Hash: No 2078 24 October 2020
Hares: Judi assistant: Alison S
Start & après:
Jezus Eik, junction of Kapucijnendreef and Tulpenlaan

The clock of our very own Lieve-Vrouwkerk°, here in Jezus-Eik, (built in 1650, they say, following the miraculous sighting of a statue of our Mary as it hung from an old oak tree in the woods) struck a baleful 4 bells as we entered the final straight ... 

 
More turned up (was it 16 or 17, Judi?) than the Hares had anticipated ... quite a bit of the flour had lixiviated (good one, scribe: bet notalot have comeacross that one before ... but does it represent a correct usage, he muses ...) and the pace was - to put it ohso generously - rather modest ... Alison S, our co-hare, ahead of the pack at many a check ... shouting ... you got it ... 'On to check'.
 
But 'Oh the shock dear ...' with apologies to Mackie Messer ... when our own dear Jono Macheath, dear, informed that both our usual, aka Julian O and Rory W, were 'otherwise engaged' and would yours truly do the honourable ... three quarters of the way along!!!
 
But the rain held off, the sun came out ... all was well with the world ... except, of course, it wasn't ... 
 
We weren't allowed to mingle ... that Tim word again ... either at the beginning or for the après ... which, of course, didn't take place ... but your hon scribe wouldn't know about any of that as they arrived late and left early ... 
 
But it was wonderful to get out ... and to breath in ... the heady up-your-nostrils, autumnal air and ... pound, crackle and pop the crispy leaves under foot. 
 
So, a humongous thanks to Alison and Judi for laying a lovely trail ... and bravo, bravo for keeping the Hash going in these particularly challenging times.
 
And, weather-wise, 3 well-deserved and not-to-be-forgotten Berties  
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Hash: No 2077 17 October 2020
Hares: Susan & Tim K
Start & après: Ravaartsteenweg, 1820 Melsbroek, Steenokkerzeel

As Tim is one of the regular hashers who is towards the lower end of our ‘middle aged’ range, a regular Top 3 winner of the Dash, and, someone who prides himself in seeking out new or unusual locations, our expectations were high.
Most of us arrived at this new site without undue difficulties, by car or by bike, in this slightly remote parish just beyond the National airport in Zaventem. Unfortunately, we were greeted by the sad news from Julian R. that Ed had unfortunately fallen and injured himself on a poorly maintained manhole cover near Nossegem and was being picked up by Norma. We later learnt that he had not broken any bones but was advised to keep his left arm in a sling and stay off the bike for at least 4 days.
As the departure time of 15:10 approached, we received electronic instructions from Tim to start, confirming Tim’s reputation for laying long hashes, but almost as soon as we shuffled off, he and Susan appeared to accompany the tail enders. We were soon close to the centre of the Floordambos nature reserve – only 3% of Flanders rates as such according to a local sign counselling us to appreciate it - we were privileged to be in “a swampy deciduous forest” where you can “spot amphibians, buzzards and polecats” according to a current Vlaams Brabant website.
Just in case we were too carried away by the natural wonders the guide adds “Back in civilization you will pass some special historic buildings. Herenboerderij Hof ten is now a brasserie restaurant, Hof ten Boetfort castle a wellness center.”
Your scribe missed seeing most of the beasts of prey but we did admire St Martin’s Church, on our way through the pretty centre of Melsbroek, Saint Martin is the patron saint of the poor and soldiers among others. The history of this place of worship, which was originally built in Romanesque style, dates back to the 12th century. To the right of the Church is the former chaplain's house, built in 1717-1720 by Gisberte de Locquenghien, Baroness of Melsbroek.
We re-entered the woods and came to a small chapel and an unusual rectangular lake. One of Tim’s techniques to keep the pack moving is to have a lot of back checks and many fewer basic checks. As a result, some of us found ourselves running back and forwards around 3 sides of the lake before discovering the way ahead.
Undaunted, we were then treated to a run back towards the village and then away again across open fields used for market gardening, grazing horses and dog trainers and their pets. Thence, back to the woods past more horses and stables and a small canal before passing the fine Chateau de Huyenhoven, which some of us admired through its firmly closed gates.
All arrived safely back to the start for the Après, where in compliance with the current social distancing rules we remained mainly loosely scattered. The weather was mild and sunny (as seems to be the norm for this autumn). We were about 13 persons but as we enjoyed refreshments a solitary man was spotted actively engaged in looking intently at us and then recording something on his mobile. We suspected that we might have been nabbed for breaking some rules but 5 minutes later his girlfriend turned up apparently irate with him for having abandoned her, so we relaxed into a second or third glass.
Susan and Tim deserve credit for another interesting hash and après, not nearly as long as some previous King hashes, but Tim is presently handicapped with abductor muscle pains and so was not the fastest layer this week. Approximately 15 back-checks and only 5 or so checks would have dispersed most Hashes over a wide area but the Bruh3 is a social group and managed to stay largely together.
Turnout: 12 + 1 Mary (aka Caroline McC.)
Distance: about 5 km. without check-backs or hills or noticeable elevation; 9.5 km in total if all checks were completed.
Weather: around 16/17 C sunny ‘3 Berties’.

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Hash: No 2076 10 October 2020
Hare: Harriet & Christian
Start & après: Hertedreef, Tervuren
At the junction of two suburban streets this Hash started on a corner of the Forêt de Soignes that is less familiar to most of us. Walkers, joggers and runners, some new, some old and mostly regulars, assembled, some in face masks as the changing Covid regulations for the periphery of town and country are not entirely clear, at 15h. Harriet warned us to keep to the marked paths to be in compliance with the rules, to stay in groups of not more than 4 at the Après (and since there was only one table for food to please keep to this rule) and then we were off.
It having rained frequently during the past 48 hours the paths were damp and somewhat muddy in places particularly just off the trail as some quickly discovered. We negotiated the first couple of false trails towards the lower end of the Arboretum. We then ascended and descended a series of steep but short hills, criss-crossing some of the wider avenues on often single lane paths. We progressively settled into a more or less regular routine whereby the leading runners, accompanied and warned occasionally by Christian, were regularly running ahead only to return to meet the walkers, who were being guided by Harriet. Indication of a well-laid Hash that almost all finished the course within 5 minutes.
At one point it was feared that we had ‘lost’ Terri – Barbara Briggs’ sister - who has had her stay in Belgium from New South Wales substantially extended due to Australian quarantine rules and infrequent flights back to Oz, but she turned up safely, partly rescued with Frances by Rory W who had arrived late and was acting as the ultimate sweeper-upper: see PS below for more.
Irregulars included Irini, Kathy & Kevin Whalley, Frances, Terri and Arthur and Sylvie.
The Après was appreciated by all, especially some home-made biscuits and more Adnams beer contributed by Arthur P with the sun still shining until around 17h by when it began to get a little chillier.
Turnout: 20 + 1 Mary (aka Rory)
Distance: 4.8 km. without check-backs +/- 7 km incl. most
Weather: around 14/16 C sunny - 2 Berties

