Hash: 1945 13 January 2018

Christian (ably encouraged by Harriet)
Start and après: Wezembeek-Oppem

The first hash of the year for your lazy scribe and a very pleasant way to ease oneself back into Saturday afternoon activity. As usual, some people congregated inside and some outside, so it was impossible to know how many would shake off the festive lethargy. In the end it was a pretty impressive turnout and a warm welcome to first timers Kathy and Kevin who swelled the ranks of the walkers
In this era of Fake News, it is always refreshing to have honesty. At the outset the pack was informed that Christian had set the trail on his own by bike and that it had taken him longer than expected. The hare later confided the area has been so thoroughly hashed over the years that it is increasingly difficult to confuse the front runners.
That may be Hash Observation No 1: as a successful hash approaches early middle age (well, the hash is approaching the big FOUR O), the scope for novelty trail laying diminishes. But Hash Observation No 2 also comes into play: as the pack gains gravitas and loses speed, so checking takes longer.
It is perfect symmetry. The first is compensated by the second. And so it proved on this afternoon. A largely familiar trail, but with the inevitable twists we come to expect when in Wezembeek-Oppem, saw the far from homogenous pack start and finish almost together.
The trail threaded the pack through neat suburban streets where some houses still had illuminated Christmas decorations in their full glory, along muddy paths and ploughed fields with agricultural smells and distant vistas. I lost count of the number of horses and riders we passed along the route. And for the nostalgic, the trail went past the impressive house Janet and Barry used to live in.
Turnout: 22 (once Janet had managed to park her car and catch us up)
Weather: dry, slightly overcast and nippy
:) :)
Hash 1947 Hares: Rory on his own

Meeting place: Tram museum

Numbers: 19

A good turn out on a cold day, particularly for your scribe just back from
a month in the Caribbean.

Jackie and Alison led the way up the hill towards the old railway line.

We then turned left on the line and did a series of loops a squirls all
around the line on its way towards Stockel. There was some muddy stuff
down towards the Woluwe valley near the Parc des Sources and a real
switchback on a bikers' challenge track. With a cunning mixture of checks
and check-backs our layer managed to keep the leaders (mostly girls) back
in the pack.

A turn around through the wilds of Woluwe St Pierre and a final sprint
along Avenue Parmentier, where many thought we would be going into the
Parc, brought us thankfully to final on-ons and back to the tram museum.

Distance estimated at 8 km.

The après in Baron de Castro was very successful, as it involved a
celebration of Burns night. The haggis was brought in with northern
sounding poetry from our Scots and went down a treat. Doggy bags were even
handed out

Altogether a very good hash and magnificent après.

Richard W.


Hash # 1939
2nd December 2017 at 15.00
Hare: Chris
Start and après: Hoeilaart centre next to the church; chez Chris nearby
The second consecutive hash that promised and delivered something new. The runners and walkers assembled promptly in the appointed place: the renovated town square, which was discovered during the recent public works to cover a large reservoir to contain storm waters that pour down from the adjoining hills.
We departed on the dot of 3:10 and after the requisite couple of false trails in the village we started to mount the nearby steep hills. Roads accessed the hills at first but subsequently we were led onto smaller tracks. Regularly led by Jono and Alison S and across some quaggy fields we reached the top of the hills and a boundary sign of Hoeilaart.
By this time, complaints were heard from some city dwellers that town was not as cold, misty or snowy as these peaks and our most senior member had retreated to the Nero Café for some warmth and sustenance.
On-on the cry went up and we traversed a large field, around a couple of copses, missed a check and then had to be restrained by our hare who was usefully wearing a bright red beret, so could be easily seen in the gathering gloom. We made what she described as a ‘perpendicular’ manoeuvre at the aforementioned check – not straight up into the sky as Jan remarked but at right angles to our previous traverse. We crossed a road and finally defeated the sole biker, Ian, by taking another cross-country route alongside a wood, which was impassable by two wheels but manageable with two legs, despite a few scrambles with brambles.
We quickly descended back into the centre of town and on to the cosy and well-stocked home of our host.
Chris had produced a route, which did indeed take us into new lanes and by-ways of the home territory of several of Hoeilaart-resident hashers, and to everyone’s pleasure. Not surprising from an inveterate traveller who is currently recceing a trip to Malaysia, Bali, Lombok and the islands of Papua New Guinea early in 2018 – don’t forget your mobile phone Chris!
Turnout: 15 + Peter Coldrick, spotted after the start and before the après, so there in spirit if not in fact.
Weather: cold around 1 to 3 C, and misty with touches of snow on the higher reaches.
Berties: 0, but the man himself kept warm in the Nero café during much of the hash.  

Hash: 1938 aka Turkey Trot 2017
25 November 17

Hare: David Z

Start and après: Chez Zaruk, Groenstraat 17, Zaventem village
The hare promised us something new as we waited for a passing shower to disappear at 3:10, which it duly did at 3:15.
We searched the nearby streets and progressively found our way to the deep moat and high fencing that protects the National Airport from marauding foreigners. Several new false trails were explored as a returning crusader, no marauder, Arthur regaled us with tales of derring-do about his recent 3,000 km walk to Jerusalem. He went with a group from the UK   to apologise to the Palestinians about ‘the Balfour declaration’ – 65 words issued publically 100 years ago by the then Foreign Secretary, including the phrase to establish “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. In essence promising the Jews a land where the indigenous natives made up more than 90% of the population.
Onwards we trekked around the southern flank of the airport perimeter fence in now what was almost warm sunshine. We had a lesson on agriculture without tilling using alternative ground cover from our hare before reaching a check by a small wood with impressive new signs and bike racks. We were encouraged to enter and follow the flour. By some trick of nature the higher we penetrated this hill the wetter the undergrowth until it was almost impossible if not impassable without getting one’s feet wet. But we were rewarded with a panoramic view of the main runways and airport buildings some 50 metres below. Brussels airport have kindly provided a dozen or so benches and picnic tables for plane spotters or exhausted hashers.
On-on the call went up and we were led further east towards Nossegem church and cemetery, which includes some Commonwealth graves, we were informed by a sign. By this time it had become distinctly chillier than when we started, the sun had dropped behind some clouds and on the return run the prevailing westerly was in our faces.
Back along the variegated ground cover, across railway lines running in and out and underneath the departing flights of Turkish airlines, Lufthansa and many others made conversation stilted but we persisted in the knowledge and hope of a feast awaiting us.
By some miracle, aka a bike, the hare was at home with hot squash soup to welcome the by now bedraggled remnants of the bold platoon of hashers as we dribbled in. More, much more was to follow, as by some miracle a roast turkey and masses of trimmings was set before us by our lonely hare as Mitzi Zaruk, who is now a runner, had disappeared to Gent for the day with some visiting Filipino guests.
Not only did we have a full Thanksgiving main course, but the more than adequate quantities,  were followed by desserts and a ripe range of cheeses. All washed down with lashings of beer, mulled wine, cool white and room temperature red wine plus individually served hot coffee: rarely has one man served so many hungry hashers.
New false trails, new viewing platform and new record in one-man catering: David you exceeded your own promise and our expectations, thank you!
Turnout: 15 + Mrs Pooley, posing as a Mary.
Weather: dry and occasionally sunny, but v.wet off piste
Berties: :) 

Hash No 1936

Start: Bandstand in centre of Kemmel village

Hares: Rory, Judi & Jan

All conscripted troops managed to arrive on time in vehicles of various vintages parked around the square. Most took advantage of arriving early to visit either or both of Major Watson’s two recommended exhibitions:

I) Kemmel Tourist Office, strikingly modern building opened in April 2017, in front of the church, hosted a contemporary display of a few relics, plenty of photos, films and good descriptions – some written others recorded - of an overview of WWI in and around Flanders:

II)“Irish blood, Flemish mud” was an equally good exhibition in Kemmel Church of how eight divisions of some 240,000 Irish volunteers collaborated with each other despite coming from the opposing nationalist and unionist traditions that emerged sharply in the period 1912 to 1918.  There were accounts of how the Irish played football in teams from Munster, Connnaught, Ulster and Leinster often in front of crowds of up to 3,000 other soldiers as well as moving tributes of how despite their different political affiliations the Irish troops cooperated in war, winning 4 out of 9 Victoria Crosses awarded in WWI, and would hopefully do so in peace.

Troops re-assembled in a café to re-charge batteries with beer, coffee or hot chocolate. Being a Watson-organised Hash there was no panic at 15h09 just a gentle move towards the start in order to give any even later comers, such as Caroline McClelland who had been late and unable to find Tyne Cot the previous year, time to join.

Runners were taken off on a couple of false trails that allowed walkers to gain an initial lead on way into the undulating grounds of the Gementehuis. Heuvelland. Col Coldrick manfully astride his Brompton steed made heavy weather of the soft Flemish clay but managed to keep up with the pack somehow or other.

We gradually mounted the Kemmel heights that are shrouded in trees in their full autumnal colours. Allegedly this is the highest point in Flanders and one does obtain good panoramas as we circled the hill. On the way up we were side-tracked into a Commando centre built and equipped for Nato but apparently never occupied. We passed the bright white Belvedere restaurant, a multi-storey hostel and then, overlooking the French border and the town of Bailleuil, a couple of large memorials to French WWI troops.

Continuing around the hill, as we were heading along tracks through the woods, the sun shone, briefly. As we began the descent, while not sharp some sections were slippery and at least one man descended on his rear.

Back into the Park Heuvelland and then across the front of the Gemeentehuis,  in a state of restoration, we all arrived safely back to the welcoming Après.

Driver Judi, Jan and Chris retreated home while the remaining 15 drove into Ypres, with the majority finding the restaurant without difficulty. We were watered and fed with efficiency and charm by a multilingual waitress and assistants before most returned to Brussels.

Grateful appreciation to all three hares for excellent organisation and clear instructions.

Turnout: 18 (compared with 20 in 2011, last time your scribe was Wipers hash author) + one very well-behaved Beagle

Weather: 💥 dry
Hash 1931
7 Oct 2017
Hare: Julian Rummins (on bike)
Start and après:
Steenokkerzeel, carpark almost opposite Aldi.

