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Run 740. The Wennallt. The Traditional Christmas Run and the RA had arranged blue sky and crisp underfoot. Sandy V and Caped Crusader arranged two great trails one for the running hounds and one for the walkers. The latter was laid in drinking straws for the mini hounds to follow the trail and collect up. Somehow both Carys and Amelie each managed to find the trail markers despite one being at the front of the pack and the other further behind. The runners were treated to a tricky trail. Devious Bahrain H3 back checks and the Hare calling erroneously On On  had us back and forward like  pin balls. Hayden, on only his second run bounded off several times to find four blobs but not trusting his eyes or the Hare came back only  to be told he was On On. Down Downs were dispensed by the RA to Daffy, the Hares and Phallus then it was  on to the mulled wine and mince pies dispensed by Fartypants and Horse. Farty provided a topical visual pun which Hayden – bright chap- worked out as “Peas on Earth”.

Run 732. Brynffynon Inn, Llanwonno. The cloud hung low over the Rhondda hills and a fine drizzle descended persistently, thickening to rain as the morning wore on. At 11 am only the Hare and GM sat in their cars at the Brynfynnon Inn, which could just be made out at the other end of the car park. This was dissapointing as the area is one of outstanding beauty. Further more the pub was holding a real ale and cider festival and would not open until noon. At 1105 Horse arrived to the dismay of the Hare who would now have to do the run after all. The equine gentleman brought his own kettle (all be it made from cardboard) in honour of Guto Nyth Bran, who is buried in the adjoining churchyard and reputedly ran from Llyncelyn to Pontypridd and back in the time it took his mother's kettle to boil. If only she had used a copper kettle the water would have boiled far more quickly. The going today was decidedly wet underfoot and the minimal pack took somewhat longer to get round the delightful course, stopping frequently en route for the Hare to describe the many wonderful views that could be seen if only the run had been set in the summer. Summer this year fell on a Tuesday in June. By the time they returned to the Brynfynnon, PC had managed to find the pub in the mist. All four hashers enjoyed a glass of refreshing ale while discussing the various charms of the local milkmaids in their fetching traditional costumes.

Run 729. The Three Horseshoes, Peterstone-super-Ely. Only one hound turned up for this run plus one walker  which was not surprising as it monsooned down every 20 minutes. The hare had a premonition that the pack would be small so had laid no falsies and led Fartypants round without making him do any checking. Just as well, really, as most of the flour, laid only an hour before, had disappeared in the monsoon. Another trail that can and should be repeated  as the scenery is beautiful. Dogbolter and Seagull and family joined us for the post hash so numbers picked up.

Run 728. The Vale of Glamorgan Hotel, Cowbridge. The pack arrived and hung around wondering if we had a trail to run when the substitute hares, PC and Daisy, returned from laying the trail. This was Daisy’s first time as a hare – not bad for a 5 year old. The trail itself was familiar to the pack and we fairly galloped round pausing only to look at St Quentin’s Castle. Somehow we missed the last part the only bit that PC had recced, never mind he can use it again. Farty commented to the bar staff that they’d changed the bar around – “Yes we did it 17 years ago”. Daisy proceeded to fall fast asleep - not the first hasher to do so in a pub.

Run 727. The Otley Arms, Treforest. We started from the station car park and were introduced to a new boot Alfie whose pedigree name is Hash House Harrier. At only four months old this was already his third hash. We also welcomed back Compass from Germany. Dicky Pierce was the Hare – only his 17th run in 12 years but not bad for someone who once declared that he would rather do something else than hash. The walker’s trail was a good flat one but the runner’s trail inevitably led upwards at first. It soon gave us great views of the Taff Valley before dropping down to Ynysangharad Park. This has everything - ice creams, swimming, cricket, golf course, rugby  pitch, band stand. Oh yes, the bandstand - a BS. No band there but the hash is nothing if resourceful and we proceeded to hold our own musical event. Daffy and Dicky produced  from nowhere a tambourine, maracas, triangle and other musical things I couldn’t name. Only Leek and his horn was missing. After a swift and thunderous  rendering of the 1812 Overture, and Maen hen wlad etc., in the very place where it was composed,  we were on our way back to the pub. Down downs went to Spell Checker and the hares and to Vamp for saying she wanted to play the triangle and getting to do so.

Run 726. Hangover Run. Hare:- PC. PC’s trail survived the thunderstorm and monsoon of the night before. The run was just about the right length but included a steep climb which everyone survived to arrive back within the hour. Another Hash Camp over then and Daffy already planning the next one in a quiet part of Pembrokeshire.