PS
Rory writes

I decided I would socially distance after this week’s latest federal government and Brussels Region’s Covid restrictions. I may have overdone it. I had intended to start about five minutes after the pack and plough my own furrow, guided by the flour and the shouting ahead. In the end, I set out 15 minutes after the start.
Many thanks to the hares, though, for thoughtfully providing chevrons at each check to indicate the right trail. I only missed one of them. When I came across a false trail arrow and retraced my steps to the check, I soon realised my mistake. It was a surprisingly pleasant experience running on my own, following a clear route and praying none of the many falling acorns would land on my head. I admit, though, there was always a nagging doubt that if I missed any of the strategically placed flour, I would be completely lost on my own with no idea of how to find On Home.
You can imagine my surprise when just after halfway round I exited a narrow cross-country path onto a main drag and came across two young damsels in distress: Frances and Terri. They could not find the flour and had become separated from the main group, even the walkers. “Our saviour,” they cried in unison. It’s a long time since I have had such a welcome. So naturally, I took them under my wing, sniffed out the flour and, like a cross between a pointer and a collie dog, indicated with hand signals the way ahead, once I had found it, and successfully shepherded them down slippery slopes and safely home. At least that’s my mixed metaphor version of events.
A lovely autumnal afternoon and a delightful way to enter a new personal decade.
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Hash: No 2075 3 October 2020
Hare: Julian O
Start & après: Boitsfort Hippodrome car park
For YHS, the area brought back nostalgic memories of the early 1980s when the racecourse operated and was the venue in January for an annual cross-country race (9.4km or 18.4km) organised by the Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles in which some of us participated. For others, particularly the hare, the reminiscences may be more recent. See below two of the photos**** The Bulletin took for a feature on hashing in the early 1990s.
Back to the present. The first check involved the usual faffing around as people caught up on gossip and pondered whether to run the trail or be lazy and walk.
Spurred on by the hare, the pack, after running anti-clockwise almost halfway round the perimeter of the nine hole golf course and driving range moved into the forest. This offered a range of paths, many junctions perfect for checks and false trails and a good running surface, apart from the occasional cobbles and slippery muddy downhills where caution was of the essence and helped to slow down the more enthusiastic. On the way, we passed sundry walkers and cyclists also enjoying the soft weather.
Not being in the vanguard of checkers (an understatement – ed), I would like to thank them for their efforts, but would urge more shouting to help those of us in the middle between the front runners and the hare shepherding the rear follow the trail (good luck – ed).
As we came out of the forest and saw the old racecourse in front of us, I spied Dr John and Jackie, like earlier four-legged thoroughbreds, steaming ahead across the finishing line, having completed one lap albeit with a large and enjoyable detour in the forest. They were followed, if my eyesight is correct, by Alison S. The rest of us were also rans or unplaced, as bookies would say.
There were two particular items of interest on the trail: the memorial to the victims of the 2016 Brussels bombings* and a memorial to Francois t’Kint** (The footnotes give further details and can be easily ignored by the disinterested). They also include details of the racecourse and its current management***, as requested by the hare.
For the
après, we had the outside of the rather splendid grandstand almost entirely to ourselves. The setting was even more relaxing than usual. With the sun making a brief appearance, drinking modestly and contentedly in the warm afterglow of strenuous exercise (really? – ed) of a 5km trail (8.5km for those who did all the false trails and backchecks), we gazed languidly over the driving range as golfers practised with varying degrees of skill and runners and dog walkers exercised round the outer perimeter.
Any thoughts on après after the recent Brussels Region ban on drinking alcoholic in public?
Turnout: 22 + one Mary
Weather: dry, somewhat overcast, but sunny for the après
Bertie météo: :) :)
*Below, the poignant and dignified memorial to the 32 victims from 22 countries who were killed in the Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro bomb attacks on 22 March 2016. The memorial, installed by the Brussels government, consists of a crown of 32 birch trees arranged around a circular bench made from pierre bleu.
Screenshot 2020-10-14 at 13.26.17

** Francois t’Kint
About halfway round, we passed a very small stone cross in memory of François t’ Kint de Roodenbeke who died in 1610. Many stopped to examine the indistinct writing on the memorial erected in 1921 (feigning interest in local history is more cerebral than pretending to tie up your shoelaces when wanting a breather - ed). Encouraged by some, I have conducted extensive research in dusty archives and discovered he was 46 at the time of his death and left behind his wife Valérie and five children. I have still not been able to establish cause of death, but one source suggests it was violent.
At the outset, the t’Kint and de Roodenbeke families were separate. Both from the Brussels region, they were active in textiles. The latter was one of the seven noble houses of Brussels. Known as the Lineages, their wealth came from cloth, linen and tapestries. From the Middle Ages until the end of the Ancien Regime, the Magnificent Seven, first identified in a document in 1306, formed the city’s patrician class enjoying special government privileges and a monopoly of civil, military and economic leadership.
They also had certain duties. One was to guard the city walls and gates: Coudenbergh (Cologne Gate), t’Serroelofs (Anderlecht Gate), Sleeus (Laeken Gate), Steenweghe (Leuven Gate), Serhuyghs (Halle Gate), Sweerts (Flanders Gate), Roodenbeke (Namur Gate).
The t’Kint family, which owns Ooidonk Castle in Deinze, East Flanders, was not one of the original Seven, but was granted membership through the female lineage of de Roodenbeke marrying into the t’Kints. Given that the first one to carry the combined name of t’Kint de Roodenbeke was Corneille born in 1720, it would appear the memorial is a belated attempt to give Francois a status he did not have at the time.
The venue was near the étangs des enfants noyés. Interestingly, one source says this is a mistranslation. A mill on the edge of the pond belonged to Mr Verdroncken. His children inherited it. Hence, the pond of the drowned children. Who knows?
***Boitsfort racecourse
In 1995, the track hosted its last race after its heyday of 1880-1940 and the site gradually decayed. It was Leopold II (him again), who persuaded the State in 1875 to give part of the forest to the City of Brussels to create a racecourse and pigeon shooting ground. Three years later, the Royal Society for the Improvement of Horse Racing established the track based on plans by Edouard Keilig, the landscape architect behind the Bois de la Cambre, Parc de Laeken and étangs d’Ixelles. The course was more demanding than others, particularly on right hand bends, because of its unusual elongated oval shape and the fact races were run clockwise (most are anticlockwise).
In 2012, the VO group won the contract tendered by the Brussels urban development corporation (SAU). It created Drohme Invest with a 15-year franchise to develop the site, run activities, maintain the grounds and infrastructure, manage the park and rent space for corporate and other events. The name refers to “dream” in English, “droom” in Dutch and alludes to Greek “drome” meaning movement, recalling the venue’s horse-racing past.
Michel Culot, the founder of the VO Group, has many Brussels firsts: a painted metro train to advertise a show, an open-air large screen cinema and winter ice rink in the Grand Place. He also projected Couleur Café into a major festival.
****Photos from the start and après of the hash run in the same area in the early 1990s
Screenshot 2020-10-14 at 13.26.34