The second half of Hash 1930 discovered?
After some confusion about which car park in the noisiest village in
(Steenokkerzeel centre is less than 500 metres from the end of the
main take-off runway of Zaventem airport) a quorum was declared to be eleven
(including hare on bike, two other bikers, and five of the Class of '44 - Hugh
being 'off-games' at present). Our hare announced that the flour would always
be on the right, the trail suitable for bikers and that there would be a long and
a short option towards the end, and then we were off.

We headed out through a modern housing estate built just beyond the village centre.
It was exceedingly peaceful, between the regular take-offs and landings which
occur about every 3 minutes on a Saturday afternoon, the roads and paths are
exceedingly flat but if a lot of people live here they don't seem to leave their
homes on Saturday afternoons. The false trails were long and for the time
being the flour plentiful.

We eventually left suburbia and then criss-crossed the flat fields which in this
area are planted with with a few fields of corn (maize). Peter Briggs thought
the Flemish were being a bit slow in not making these into mazes -
Pete says "mazes of maize" are now common in England - but not sure if
the alliteration works in flemish: what are the Flemish for maze and maize? ["Deviation" Editor].

Corn : Mais
Amazing : verbazingwekkend
Maze : doolhof
Mariette Smits

According to our collective sense of direction the trail continued in a mainly
easterly direction with a strong wind leading us towards Leuven before we
eventually seemed to make the turn back towards the west.

As we turned we met the full force of a stiff westerly wind head-on. Flour
was now distinctly lacking and by a mistaken hand-signal from our hare
the lead runners assumed they were on the correct path. By this time, 4:15,
it was clearly not going to be the shortest hash this year - see Hash # 1930
for comparison. In the event, however, the return trail was less circuitous
that the outward leg and we arrived home hale if  panting to find a bevy
of Marys in the carpark.

Your correspondent found that he had covered almost 11 kms - despite
the fact that the hare had later informed him that we had run the 'short'
trail home - so Hash 1931 contrasted strongly with the one before in that it was

Turnout: 11 + 2 Marys
Weather: dry then windy and eventually wet.
Distance: long

Hash: 1930 30 Sept 2017

Katie Challans alone (Wim having had his broken foot re-set in
a ski-bot was unable to help laying)

Start and après: Avenue des Jardins/Bloem, 1030 - at rear of her apartment block.

Was this a record Hash, or just half a Hash?
By 3pm it was not sure that there would be a quorum - whatever that is in a club that has no rules -
but by 3:10 there was a motley crew of one biker and eight others plus our trusty hare.
The weather was inclement to say the least: steady rain and a distinctly chilly breeze. We set off down
Boulevard Lambermont - towards the Josaphat Park - but it was a false trail and so we were returned
to Leopold III and into Av Rogier and past the former home of our trusty hare.
We zigged and zagged along and around mainly residential streets before descending gently
towards the hasher's delight of the aforementioned park once more. Some enthusiastic hashers
dashed straight in but was not to be so, we were kept on Av Eisenhower on the top edge of the
park until we reached a rather becoming art nouveau statue of a female figure - green now -
commemorating some long forgotten bourgemeister of Schaerbeek.
At this dramatic point we had a mid-hash break: all hashers present assembled for a message
from our trusty hare - we had reached the end - the end of the laid trail, as the inclement weather
had been even more indescribable earlier that morning and so our hare was abandoning us.
Far from home and beer, without any further flour what were we to do?
Ed took a photograph or two  ["Where are they?" Editor] and our now no longer trusty hare took
her leave and suggested that if we wanted a run in the park then 'just do it'. She departed for
home and we descended into the largely empty, apart from some other hardy souls who were
running around this by now, dry and almost sunny green and pleasant space.
So it was that by the time we had circumnavigated the long skinny and hilly Park Josaphat and
found our way back to our hosts the sky had cleared and we were able to enjoy two Bertie's
worth of sunshine and excellent home-made pizzas and beers.
Turnout: small, not even a 'Mary'
Enthusiasm: large
Weather: :( :( :( then :) :)
Distance: short - but innovative - abandoning the hashers half-way round was a first for your correspondent.

Hash: 1930
30 September 2017

Hare: Katie (Wim was billed as co-hare, but on the day was unfortunately hors de combat)
Start: Bloemtuinenlaan, Schaarbeek
Après: chez eux

Half a hash, half a hash,
Half a hash homeward
(With apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
Or as someone less eloquent might have put it: ’Ave you ever ’ad ’alf an ’ash? You would ’ave if you ’ad been with us
The morning, when the trail was laid, was wet and dismal. It had obviously had an effect on the sole hare who made it clear to the small pack that she was not enjoying her Saturday. In fact, she had rather hoped that none of us would brave the inclement conditions. But we did, to her obvious disappointment.
The start was surprisingly marked by a check (There are no rules – ed). Once the initial confusion had dissipated, the flour led to another check which contained two lengthy false trails. Surprisingly, there were quite a few false trails, but, as the hare sotto voce admitted later, she had laid the trail on a bicycle.
Old Schaerbeek hands knew the area and thought they understood the hare’s trail laying technique: keep it short and simple. Her 25/7/2015 record of 31 minutes for the front runners is still in a league (in deference to Alfred, Lord Tennyson) of its own.
This time the half hour mark was easily passed and the pack was loitering, it would be a travesty to call it checking, around Parc Josaphat. The trail had already taken us via various circuitous routes past one of Jacques Brel’s former houses (a must now on the Schaerbeek Hash Heritage Trail) and the hare’s former abode. The neighbour was away (Probably heard the hash was coming – ed).
We traversed a street named after the Belgian 19
th century architect Pierre Devigne who, according to the plaque, seemed to specialise in nudes and monuments for cemeteries. As your mind wanders on a dismal Saturday afternoon, this struck your humble scribe as probably a pretty interesting business plan.
Back to Josaphat. All our loyal readers probably already know this. But it was a revelation to me. Our very own Josaphat, it appears according to another helpful sign, was named after a pilgrim returning from the Holy Land in the mid-16
th century considered it to be a spitting image of the narrow furrow of land between Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem.
No doubt, Arthur will be able to report on the veracity of this Schaerbeek claim on his return. This gives me an opportunity to extend to him our full support and best wishes.
But in Brussels Hash folklore, Josaphat, for those of us lucky to have experienced this innovation, now has another connotation. This is where the trail petered out. There was a check, but nothing further. No blaming the subsequent disappearance of flour on hungry slugs or birds, mischievous boy scouts or zealous neighbours with brooms, not even the earlier rain.
No more flour had been laid. No HHH to encourage weary limbs. A long way from the après. The hare had had enough after trudging round Schaerbeek on her own in the morning with bags of flour in the rain and said to herself: “This far and no further.” Or words to that effect.
The pack, never nonplussed by the unexpected over the years, took it in its stride (Are you sure? Sounds a bit fast to me – ed) and in good humour. A photo taken by Ed, not to be confused with ed, records the occasion. In classic long trail/short trail tradition, the hare invited the pack to make its own way homeward. Some took the high road, others the low road.
Your correspondent is pleased to report that, about an hour after the start of the hash, all arrived safely back at base – unlike the unfortunate 600.
A highly enjoyable afternoon, especially as the sun increasingly replaced the clouds during the après, much to the hare’s disgust.
Turnout: 9
Weather: grey, but after raining until shortly before 15h, was then dry (Well done Bertie)
:( :( >> :)
Hash 1898 18 Feb 2017
Hare: Marleen Start and après: 1030 Schaarbeek

Marleen’s hashes certainly have pulling power. A record turnout for a non-bluebell hash. Numbers were boosted by three generations of Cendrowiczs (Natasha and Leo with their respective children and Patricia) and by the Schaarbeek Strollers (they know who they are).
The start was interesting to say the least. As the front runners fanned out at the first check, scouring Parc Josephat for flour, cries of “traffic wardens” came from the rear. Yes, even on Saturday afternoons in some quiet residential areas, blue discs are de rigueur. Several members of the pack, cursing that they had not set their discs, immediately picked up their previously lethargic pace and hared (Incorrect use of hashing terminology – Ed) back to their cars. Most, but unfortunately not all, managed to reach their vehicles before the wardens did.
The trail, as should be expected from a savvy hare, avoided the obvious. So, Parc Josephat did not really feature. Instead, we went towards Place Meiser and down the side of the sports centre/tennis club. Unfortunately, there was no rugby match on the neighbouring pitch, which would have given us a chance to admire youthful prowess and have a breather.
But as we left the sports complex, we were joined by two Schaarbeek Strollers (Katie and Wim) who had been waiting patiently for us at the exit. The trail then crossed Ave Leopold III before meandering pleasantly through various local parks and low level housing schemes – an area with loads of possibilities and new to many of the pack. Although as one veteran commented: “These used to be allotments when we first moved here.”
The on home took us past Jacques Brel’s house where he and his family lived in the mid-60s. He too obviously has pulling power judging by the fan or two taking photos of the property.
The après made full use of Marleen’s two balconies with their panoramic views across Brussels. Looking from one, we almost lost count of the number of magpies we could see. From the other, large parts of the city were spread below us. And as the laggards left, the sun facing us was a great ball of red. For some reason, it was hard to get Jerry Lee Lewis out of my head on the drive home.
Special mention to Tim’s nephew Matthew, whose running prowess suggests the King genes are successfully transferring from one generation to the next, and to the generous unidentified donor(s) (Ok, we know who you are) of the delicious pain surprise.
Turnout: 35, spread over several generations
Weather: dry and sunny
:  :) :) :)
Hash 25 March 2017 Hare: Ian H

The Hash assembled in the car park at Huldenberg in the shadow of the impressive church which includes a small Commonwealth Cemetery for a bomber crew shot down in the area. The Hare announced that the run time would be longer that an hour but that the church steeple would always be in sight so short cutting was possible. In addition there would be some unconventional back checks although as there are no rules for the Hash it might be hard to recognise these discrepancies! We set off in bright sunshine past the sports centre where the main activity appeared to be enjoying a beer at the outside table. Over the bridge and along the river we soon came to the first back check despite there being no change in direction, unconventional indeed! Returning to the trail we headed up through the woods along small trails to a housing development above the town. Running through this development we continued upwards with Gianluca leading the way with his usual enthusiasm for running all the false trails.

