Hares; The Duchess of Cambridge and Lonely
Location; Laigueglia, Italy
Date; Sunday 1st. October 2017
The Only Way is Up
The Only Way is Up
It was the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria all over again. I was sailing to the new world, from the land of the Crêpe to the land of the Grappa. A sea change: The Gulf of Genoa. The new world where our breath slowed, ending the hot canine breath of summer. Dog days when the sea convulsed, wine turned sour, hounds grew mad, and man became afflicted with burning fevers and frenzies, the brain boiling like an egg in a bone pot.
This, my first Hash in Italy. Oh, allow me: I’m “Dog of the Hare.” I arrived with nothing but my keen wits, my good looks, and my treasure trove of many words. Plus the Hoo-hah of hope. Oh yeah, least I forget, I had my mistress “Sex Club” in tow. In this new land, she says the best disguise was to be recognizable. She’ll be wearing a yellow T-shirt when she comes…tra la la. Vita E segreti del mare dall’impressione alla scomposizione visiva – If your mind is a matzoh ball, then everything looks like soup. (Loosely translated).
We washed ashore on the Italian Riviera, a land of savages and kings. In Albenga, we were met by our new handler: The Duchess of Cambridge. E la Sua visione del mondo – And His vision of the world. A person plans and God laughs. Duchess employed a loud voice, the international carrier of communication between cultures, as well as a colourful Berlitz of inscrutable gestures. We left all control to the Duchess, the mapmaker, the navigator. It’s not good to risk mutiny by one who controls the sea. What’s the difference between God and Duchess? God doesn’t think he’s on a mission from Duchess.
I was hashing on the Italian Riviera, sniffing and leaving canine messages around unpronounceable towns of – Albenga, Alassio, and Laigueglia. Our shelter for the weekend was the Sole Mare Hotel in Albenga, a town that boasted great hamlets. Food not ever far from our gullets, I ate like a galley slave, wolfing down enough nosh for an entire year. Sea food – eat. I’d never eaten a boiled egg. I soon found a boiled egg in the morning hard to beat.
Evenings were a dog-fight, laughing, singing, puking, the happy buffeting of each other’s ears like drunken puppies, late into the night until we all collapsed in a historic heap. Time can make between-the-leg Prunes out of even the most succulent of Plumbs.
Alls well that ends well. Gratefully, we got a lift home to Cannes from Fairy Plunger and we Bonded. He talked of his favourite resto on the Italian Riviera, in San Remo. He had my muzzle flaps flewing over his favourite meal: spaghetti and lobster. He drove us home, right to my fave sniff spot.
Later at home my mistress yapped: “Hey, Dog of the Hare, now here’s a coincidence: I’m reading Le Point magazine and guess what the Canadian Prime Minister and Barack Obama ate for dinner at Justin Trudeau’s favourite resto in Montreal, the Liverpool House? Spaghetti and Lobster!” On-On till next year.
Who needs running, let alone hashing when you can eat Italian food all day?
In a break with tradition from the previous year’s away weekend, Duchess at least had the grace to force feed the hash after the run and not beforehand. However, in compensation, he believed that a four course meal would only need 3 hours for digestion before being repeated in the evening.
Why this challenge, you ask? Easy, Saturday was the main event after Perpetch’s pathetically short and weedy warm up on the Friday evening. Padre, PHD and Keen Runner (as she is known in Facebook circles) had ensured that the appetite had well and truly been worked up with a bit of hill climbing and a few glorious km from Albenga to Alassio.
10h30 for 11h00 and the pack was under starter’s orders. Padre was very clear about the trail. There were no rules, except for the rules he created. Follow the flour. Check it out when you see a circle. Return to the check if you see a cross. And always stay on flour. What could possibly go wrong, Pissoles?
The run started simply enough, along the sea front and through the obligatory shiggy rather than along the road. This could not last, of course and after a wee while, the trail went up some steps. And up some more. And some more. At least it made for a good photo opportunity.
Note the lack of running from the runners up the steps…..
It should be noted that at this point, Pissoles was remarkably well behaved, to the point of being invisible. His time would come later.
At the top of the steps, we found a cunning check with seemingly no obvious trail leading off it. This allowed the incredibly energetic Jack Rabbit time to check out all directions whilst the remainder of the pack did the decent thing – guard the check against thieves and take some more photos.