Run 725. Main run. Hare Snowey aided by Beats Me and  Flash. Everyone apart from the kitchen slaves and some non running mums and young ones set off  in persistent rain and black midges. The trail was about 6 miles but reasonably level and included a Zoo. Down Downs included Death Wish a visitor from Swansea  by way of Riyad who FRB’d and SCB’d; Daffy who was led astray (no!!) to the Ancient Briton and Half Hour who clocked up his 250th run. The post dinner “Sound of Music” cabaret included the von Snowden family doing the before the watershed alternative Lonely Goatherd; Leek led Edelweiss and Sandy and Caped Crusader did the Pensioner’s My Favourite things. The four von Trapp children gave a brilliant rendering of “So Long Farewell” to bring the first half to an end. It brought tears to the eyes of some. Esme “Sticky Bob” von Trapp also sang a lovely solo.  After the children had gone to bed Gunsmoke Jones returned and then it all went downhill. Daffy’s puppet show of the Lonely Goaturd; Leek’s alternative Edelweiss written only than day/hour- and Dogbolter’s Favourite Things followed then it was a free for all. I am reliably informed that the evening ended with a quiz and spelling bee set by Spell Checker. Horse won, Rawhide runner up and Snowey could do better.

Run 724. Run to the pub Hash Camp. Hare:-Horse After Horse had consulted the map he decided to lay a trail not taking in the Ancient Briton but one that went straight to the Penycae Inn. A good night was enjoyed there. Fartypants and Dogbolter continued their boyhood by playing with the lego. A topical T62 tank and a man facing it off was created – see photo. Flushed with pride at his artistry Farty went to the bar and fell over a large bronze pig.

Run No 723. The Greyhound, Christchurch. Brilliant Bank Holiday weekend sunshine brought the crowds out in droves – but not to Horse’s trail. The pack of one plus the hare assembled and were about to set off when Leek and the four von Trapps appeared as did Spell Checker and Elvis. Luckily Horse had laid another short trail with a very welcome beer stop at the Bell, Caerleon. Your scribe and Hash Tart II found themselves in the unusual situation of FRB after about 200 yards and had to check every check and found every false trail. Hash Tart was puzzled by the lack of anyone in front to chase after.  Leek and Horse trailed behind helping the von Trapps through the nettles and providing lifts where required. Horse complained that this was fine except that every so often Olwen wanted him to stop suddenly pick wild, and some not so wild, flowers. Not very good for the fetlocks. Half Hour and Spell Checker planned to meet the pack at the Bell but couldn’t find it so returned and got a sun tan outside the Greyhound instead.   

Run No 722. The Church House, Bedwas. This might have been the first ever run from here, a great little pub opposite a church with an unusual tower. Ollie Cromwell and his thugs knocked the top off the church cross too and the famed Guto Nyth Bran is reputed to have died there after a 12 mile race from Newport. No such life threatening racing could be attributed to any of the assembled pack although Bo, operating as Hash Crèche, led a pretty fast  line of juniors hurrying on down to the playground. Leek and Boy Racer had laid a short trail. “That would be a medium then” said Daffy. Thwarted by obliterated rights of way he still managed to conjure up a scenic trail part of which the walkers took in too. Spencer took over Compass’s (3 S’s, Ceri) checking duties and wrongly checked out every one except the last. Vamp, Hash Tart II and Daffy took a convenient shortcut to avoid a herd of cows and their huge consort but the boys were braver. Down downs were awarded to the Hare, Spencer who was named Radar and Ceri who is now  Spell Checker.

Run No 721. The Hog’s Head, Treadam. Once again CH3 invaded MSH3 territory. The hare was an overhung Teeny, but, overhung or not he laid a very good trail taking in White Castle and Offa’s Dyke. The pack was swelled by very welcome visitors from Cheltenham and Cotswold H3 and others who had been at 2 Lip’s 40th party the night before. Everyone enjoyed the great scenery except possibly a Border Terrier who was attacked by an unwelcoming farm dog. Hash Tart 2 nearly suffered the same fate when a seemingly benign dog that we passed jumped her from behind and nearly took her nose off. Teeny’s trail owed a lot to him losing the plot a bit in places. A clamber over a fence and up and over a dodgy deep ditch was questioned by Mad Dog afterwards “Teeny, were you lost when…?” “Yes”. Down Downs were awarded to the Hare and to Josh who was named Compass for checking every possible alternative trail enthusiastically. Ceri then asked if his name could be spelt with not one s but two. Yes, she was told – that is how Compass is spelt. I feel another naming coming on.