Heading back out to the countryside we were led down small pathways between house, ginnels as we would say up north, up and up to the fields above Huldenberg the church spire still in sight. Briefly pausing to catch our breath we then headed down the hill along what had probably been an old wagon way, Gianluca well out in front and MicMac reminding us again of the rules (?) relating to marking false trails. Reaching the valley bottom we were within sight of the car park and could almost taste that cold beer as the Hare lead us off back into the fields and past an old mill. There were some deserters at this point but your scribe, who now lives in Norfolk where hill training is not available, continued in the wake of the reduced pack. We headed up the hill again and then out to arrive at the back of the church. Here MicMac disappeared round the church towards the car park and the rest of the pack headed out of town through a small wood and then past a new cemetery beautifully laid out of the hillside. Down through a new development and then out on to the fields which led us back to the riverside and the Hash Home sign. Running along the edge of the river we arrived back at the sports centre and the carpark.
The Hare arrived soon after the pack and we were joined by the walkers who had found a suitable cafe to pass the time. An initial beer before the mobile apres van moved to a position close to the recycling centre where table was set out with a splendid supply of food and drink including an excellent salmon pate. After a while the Hare called for order, not easy with this group!, and produced a bottle of champagne to celebrate the 60th Birthday of the EU to the approbation of the assembled group. The health of the union was toasted and the lone Brexit visitor could only look on in sadness. Hopefully future visa restrictions will not prevent a return to run with the Brussels HHH.
Many thanks Ian for a most enjoyable afternoon.
Hashers: 15, no Marys
Hash 1902 18 March 2017
Hares: Harriet & Christian Wezembeek-Oppem
It was a damp and drizzly day (raining moths in Dutch but more like mice) but our hosts were as keen and jolly as ever! The already wet group consisted of 2 Hares, 2 walkers (with a map), 2 cyclists, +/- 6 runners including Mic-Mac and Tim-Tim.
The group was warned that the flour was on the right except when it was on the left and to be careful when crossing roads, fields and motorways. It was suggested that if we were playing Russian roulette with the traffic the Hares were not expecting many for the après...
All went well until the motorway... the group stayed together extremely well, it’s always good when Jono and Tim-Tim are behind the walkers. But then... I don’t know what happened next... one of the walkers previously broken foot started to give him pain so I felt obliged to help him find a shorter way home.
Having met up with one of the cyclists on the way back the three of us waited... and waited for the Hare with the keys. So we can assume that the hash was long and hard and, as it never stopped raining mice, it was also a bit muddy.
Lovely après, excellent mandarin cake, and rugby to keep the children happy. Intelligent conversation, re the small amount of beer the Hash consumes these days, was held on the beautiful new sofas - sensibly draped in blankets to protect their whiteness from Hashers grubby bottoms.
Turnout: 12ish
And Bertie was the Mary (although he gets special dispensation) so he can confirm the Berties were...
:( :( but not heavy enough to be :( :( :(
PS: It appears that the Hash weather has changed since Bertie broke his hip. Should we alert the Met office?

Hash 1897 11 Feb 2017
Hares: Gianluca, Diego, Adriana
Start and après: 1170 Boitsfort

It was almost a year ago to the day, give or take a few weeks, that we last hashed in this part of town in these conditions. Afficionados can refresh memories with write up No 1841 of 16/1/16 in their archives or on the web site – another plug for our webmistress. (People have better things to do with their time – Ed).
There are many similarities between the two hashes. Snow was around, dogs featured and the write up is late.
Snow: a few gentle flakes, floating and festive, but not surviving sufficiently long on the surface to complicate a hare’s life or cause fears of icy surfaces.
Dogs: last year, the pack was accompanied by sundry dogs and we picked up another along the way. This year, we had just one canine companion – the Grippa’s very own.
And well behaved she was too, until at one point spotting Gianluca in the distance, she took off like a bat out of hell. (Can a dog do that? – Ed) just as we some of us were admiring an eye-catching house that could have come straight out of a Hitchcock film. Suddenly, Adriana was hauled forwards at breakneck speed down a slippery cobbled slope. We feared for the worst. But luckily, Peter C, like his biblical namesake, was rock solid when Adriana careered into him. He halted the uncontrolled momentum and order was restored.
The hare, gamely ignoring the leg injury he had recently suffered while indulging in another sport a few weeks earlier, led us a merry dance. He eschewed the woods and took us through local streets, paths and parks.
Given the excellent trail and the generosity of our hosts (some of us secretly suspect that the healthy turnouts on Grippa hashes are helped by the prospect of Italian delicacies), it does seem cruel that Ireland, whose cuisine is less widely known in international culinary circles, should stuff Italy at rugby as we enjoyed the après.
Commiserations to our hosts, but especially to Diego – the only Belgian accredited rugby referee in our midst. We look forward to his explanation of what goes on in the scrum and how Italy so marvellously wrong footed England at Twickenham two weeks later.
Turnout: Around 20 (not all of the pack feature in the photo. Late arrivals, rather than alternative facts explain why the camera is lying).
Weather: Basically dry, cool and overcast.
:) :)
Hash 1896 5/02/2017
Hares: John F and Alison Start & Après: Overijse

In hashing terms, there is one aspect of trail laying that the (male) hare has perfected, and adapted, in recent years: the back check. It is unique. No one else does it with such aplomb and glee. It puts all other back checks to shame in its simplicity. Or to put it more bluntly, there is no change of direction. As there are no rules, this piece of wizardry is highly effective in wrong footing front runners.
The last time he deployed it was towards the end of the hash. On this occasion, it was near the beginning, but was equally devastating as the more enthusiastic and energetic among us cursed and floundered around looking for the trail.
Loops, false trails and other hare-inspired distracting devices (“I would check down there, if I were you”) kept the pack together. Almost on principle, the trail went through territory which an over eager property owner had some time ago illegally labelled private (only to have to remove the private signs when the council, prompted by numerous complaints forced him to retreat from his land grab).
The flour took us through the abandoned golf course, whose carefully tended fairways and greens have yielded to ankle high rough grass and where vigilance was essential to avoid sprained ankles. As we exited, a huge wood with attractive trails ahead of us looked inviting. But the hare, having been admonished by the owner some years earlier for having the temerity to trespass on his land, kept the pack safely on side and outside the boundary walls.
Various dog legs and back checks through suburban Overijse brought the pack to the ‘On Home’ sign and thoughts turned to beer, rugby and the co-hare’s invariably generous après. However, the flour went in two directions. For some still inexplicable reason, a three-strong splinter group of JR, Peter Bl and your humble scribe, followed the wrong trail into a cul de sac.
“There must be some way out of here,” we muttered. Seeing no obvious issue, Peter Bl gamely advanced towards a path that could have been a possible route, only to find a young couple coming down their garden path towards us. Beating a gentlemanly retreat, we retraced our steps and found flour that eventually led us home. The hare derived even more glee when we recounted our experience.
It was great to see Bertie back on the hash, happily ensconced on the sofa watching rugby on the TV as we returned for the après. His good humour was probably due more to Scotland, the underdogs, beating Ireland than to seeing us stalwarts again for the first time in many weeks as he continues to make a good recovery from his accident.
Turnout: 19
Weather: slight drizzle early on
Berties: :(


Hash 1894 21/01/2017
Hare: Peter Blackie (but on the day, On Sec and Marleen)
Start & Après: chez lui, Woluwe St Lambert

The delegated hash
The hare’s recent hashes tend to be baptised with a theme. Not so long ago, he was host to what he gleefully termed “the miserable hash”. This was in acknowledgment to the atrocious overhead and underfoot weather conditions. He didn’t offer an adjective this time, but the word “delegated” comes quickly to mind.
It was somewhat disconcerting to see the hare, dapper as usual, in his civvies as the pack gradually assembled. The reason soon became clear. He was unwell and had had the wit and good fortune to rope in some sturdy helpers. Many thanks to On Sec and Marleen for stepping in at the last minute to lay the trail.
Whether they followed the original hare’s carefully recced route or improvised as they went along is unclear. But the pack was treated to various urban and architectural delights, such as the streets of WSL, its maison communale and the Avenue de Tervueren before the more enthusiastic members disappeared into the distance in Woluwe Park.
Warned that the trail was a vast loop, the less energetic members of the pack simply ambled along the lower side of the park until we all joined ranks where the railway line crosses the Avenue de Tervueren. Various twists and turns eventually brought us back to a warm and very welcome après.
Welcome to American hasher Stephanie who has just moved to Brussels and we hope will
continue to join us on Saturday afternoons.
Turnout: 21

eather: dry and clear
:) :)
When working for The Scotsman, I was always told to try and put a kilt on a story whenever possible. But the ingenuity in this report in The Times of 10 Feb is truly impressive.
The story is about a Cambridge student thrown out of the university’s Conservative Association for trying to burn a £20 note in front of a homeless man. His behaviour was widely criticised, but in the second paragraph, he is named and described as a “distant relative of Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister”.
The last paragraph sort of clarifies the relationship: “He is thought to be the nephew of the former husband of Mrs Sturgeon’s sister-in-law.” Some family tree.