Finally, Jack Rabbit was given some support and the pack found flour that had magically appeared since we last looked. This so surprised Deep Lunge, our visiting City Hashette, that she promptly made a slow motion fall for the benefit of her fellow hashers. She even had the scars to prove it at the end.
Fun over, the pack followed the trail along the contours until we met up with the walkers. It seemed that Gus, the famous ghost on the coast, was also being mischievous as the circles had all been marked out in the correct direction despite the runners sticking together. The intrepid pioneer FRB brigade decided to run ahead and see what dear Gus was up to. It turned out that it was a false sighting, as he was nowhere to be seen but co-hare Keen Runner had taken it upon herself to speed us to the beer stop and mark out the trail in advance.
From thereon in, it was downhill to a well earned beer stop by the local church. Wedgie was seen to enter for a quick chat with the Lord whilst the remaining hashers entered into the spirit with prosecco, beer, wine and lots of snacks….a bad idea given what was in store later. Jobsworth was overheard complaining that he only drinks after sundown. Happily, Deep Lunge obliged by reminding him that it was 7pm in Japan, so his dilemma was solved in an instant. Star of the day at the beer stop was Gus, making an apparition for the hash and wishing us well. Especially Pissoles.
Oh yes, Pissoles. Clearly he had enjoyed the beer stop too much as the second half was his. The trail wound down to Alassio and there was a very obvious regroup at a railway crossing with the barrier down for a trail to pass. So what did Pissoles do? He decided to play chicken with the train and run through the barrier in front of it (Ed – that’s a bit of an exaggeration, as the train did not arrive for a while, but it makes good print). From this moment on, he was never seen again.
The only rule of hashing is to follow trail. How hard can it be? We worried that Pissoles had hitched a lift on the train to Rome as we never saw him again, despite the circle lasting quite a while. So, in true hash tradition, we decided that he is a grown man and forgot about him.
The remainder of the second half was a jaunt around the historic centre of Alassio and ended in a childrens’ playground. Pity that Pedo was not there as he would have been in his element.
We waited for Pissoles for a long time and eventually decided to hold the circle in his name and, of course, nominate him as Shit of the Week in abstentia.
Many thanks to the hares, pictured, for a great run. Having used up thousands of calories, it was time to destroy all the good work with rather a lot of food. And the promise of even more food just a few hours later that evening.
Postscript – Pissoles claimed that he lost the trail, kept running and running and eventually turned back when he reached the French border and was mistaken for a Syrian refugee. Likely story.
Apart for a few early birds the reunion party started that Friday evening. People with familiar smiles but unremembered hash names arrived in throngs. Many from Switzerland, some from Ireland, newcomers from England, came to swell the Riviera flock. It wasn’t just seasonal migration; rather an annual gathering of 50 hashers to have fun and in Albenga, Italy again, where the fun can be warmer, cheaper and easier than at home. Why is it easier to have fun somewhere else?
Of course there is an age when it stops being easy to travel but we had only reached the age where the ‘D’ word becomes a problem. A sketch the next day would make reference to this. But the bright T-shirts were anagrammed with each hasher’s name, so it was not a problem today! We could greet each other like friends who had parted only last week.
The T-shirts were all yellow so distant hashers could be identified in crowded old town streets as dusk approached. So the pack could keep reasonably together and finally we lost no one. Though not all made the circle, a repeated theme for the weekend! But first what happened on the trail?
From the hotel the walkers turned left along the Italian seaside promenade while the runners turned right only to return towards the walkers. The first check took us under the railway line then right to the rural town suburbs. Some could recall last year’s route as we headed to the ‘Roman’ bridge where we re-grouped for awhile and a chat. Those who read the sign here learnt it was built centuries after the days of the Roman Empire yet long ago enough for the detritus of nature (or civilisation?) to have buried much of the bridge and probably divert the river. There was certainly no longer any water visibly flowing under this bridge and its arches looked like a glorious crown without a monarch under it. Of course today was the day from which we would no longer see another Monarch!
After the ‘Roman’ bridge we headed to the old town, where no flour, like last year, could be found through the first gate and, like last year, walkers caught up. We ran outside the walls anti-clockwise to today’s riverbanks before entering the old town, with plenty of scope for getting lost but the hare managed to keep us together, passing the old tower with regularly spaced holes above irregularly filled streets with gesticulating Italians.