Screenshot 2020-10-14 at 13.26.59
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Hash: No 2074 26 September 2020
Hare: Ed McGovern
Start & après: Korbeek-Dijle
When your scribe was trying to decide whether the weather would allow a run on such a wet day he consulted the forecast and saw that while rain was predicted to continue all day, except at 15h, the decision was made – Bertie always alleged that it rarely rained on the Saturday Hash. And so we made our way to the start: a welcome new venue some way beyond Brussels and Tervuren.
On arrival it was a surprise to find almost 20 bodies already assembled. Many regulars plus returnees such as Keith Brown, Arthur Pooley and Christine (friend of Judi, among others). Keith volunteered that he had came to support Ed and in the expectation that not many would turn out on such an unpromising day.
Ed corralled the by now group of about two dozen onto the edge of the bank of the river Dijle for his customary photo – which delayed matters further as others also wanted to capture the pretty scene and Keith felt that as a walker he should not appear – by which time Rite-On Sec was calling “time to go” and the sun had appeared! Ed made the usual announcements plus a warning that the trail was ‘navigable’ i.e. not dry!
We were off and after a couple of false trails we were happily socially distanced as we trotted, jogged or walked downstream past The Shelter kayaking centre and on towards Heverlee & Leuven. The Dijle valley is an almost classic bucolic flood plain with barely a building in sight, many trees on the horizon, meadows with plenty of grass and assorted greenery and cattle in the middle distance. These views only spoilt early on by a concrete pill box, which we quickly overtook.
We then turned left from the river bank and found our way through a small wood where indeed many of the trees were inundated with water and we squelched our ways past on the muddy trail. We began to gain a little height as we were now being led by Jackie Dow (daughter Gabriella who had mostly led for the past several weeks having returned to Uni in London) up a tarmac road leading to the E40 – fortunately this was a false trail and we were returned onto narrow footpaths past stables and horses training in the by now strong sun.
Finally, the lead having been taken over by Jono then Christine we returned safely and mainly with dry feet to The Shelter and an Après enhanced by a generous number beers from Adnams Brewery, Southwold, donated by Arthur who now lives in Suffolk, but who declined to partake. The conversations flowed almost as strongly as the river in full spate due to recent precipitation.
Thanks to Ed for a well-laid Hash in an attractive new location: Hash # 2075 will start in Hippodrome de Boitsfort, which in spite of its name is actually, just, in Uccle.
Turnout: 24
Distance: a shade under 4 km.
Weather: sunny - 3 Berties

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Hash: No 2073 19 September 2020
Hare: Julian R

Start & après: Grevenbos near Bertem
A glorious afternoon, good turnout and familiar territory. We hashed in this neck of the woods fairly recently, but the hare cleverly made sure this was no simple re-run.
As before, a false trail at the start. But instead of entering one of the area’s more bucolic children’s playgrounds, the pack was taken away along a farm track by the edge of the wood. The dusty surface made progress challenging for contact lens’ wearers, but they persevered.
Gabriella and Tim were to the fore, as in recent weeks, but others could also be spotted doing checking duties. Step forward Dr John and MicMac. It was great to see Jill back. To show she is returning to form, she jogged part of the way (as she later pointed out to YHS and others within hearing range). (She’ll be checking soon – ed).
The trail mixed sunny open countryside with the shady wood. At one point, some hardy souls were preparing to check up a moderately steep hill, only to be advised by the hare not to bother: “There is only a nudist camp up there”. They still checked. We did take in the playground, which was much less busy than in early July, towards the end. The flour then took us past two prominent radar towers before u-turning back to the après.
One absentee was the unfortunate, frustrated and possibly embarrassed woman (nothing to do with us – ed), with several canines in tow we had observed in early July. Then, she had been struggling to get a particularly recalcitrant dog into her car. Her absence would suggest she has either abandoned her dog walking activity, changed its venue or avoids us.
Prompted by Hugh D’s earlier insightful parallels of societal trends in France and the hash (a thesis topic? – ed), beer was discussed. This has also triggered interesting correspondence from the connoisseurs in our ranks. I would just like to add my tuppence worth.
Hares are entirely free to offer whatever beer they wish, provided there is enough of it and it is drinkable, (although a nice choice, particularly as Belgium’s brewing inventiveness explores new frontiers, is always very much appreciated – ed). Since MicMac’s experience only goes back to 1991, I can confirm that in the early 1980s, the guideline was two crates each of Maes, Blanche and non-alcoholic beer. That sometimes got changed to 3:2:1 or 4:2:0. We have obviously moved on since. Occasionally, even a bottle of red wine appears. Lovely.
One topic of conversation was the recent announcement by certain, but not all, UK banks that they will soon be closing the accounts of customers who do not have an address in the UK. This move will hit several hashers. Something to discuss informally at an après?
Turnout: 22
Weather: very sunny, dry and hot
Bertie météo: :) :) :)
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Hash: No 2072 12 September 2020
Hares: Lucy, Barbara & Pete
Start & après: Hallerbos, Dworp
It was a successful innovation by the Briggs to host a Hash almost exactly six months out of the now infamous Bluebell Hash season of many years standing. As Covid 19 had prevented our annual visit in April it was probably 18 months since most hashers had set foot in this substantial national park see: info - flowering bluebells - walks - hiking map – Hallerbos.

Pete explained the rules: “flour on the right, no bluebells and a prize for the person who could identify the meaning of a large blue sign with a couple of icons of feet, a smudgy drawing and a line running diagonally through it. At the Après, since we were in excess of 10 persons we should sit in at least two distinct groups in compliance with current Belgian rules.”

We were off and it was different from any April: predominant beech trees in September are in full foliage whereas up to late April they are often only budding, so the forest seems darker and less luminous than in Spring, even though we were enjoying a day of 3 ‘Berties’ blue skies and full sunshine. The hash was led alternately by the increasingly agile and fit Gabriella, who has been running with us every week that I can recall for the past couple of months at least, and by Tim King, who while less regular and less youthful seems equally agile.

We were on a clockwise route, but due to the numerous tracks and paths that criss-cross these woods it was rarely obvious which path to take at the multiple checks. Many false checks and even a few back checks ensured that the pack stayed more or less together.

The walkers appeared and mingled with the slowing pack a couple of times. Almost to the minute of an hour after we had set-off we reached the On-home and re-emerged from the main woods back to Cark Park 4. Although your scribe has participated in most Bluebell runs in recent years it was hard to recognise the trails that had seemed so familiar in early Spring.
The Après was convivial in socially distanced groups. No-one in my hearing had managed to solve the mystery puzzle set by Pete – my weak suggestion was that it may have been intended to indicate “No walking on the Bluebells/Hyacinths” but did not win a prize

Congratulations to Barbara, Lucy and Peter Briggs for a well-laid and planned Hash.