Hash 1893 14 Jan 2017
Hare:  Julian R
Start & Après: Sterrebeek

This hash was only for the (fool)hardy. It was bucketing down as the faithful negotiated their way to deepest Sterrebeek. Unexpected road works presented false trails and back checks for the unwary. The weather, travaux, a faulty car and the very real prospect of missing the 15h10 deadline (That has never deterred you in the past – Ed) almost persuaded your humble scribe to turn round, go home, switch on the TV and have a beer or two.
But determined to bring our regular readers accurate accounts from the front, albeit not in real time, your scribe’s will power and sense of duty repulsed the sirens. It was a good call, as will become clear if you read to the end.
The small (number, not stature) pack was drenched before reaching the pavement after leaving JR’s safe house. The rain may have tried to discourage us, but it failed to dampen our spirits or obliterate the flour.
So, the trail was clearly marked and if there was any doubt, the hare and daughter Amy on their bikes frequently popped up to give advice and encouragement. That local knowledge proved useful when the hare found himself asked by a couple in a car for details to a metro station some 3k from where we were. Avoiding the easy: “I wouldn’t start from here if you want to get there,” he gave succinct and confident instructions. We hope they reached their destination.
The pack soon divided into two and a bit. Three regular hashers did most of the checking, walkers followed in our footsteps and to ensure neither group lost contact with the other, Tim,a very fast walker on this particular afternoon, acted as liaison between the two.
We were warned at the outset that the going would be heavy and muddy. So it proved, especially along a very long and slippery (Is that a hendiadys? – Ed) path through fields that had been dry the last time the hash had used it. But it was good Saturday afternoon fun and as we negotiated this lengthy obstacle, it stopped raining, the skies cleared, the vistas over the surrounding countryside were truly impressive and an ornithologist in our midst pointed out lethargic geese feeding in the distance.
Oh to be in Belgium now that spring is approaching.
Turnout: 9 (plus two Marys)
Weather: downpour for half the hash and then lovely and fresh
Berties: :( :( :)
(because the Bertie rule took some 30 minutes to kick in)

Hash 1895 28 January 2017

The Haggis Hash
Hare: Rory

Start: Tram Museum; après: Baron de Castro, Etterbeek

Arriving a tad late but pointed in the bonne direction by Jan, your scribe had the honour of tallyhoing the initial charge ... up and over ... and down again which, with a particularly strong showing from Julian R, Jon O, Mic Mac, Et Al ... was still gunghoing some 1 1/4hrs later ...

Back at The Ranch and greeted by Moira, who was having to deal with a cold and the sweaty band ... wij wensen een spoedig herstel! ... it was good to see a couple of Marys chinwagging with Peter C ... Ali S (who had been performing???) and Hugh Dow (who had  been closeencountering ... good to see you, Hugh).

The Hash itself was somewhere between a Concentric Circular and a Hampton Court Mazer ... 'I'm sure I've been here before! You've come from over there but didn't I just overtake you? ...': we were even expecting the trail to take us across the White Star football pitch ... as the game was being played ... and/or onto the ice in front of Madou ... as it was melting.

It was even rumoured that a number of hashers had started their Brussels days in the Parmentier/Rue au Bois complex (through which we had the renewed pleasure of passing) ... and there was one bit of thick jungle round some allotments down by the river which may NEVER - it was whispered in awe - have been penetrated since BEFORE THE HASH WAS BORN! [NB none of that nonsense next week!]

The odd nugget ... light-of-foot and full-of-beard Karel from Estonia clutching his - beer bottle from beginning to end; 'this roundabout (Konkel ... with the blue lights) wasn't here the last time ... ' ; the troops ploughing through the middle of a wedding group at the side of the Bld de la Woluwe pond so preventing the bride from being able to ascend her gilded throne ... surreal!

Most regrettably, your scribe had to cut short the après but not before he had seen appearing ... a plate heaped with eminently suspicious-looking grotes  - cf the title perhaps ... and a sovereign presence, which had not actually been witnessed on the Hash itself, sloughing in the shadows ...

On, on, Rory ... another good 'un.

Turn out: at least 21 and counting ... and as many girls as boys!

Weather: chilly and overcast ... no rain but the odd patch of snow and ice to navigate
Berties:  unknown unknown and a 1/4

Hash 1892 7 Jan 2017
Hare: Hugh D
Start & apres: Chez eux, Schaerbeek
Welcome to the first hash of 2017.
Purists might wonder whether the term ‘hash’ is being used loosely. Flour was non-existent and there were no other visible markings. But there were short and long trails; we started at 3.10 pm or thereabouts; participants, despite some taking different trails, finished around the same time; there was a good turnout; and we had a jovial and linguistic challenging après.
Bertie’s law was accurate, yet again. There was no mild precipitation, rain, snow or sleet to dampen our clothing, bodies, souls or enthusiasm on a Saturday afternoon. But perhaps after all these years of rigorous scientific research (Not so rigorous given the absence of so many write ups – Ed), we might like to consider the ground underfoot as well as the sky above in our :) :) :) :( :( :(
. Just a thought.
Anyway, for the first time in the Hash’s collective memory (36 years and counting), there was general agreement that the pavements, streets and parks in the hare’s neighbourhood were so slippery from snow and ice that running/jogging would be a risk too far. So walkers ruled the roost.
Armed with detailed instructions, like novice orienteers, in 20 point print for those who may have forgotten their glasses, the long walkers went towards Place Meiser and back, while the short (as in trail) went round the park. The latter found their efforts put into perspective by regular sightings of a tall young man in shorts (No, it was not Roger) running round the park at fairly high speed with no obvious slippery effects. Those were the days.
Full marks to the hare for using his initiative, adapting to climatic conditions, applying our internal health and safety standards (What? – Ed) ensuring we all got some exercise, had a good time, and, for several of us, develop an appreciation for the No 7 tram.
Some trivia
    There was an old woman from Slough
    Who once had a terrible cough
    She sounded quite rough
    But battled on through
    I’m sure she’ll get over it, though.
    Answer to Trivia 2
    A rhetorical device
    A key piece of evidence for the alternative date (1603, not 1601) ie after the death of Elizabeth 1 and arrival of James I and VI, is the presence of a rhetorical device that Shakespeare barely used in 1601, but began using in earnest in late 1602/3.
    Hamlet is full of the rhetorical device known as hendiadys –in which two related adjectives are connected with ‘and’. A common example is when ‘nicely warm’ is expressed as ‘nice and warm’.
    An example from Hamlet is Horatio’s description of a ghost appearing “in the dead vast and middle of the night”. Seemingly it was used 60 times in the play.
    Turnout: 14
    Weather: dry, cold and overcast
    Berties: :) :)

    Hash 1879 8 Oct 2016

    Pete & Barbara

    Start & apres: Sart-Dames-Avelines.

    It was a glorious sunny and dry Saturday afternoon. Well done again, Bertie, our meteorlogical maestro
    who was present at the après to reassure us that he continues to have climatic conditions under control.
    For those of us who live in urban suburbs, the hash venue, with its open rolling Walloon countryside and
    wide vistas, was a real pull. After surviving the lengthy gauntlet of the Ring, road works, bridge building
    and tree felling, we all arrived more or less on time.

    Just to be sure, the considerate hares delayed the start to take late comers into account (you know who you/we are).
    Off we went. Within one check, the hash became divided like an amoeba into two (you mean a worm in
    normal parlance – ED). A steep incline had separated the sheep from the goats. The latter (one third of the pack),
    with agility and dignity (so we heard later) took the obstacle in their stride. The former (ie the rest of us)
    took a more relaxed, leisurely and conversational approach.

    Never did the twain thereafter meet or even see or hear each other despite the open countryside and the
    loud shouting of the first wave (are you sure about the shouting – ED). It was blissful.
    The split in the pack led to interesting philosophical, ethical and hash rules dilemmas (there are no rules – ED)
    among the second wave. In the end, pragmatism and laziness won the day and Ian on his bike was
    encouraged to suss out false trails and back checks and warn us of potentially wasted effort. Thank you, Ian.
    The trail was a delight: woods with no entry signs everywhere (all respected by the hares) open fields,
    narrow shady, and not so shady, paths, horse stables and the perimeter of a golf course which prompted
    some ribald jokes that are better in the telling than the reading. You probably know who (they are plural)
    to ask about this edited section of the write up.

    To give a clue: tees, balls and second hand feature.
    So: two hashes in one. It worked magnificently. Pete was shepherd to the first group and Barbara to the second.
    Thanks to them both and many, many thanks to Gaëlle & Laurent for hosting the hash and providing such a warm welcome and hospitality to our motley crew.

    Turnout: 21 (with Bertie’s arrival – 22)
    Weather: dry, sunny, blue skies, lovely
    Berties:  :) :) :)           

    Hash 1870 30 April 2016

    Jonathan & Pascale - birthday Hash

    Despite multiple absences due to the holiday season (and the fact that pensioners really don't stay in one country much anymore) there was a healthy turnout of some 20 walkers/runners and 1 cyclist to celebrate On-On Sec's birthday that very day. After an initial (failed) attempt to leave on time, we set off with all the stragglers and after the usual back-check towards the equestrian centre trundled down the brick-strewn path towards the woods. The first check offered multiple paths and we were duly lead up a long false trail, deep in mud, which provoked a few choice curses from those foolish enough to follow it (yours truly included).
    Afterwards an interesting and varied route took us through the Forêt de Soignes, with frequent long false tails to keep the pack together. Plenty of steep slopes, narrow paths, invasive nettles and mud to keep us alert, and provide quite a challenge to Ian, our lone cyclist.
    After the run, while the rest of us took it easy with a few beers Jon' busied himself preparing a monster wood fire on whose ashes the copious BBQ was to be cooked. Meanwhile Pascale and the children had been lighting the candles on the birthday cake and  Jon' was called from his fire-building activities to endure our rendering of 'Happy Birthday ' and cut the cake. Question; how many Hashers does it take to work out the correct cuts for 24 pieces? (answers on a postcard please......).  Some delicious salads had been prepared by the Hashers to accompany the BBQ and some good wine, so we had a great meal on a very pleasant, warm summer's evening.
    Many thanks to Jon' & Pascale for their hospitality (& to the Hosies for doing the washing-up!). Welcome to the pensioners' club, Jon'.
    Berties: :) :) :)


    Hash 1856 30 April 2016

    Hare: Arthur

    The "flower power hash" set by Arthur. Our hare brought back memories of the hippie era, follow nature, follow the "hash" and the sun will shine! There was NO flour, the trail was
    🌼 and the checks were🎋and 🐚 . All very different from the last sedate daffy hash! About 20 Followers turned up then three groups evolved, the bramble and ditch scramblers,the path followers, then Mary and Jan going via the lunatic asylum. Thanks to a lovely young man and his gorgeous dog they were put on the right road again! Finally we met for delicious eats and drinks but to Coldricks dismay NO crisps. Thanks Arthur!
    Arthur was also awarded the Order of the Lost Hubcap for the most unusual Hash...