We left the old town heading toward the railway station near where the walkers took a shortcut under the line but the runners looped among the road grid near a fort, never crossing the river today – this apparently was reserved for tomorrow’s trail. But one runner found his way across the river onto flour up the steps to a balcony, where a resident, enjoying the cool night air, discretely informing him that this road (to Alassio) had no lights on it. This lost sheep returned on a shortcut over the railway bridge having missed our first circle.
….beer is coming home!
Or to Albenga at least
Riviera Hash House Harriers Colgan’s Sipping Ale ready to go to Italy for the weekend, Pilsner, Pale Ale and IPA.
The drinking stuff is already there and waiting.
What is there not to like?
Hot sunny day, semi naked people on the beach, convivial group of like minded pervs. and another shitty day in Paradise.
The hares – Supermarket Trolley and Farty Bum
Meet at 10h30 for 11h00
Venue – Villeneuve Loubet, off the roundabout on the Grasse / Roquefort road.
Next hash, brought to you by Supermarket Trolley and Farty Bum, will be held in Villeneuve Loubet, starting from the area off the roundabout with the cut-out of the cavalier on the Grasse/Roquefort road.
There are three roundabouts along this road – one at the exit from the auto-route coming from Nice, one at the college/salle des sports/ media-tech etc (which is the one with the cut-out cavalier), and the third roundabout is the one by the bridge entering the village of Villeneuve Loubet.
When you turn in from this cavalier roundabout, go to the left, past the football field, police station, college etc and continue back behind where the parking lots are. We decided to use the media-tech parking this time, which is more to the left than the one we’ve used at other hashes.
Time will be 10:30 for 11:00.
More precise directions may be posted later in the week, but most of you know where it is.
Supermarket Trolley 06 14 67 79 87
Farty Bum 04 93 20 22 91
See you there!
ST & FB
The French Riviera 2017. One of the hottest summers ever and certainly one of the driest. Politicians are fighting over climate change and how to react to it but none have an idea how to solve the drought. This is because politicians are not hashers and have never heard of Jobsworth the rainmaker. Two of the biggest downpours this year have now been recorded on the days he has set his hashes.
Padre had very kindly offered to assist as a hare and the pair of them boldly set out, flour in hand, to set a beautifully marked trail on the Saturday morning. Meteo France warned of a possible storm in the afternoon but the two seasoned hares were sure that they had taken all necessary precautions by placing the flour in strategic dry areas. Hash set, they settled down to enjoy their Saturday afternoons and……the heavens opened.
Now, I know that hurricane Irma is God’s way of reminding Donald Trump to look after the planet and especially the USA, but Irma is nothing compared to the deluge that beset Sophia Antipolis. Taking of which, what did hurricane Irma say to Florida? “I’ve got my eye on you”. Or what did the hurricane say to the coconut tree? “Hold on to your nuts, this is no ordinary blow job”.
Anyway, I digress. Tropical storm Gisbert had wiped out all the trail so a good group of hashers gathered in the bright Sunday sunshine to be informed that Padre had gone on ahead to live hare the runners’ trail. Jobsworth would shepherd the walkers on the first half with Jessie the dog.
A storm or a cute dog. Which could cause more drama on the hash? The runners set off following Padre’s newly marked trail, with Finnish Fly shackling herself to Pilchard to ensure that he did not repeat the ungentlemanly act of the Cap d’Antibes run where he deserted her as she was rehabilitating from her broken leg. Cumalot led the runners off up a falsie, allowing the walkers to overtake them and enter the forest first. Trouble is, Sadist was taking the walking too seriously and fell over within 10 metres of entering the forest.
Jobsworth was warned to put lots of Ws down as Farty Bum was making a late, Italian style appearance on the hash, i.e. late. Not as late as Supermarket Trolley who only turned up at the beer stop, but she had a good excuse in having had to see the police that morning. Sympathies to her on her plight.
Meanwhile back on the run, the runners had been slowed down by a cunning check from Padre where none of them had the energy to actually check the trails. Fortunately, Jobsworth saved the day and set them on their way. And this is where the trouble started. Jobsworth continued his merry way with the FWBs, chatting away until long lost returner Lady Godiva (an original RHHH member making her first appearance this millennium) innocuously asked Jobsworth “where’s your dog gone?”. “Oh sh*t”, said Jobsworth, who had totally forgotten he owned a dog. So he abandoned the walkers with scant directions to the beer stop and ran off in the direction of the runners’ trail. He phoned Cumalot, who helpfully replied that the dog had been with them but had hightailed it.