Turnout: 18 with no Marys
Temperature: 21 – 23 C.
Weather: Berties :) :) :)

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Hash: No 2071 5 September 2020
Hare: Marleen
Start & après: Place Sint-Vincent, 1140 Evere
Another good turnout as the hash’s weekly activity moved to Evere which this year is celebrating its 900
th anniversary. The commune or town, according to its official website, is famous for growing turnips and chicory and hosting brickyards and cemeteries. There must be a common theme somewhere.
As we all hope for a new dawn, the hare, who follows Belgian politics more closely than most of us, was looking on the bright side. At the start, she informed us a possible agreement was emerging between the squabbling parties on a government to replace the current caretaker administration led by Sophie Wilmès, Belgium’s first female prime minister.
For the record: the current impasse was in its 625
th day on the afternoon of the hash, dwarfing the 541 days it took to form a government in December 2011.
The potential coalition is being dubbed “Vivaldi” after the colours of the seven political parties involved and the composer’s Four Seasons (orange, blue, red and green). The previous attempt involving six parties earlier in the summer was branded “Arizona” from the colour combination of the US state’s flag. Who on earth dreams up these opaque names?
(Who cares? This is all very interesting and may provide fruit for some difficult quiz questions, but Saturday afternoon is about hashing, not politics – ed).
After briefly digesting the hare’s news and instructions, we set off amid suburban housing and soon reached tree-lined paths within the Parc Bon Pasteur/Park Goede Herder created from an area that heavy bombing towards the end of WWII had turned into a wasteland and massive rubbish dump. Perhaps the cooler temperature made a difference, but there was noticeably more energy in the checking than in recent weeks. Alison S, Gabriella, MicMac, Tim and Leo (when he caught up with us) were to the fore, with apologies for anyone whose endeavours I have missed.
After several false trails and occasional confusion, we found ourselves running along roughish ground in the Moeraske (Flemish for small marsh) nature reserve and last remaining swamp in Brussels. Young kids were playing various games on a steep hillside on our left and on our right trains were passing every few minutes along the busy connection between Haren and Schaerbeek. One surprising sight was a Villo! bike lying in the middle of nowhere whose previous user had presumably ignored instructions to return it to one of the 360 docking stations.

As we exited the nature reserve, a long false trail ahead successfully caught the front runners. While they retraced their steps, the rest of the pack caught up and we did a U-turn (no more politics – ed) back into the park, passing on our left a well populated and surprisingly quiet and obedient dog training class. We then meandered gradually along nice paths past kids and parents enjoying the open air space to the après near St Vincent’s church. Little known fact: built on the site of an oratory established by Landry de Soignies around 675, the church was, until 1906, the only place of worship in Evere.
Après: a few, but not too many, strange looks from passers-by, a friendly and hungry ginger cat, a strategically placed placed ice cream van (two members of the pack accepted the hare’s generous offer of an ice cream) and MicMac coming to the rescue with packets of paprika crisps, which had survived previous hashes.
Turnout: 17 (Good to see Leo back with us)
Weather: dry, warm and somewhat overcast
Bertie météo: :) :)
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Hash: No 2070 29 August 2020
Hares: Katie & Wim

Start & après: Avenue des Jardins, Bxl 1030
The DIY hash
The hare’s trail-laying ingenuity and capacity to surprise are already well documented. She holds the record for the shortest hash and has also treated us to ‘alf an ‘ash (refresh your memory by reading earlier write-ups – ed). Hash No 2070 broke totally new ground. Two blobs of flour from the start were followed by a check on Bvd General Wahis. After that, niets, rien, nichts, nada, nic, intet, ništa (I think we get the message. This is a write-up, not linguistic grandstanding – ed).
Indeed, there might not have been any flour at all but for RiteOnSec. Rightly a stickler for maintaining standards, he insisted there should be at least some white stuff.
The hare explained she had been ill all week and unable to lay a full trail. This left two options: call the whole thing off and leave loyal hashers disappointed at short notice or go ahead – all the après ingredients had already been purchased – and appeal to the pack’s understanding and initiative. Thankfully, she chose the second option.
The result was pleasantly anarchic and surprisingly carefree. Most of the pack headed quietly – shouting “On On” seemed somehow out of place – towards Parc Josaphat in dribs and drabs. Schaerbeek’s 20-hectare green lung is regularly voted by Brussels residents as their favourite park. The remains of a forest which used to extend to Place Dailly, it is divided into three sections: historical, large lawns and a playground area.
People carved out their own trails, exercising at their own pace (Perhaps some would like to add their own personal write ups for the rest of us to enjoy – ed). Two of the hash’s fittest members noted afterwards the absence of false trails and suggested the route had been on the short side. On a DIY hash, the solution was obviously in their own hands.
Personally, I chose to run through the park up to Chaussée de Haecht, starting along the pilgrim’s way (there are Jerusalem connections) and skirting the temptations of the crazy golf attractions. Welcome discoveries took me past some tempting restaurants before falling on the Schaerbeek beer museum. A self-imposed false trail took me into the building seeking more details. I was invited to sample its delights, but explained I was otherwise engaged. It is only open on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons (3-6pm). The €5 euro entry price includes a visit to the authentic museum and two local beers. Anyone fancy joining me on a Wednesday sometime?
Church St Servais was the end of my outward DIY trail. The return journey took me past Schaerbeek’s first communal school (1843), various well populated eateries and loads of posters protesting against attempts to chop down Louis Bertrand’s trees. Back into the park past numerous cafés, various nooks and crannies, the archery area which always seems deserted and a wander through the small wild meadow eventually brought me onto Bvd Lambermont. There I met Ed (not ed) who had found an enjoyable route for his own walk. We were the last two back on just the hour.
The hares had commandeered a large fallen tree trunk in the children’s playground as the centrepiece of the après which, as usual, was relaxing and vaguely socially distanced as we watched the very young generations enjoying themselves. In addition to the hares’ generous offerings, paprika crisps and Babybels made yet another appearance and, according to well-placed senior sources, will continue to be recycled on future hashes.
The hare, recently back from summering in Friesland, admitted she was afraid that it would rain, that not many people would turn up and those that did would be disgruntled at no recognisable trail. She was wrong on all three counts.
The hash hopes that memories of the enjoyable and relaxing afternoon will be a suitable present to Katie and Wim on their 28
th wedding anniversary that very day. One source maintained that something linen was associated with this milestone. Extensive research by YTS came across one reliable reference that said there was no traditional gift for this particular stage of conjugal stamina. Others suggested orchids or amethysts. Anyone got a spare tea towel we could all sign?
Turnout: 18 (with a special welcome to all three Wyatts and may we see them more frequently)
Weather: dry, warm and somewhat overcast until the sun appeared during the après
Bertie météo: :):), especially as the forecast had been rain
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Hash 2068 15 08 2020
Hares: Alison & John Forman

Feast of the Assumption in Terlanen


Uniquely, Alison & John had contrived to convene two events on the same day at the same time: a walk for walkers and a hash for Hashers! This was to try and ensure compliance with the latest Belgian social distancing protocols, which are now as convoluted as the Flemish/Wallonia border we crossed later.

A dozen hashers and eight walkers then set off in different directions with its own hare. The Hash decided within a few minutes of ascending the first hill that wearing of masks did not make breathing any easier, so masks came down to around the neck or into a pocket. On-on was called and we were quickly off the road and into one of the many cobbled or earth paths that criss-cross the Iser valley.

After getting tantalising close to entering the shade of some woods (temperature was north of 30 C and the humidity closer to 100% than is humanly comfortable) we were back to climbing past a goat farm – complete with a Billy-goat gruff, a mother goat and several smaller siblings – then again we found another downhill track and some shade.

We crossed into yet more pastures, small copses and few dwellings. Your Humble Scribe was informed that one of these buildings was a recuperation centre for animals – pity they didn’t offer any restorative energy to the human animals passing by in the torrid heat.