    Hash 1855 23 April 2016

    ...was a strange affaire.  No one had volunteered to lay a hash - and thus there was no flour to be seen.  
    Yet Peter Ck, Pete and Barbara Briggs, Bertie, Wolfgang, Julian Rummins, Jill, Katie, Jan, and Mary -and even Keith, dutifully turned up. So was there a hash?   
    I think there was - because one person, Pete Briggs, actually ran - 4.5 k as measured by me and Julian on our bikes and we laid a notional trail which Pete followed.  Bertie and Wolfgang were going to follow but quickly disappeared [just like a proper hash]. I. think they ran a few meters.
    Everybody else probably walked -  again just like a real hash. And there was an apres - Julian provided ample supplies of a range of beers + crisps.
    And just to prove it was a real hash it now even has a write up.

    Hash 1852 2 April 2016
    Hare: Julian R

    Start and après: Chez lui, Sterrebeek
    For some, this was a hash and a half – literally. Your humble scribe clocked up just under 11k. On Sec did a bit more. But we were put in the shade by Gian Luca. He switched off his watch at 13k and, having completely lost his bearings, had to ask someone where he was. “No Korenbloemlaan in this commune, mate,” he was told – or words to that effect.
    But his interlocuteur took pity on him and the kindly Finnish lady drove him to the après. Italian charm is alive and well.
    As you may have gathered if you have read this far, there was an official long and an official short. The high road and the low road split after about 6-7km. A precautionary request to the hare on the extra distance involved in the long brought the response “about 1.5km”. It was nearer 3km. But accountants can see numbers in ways different to the rest of us.
    In fact, it turned out that there were three longs. The official one which On Sec, Ian H on his bike and your scribe almost did (ie lost the flour); Gian Luca’s odyssey; and Bertie and Janet’s epic because one of them had failed to understand/hear the hare’s sotto voce directions on the shortest way home.
    The afternoon was perfect for running. The start was a novelty for some of us: leaving through the back garden and past the quince tree, rather than the usual exit, the road. The trail took in much familiar terrain, but also new paths which have been introduced since we last hashed in the area. There was much familiarity, but long checks, false trails and the occasional unofficial regroup (normally marked as an R in honour of its founder, a certain Mr Rummins) kept most of the pack together. And, we had lots to talk about afterwards.
    Turnout: 14, including Laetitia on what we hope will be the first of many hashes
    Weather: Dry and warmish
    Berties :) :) :)

    Hash 1848 5 March 2016
    Hare: Tim

    Start and après: Car park at junction of Route de l'Etat and rue de l'Abbaye (close to the Abbaye d'Aywiers), 1380 Lasne
    (I can see your policy of being a lazy b***** and trying to promote diversity in unity (or is it the other way round?), is bringing brilliant scribes out of the woodwork. They have their individual styles which is refreshing. I look forward to them taking over your faltering baton/pen/keyboard – ed)
    The Magnificent 7 Hash
    (You are taking liberties again. I have it on reliable authority that there were eight of you – ed). For the record, we were eight, but one was the hare and the Magnificent 8 does not have quite the same melodic ring to it.
    Whether it was the weather, some rain in the morning, or the distance (it did not take too long to get there), but numbers were down after the strong participation of recent weeks. Absentees missed an excellent Hash. Read on.
    Lasne, as we all know, is the richest commune in Wallonia and certainly in the top three in Belgium. The trail bore testimony to the wealth. Big houses with swimming pools. Properties with imposing gates, fences and walls and barking or yapping dogs depending on the owners’ tastes.
    Other attractions for residents: it has the lowest local taxes of any municipality in Belgium and a reputed micro climate. As the hare reminded us at the outset, your scribe used to maintain, when cajoling fellow hacks to play in cricket matches in Lasne, rain in Brussels did not mean rain in Lasne.
    (I don’t think the much admired, loved and observationally proved Bertie meteorological law
    ( ) we use would be enhanced by this nuance – ed).
    Lasne also has a maze of little paths, wood trails (some very steep) which the hare managed to find that made for good running terrain and gave a voyeuristic glimpse into how some of the other half live.
    We were only seven (eight – ed), but as we ran past one guy in the Belgian equivalent of Wellington boots and a Barbour jacket hozing down his car, it was nice to hear his encouraging comment: “Mais, vous êtes nombreux.”
    The trail was imaginative and challenging, with lots of mud. It would probably be great in summer (That is one of the most unsubtle hints I have ever read – ed).
    As a final comment: if anyone wants to understand the arrangements for using the self-hire Cambio cars, the hare is your man, as he enlightened us at the après on the affordable opportunities they provide.
    Turnout: 7 (plus Hare)
    Weather: Dry and overcast
    Berties :) :)

    Talking of transport: Your scribe would like to share two of the much late lamented Victoria Wood’s vehicular jokes:
    “I once went to one of those parties where everyone throws their car keys into the middle of the room. I don't know who got my moped but I've been driving that Peugeot for years.”
    “I thought Coq au Vin was love in a lorry.”

    Hash 1847 27 Feb 2016
    Hare: Alison S
    Start and après: chez AS, 1150 Bxl
    The weather could not have been more different from last week. Instead
     of continuous rain, we had clear blue skies, glorious sunshine and a slight nip in the air. Not sure whether it was Private Eye, Spike Milligan or the Duke of Edinburgh who first used that phrase when the Emperor of Japan was preparing to land on a state visit to the UK. But it remains in my long term memory.
    The hare had had to rethink her plans after a fellow Scot had, unwittingly, stolen most of her carefully researched route for his Burns Hash a few weeks earlier (Wonder when that write up will come in – ed. I think Burns makes a second appearance a little lower down - ed). But she came up trumps.
    The cunningly crafted trail frequently outthought the front runners who reckoned after about 35 minutes that the pack would be turning towards home. Not a bit of it. Reflecting the hare’s impressive fitness and stamina, we pressed on. Fleeting memories remain of the UCL campus, the stream along the Boulevard de la Woluwe and sundry neighbourhoods before, during and after, until we reached the après, still in bright sunlight.
    It was only some time after the festivities had begun, that word percolated through that our doyen (Bertie) had been knocked over by one of our cycling outriders (he knows who he is) who had suddenly changed direction. No damage done and they are still friends.
    The après was memorable, (as they all are – ed) thanks to the presence of a switched on television, a Scottish Saltire just behind it on the wall and Scotland beating Italy at rugby – the nation’s first 6 Nations victory for yonks. What more could a Scottish hare and scribe wish for on a Saturday afternoon? That’s a rhetorical question.
    In honour of this remarkable confluence of events, your humble scribe would like to share with you what I consider to be another Scottish victory (this time over the English – and there have been very few of those over the years) and a fine example of lateral thinking. Please see below.
    Turnout: 24
    Weather: Dry, cool, sunny
    Berties :) :) :)

    Cecil Parkinson used to tell a joke about the Almighty telling the English and the Scots to settle their differences by electing a poet to write a four-line verse including the word Timbuktu.
    Wordsworth chosen by the English:
    I went unto a foreign land
    I came upon a silver strand
    A sailing ship hove into view
    Her destination Timbuktu.
    Very nice it was too, but Rabbie Burns saved the day for Scotland with this one:
    Tim and I a-walking went
    We spied three virgins in a tent
    Since they were three and we were two
    I bucked one and Tim buck’d two.

    Hash 1846 20 February 2016
    Hares: Chris, assisted by On On Sec
    Start: junction of Meutedreef (Dreve de Meute) & N275 (i.e. road between Groenendaal and La Hulpe
    Après: Hoeilaart
    Atrocious weather. Massive turnout. Great trail. To get so many people out when the rain is pelting down says a lot about Chris’s high reputation for organising interesting hashes. A quick mea culpa: very few, if any, of the hare’s previous hashes have been written up, as she has occasionally and politely pointed out. She is not alone – ed. But obviously their fame has spread.
    We were a very bedraggled lot as we gathered at a very nondescript junction. We were even more bedraggled when we had finished just over an hour later before receiving welcome warmth and sustenance at the après.
    The start was unusual: a false trail forcing us to retrace our steps. That set the scene for the afternoon as the hares consistently outguessed us. The rain was nonstop, but the trees gave some protection. At various points, parts of the pack peeled off, shortcutting, looking and succeeding for a drier Saturday afternoon. In the end, a group of five or so completed the whole trail thanks to the co-hare.

    Turnout: 26
    Weather: Continuous rain
    Berties :( :( :(
    (For the weather, not the hash).
    Given the co-hare’s Yorkshire connections, I offer the following which may bring a smile or a chuckle.
    Yorkshire joke:
    About the man who wanted “Lord, she was thine” on his wife’s gravestone, but it appeared as “Lord, she was thin”. Naturally, he complained: “You missed out the E.” A few days later it came back, reading: “E Lord, she was thin.”

