Hash 1408


7:30 pm - 11:30 pm


Dolphin Inn - Kingston
The Dolphin, Kingston, Devon, TQ7 4QE
Hares: Goolie & Knockers
What 3 Words: spurted.elbowed.optimists

Event Type

The words according to Shaggy

The Words – Kingston, The Dolphin, 17 May 2023 Hash #1408

I am struggling now, a hare’s breadth from the subsequent Wednesday’s hash, to remember what it was that possessed me to volunteer for the ‘honour’ of scribing the Kingston hash: deliverance from the excruciating, tumbleweed-strewn silence that is the habitual reply to Rizzo’s ever-hopeful ‘Would anyone like to write the words…? (Anyone??)’? To assuage my own gnawing guilt at having dodged the task, and the roving Sorting Arrow/Arrow of Doom, so far this year…? No…no, it’s gone. Brain clearly addled beyond any sensible thought by this new bright, warm phenomenon that has materialised overhead in the last week (woohoo!).

Also, I absolutely didn’t forget (…) and convince my other half to drive my battered toy-car–– with Olive’s extensive RA notes safely concealed in the glove box––to London so that I might chauffeur the two littlest Pikes to their abundant weekend social engagements in our vaguely more reliable voiture. (That is exactly what happened.) Apologies to Flage-no-Lay and our illustrious GM for causing them the inconvenience of hunting me down for my offering…

Recent Words have been intimidatingly creative, pushing the boundaries of literary form and cleverly couching events in quintessentially ‘hash’ terminology. Well, I felt it was time to halt that upward trajectory and drag the standard of the Words right down to ‘mediocre’, all the better to set off all future editions of The Words. You are welcome. (But actually, apologies for the feebly-cobbled-together account that follows. Except to Wet Spot. It’s always his fault – even when he claims, strenuously [and cruelly convincingly…] that it’s not.*):

Circle up at the wonderful Dolphin Inn at Kingston on this not-as-balmy-as-billed (a few of us were regretting slightly scanty ‘summer kit’. Initially…) May evening followed the usual, slightly chaotic ballet of intra-hash chat and creative parking manoeuvres in the pub’s bijou carpark.

There were a number of notable absences from amongst the FRB ranks: Dimwit, et famille, exploring French trails with Frenchie; Overshot nursing a (rib?) injury after a tumble – to which a chorus of deeply sympathetic groans; Re-Entry…not sure of the reason, but we usually only see him at the Circle-Up anyway (unless he’s RA-ing). Fortunately, a returning Mr. Softy also brought along (a now-not-so-pocket) Pocket Rocket and Pocket Rocket’s brother (sorry – memory sub-par on this, and Olive’s notes just say ‘Fast’. Actually ‘Fast’ will probably do just fine…!) who gamely raced into Very-FRB position to support the rest of the pathfinding posse.

The Hash also welcomed back ‘Flowery Twat’ – an anagram of Fawlty Towers (a nod to his connection with the hotel/industry), and a number of other names besides…and possibly the inspiration for the RA’s rhapsody later on concerning Hash Naming protocol and the origins of a few choice/questionable Hash Names from recent SH4 history. As you will have surmised, Olive valiantly assumed the mantle of RA in Overshot’s absence: thank you, Olive (Although, how are there still pre-typed notes? What witchcraft is this…??).

Special mentions were awarded to Who Gives A Shit and Lactaster, both of whom had completed the Plymouth Half Marathon on 14 May. Very impressively, both achieved personal records:  her very first half-marathon, Lactaster was triumphant in smashing all her previous attempts – a worthy triumph – and WGAS, whom had wisely prepared for race day by, er, running a challenging A-to-B hash in (well, seasonably now, actually) warm conditions the day before, had also rather miraculously beaten his previous best time – although perhaps at some considerable physical cost. Despite his reportedly ashen post-run pallor, however, he still managed to summon the energy to deliver one of his (in)famous jokes and keep that comedy magic alive. A couple of female half-marathoners were apparently rendered unconscious, so powerful was the humour. Mercifully, the joke he loaned Rizzo for the Circle Up was a little less potent, or the hash might never have set off…