YHS traced our journey on his phone and the resulting map resembles the pattern of a vertically squashed coronavirus complete with spikes every few hundred metres which signified the many false trails that Dr Forman had included. He cleverly insinuated if any hasher dared to guess the correct route that they were wasting their time and energy until every false trail was completed.

As we entered the valley bottom and crossed more small bridges we were led along another track with brambles on either side. It then emerged that not only had the good Dr used a pair of secateurs to cut the brambles back a week earlier, but that he had had to repeat the exercise again that very morning such was the fecundity of the brambles that they had regrown to block our path again. This was typical of the dedication of our hare, just like an Alpine guide might cut and then re-cut ice steps across a glacier, our hare had cut and re-cut the brambles so that we should not miss this close to the last false trail!

The on-home sign appeared and we were invited to an après a la compagne – on a shady bench half way up the valley - a tranquil setting for a socially distanced feast of cool water, beer, crisps and plenty of chilled Baby Bel cheeses. The walkers and hashers arrived in close proximity, the Hash took just over 65 minutes covering just under 6 km.

Another unique hash.

Turnout: 20, no Marys
Weather: as described
Berties: :) :) :)

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Hash 2067 08/08/2020
Hare: Alison S. 

A unique Hash! 
 
It was uncommonly hot ... call it 36° ... this time, the social distancing was conspicuously correct ... and it was the only time your scribe recalls a hare/Alison trying - as it happens, unsuccessfully - to eliminate the odd errant wasp with a small, yellow, plastic, look-a-like tennis bat ...
 
A nominative note also deserves to be made, apart from the two valiant hares - many thanks again, Alison S and Judi - of the 8 other extraordinary brave souls who even burst into the occasional jog ... not least Jono and Ed ... but also Shirley and Tony, who were spied lifting a leg, Barbara, who was spied nipping behind a tree, Marleen, who was caught, in flagrante, heaving a heavy cool box full of beers, Pete B, who strode astride your scribe's trusty steed and Hugh D, who wisely declined to do so.
 
More wisdom lay in the laying ... all in the shade of the old ... (please don't go down that road again: Ed) and, even though the trail was at the end of the Hash Dash ... where we remembered our fallen comrade, John ... we were kept on our toes with some judicious flour spreading.
 
The après beer was deliciously cold and, although it was admitted that the crisps were hand-me-downs from TnS's previous, a genuine Hasher doesn't snub its nose at a no-strings-attached freebee. 
 
Weather: too hot to handle ... but they managed
 
Turnout: add up the names + an ebike late-comer 
 
NB. Next week promises to be somewhat cooler
 

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Hash: No 2066 01 August 2020
Hares: Shirley & Tony

The two old faithfuls again not being on site, here's a potted, in extremis, off-the-cuff and on-the-hoof contribution ... but very much deserved ... not least for the very tasty and beautifully wrapped pizza and the individually sealed, salted crisps, offered at the après ... together with some ever so welcome and delightfully cool beer.
 
And the trail itself was just right ... on the hour and lots of regrouping thanks to many a falsie ... even three coterminous, divergent on ons ...
 
Luckily we were - mostly - in The Shade of The Old Apple Tree (there's a bit of poetic - Ed ... do listen to the 1905 version sung by Henry Burr and then imagine yourself sitting amongst the ladies watching Petula Clarke in 1949 ...ahhh).
 
And whilst the implementation of the two-table approach may not have worked entirely as foreseen, the mask debate (say it quickly with an American accent) was a bit of a dead loss ... and we won't dwell on social distancing ... but it was good to see Marleen and to have Arthur back again amongst us.
 
Turnout: 18 ... plus or minus.
 
Weather: rather warm with a touch of closeness. 
 
Many thanks again to Tony and Shirley
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Hash: No 2065 25 July 2020
Hares: Christian and Harriet

Start and après: Silsomstraat, Silsombos, Kortenberg
Zwarte Madam Hash
A very enjoyable and memorable afternoon. A good turnout, fine weather, and, for many of us, totally new green surroundings within easy striking distance of Brussels. An added bonus was catching up with Marleen fresh from her highly successful Swedish travels, where she had had great support and logistical help from former Brussels, now long-time Sweden-based, hashers Jan and Gösta.
Not being a great map reader and with no GPS,
N 50°54.979’ E 4°35.086’ meant nothing to me. But with the help of Google Maps and the hare’s instructions to keep the Kwerps church behind me, I persevered along the final narrow road, praying I wouldn’t meet a car, let alone a tractor, coming from the other direction. Seeing no sign of life and nervous I was getting lost, I gently hummed a Harry Lauder favourite, Keep Right On till the End of the Road (you can see it on youtube, if you want to try to understand what YHS is on about – ed).
Then, round a bend, what a glorious and welcoming sight. Loads of familiar bodies, profiles and faces in brightly coloured gear. Next to the group was a serried row of cars neatly parked off the road, socially distanced side by side as if preparing for a rally (I don’t think that applies to any of the vehicles, except possibly that dashing little red mini – ed). In the background was a magnificent meadow with trees behind.
The pre-Hash pep talk mentioned something about duckboards which sounded interesting. Then, as YHS was still savouring the heady beauty of the scene we were ushered off along the country road. Soon we were on lovely forest paths, many so narrow the pack had to go single file. At several points we came across the famous duckboards and stepping stones, embedded slices of tree trunks, evidence that the wood can be wet and muddy in winter. On the trail, we met a few, but not many, walkers sharing the afternoon’s delights.
About half way round we were introduced to the Zwarte Madam, variously described as the Black/Dark Lady/Madam in English. The spot has a statue of Our Lady on a high stone base (see below) on the banks of the Molenbeek river (Yes, that shallow stream which prompted some dismissive comments is a river). Christian explained that the lady is there to protect a castle that used to be a short distance away and that at night she is surrounded by dragonflies. Anyone know why?
Further research by YHS uncovered more information. The statue was erected on the border between Nederokkerzeel and Erps-Kwerps by the Wittman family, owners of the nearby Balkemolen/Ter Balk castle to watch over and protect the surrounding area. Legend has it that a local woman drowned herself in the river after being rejected by a soldier. Her ghost (the Black Lady) would roam the area. Other reports suggest voices could be heard around midnight near an old iron bridge and popular stopping place. Either way, unsuspecting travellers were lured into the Molenbeek and drowned.
Refreshed by this intriguing pit stop, we followed the trail along more woodland paths, by the banks of the river and through good sized meadows. At the end of one, we came to a strategically placed check. Ever helpful, Christian held open the gate leading in one direction through which front runners unwittingly filed, some even thanking him for his consideration. It was a false trail.
More paths, a bit of paved road – where somewhat bizarrely we passed two young women in rural Flanders speaking native English to each other – and lush meadows followed before we reached the end where Marleen was waiting to greet us. There was some debate about the length of the basic trail. The hares were clear it was 5.4km max. One of the pack, not known for checking or doing false trails, came up with 6.25km on their measuring device. I hasten to add these were observations, not criticism or gripes.
An unexpected delicacy at the après, alongside individual packets of crisps, was a selection of Harriet’s home-baked cookies (rolled oat, and coconut and cranberry). They were so successful that she has shared her recipes and we will undoubtedly see other hashers offering them on future Saturday afternoons (not very subtle – ed).
Many thanks to the hares for introducing us to the Silsombos. Christian explained he had come across it by looking at a map for decent sized green areas not too far from Brussels and had then zoomed in to work out a route. The first outing to this area was 21 September 2019, a few hours after Bertie’s funeral. So, the area has a special significance for the Hash.