    Hash 1844 6 Feb 2016
    Hare: Peter Blackie
    Start: Aan de Bootjes café on lake in Tervuren Park
    Après: Chez eux
    Until gallant Pierre stepped in, this was going to be a pub run with no flour. But in yet another example of self-sacrifice and strong sense of communal spirit – not for the first time - ed – Peter stepped up to the plate.
    The trail was in familiar territory, but the hare still managed to weave in a few quirks to confuse us. It was interesting to see how slow the renovation/expansion of the African Museum is taking; the ducks are still prospering; the car park we used to use is now built over; the chip shop seems to be council offices and a police station; and the playground – one of the more interesting in and around Brussels – is no longer.
    Many thanks, Peter, for bringing us up to date with developments in this part of the world and for a thoughtful trail. Whether it was the fresh sunny weather, the casual strolling of happy families or pure laziness, there was a fair amount of leisurely walking and checking by many in the pack. Your scribe has yet to meet anyone who successfully managed to find the right trail home after the last fiendish check.
    Those in the pack unable to attend the après for various reasons, missed a very sociable and comfortable time. We all sat round the table and welcomed two Marys: Mary N, looking very perky with her new hip, and her chauffeur, Janet.
    Many thanks again, Peter, for stepping into the breach.
    Turnout: 15
    Weather: Dry, chilly and sunny
    Berties :) :) :)

    Hash 1840 9 January 2016

    Hare: Katie
    Start and après: Leopold III Laan, Brussels

    The mystery runner Hash
    “Where is Roger?” the hare asked as we gathered at the start. She had spotted him running just a few minutes earlier and then he had disappeared. She even sent On Sec on an unsuccessful sortie to try to find him. Tant pis. At the appointed time, the pack set off sans Roger, with clear instructions from the hare that it would not be going near Rue Henri Bergé just three kilometres away (where police had uncovered a bomb factory the day before).

    The trail meandered pleasantly through the streets of Schaerbeek and Evere. One check after about ten minutes completely foxed the front runners, enabling the walkers, shepherded by the hare to build up a healthy lead, which was gradually whittled away.

    The other salient moment of indecision at the front of the pack came near the end as the trail hit Boulevard Lambermont.  With the delights of Parc Josaphat and its myriad of paths looming in front of them, runners, followed by walkers, forged ahead across the dual carriageway looking aimlessly for the flour. The hare had wrong footed the pack again. The trail in fact went the shortest way home: left towards Place Meiser. 

    Earlier, the trail had gone down Avenue Gilisquet and past the house where your scribe had lived for several months 32 years ago in the early days of the hash. But no one paid any attention when this nugget of information was volunteered (That’s the problem these days: almost no one cares about history in this instantaneous world – ed). The lack of interest robbed your scribe of the opportunity to recall a succinct message he had left his beloved one Saturday afternoon all those years ago. So, you get it now. “I’ve cut the grass. The hash is at…,” he had written. Luckily, it fell below the police radar when her car was stopped.

    As we left after an enjoyable après, there was still one question on the hare’s lips: “Where is Roger?” Please report any sightings to the Hare and On Sec.

    The answers to the questions from the write up of Katie’s last hash are as follows:
    1.      No (the hash was 45 minutes)
          There are three and they are very happy in their new abode.

    Turnout: 21
    Weather: Dry and chilly


    Hash 1839 2 January 2016
    Hares: Pete and Barbara

    Start and après: chez eux, Braine l'Alleud

    The New Year hash
    What a splendid start to 2016 Hashing.
    The sun was shining (at least in the morning for laying). It didn’t rain at all in the afternoon (unlike last year).
    There was a healthy turnout (as always for this traditional Briggs first footing event). Tall, dark handsome
    strangers were non-existent, however, Perhaps, wigs or hair dye could remedy this oversight in 2017.

    The après was full of festive cheer, fuelled by the usual fare supplemented by bubbly and delicious
    homemade sausage rolls and mince pies. And we had a much loved and respected returnee, Mariette,
    who had eschewed the siren calls of a Dutch 2 January celebration for Belgian bonhomie.

    At the outset, the hare warned of mud ahead. In fact, we have had worse on previous hashes and no
    warnings given. The trail took in some familiar and some virgin terrain – a lovely long winding path through
    woods with a steep drop on the left was new to almost all of us.

    Even familiar landmarks like the quarry we have hashed through/round is taking on a new lease of life.
    It will soon become a 6-hole practice golf course. So bring your clubs and arrive early for the next Briggs Hash.

    The trail, which mixed urban streets, open fields and woods also had a check at a small, dignified memorial,
    erected by the local commune, to seven allied airmen whose Lancaster bomber had crashed on 31 March 1944,
    with no survivors.

    For some of the time, we found ourselves on the Promenade de l’Ermite. I only hope he had as warm
    a reception at his destination as we had.

    Turnout: 24 (reinforced by sundry walkers) and later a Mary looking for the owner of a lost hat from the previous week.
    Weather: Dry
    :) :)

    Hash 1821  29 August 2015

    Hare: Peter Bl.

    Start & apres: Jesus Eik near Bosuil

    The start was only a few hundred metres from the where the pack had set off just the week before. But the many opportunities the woods offer and the hare’s ingenuity meant that at no time did the trails overlap.

    It was a lovely sunny afternoon – just what people need to remind themselves of Brussels’ many charms when returning from holidaying in foreign climes. At the outset, the hare apologised for the relatively long run-in on a tarmacked road. But it gave front runners an opportunity to open their legs and show their class as David Coleman once said of Cuban 400 and 800 metre champion Alberto Juantoreno. The hash, of course, is in a different league.

    The trail was thoughtful and imaginative with lots of small paths ideal for running/jogging/walking (You mean you can’t remember – ed) and the woods gave welcome protection from the sun.

    The après sur place was relaxing and bucolic. Walkers, cyclists and (well behaved) dogs all passed our drinking hole trying to fathom out what we were doing, and occasionally getting an explanation. It should be said that we haven’t seen any since on a Saturday afternoon so our communication skills may be weak.

    The hare had thoughtfully provided a range of beers. Coinciding with the bicentenary of Napoleon’s demise, they included several bottles of Waterloo ale. It is not known whether the several French speakers present (yes, we have some on the hash) noticed, studiously ignored or imbibed the brew.

    Turnout: 23
    Weather: gloriously sunny
    :) :) :)


    Hash 1816 25 July 2015
    Hare: Katie

    Start: Bloemtuinenlaan, Schaarbeek
    Après: chez Katie and Wim

    The short hash
    Katie promised something special: and she delivered on three fronts.  The hash was the shortest ever.
    I know our records are incomplete because of inefficient scribes, but 31 minutes for the front runners is
    a masterpiece. Katie set the hash on her birthday – no greater love hath … (please fill in the rest at your
    leisure). Your scribe tends to think of rods and backs. And Katie and Wim were opening their new flat,
    with panoramic views over Brussels, to the hash for the first time. Some of the furniture had, however,
    still, to arrive.

    The morning was foul – windy and wet. So, it was no surprise to see the hare at the start wearing a
    black raincoat covered in flour. After brief instructions which included the revelation that very day was
    her birthday, the pack set off. And in line with Bertie’s Law, the rain had stopped.

    The trail took in familiar parts of Schaarbeek and Evere and before we knew it, we were at the après,
    sampling some rather nice beer and getting a tour of the Challans/Faber abode.

    Now, as Katie prepares to set her first hash of 2016, questions are being asked. Will she try to beat
    her own record? Will more furniture have arrived? Will we able to go up onto the roof? Where are the cats?
    For answers to these and other questions, tune in next week.

    Turnout: 13 plus a Mary or two
    Weather: dry, overcast and windy
    :) :)

    Date: 14 November 2015 Hash: 1832

    Hare: Rory & Judi

    Start: Outside tourist office on Ieper main square.

    Après: Near Menin Gate (and then local café)

    As Rory commented as he left the café… he had already done the write-up for his own Hash…so I am using his sales pitch and adding some on-the-day events…

    We* gathered inside the Tourist office in the magnificent Cloth in Ieper as it was raining cats outside (this traditionally happens every 3 years and the locals celebrate the tradition of throwing cats from the roof to scare off evil spirits, hence the cat is the symbol of Ieper. As a well-known cat lover it is comforting to know the cats are stuffed toy versions these days).

    We started with a visit to St Georges English Church, filled with memorial plaques and beautiful tapestry hassocks from English regiments, although we didn't stay too long as a tour guide for a large Flemish group was rather pompously pontificating.

    The flour then lead us via the station (originally from 1854 but somewhat renovated in the last couple of years).

    At this point I would like to give a special mention to Wim Faber who Hashed for the very first time (yes he has been seen at après before). Wim pointed out that the Poperinge-Kortrijk railway was an important link for moving men and weapons during WW1.

    The route did indeed take in two cemeteries. One, with just 198 graves, is one of the smallest and is considered to be one
    of the most beautiful (slightly blurred by the continuous rain) on the whole Western Front. It is the only British cemetery within the old walls of the town.
    For Rose Coombs, who wrote probably the most authoritative guide to all the battlefields of the First World War, this was her favourite. Her ashes were strewn in the cemetery when she died in 1991. The ramparts walk was named a year later the Rose Coombs Walk in her honour and a nameplate placed at the Lille Gate.

    Then the group split, we did the same route along the ramparts just at different speeds. The Ieper ramparts date from around 1383 when the Norwich Crusade failed to take the town. Since then Ieper has defended and rebuilt with these ramparts and the “alcoves” (ref: “did he go on about the fekking alcoves?” from the film “In Bruges”) make great hiding places for boats and rather surprisingly grazing for goats (can goats swim? RW needs to know).

    Just before arriving at the Menin Gate we stopped to take in the two new memorials, to the Gurkhas and the European Leaders circular bench. Also the poems, although the rain was running down my neck so I didn’t stay long to read…

    And then of course to the Menin (Menen) Gate which never ceases to give you goose bumps.

    As you can see in the photos (to see photos...click Photos tab) we made a brave effort to have an après sur place but even the Leffe and Passendaele kaas couldn’t keep us warm so we trundled off to a café. The whole group minus JR then tucked into more beer, wine, omelets, American and frites, steak. As the weather didn’t improve gradually everyone ate and then those staying the night went to the Menin Gate to hear (2000 tourists got there before us so we couldn’t see) the last post – more goose bumps…

    This was a historical hash: poignant and salutary, but not sad, offering perspective, exercise, fun and good company. Rory and Judi did very well despite the horrible weather.

    *When you can name all those who Hashed it was not a huge
    turn-out: 14 inc. Rory & Judi. (Rory swears it was 16, the elusive 2 have not just been found in the photographic evidence)

    Bertie’s :( :( :(

    (Wim and I can recommend the Adriane Hotel for anyone thinking of staying the night next year – excellent bathroom and breakfast included, very friendly staff. We also did a drive through West Flanders on Sunday and had lunch at great Belgian restaurant in Watou, on the French border.)