Q. Why do blondes tip toe past the medicine cabinet?
A. They don’t want to wake the sleeping pills.
Q. Why was the blonde excited to finish the jigsaw puzzle in 6 months
A. Because the box said 2-4 years
And the delicious irony of the dumb blonde jokes? Jessie was fine and well, having used her cute looks to flag down some passing walkers, who used her tag to bring her back home. Jobsworth, by comparison, was the dumb one for forgetting her and then giving himself a near heart attack running around looking for her when she was fine.
Panic over, Jobsworth caught up with the straggling walkers as they neared the beer stop via the quarry with probably the best view over the Mediterranean in the world.
Once at the beer stop, refreshments were available to all and the runners told their stories of having to belly dance under a gate to continue on the trail. Padre and Jobsworth reversed roles, with Jobsworth leaving early to live hare the second half, which was an uphill through the forest. Except where it was down.
Cumalot and Drag Anchor took the easy way back in the beer car and the remaining hashers returned to the start in dribs and drabs.
Pilchard ordering hashers around as if still an army officer.
And so to the circle. Cumalot as ever presided and the charges I recall were:
Hares – Jobsworth and Padre
Returners – Lady Godiva (a very long wait between hashes), Supermarket Trolley, Fairy Plongeur, Gorgeous Edna, Val and several others
Falling over – Sadist, with a guest appearance from Iron Lady for previous such transgressions
Beer master not performing beer master duties – Farth Bum
Latecummers – Farty Bum and Supermarket Trolley
Sh*t of the week should have been an easy affair. Farty Bum, of course, simply for being there. But the kangaroo court ignored traditional SoW immunity for the hares by nominating Padre for delaying the circle and Jobsworth for losing his dog. Jobsworth won by a landslide.
Circle over, it was time for the onon at an all you can eat Asian buffet. Or rather it wasn’t, as the chosen restaurant was full. Despite having picked on Jobsworth for dog abuse, he was despatched to find a solution, which happened to be another all you can eat Asian restaurant just 500m away. And so bellies were filled and war stories recounted, not least by resident tank commander Pilchard.
And that is all. Your hare, beer master, shit of the week AND scribe is now signing out from duties for today. OnOn!
Next R*n, SuperMarket Trolley race around Villeneuve Loubet
The hares – Jobsworth and Padre
Meet at 10h00 for 10h30
Venue – Sophiatech, just a 3 minute drive from the Antibes A8 exit
Having not attended the hash since, well, last setting one, Jobsworth has happily accepted the offer of Padre to co-hare. Given that there is unfinished business in the ever receding forests behind Antibes, that his knees are destroyed by too much vertical ascent over the last month and that he only returned to the Riviera on Sunday, the start point will be identical to the one for the hash he set in July. As will the restaurant, which to be fair is not a bad little all you can eat Asian buffet. However, the trail will be very different to the last, so no fear of repetition.
Coming from the east, exit A8 at Antibes. Take the new slip road at the exit marked d535 towards Sophia & Biot. Follow the d535 down the dip & back up the other side (past the legendary Pedo beerstop) for about 1km until you come to a roundabout named “Carrefour Sophia Tech”. Turn left at this roundabout towards “Campus Sophiatech” & park along the road wherever you see hashers.
Same as above coming from the West but with an extra need for vigilance. When you come off the A8, follow signs towards Biot & then to Nice back on the A8. When you are by the entrance to the autoroute signposted Nice, do not go back on but straight up the d535 towards Biot. Directions as above – 1.2km to the roundabout (named Carrefour Sophia Tech) after the dip & turn left following the “Campus Sophiatech signs” & park with the other hashers.
If you are planning coming in any direction that will first take you through Sophia Antipolis, don’t do it. You will be lost in the maze of roundabouts for the rest of eternity & I really do not have a sharp enough mind to explain how to navigate there. Just take the instructions from the Antibes A8 exit and you will be fine. It is a 3 minute drive from there.
If you have any problems, call Jobsworth on 0607938501.
For map details, please copy & paste this link in the web