FYI: YHS found out more about the area from the website Discovering Belgium run by Denzil Walton and from the TourismFlemishBrabant.be/walking site.
The Silsombos is 100 hectares of deciduous woodland and damp meadows in what is known as the Green Valley between Leuven, Brussels and Mechelen. It was opened to the public in 2016. It is particularly spectacular at the end of May and early June when a variety of wild orchids bloom. (Fairly subtle, but perhaps a good time for another hash in the area – ed).
Turnout: 19 + Marleen, now on the French section of her North Sea route
Weather: Warm, slightly overcast and dry
Bertie météo: :) :) :)
Picture, courtesy of Gabriella Dow, below
hash  25.07.20
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Hash: No 2064 18 July 2020
Hare: Peter Blackie

Start and après: Arboretem car park

A glorious sunny afternoon for hashing. Turnout was down from the previous six weeks, but was still healthy and enthusiastic as we shared the many forest paths with various groups of walkers and cyclists.
The instructions said that Peter Bl was the hare, but I feel I must include, and thank, Martine given the number of times the hare asked her where the trail went and she obviously knew where the flour had been laid. The start was unusual in that the pack was immediately told to start checking, rather than being pointed in the right direction. The innovation, however, as some of the pack checked in various directions, was not sufficient to enable two latecomers to catch up with the main group (see below).
Eventually flour was found and the trail, just over 5km, took us along the forest’s well-trodden paths. Although familiar terrain, false trails and difficult checks kept the multi-speed pack together. At one point we passed an incongruous sign informing us that the Radisson Hotel had sponsored maintenance of this part of the forest. “Looks like they’re planning to build log cabins,” one hasher said wryly as we observed scattered piles of dead branches.
At one check, where a false trail went down a series of steep wooden steps, another hasher remembered wistfully how he used to train many years ago by running up the formidable ascent. We believed him.
As 60 minutes approached, a family of cyclists asked us to point them in the direction of Tervuren. They explained they had decided to have an adventure and so had entered the forest without bringing a map with them. Luckily Julian R was happy to oblige: “Go straight to the end and turn left”.
For the pack, it was just “go straight” and we were soon back at the car park. The absence of an “On Home” sign meant there was thankfully no trigger for the customary final sprint (You must be joking – ed).
The après (note: grave, not acute, Peter) was a model of decorum and responsible behaviour.
Turnout: 12 + 2 who had got caught up in delays on the Ring. As they had intended to hash, they cannot be considered as Marys who only come to the après for beer and a gossip.
Weather: bright sun, hot and dry
Bertie météo:
😊 😊😊
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Hash: No 2063 11 July 2020
Hare: Hugh & jackie

In the absence of our two regular scribes, Julian O and Rory, here's a quickie to keep the ball rolling.

 
The question is ... was it a trail of many tails ... or a tale of many trails? At all events, some long ones to boot (good one, Ed). 
 
It's been a while since your - hon - scribe hashed at the top of Schaller and what a pleasure it was to be back ... with no small thanks to Jackie and Gabriella and our very own modesty Hugh. 
 
The pack was - not always entirely ably - led by the twins, Jo(h)n and Alison S, with most of the others - the occasional burst apart - plodplodding along.
 
There was much flour, much shouting and it only went on for an hour and a quarter ... but hey ...
 
All of which was rounded off with an eminently agreeable ... nay pleasurable ... après, at which a good time was had by all ... and the beer was cold.
 
Well done to all the hounds but a special cheer for our three worthy hares.
 
Turn out: 18? 
 
Weather: spot on ... Bertie would have been content too. :) :)
 
PS Was Wolfgang the only one not to be gobsmacked by kicking the bucket or popping his clogs ... perhaps Martine ... 

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Hash: No 2062 4 July 2020
Hare: Ed

Start and après: Grevenbos (near Bertem)
Another good turnout, dry weather and no US Independence Day trappings. As the pack headed off, two laggards turned up, but an early detour and/or false trail gave the tardy duo – your two (fairly) regular scribes – plenty of time to catch up.
Soon we were in a massive and impressive play area. A large expanse of green with woods on three sides, fields on the fourth and two radar stations overlooking proceedings as the pack checked with varying degrees of eagerness and families enjoyed the freedom of the wide, open space.
Eventually, the trail was found and we plunged into the woods. With a plethora of paths, they offered any number of opportunities, many of which the hare had skilfully exploited. False trails were much in evidence. So much so, that one veteran and pretty fit hasher (well that narrows it down – ed*) justified his stationary stance at a check, saying: “There are quite a few false trails and they are long”.
Some others were more energetic. John Forman (no ‘e’) was frequently to the fore in seeking out the flour. After midway, as the trail took us round what from memory Barry Richardson informed us was a nudist camp when he first introduced the hash to this area many years ago, (for the record: the walls are high, it was chilly and no one was visible) distant cries of “On, On” could be heard.
As the trail turned a corner and began to wind downhill, Christian and MicMac could be spotted at least half a kilometre ahead. They had hit lucky with a couple of checks and it was Christian’s shouts of “On, On” which had carried across the divide, steering us in the right direction.
The last two checks wrong footed some of the front runners before everybody gradually made it to the après where along with a selection of cold beers, individual packets of crisps were on offer.
As the pack chatted amiably, a drama was unfolding on our doorstep. A sporty woman, who appears to have taken a few dogs walking/running with her, could not persuade one them to get back into her van. Much barking, swearing and gesticulation. As we all left, she was still fighting a losing battle.
*To avoid any confusion: Ed is a dedicated hasher. ed, or editor to use the full title, is a character from Private Eye who sometimes likes to insert childish comments into write-ups.

Turnout: 21
Weather: dry and overcast
Bertie météo:
:) :)
A message from the editor. I have received the following letter which I would like to share with you. We encourage correspondence, provided it is constructive, informative, pithy or witty.
A reader writes in: I really enjoy the write-ups and appreciate the time and effort that go into them. I would just like to add a comment to Horse Pond Road. The strimmers and scythers were all volunteers, tidying up the various paths out of the goodness of their hearts. Their work certainly made it easier for us to navigate parts of the trail. Far from manic, I found the scything bucolic, reminiscent of a landscape painting from bygone days.

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Hash Dash 26.06.20  
  
  1. 1. 09:50 Paul
  2. 2. 10:20 Eric
  3. 3. 10:35 Gaetano
  4. 4. 10:47 Seija
  5. 5. 11:18 Carmel
  6. 6. 11:20 Joanna
  7. 7. 11:45 Barry
  8. 8. 12:45 William
  9. 9. 12:46 Nic
  10. 10. 13:10 Alexander
  11. 11. 13:20 Marika
  12. 12. 14:09 Michele
  13. 13. 14:51 Jon
  14. 14. 15:00 Nicola+Ryan
  15. 15. 16:36 Robert
  16. 16. 28:00 Tony (walker)
  17. 17. 28:00 Shirley (walker)
  18. 18. Tbd Max


Conditions: cool & dry.
Barry’s record of 07:33 still stands !