    Hash 1820 22 August 2015
    Hare: André

    Notre-Dame-au-Bois (Jesus Eik) from the wooden fence on "Drève des Capucines" (same place as for the start of the Hash Dash).

    By all accounts (and there were two write ups + photos to confirm how the Bertie rule has exceptions), this week’s hash was the complete opposite of the previous one. This took place in glorious weather. Bright sun, clear skies, 29 degrees and, as the Belgian weather service kept saying, Saturday was the best day of the week.
    It was a great way to return to Brussels, for some of us, after the holidays.  André’s trail did us proud: difficult checks and long false trails. There was one particularly excruciating part where the faithful – and that was most us – stepped gingerly as we followed the flour through a lengthy expanse of brambles and nettles. The more hash-savvy wisely stayed on the parallel official path just 20 yards away. Some of us still have the scratches to show for our stoicism, but at least we got to eat a few succulent blackberries.
    Many thanks to Lula for the usual excellent après which was imaginative, colourful, delicious and quickly devoured. Two of our older (Is the hash getting ageist? – ed) members displayed their swimming prowess to cool down. André instructed us on the difference between Bordeaux rosé and clairet. (I think I have got that right, but if not Peter Blackie will correct me. By the way, my local Proxy Delaize sells the clairet).
    Peter Bl (him again) injected an intellectual tone to the proceedings by bringing along, and tastefully presenting, various of his books looking for good homes. Some were indeed snapped up and the initiative gave a fascinating insight into people’s reading interests. Perhaps it could be an occasional après feature so that good books don’t go to waste. Just a thought. (Do you want to make the hash even more complicated than it already is? – ed).  
    Many thanks to André and Lula for a great afternoon.

    Turnout: 13
    Berties: :) :) :)
    Many thanks, Rory


    Hash 1819 15 August 2015

    Hares: Mary N & Richard
    Start and après:
    at Steenbergveld in St Joris Weert.

    Peter B

    When Mary and Richard planned this hash the sun shone, the paths were dry and no doubt the birds sang. BUT, on the day...
    "The weather is frightening
    The thunder and lightning
    Seem to be having their way
    But as far as I'm concerned
    It's a lovely day"
    As Ella Fitzgerald sang.
    The rain poured down from before the beginning to after the most stout-hearted left the après. The weather
    deserved five negative berties, but as there was no snow and no thunder and lightning, I think we'll reduce that to just three negative berties.
    Eight hashers turned up in all and with two Nuttalls that makes ten. Well, we had a lovely time sploshing through the Meerdalbos woods. The runners (all three of us) ran, the six walkers walked, and thanks to Richard on his bike, none of us got lost. The hares cut short the trail before anybody even thought of moaning. Apart from that it was a normal sort of a hash with flour, checks and false trails. Being cunning people the hares had laid the whole trail under trees so, unlike on other bad-weather hashes, the flour was still there when the pack came round.
    The après was just what one would expect. One strange thing: Keith did not organise a cold shower for himself as he usually does.
    So for us who turned up, Ella was right: it was a lovely day.

    Turnout: 10 - see photo section
    Berties: :( :( :(

    and another

    15 August 2015 – Mary N & Richard – Hash 1819

    John F

    Well done, Mary ... this must have been the worst Hash ever - weather-wise that is ... although, on reflection, there was the Overijse Bertie Frites and the Atrocious Briggs Eigenbrakel ones ...

    Soaking wet from non-stop rain, splodging through lake-size puddles, glasses misted up and rain bespattered so that you couldn't see the flour ... which had been washed away anyway ... this was the life ...

    The bared chest of no 1 son, the water pouring off from Keith's brol onto Alison - was she pleased! - the 10 of us singing Happy Birthday to Mary ... sights and sounds not to be forgotten.

    And in addition to that lot, we had Jill and Peter B, Marleen and Katie, Sue and me ... we all deserved medals for turning up but was it worth it ... the trail was great and the après delicious and copious to a fault ... 

    Thanks a lot Mary and Richard... much appreciated...


    Hash 1804 2 May 2015

    Hares: John and Alison
    Start and après: chez eux, Overijse

    With the UK in election fever, it was reassuring that two committed voters took time out to flee the country and come and join us on the hash. It was great to see Natasha and Andy again and it did not take us long to disbelieve their self-deprecating comments about being unfit/coming back from injury as they powered past us round the trail.
    Arriving late (as usual – ed), your humble scribe missed the hare’s sage comments about at least one unusual feature lying ahead of us on the trail. It did not take long for his words to strike home.
    After about ten minutes, the pack (well, at least those hashers who had not been quietly given the nod that this was a trap) arrived at a check at a T junction: ahead a field with crops, to left and right tempting running paths. Both false trails. There was no way through the field.
    As we were scratching our heads, along comes chuckling, smiling hare (anything that puts a smile on a hare’s face has to be good for the hare and the hash – ed) to shepherd and encourage us to retrace our steps several hundred metres and pick the trail up again. The charitable thought it was a cock up. The less charitable thought it was deliberate. Thank God, MicMac was not there. As a purist, he would have been apoplectic. As for the rest of us, we just shrugged, grimaced and carried on.
    The trail took in many of the delights of suburban Overijse. We almost went into the disused golf course which, local rumour has it, was closed because there were too many French-speaking members, but the exit we had used before is now blocked. The eagle eyed will have noticed that the illegal Private/No Entry sign which previously interrupted the trail has now been covered up – much to the hare’s delight.
    The après did not follow the traditional Alison and John pattern. Her regular homemade meat balls were replaced by his barbecued sausages (delicious, I’m reliably told) and the cashews were replaced by mixed nuts. But as they say about variety…
    Congratulations to David Z on his excellent Boston marathon time. A lot of the après conversation focused on the looming UK elections. Would there be a hung parliament (Yes). Would the SNP sweep the board (No), how do you get Belgian nationality? To be continued…

    Turnout: 20
    :) :)               
    Weather: dry and overcast

    I have to share this with you. The following day, your humble scribe did a 9km run. At the end, as I gathered my breath at the traffic lights at the end of our road, a young guy delivering pizzas on a scooter also stopped at the lights. He obviously felt I needed some encouragement. “Du courage, Monsieur, du courage,” he said. “A votre âge, c’est magnifique.” Enough said.
    Request: Does anyone know of any creative writing clubs in Brussels. Not for me, I hasten to add.


    Hash 1790 24 January 2015 Hares:  Rory
    Start & Après: chez Rory - Haggis Hash 2015
    The Sculpture and Statue Hash
    Ok ok so the write up’s somewhat belated but at least it’s finally arrived… notes on the statues supplied by Rory (the scribe wouldn’t want anybody to think she’s laying claim to an elephantine memory).
    Despite the snow which had fallen overnight the afternoon started bright and clear as we gathered outside Rory's house. This was to be a cultural Hash with an architectural theme – including one statue of a seated naked lady clearly suffering for art as we all decided that she looked really uncomfortable.
    So we wended our way through the streets of Woluwe, with the help of flour where there was no snow or signs created with pine needles where there was, past a monument to Edmond Thieffry, a Belgian first world war fighter ace and aviation pioneer. We then skirted round a memorable monument to the hundreds and thousands of Tutsi and Hutus who dies in the Rwanda 1994 genocide and on to a less substantial monument to Belgian troops who perished in the Korean war. Not forgetting in between a sprinkling of various statues of human forms in standing, sitting or just idly recumbent.
    Excellently laid Hash. The walkers were not only able to do the whole route (note runners…) but we even had time to stop and admire - no observe is better - the tree planted in the Paradis Enfants primary school in honour of José Manuel Barroso … hmmm. However the school has a much more important claim to fame as it was where, I am reliably informed, the three junior Watsons were pupils.
    A very warm convivial après followed enlivened by Brad’s excellent rendition of the Address to the Haggis (words printed prominently on the front of Alison S’s t-shirt) in honour of Robbie Burns’ birthday the following day. The haggis was of course resplendent – well it tasted good anyway – aided by a choice of some first class whisky (there was blended too but best not mentioned).
    Three Berties :) :) :) since we started off in sunshine which lasted most of the way round.


    Hash 1787 3 January 2015 Hares:  Peter & Barbara Br
    Start & Après: chez eux, Braine l'Alleud.
    The weather may have been truly atrocious but the trail blazer - poor soul x2  - more than compensated ... only to be trumped by ...  the lady of the mince pies and a myriad other goodies.
    What a turn out, what a splendid affaire and what a way to start the New Hash Year! Muchos, muchos, guys.
    John F   PS And there was me worrying I might have to enter that sacred place to prepare me own victuals ...   PPS Putting Rory in ... should the spirit ever take him ... nudge, nudge ...  nowotImean, nowhatImean ...
    The Editor (ED) of occasional hash write ups is delighted to announce the unexpected arrival of a new scribe - John Forman Esq - to join his team which has been badly understaffed since the premature retirement of the previous star, Bertie. Many belated thanks, Bertie, for all the sterling work and imaginative writing over the years.
    ED has absolutely no doubt that JF will prove to be a valuable and regular contributor, even if he might find it difficult initially to fill Bertie’s shoes. He has already demonstrated his proactive readiness to shoulder his new responsibilities and his unique style as his write-up of our first Hash of 2015 demonstrates.
    It is pithy, direct, concise, pays suitable homage to the hares and après organisers and submitted within hours of getting soaked in the Belgian countryside. Once he has learnt how to use his :) and count the number of hashers, I am convinced his reports will prove to be a highly valuable record for future generations of our activities.
    I would also like to refute wholeheartedly any suggestion that JF's generosity of spirit and enthusiasm was in any way prompted by one mince pie too many or being at a loose end on a Saturday evening.
    I, and I'm sure you, look forward to reading many more of John's entertaining reports. And if he doesn't come through with the goods as often as I would like, then at least he can help my humble scribe share the guilt with someone else for falling down on the job.
    By the way, other volunteers are also welcome, especially as ED believes in gender balance/equality.
    On On