The pre-hash briefing by the hares, Goolie and Nokkers, was beautifully succinct: we were all just itching to get out on the trail to explore this gorgeous, sun-bathed corner of the South Hams landscape fully in the daylight – yes, dear reader: there was nary a headtorch in sight. So then we were off…a loop or two around the pretty lanes and adjacent fields, accessed by stone stiles and a flurry of kissing gates, of picturesque Kingston village followed by – and this is where it gets a little hazy – some more, increasingly nettle-y, fields, magical winding woodland paths (bedecked with wildflowers, and ankle-snaring roots) and out onto the coastal path along the Erme estuary above Wonwell Beach. Gazing out over the calm, late-sun-lit sea, and ‘perspiring’ somewhat, a few hashers muttered envious wishes to join the paddleboarders they’d spotted gliding serenely down the estuary. Until one of the paddleboarders fell in and there was a shriek. (Water’s still a bit on the cardiac-arrest-inducing side of ‘fresh’.)

I’m afraid I don’t have much else to report, other than that it was a really cracking trail with breathtaking cliff-path views, the mildest breath of breezes and some unexpected and unfamiliar (to me) little twists along the way – and I am also woefully light on salacious/embarrassing tidbits, having run almost the whole trail (well, until that hill) at Half Hard But Playful’s heels (poor chap) – unlike his faithful hound (Scruffy?), who, while very cute, was seemed intent on being very much under heels. Perhaps a Hash Hound naming might be in order: Trip Hazard (or Slip Hazard, if the napalm-esque [sorry – can’t remember to whom that analogy should be credited] deposits of the Calancombe Estate hash are thrown in for consideration)? Huge thanks to the hares for masterminding, and laying, such a varied and scenic route – although I will admit to a little twinge of jealousy as I mentally compared and contrasted trail-laying conditions of Goolie and Nokkers’ lovely hash and Glue-Fest at Aveton Gifford in April…A cautionary tale: get your bookings in early for the 2024 summer hashes!

All back to the pub, which had thoughtfully provided jugs of drinking water for our return (although most of this was left virtually untouched, the Hasher being a species characterised by its preference for more silly-inducing liquid refreshments). Once we were all comprehensively packed in, between the ‘cosy’ arrangement of furniture and authentic 16th-Century woodwork, RA Olive embarked on a comprehensive round-up of the evening’s events, complete with customary embellishments and wonderfully meandering pre-amble, including a note on famous birthdays (Enya, wildly successful new-age Celtic musician,  beloved of wistful, broodingly poetic 80’s teens [and a few others, presumably]; Bill Paxton, comedy actor [Aliens, Apollo 13, True Lies] and filmmaker). According to undoubtedly unreliable sources, the following entirely unsubstantiated rumours were also reported:

  • At the suggestion that a bottle of prosecco had been secreted somewhere along the Walkers’ route, Twisted Sister and Nutcracker were observed breaking into a sprint, forsaking the stunning scenery and companionable chit-chat for the promise of a shot at the bubbly stuff. (Fortunately, they rarely unleash such bursts of speed lest any of the FRBs get intimidated and sulky: they are a sensitive bunch, after all.)
  • No Nuts complained to Olive that he had chest pains and was generally feeling sub-optimal at the start of the hash, to which a sympathetic Dr. Olive replied she was “never any good at mouth-to-mouth and, besides [I’m] RA-ing”!
  • Winnie polished her Hash-Halo to a shine with reports of some conscientious country-code compliance – no short-cutting here (in which claim she was unique this evening…)
  • Dulux, widely acknowledged at the previous week’s Shaugh Bridge hash as achingly glamorous and fashion-forward (there was a silk neckerchief and red lippy: it is, thus, a stone-cold fact), was apparently wearing a delightful perfume…that proved utterly irresistible to bullocks in one of the fields. Jyde had neglected to apply fragrance this evening and, well, the cattle voted with their hooves. There was some speculation about the particular brand of perfume that had elicited such bovine admiration – it was posited that Chanel is probably safe to wear in a bullock-populated situation. Phew.

The pub was thanked, and Down Downs awarded to:

  • Goolie & NokkersHares Extraordinaires
  • Lactaster & WGAS – half-marathon PBs
  • Jyde – on behalf of Hekkel for her upcoming birthday
  • Ching Chong – (Sorry, a bit foggy on this one…for getting back after Olive?)
  • Rubbery – (I’m sorry, again; I haven’t a clue…not blocking the entrance to the carpark…? 😉 )

And it’s on, on to Shipley Bridge (don’t forget your towel!)

Shaggy x