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Hash: No 2060 20 June 2020
Hare: RiteOnSec
Start and après: Jezus Eik

The first hash with flour since 14 March, after the previous week’s inaugural post-lockdown flourless hash at the same location. Glorious weather and the restart of our favourite Saturday afternoon activity brought a good turnout. No bears, unfortunately. Paddington had told me beforehand he thought we could probably manage on our own now. He did, however, offer to come back and help us if times get hard again.

The pace was slow and leisurely as was to be expected after such a long lay off. After all, if, as commentators keep repeating, it is going to take professional sportspeople several weeks to get back to their pre-lockdown standards, how long is it going to take mere mortals like us?

But there was also the subplot of a healthy competitive edge between the youngest participant, Gabriella (one ‘l’ or two?), and her Mum, Jackie. Both checked with gusto and were the first two back.

The trail, as is to be expected of RiteOnSec, was exemplary. Good running terrain, which we know well, with lots of shade to keep us cool and false trails and back checks to prevent the pack from splintering too much. One particular false trail was possibly the longest this year and led many to take RiteOnSec’s name in vain – a reaction which is always music to a hare’s ears.

We met various walkers and cyclists along the route, but none considered our antics anything out of the ordinary. Perhaps normality is gradually reappearing.

Turnout: 18 + one Mary.
Weather: Sunny, hot and clear skies
Bertie météo: :) :) :) (Three smiling Berties)

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Hash #2059 13 June 2020

Baby Steps out of Confinement, Lockdown or Cocooning

Hares: Collective choices of all present

After a series of debates and dialogues held since late May, the BruH3 Hash took a decision! Led by our Rite-On Sec it was agreed to test the Belgian government rules and advice which was to allow non-contact physical activities by groups of up to 10 people to take place out of doors. On a perfect June day of warm sunshine, we agreed to gather, about half-way from Bosuil and the church at Jesus-Eik and the start of the Dash.

In the event and at the appointed hour there were some two dozen hashers keen to take their baby steps out of confinement. As Rite-On Sec explained orally there was no flour or prescribed trail, so each person or pair was free to decide on their own pace and direction. Beer & water would be available at the end but hashers were urged not to share food and to respect social distancing.

Since this scribe was a member of only one group of many single or pairs of runners this write-up will be brief.

I jogged and ran with Alison S. as we circumnavigated roughly around the outer edges of the arboretum. Occasionally we greeted other hashers heading in the opposite direction and we all re-assembled on the triangle of grass just before or shortly after 16h00 for the DIY Après.

Participants included 2 Briggs, 2 Gunns, 2 Formans, 2 Kusters, 3 Dows, 2 Julians, Ed, Jill, Marleen, Judi, Sue, Katie, Irini, Alison, Mick-Mac, Peter Blackie, Peter Willis, Ian, and Jono.

During the après we were spotted by a pair of Belgian police, who looked but did not halt or question anyone and so we deemed two dozen ageing joggers did not appear to be contravening Belgian regulations.

So, on-on for Hash 2060 on 20/06!

Many thanks to Jon Nutter for organisation & crate of beers and to all who came.

Distances: between little and lots

Turnout: 26 hashers/walkers and no ‘Marys’.

Weather: fine, dry and warm, clear result 3 ‘Berties’.

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Covid-19 Gamma run   Spot the Wezembeek Teddy Bears*

 
An intrepid pair set off  in the sunshine promptly at 3 pm with instructions to count the teddy  bears spotted in windows on the way. The trail led up the road (apparently we missed the false trail across the tram works but did count 11 teddies) instead we turned left to another long false trail past the donkey paddock and to a field with new born lambs.    Back over the newly made path up onto the tram track, over the lines, down the other side, through a series of winding cut throughs to the works on the rebuilding of the Wezembeek Maison Communale.
 
Some confusion as to direction but we were reassured by the life size statue of Straufhain sculpted in 1976 by Gent artist Koenraad Tinel.   Good to find the odd knight errant in search of adventure hanging around just when needed, particularly when he represents the good and bad sides of human nature (
https://www.wezembeek-oppem.be) .
 
So to get on with the run – we wound our way around the highways and byways of Wezembeek spotting teddies as we went.  Up the back path behind Delhaize and on home to an excellent après in the garden where we were regaled with a succession of home-made goodies (wishful thinking -ed).
 
Teddy count 23
Berties – several
 
*
https://www.brusselstimes.com/belgium/103775/coronavirus-belgian-children-go-on-a-teddy-bear-hunt/
H & C
Unknown-1Unknown-3Unknown-2________________________________________________________
Cocooned in Boitfort

Week 2 Testing the Boundaries

Nature Notes: Lyn and I try to walk every day and are very amateur nature observers. In Week 1 after returning from 15 days away we noted many ‘signs of spring’ among trees and birds. This week we have continued to see more different birds – we have seen a wren hopping about in our newly tidied kitchen garden. We hear woodpeckers in the gardens and nearby woods and we have seen a squirrel, not for the first time this year, leaping from tree to tree in a neighbouring garden. On the many lakes in Boitsfort we have seen pairs of swans and at least two breeds of geese – one with black heads & feet and the other with pink feet and soft brown head – as well as several coots and other unidentified avians.

Shopping: so far we have not been into any food shop or pharmacy as we are anxious to minimise our risk of catching Covid 19 – we now have two young(er) friends who shop for us – but I do have a weakness for a physical paper, especially at weekends. So I have visited the EURACTIV office on a Saturday or Sunday when the place is closed and picked up a copy of the FT Weekend, NYT and Le Soir. Thanks to Peter Blackie, who has shared some seeds, so not shopped but acquired, we have also been able to plant these by our kitchen window. Understand that Rowena has also started sowing, so the race is on for the first Covid salad!

Exercise: apart from daily walks I have also been cycling and running roughly every other day. Running in the Forêt de Soignes is easy and varied. Cycling is also relatively easy and I have been through the woods to Rhode St Geneis, Bois de la Cambre, Tervuren, Duisberg and back via Overijse & Jesus-Eik. So while most of these rides have been on cycle tracks, I have not kept strictly within the limits of our commune – please don’t tell the flic!

Social life: we talk more regularly with our 5 sons, assorted partners and our 11 grandkids. This is probably the biggest difference from years ago: recall writing manuscript letters once a week if possible to my parents when I was in far-off postings when phone calls were prohibitively expensive and unreliable. Today the grandchildren are so familiar with mobile devices and the younger ones so casual “Hi Grandad, can’t talk now have to go for a wee”, or whatever. Last night we had our first online cocktail party with friends in Uccle: it worked more easily than expected and we have now scheduled a couple more. Irini de Saint Sernin has started a chain email whereby you send a ‘poem, a thought or a word’ to 10 or 20 others. And a number of us have been recommending NT Live, various operas and other cultural classics that are being released by national theatres and concert halls around the world. Not the same as sitting in a hushed auditorium but better than some of the pap offered by Netflix.

Comments, suggestions and new ideas welcome and the DELETE button is always available.