Run No 720. The Red Lion, Llangynidyr. In brilliant Spring sunshine Nick the Leek had laid a trail that gave the pack stunning views of Llangorse Lake and the surrounding hills. The pack of about thirty hounds included  numerous Bretons from Scaer on a twinning visit to Crickhowell. As most of them were fit real runners the hare gave them a great run for their money. Having hashed from the Red Lion many times he also managed to lay a trail that covered very little ground that had been covered before. For many of the Breton contingent it was their first hash and once the basics had been explained to them they checked all of the up hill false trails and forgot to count the number of blobs before calling on. Mermaid kept crying “Combien? Combien?” to no avail. Spencer, and Josh fresh from the Welsh Cavalry and wearing combat boots for his first hash, also checked out a few down hill falsies and kept up the pace. Just before the On Inn sign  some kind house owner had scrubbed out a vital check outside his garden. The hare had visions of the Bretons going round the trail for a second time and himself having to chase after them but the FRBs had found their way back off trail and after about an hour and a half all of the pack were back.

Run No 719. The Carpenter’s Arms, Coedypaen. Once again the absent R.A. arranged sunny weather and Sandy Volvo laid on a trail with plenty of up and under but no down downs. Flash found the first On On and was an FRBer for the first mile or so. The Hare’s deviousness knew no bounds as he laid a fruitless loop down a river. Spencer again energetically checked out all the checks but is now coming to realise why no one else checks down hill. Just Snowey attempted to dog nap the Hash Tart II over another river. Not that she minded as it gave her another chance to race back to the pack at 90 miles an hour. Snowey received a Down Down from the Curate’s wife for that one. The walkers went down a dead end but did succeed in enjoying a pleasant trail of their own with views of the reservoir. Huggy arranged for Down Down’s for Ceri and Bryher for looking after her so well. Post hash, Elvis and Hash Tart II serenaded us from the cars. Later it was discovered that Elvis was asleep and it was the Tart doing an impersonation of him.

Run No 718. The Hollybush, Draethen. A glorious Spring day was arranged by the absent R.A. and Horse declared it the first singlet run of the year. Vicar had laid a runner’s trail and a  walker’s trail – eight blobs and you’re on. Ceri and Shan brought along four virgin boots. Sadly the walkers didn’t find all of their trail and got a bit lost. Dickie Pierce who might have been able to help was busy at the back shepherding Mini Me along on her bike. The runners enjoyed an excellent run. Somebody had rubbed out one of the checks and so the FRBs headed  down hill off trail while Daffy and Vamp in the knitting circle became unlikely FRBs sharing the trail with some mountain bikers. The pack eventually regrouped for a superb view of the River Severn over to Somerset and waved hello to Silva Surfa. Down downs were awarded to the virgin boots including Spencer - a born hasher. Vamp got one for coming in first and shouting “I’ve won!” against all the rules; Daffy for allegedly tailoring the trail and Vicar for a great run. The post hash conversation ranged over the philosophical questions of whether hashes should have territories and, in the unlikely event of his house burning down,  would Horse rescue Jenny first and then go back for the Papyrus or rescue the Papryus first… ……….

Run No 717. The Bunch of Grapes, Glyntaff. Hares: Daffy Dildo, Hot Dog and Phallus. St David’s Day and great spring weather was conjured up by the current R.A. for the recently retired R.A. A pack of 32  turned out including Sasha making her debut at 10 days old. Elvis also attended proving what we all knew, that the King is not dead, he only left the room temporarily. A hungover Hare confessed that she could only manage a short trail aided and abetted by Hot Dog and Phallus but she promised Cawl and Leek and Potato soup on the way. This was a surprisingly scenic run which included parts of the old Taff canal, sadly now derelict, and an ancient burial track used to bring bodies from Eglwysilian Church to Glyntaff.  Tilly the dog showed how it was done using the force of gravity as we rested at the V.P. The walkers and runners met up at Daffy and Compass’s (aka Dickie Pierce) place for excellent St David’s Day food and to celebrate Daffy going into business for herself. Down downs were awarded to Horse for obtaining a lift to the Stables; Sticky Bob and Boy Racer for having birthdays; the Hares and to the three Davids.