    Hash 1786 27 December 2014 Hares: Peter and Martine Bl
    Start and après: chez eux, Woluwe St Lambert

    The miserable hash
    The weather for the last hash of 2014 was among the worst trail layers had to endure all year: heavy rain which then turned to snow. Not only did our two valiant hares get soaked, but the fruits of their labour – carefully positioned flour – was soon almost totally camouflaged by the elements.
    Luckily, the flour appeared to be of the wholemeal variety so it was slightly dirtier than the snow for the eagle-eyed. As the male hare grimly noted in his pre-hash pep talk: “It was miserable and I wish you a miserable time too.” He was not referring to Victor Hugo.
    There was just the Magnificent Seven of us, including the two hares, who, thankfully, could point us in the right direction as was frequently necessary. But off we went, cheerfully braving the elements. The trail snaked down towards the Rasante sports club, across the Boulevard de la Woluwe, skirted the old railway line, past the Moulin de Lindekemalen (anyone know what the food is like?) and after going along a charming street (Avenue de la Chapelle) with elegant houses came to the Chapelle Marie la Misérable (that word again).
    Poor Marie, a humble servant, was set up in the 14
    th century. After she had rejected the advances of a noble suitor, he stole a vase and hid it in her possession. She was fingered and despite her innocence was found guilty and buried alive – at least that is what the sign says. (All very interesting historically, but what has that got to do with the hash – ED.)
    Well, just as Marie’s poor life was cut short, that is where the pack could choose between long and short. With the light snow falling and the pavements becoming more slippery, this was a no brainer, even for Tim. Short, it was. Peter C took an even shorter route of his own. The rest of us went through the Woluwe shopping centre car park and through lots of interesting little paths, which were certainly unknown to your humble scribe, behind the flats opposite before reaching home.
    The après was a splendidly cosy affair. We all felt virtuous, after we had dried ourselves off. The festive fare was delicious. There were enough chairs for the pack to sit comfortably round the table without any danger of losing your seat when getting up to fetch a beer. Inside, conversation flowed, bonhomie oozed; outside snowflakes fell gently on the Eglise Saint-Lambert and the square in front – a really satisfying and memorable winter scene.
    TURNOUT: 7 (They deserve medals: Peter and Martine, Judy, Peter C, Tim and Susan, Rory)
    Weather: gentle snow
    Berties :)
    (because it was so much better in the afternoon than the morning and you do expect snow in December).

    HASH No 1781 22 Nov 2014
    Hares: John and Alison Start: Kapucijnendreef, Jezus-Eik Apres: Overijse

    Whatever it was – the glorious weather, the prospect of seeing the hare in shorts again, the thought of co-hare’s delicious après meat balls accompanied by pistachio and cashew nuts or guilt at missing the excellent Ypres hash the previous week (I wonder who laid that and that’s enough whatevers – ED) – this was a record turnout, beaten only by the 50+ at this year’s bluebells.

    Once we were assembled, the hare gave pithy instructions. “When you see an arrow go back to the cross (He means check – ED) and when you see a backcheck, you are on your own.” There was also a brief postscript: “The trail for the walkers is not the same as the trail for the runners.” This piece of information was possibly directed at one of our number who on the hare’s last hash checked so far he found himself on the walkers’ trail and missed half the hash.
    Anyway, forewarned is forearmed. And just as well because at the third check, there were two back checks and no other routes. The only solution? To run through the second backcheck, at the hare’s bidding. This we duly did and lo and behold, there was the trail.

    As the pack devoured the kilometres (Are you really sure about the verb? – ED) through familiar, but nevertheless extremely enjoyable, territory the numbers grew as late arrivals caught us up. The choice of verb will give you an idea who they were.

    All too soon we were back at the start, having lost a small leading group – they know who they are – which had refused to follow the flour and eventually came back to the start from a different direction.
    The après was copious and tasty, satisfying the pack’s solid and liquid needs and made all the more enjoyable as Scotland won yet another rugby match, even if it was against Tonga.

    TURNOUT: 32 (including five who arrived after the start and several walkers)
    WEATHER: Very sunny and dry
    BERTIES: :) :) :) (as agreed by the hare and your scribe RW)

    Results of Barry's Memorial Hash Dash - 2014

    Conditions: good – dry and cool.
    1. 10:34 – Claire
    2. 11:08 – Jon
    3. 11:28 – Max
    4. 11:35 – Laurence
    5. 11:52 – André
    7. 17:45 – Peter C.
    8. 21:09 – William
    9. 21:24 – Barry
    10. 21:26 – Robby
    11= 21:33 – Nicky
    11= 21:33 – Tallia
    11= 21:33 – Leila
    11= 21:33 – Tiffany
    Mary’s: Steve (on a bike), Eric and Joanna.
    Congratulations to all participants, especially the young generation from Blue Moon.
    Many thanks to the time keepers: Christa, Ed and Keith – good job !
    Also thanks to to the Blue Mooners for the Hoegaarden Grand Cru – to remember JW/SG/UtT and other fallen hashers.
    See you next year !
    On On Sec

    With photos from BB...

    Start (exceptionally): 12am
    Start and après: Krainem
    Exceptionally, the hash met up on a Sunday. (Why can’t you do your other write ups as quickly after the event? You are months, of not weeks behind the news on previous hashes, and you call yourself a journalist – ED ).
    It was a splendid sunny afternoon. The trail had been prepared over months of careful planning and collectively laid by some 70 year old veterans (Peter C, Peter Br, John F, Julian O, Ed McG and Hugh D) with long distance advice from the Walloon sidelines by Keith B.
    They took a calculated risk on the weather and also decided not to use any flour. Both were a risky strategy. The weather held fair – perhaps we have to extend the Bertie principle, which is overwhelmingly proving correct, that it not only on Saturday afternoons between 3-4pm that it does not rain (and gets you three Berties :) ) but that this meteorological phenomenon is now following hashing into its rare Sunday forays.
    But as we know, experienced trail layers prepare for all eventualities. So, just in case the heavens opened, they arranged for a magnificent tent, which sheltered some of the pack from the sun and added a lovely al fresco touch to the afternoon.
    The trail did not need flour. It was skilfully laid between the garden and the house with lots of checks, back checks and false trails as individual members of the pack trying to find the shortest way to the bar or splendid food, found themselves thwarted, had to retrace their steps and approach the target from another direction. It kept everyone together and gave ample time for conversation. Not even the noisy planes overhead casting a brief shadow over the garden could dampen the festive spirit.
    The significance of this historic hash was a magnet for former hashers and partners to rejoin us from far afield. It was great to see everyone and to appreciate how hashing/jogging/running has helped create strong bonds: the Parkers, Andrew M, David M, Chris S, George and Julia T, Sally S, John and Maryse H, Richard W. Sincere apologies for anyone I may have overlooked or misrepresented. (We will make sure we publish a full apology in the next write up if necessary, but don’t expect this soon – ED).
    Many thanks to the Class of 44 for the initiative and their generosity and to Norma and Ed for hosting the event.
    Attendance: Over 70
    :) :) :)
    HASH No 1739 08 February 2014
    Hare: On-Sec Hostess with the Mostest: Pascale
    "Let's go to Jonathan's hash, there probably won't be many there as the On-Sec has stepped in at the last moment.”
    After negotiating the muddy road and a couple of frisky horses Marleen and I arrived at J & P's to
    find quite a few others...and more kept arriving. It seems we were not the only ones supporting the cause!
    With a minimal speech from Jono of "it's that way" we started back down the muddy road with yet
    more frisky horses but soon turned into the pure mud of the forest track.
    The younger, fitter, braver (yes that's you DZ and J-L) of the motley crew dashed off through the mud.
    Others, naturally myself included, started the "why do we do this" and "IKEA seems a good idea now"
    rant and "I can't afford to fall over..." was a popular cry.
    However, despite the mud, the hash was clearly laid by a professional. We, the walkers (wandeling,
    lopen an NL vs VL discussion arose at one point) kept together with the speedy buggers (lopers or hardlopers)
    extremely well. I was so enthusiastic that I felt obliged to compliment Jono, a very rare thing indeed!
    So on on we went through more mud, less mud, along the edge of the motorway, on a small stretch of hard
    standing and then back into more mud. I questioned a back check, but was assured it was totally, if not
    mathematically, correct. We ran through a false trail, which appeared to be a longer way than the real trail,
    but still we kept together. Perhaps I need to quantify the compliment at this stage....I did not run (lopen or hardlopen) the whole time.
    The time was passing perfectly and then...yes sorry, there has to be a "and then"...came the hill.
    The young (a very tall Tom) and the younger, fitter, braver leapt like mountain goats to the top and disappeared
    off to start on the beer. The older, knackered and infirm tried to find a way out of climbing the hill.
    We (yes reader I am old, knackered and infirm) wandered aimlessly along a delightful piece of Tarmac until we
    realised there was no escape. Janet, Jill, Peter C and myself are proud that, with the help of sticks, hands, knees and
    our supportive group we climbed that muddy mountain and survived to re-compliment Jono on a perfect trail.
    But then... there was the après! If we had thought the trail perfect the après was charming and delightful!
    Sitting chatting around an antique dining table (suitably protected for Hash use) sipping soup from bone china
    (microwave and dishwasher safe) tea cups and saucers was the icing on the cake!*
    Many thanks to Pascale and Jonathan.
    Groetjes, Katie
    *Cake would be nice next time...

    HASH No 1708 29 June 2013
    Hare: David Z
    Art Gallery Hash: Nachtegalen parks, Middelheim, Antwerp
    10/10 Bertie's for this hash; weather, culture, nature and beauty, great company plus the best on
    site après of the season.  The run went through old park land, big trees and pieces of sculpture.
    My heart went out  to Bach, Beethoven and Rossini  all there in " the graveyard" lovely statues minus
    one arm. Then on on to open air theatre .... Planes and bombings in the woods, old German bunkers,
    the " king and queen" by Henry M sitting sedately on the lawn. The après was the best of  the season,
    5 star service, table & chairs, proper glasses for the wine and beer. Thank you David!