lots of fish hooks and check backs to keep the pack together in a mildly irksome way, and we weren’t disappointed. The trail twisted and turned over tussocks and into the woods where we were blissfully sheltered from the wind. The first regroup was followed by a long-short split, which for the intrepid few longs (all four of us – plenty of lazy hashers in the pack!) turned out to be a haha. Any annoyance was quickly tempered by the swift arrival of the sweetie stop. Initially I was a bit miffed as there weren’t any sweets for veggies but then like magic some malted milk biscuits appeared. And they weren’t just any old malted milk biscuits but sandwich ones with a creamy centre. Yum.
The trail then continued with two further long short splits, again with most hashers plumping for the easy option. Some in fact couldn’t even be bothered with the shorts – just before the ‘On Home’ I encountered a trio of Bitzs who had short-cut massively but had the audacity to accuse me of having been off trail! Then it wasn’t far at all back to the car park for some refreshments. It was far too chilly to be drinking cold beer but we stubbornly drank it regardless because we are hashers and this is what we do.
Fines were dished out by stand-in Sheriff FF. They started off modest in number but rapidly escalated as the naughty few dug themselves in deeper and deeper. The primary sinner was Slipshod, who had not only missed several fish hooks but had roped otherwise angelic hashers such as myself into doing likewise. Combined with arguing and stubbornness this meant he was up to 50p by the end of the circle. Also worthy of note was a harriet (dobbed in by the Spockmeister) for doing something I can’t entirely remember but involved something like brushing burrs off her legs? The guilty party turned out to be Dr Jekyll, but she was initially oblivious as she thought FF was talking about someone else called Harriet who had just happened to behave in exactly the same way she had. Dear me. Overall it was a cracking trail and a good time was had by all – many thanks go to Tampa!