There was a good turn out for Iron Lady and Pilchards’ run and walk in the Mimosa forests of Tanneron on this day of blue skies and sunshine. Everyone in the Alpes Maritimes thought so too as all the car parks were full to bursting.
We kicked off with the usual short briefing, which is meant to help new members understand how to follow the trails. So far this run was significant with its remarkably simple and easy to understand instructions to the meeting point. But this was soon sharply contrasted by complicated and contradictory run / walk instructions as the hares discussed markings in front of us giving us all some laughs and, frankly, the less you remembered of their instructions, the better.
The walkers took off with a flying start uphill towards the entrance of the restaurant where our Hare, Iron Lady, caught an edge and threw herself to the ground with a heavy fall. Fortunately Iron Lady is actually made of iron. She has iron knees and, after a brief recovery period, was able to dust herself down and continue on the trail.
By now the walkers had wandered in several different directions as the trail was marked by arrows in chalk in the village – one feature of the trail markings which had not been explained at the briefing- and it took a while for most of us to reassemble, though Sadist was already out of sight never to emerge again until the Beer stop.
Hash walkers were honoured this time with the company of our Hash Flash, Levrette, commissioned to get the most sensational photos of the remaining Mimosa blooms which hadn’t yet been picked by the hoards of other hikers out the same day.
A short way into our walk and after much explanation from our Hare, we split into two walking teams: those to follow the easy route and those to follow the more ‘sportive‘ route.
But after ending up in someone‘s back yard, the ‘sportive‘ group realised there was no marked trail, because no one, not even the Hare knew where to go!
Back together after a cautionary lecture from the hare on how to avoid private tractor trails, we regrouped and continued our trail which eventually broke out on to a balcony with a tremendous vista view of Mimosa forest, terraces and the Alpes in the distance.
During our every-increasingly comfortable stroll uphill, our Hare, Iron Lady, regrouped us several times to share with us the lengthy history of ‘how the hash was planned’. Several times our attention was drawn to faint flour markings where she and Pilchard had stopped and discussed the choice of route.
With her guidance, we were able to see exactly where the trail had once been laid incorrectly much earlier and then she explained meticulously just how this trail had been carefully wiped out and set again. This could only be identified if you stopped several times and looked really, really carefully. Then you could just about make out where the once important lines of flour had been laid.
It was all quite captivating, especially the where she actually demonstrated ‘live with flour’ in front of us, just how the Walkers hare had actually assumed the responsibility to set a most critical ‘On In‘ marking for the runners route. The virgin trail setters are truly privileged to witness this key part in the run setting process. Other passers by may have thought we were part of a Foreign Professional Nature Tour – only Iron Lady failed to provide a simultaneous translation of this riveting trail information in three languages.
After our lesson in markings, we arrived at the beer-stop which our intrepid beer mistress, Farty Bum had still somehow managed to stock appropriately, despite her car breaking down on the way to the Hash. She had courageously sacrificed her husband’s company and left him with a split fan belt. So Sadist had been called in to rescue the beer supplies and provide an emergency beer car. Sadist was the only hasher with an appropriate yellow hash shirt and as the beerstop had a panorama view of the mimosa filled landscape many photoshots were taken.
Before the start of the second half of the walk, we received another briefing. This time, those that wanted a slightly more ‘sportive‘ experience could walk with the Runners hare, Pilchard, or take the easier official walkers route. So we ‘sportive‘ types tried again to get some serious exercise and this time, we found the trail. It was partly the same trail we had done on first half only this time, we had the benefit of Pilchard’s explanation of the various tactical, logistical and strategic decisions leading to the markings which were just about visible to the naked eye and which had previously been incorrectly laid but now eclipsed by actual ‘Official Route‘..for the runners.
Back at the circle, our Honourable Sadist took the initiative to lead the ‚down-downs‘ ceremony for us, in the absence of our regular dignitaries.
It was a hilarious and lively circle where several virgin Hashers were introduced and Supermarket Trolley celebrated her actual birthday with champagne and a delicious cream cake provided by Iron Lady.
Three virgins were introduced in the circle:
Ulrike from Germany and a virgin hasher from Ireland introduced by Buns.
Smelly Pooh introduced a virgin who is a retired Colonel from the French Military, who arrived in his convertible Mercedes tank.
Pilchard explained that a ‘Colonel ‘ in French military terms means a ‘Corporal‘ in the English military.
However the French ‘Petit Corporal’ was not someone to be taken lightly by the English.
Down downs were given to
Supermarket Trolley for her birthday
Farty Bum substituting for Mad Max for a breakdown for the beercar
Iron Lady for flour offences
It was significant also in that a Virgin was crowned ‚Shit of the Week‘.
A first maybe for the Hash.
Well, I’m not sure exactly why he was made ‘Shit of the Week ‘, possibly it was because he over-performed and ran incredibly well, even better than the Hare, possibly it was for bringing in intellectual concepts to hashing.
But he was a great sport and was this immediately promoted to ‘The General‘.
The corporal Colonel being promoted to “The General”
Finally the fun and games were over and it was off to the restaurant, which hopefully had lots of ice for Iron Lady to soothe her now-swollen knee!
Many thanks, Hares, for all the fun and laughs and for the hard work invested.
Thanks also to those of you who introduced the virgins.
We hope to see them again.
‘On, on’ to the next one …….