Run No 716. The Horse and Jockey, Twyn yr Odyn Hare: Nick the Leek. A good turn out on St Valentine’s Day + 1 in cool but dry weather. Three welcome virgin boots, Ceri, Sîan and Matthew arrived.  Leek promised a five mile run and a short run denoted by white or pink hearted checks. Working out which were the conjoined or concentric hearts tested some people’s geometry but eventually the “running” hounds and the walking hounds found their routes. The small pack of hounds on the long run experienced  plenty of shiggy, water, being shot at, good views, stiles and burial mounds. Hash Tart 2, not content with jumping each stile once, jumped each one three times.  Fartypants was sucked up a couple of long falsies much to the Hare’s delight. The short run was tackled in part by the Crèche and in full by our new boots. Little Freya of the Von Trapps completed her first full hash. Down Downs were awarded to Hosepipe for turning the white and pink flour yellow, to Leek for two excellent trails and to Hash Tart 2 for over enthusiasm.

Run No 715. Llantrisant car park. On Inn: The New Inn. Hare: Vamp.Who’d be the Hare for the Hangover Run  after the AGPU. Up at sparrow’s fart and not able to drive up to lay the trail because the previous night’s appreciation of the beer/wine made it hard to see let alone drive. Still, the run was a short one over the Common and through the “Hole with the Mint”  in it. Plenty of shiggy and streams to cross which made the two new mini boots and Sticky Bob squeal loudly every time they had to get their feet wet. Farty Pants dispensed the Down Downs as the newly installed RA. Leek got one for the bad pun about the hole with the mint and two new boots were welcomed in the time honoured fashion.

Run No 714. The Butcher’s Arms, Llandaff. Dire warnings about the weather forecast encouraged Ponce to lay the trail on the day for a change. Fortunately, the last hail-storm passed over before he started and we had yet another sunny day for our hash. The pack outnumbered the walkers for a change, too. We had a good tour of Victorian Llandaff and the green, green grass of Cardiff. Ponce decided that the lager Fartypants had brought was not good enough for hashers.  He went and bought a 5 litre barrel of Brains Skull Attack that had to be drunk within 24 hours of opening. But where was the RA to dispense the Down Downs? As she had been amongst the walkers not much hope of any sins to be reported.  So Half Hour dispensed the beer liberally and the 100% rule was invoked.

Run No 713. The Castle Hotel Brecon. Hare Teeny. How many brides go out for a surprise hash the morning after? On a freezing day (temperature -6 C) the pack snuck up into the Castle Hotel where Snowey and Beats Me had spent their first night of bliss quaffing 3 large bottles of Champagne. The happy couple came into Reception. When Beats Me saw the assembled pack she said I can’t come I’ve no running kit. It being pantomime season we all knew the response to make. Snowey duly handed his bride her trainers and the hash was on. The happy couple shot off up the hill but soon the champagne caught up with them. Beats Me actually joined the knitting circle with 2 Lips - probably a first for the latter. Percy, hashing for the first time in many years, but fit from his Grand Slam of Half Marathons for the British Heart Foundation, checked out the trail as only he can. Teeny’s trail was a pleasant tour of Brecon, familiar to many of the pack, but a most enjoyable way to end a cracking weekend.

Run 712 Craig y Nos Castle. On a bitterly cold but sunny day Snowey, Beats Me and one of Snowey’s sons laid a scenic trail for their  wedding guests who included hashers, real runners from Brighton and a few fit new boots. The trail went through Craig y Nos Country Park and Dan yr Ogof with only one testing hill and some sheet ice to negotiate. Even Teeny  managed to survive the run despite carrying a mega hangover. Bess “Hash Tart 2” tried her best to knock a few hounds down a steep ravine but only ended up doing a duck slide herself along the ice. Some of the fit keen new boots had to be re-called by the hare after following a false trail to who knows where. The circle came to an abrupt end as G String couldn’t find Boy Racer who had gone off on the walkers’ trail and hadn’t returned. All was well however as Dogbolter and Amelie escorted Boy Racer safely back to the fold wondering what all the fuss was about.

Run 711 Wenallt Car Park. The annual Wenallt run was a pre-Christmas cracker. 29 – yes 29 people, including our recent past GM, Peter Pong landed only the day before from Perth, Australia, turned up to this traditional CH3 pre-Christmas hash. Hared at late notice by Leaky G String and Phallus, fresh from playing Santa at Leek and G String’s Traditional Children’s Christmas Party. Needless to say Phallus didn’t Hare the actual run but G String did with Sticky Bob and Boy Racer doing really well. Mud, mud and more mud was the theme for the trail which nine hounds ran plus  Bess, a real hound. This was a back to basics hash with plenty of shiggy. Back at the start Leek had been cleaning up daughter number 3 who took the shaggy theme literally as had Cerys who targeted Mini Me. Mulled wine and mince pies, provided traditionally by a sick Horse and Farty, went down well with the assembled throng, many of whom were suffering from the seasonal lurgy.  On Inn to the Pantmawr Inn.