Weather: much same as Week 1: dry, cold even freezing at night but sun, sun, sun so 3 Berties

Julian O

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Cocooned in Boitsfort

Summary of Week 1: sent initially only to the group of the 18 “Bertie’s Bikers” list.

Since returning from a 15 day holiday in Dominican Republic from 5
th to 20th March, Lyn & Julian have been trying to quarantine/self-isolate or as we prefer cocoon ourselves as best we can from the coronavirus. We spent the beginning and end of our holiday as guests of Adriana & Gianluca, who were wonderful hosts and who send warm greetings to the Brussels Hash community. Do feel free to drop them a line Grippa.bucci@skynet.be as they are always keen to know how Brussels Hashers are getting on.

Days 1- 3 spent trying to assess what food and other essential provisions we had left before departure. Due to Lyn’s type 1 diabetes she is particularly concerned that her immune levels are probably below average so needs to avoid all human contact (apart from me) as far as possible. So, we cancelled our cleaning ladies in both Boitsfort and Kent to ensure that one potential external source be eliminated. We continue to pay them and at same time have been offered shopping help on a regular basis by younger friends in Watermael who shop for us at same time as themselves. Lyn & I also decided to walk together at least once a day and I felt that by writing a daily account of our cocooning experiences we would have some sort of record of what we did during what could be several weeks.

Days 4 – 7 have mainly consisted of our daily experiences walking, running and biking in and around Boitsfort. We described some of the ‘signs of spring’ that we observed since we were last in this area about 3 weeks ago. Trees beginning to sprout leaves, flowers and weeds thriving, and a few comments on birds – this got us into deep water rather quickly when we initially described a cormorant (or shag, as we mistakenly believed then) as a heron. Arthur Pooley was quick to come to our rescue with clear distinctions and photos of each of these 3 water birds from his own knowledge backed up by links to the RSBP site.

These so-called ‘Nature Notes’ have subsequently been welcomed and favourably commented on by others. I intend to continue to include a ‘nature note’ reference when appropriate but as my knowledge is limited others are also invited to add their own comments and observations or queries on nature or any other topic that gets recorded.

Everyone and anyone is welcome to communicate their own comments in any way you like.

On-on until we can definitively Hash together again or “When this bloody war is over”.

Julian O


________________________________________________________________

Covid 19 Beta run Hogenboos Harriet & Christian

The turnout was disappointing given the spectacular weather and the prospect of viewing a promised carpet of wood anemones. Nevertheless, we two hardy souls set off across the fields to a junction where we were misdirected onto a long false trail (well not really but I have to make this a bit longer). Down an extremely rutted path, passing a cyclist who had got firmly stuck in a ditch with a large puddle in the middle; surprising given the recent dry weather. He cheerfully hauled his bike out as we pressed on deeper in the woods.

A glorious sight awaited us, wood anemones to the right and left as we wound down into the valley, along a small path and up the other side. A long trail uphill out of the woods to where we had left our bikes and on home to where the après awaited.

Weather – several Berties.


Unknown
Little did we know that that would be the last Hash for a while…


First Friesian Hash

Wim Faber a newly enthusiastic hasher (perfect timing Wim) and Katie an unenthusiastic hasher for 39 years
put on their walking shoes and stepped out (of the car) to walk briskly around the local lake. Normally on a beautiful sunny day in Friesland W & K would be swimming in this lake but the freezing sharp wind was not encouraging. See white tips to waves on lake!

The flourless Hash (as W & K are on a no-carb diet flourless is good) took them around the lake, over the wooden bridge with the huge Sneeker Meer to the left and then to the new renovated Pavillion cafe (unfortunately closed).

The après was a little quiet and the imbibing of a nice cup of tea and a couple of small chocolate eggs unusual.

Berties :) :) :)

We have always said we would do a Hash in Sneek - this wasn't it! One day I hope all you canals come!


IMG_8759

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Hash 2058 14.03.20

Hares: Wolfgang & ON-Sec

The invisible hare hash

Wolfgang (and on-sec) laid an excellent hash for the elderly walkers and a few energetic runners. The early sun had encouraged some shedding of layers, a mistake as it turned jolly chilly. John F in shorts and tee shirt was fortunately moving fast enough to keep warm. 

The trail started from the back of Jono’s car sans the advertised hare Wolfgang. Although he had planned, laid and catered for the hash he was advised to stay away from crowds. So a crowd of 14 (?) set off to the bridge over and onto that lovely old railway track. Now don’t ask me where we went after that, but it was all most enjoyable!

Now, unusual for this scribe, I and my long striding partner managed to do the whole hash. We kept meeting the others and could even shout “checking” and “are you” on several occasions. 

And another first... we were discussing the Hash over breakfast on Sunday morning! To quote “I started by thinking why am I doing this, I don’t enjoy it... OK there is a bus stop where could we go... this is an interesting area... the steps exercise other muscles... no let’s not get the bus... look we have caught up with others... let’s take a short cut... oh no it’s the long way ... never mind I am in the zone now... keep going before the beer runs out...”

So congratulations Wolfgang, the Dutchman has been converted! 

And there was plenty of beer at the apres in the car park... and bread, cheese and meats. 

We missed you Wolfgang and thanks for your dedication to the cause. And thanks to Jono for stepping up and giving all the credit to Wolfgang! 

Keep well everyone... 

Bertie's :) :)

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Hash 2057 07.03.20

Hares: Marleen & Jackie

A dedicated and select band of Hashers gathered outside Marleen’s apartment
ready for the off on the first sunny day for a while. Roselynn (11)
speedily led the way followed on by Roger with a few others padding on
behind.

This was to be an architectural discovery Hash based on the astonishing
range of housing styles in Evere and Schaerbeek – from splendid art nouveau
to hideous mid previous century and interesting new builds from the last
thirty years. Setting off we wound our way round the streets (sorry
running too fast to note down all the names!), through the occasional small
path and then checked in front of the cemetery of St Josse ten Noode – worth
further exploration another time. Somebody did say that the deviation
around the shopping centre running past Basic Fit and Action (how
appropriate) had been done three times before but we (well some of us)
loyally followed the flour back to the main drag.

Not sure where we went after that but by the time we reached the locked
gates of the rugby field numbers had gone from the initial 11 to 7 and the
skies were darkening. Since we were prevented from following the flour
through the rugby ground we short cut to home via Boulevard Lambermont.

Five stars to Roselynn for her enthusiastic leading of the field, thank you
to Marleen & Jackie for laying the Hash and a happy après. Thanks also to
Katie for delicious soup. Nice to see Helen McGee visiting from France.

Bertie's :) :) :)

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Hash #2055
22.02.20

Hares Alison S and Irina.

This lovely Trail took us up hill and vale, parts of Sterrebeek never seen we didn’t realise it was so green.past buildings ancient and new until Alison’s apartment came into view.  A great apres On On to the hares, welcome back to Mary Nuttal and David Z.

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Hash #2054
15.02.20
 
Safety First
 
Hare: Sue Bird
 
As your scribe was cycling as fast as he could against a strong headwind along the Av Prince d’Orange he mused on the attractions of hashing in the 19 Brussels communes. Each commune has its own peculiarities and over thirty years we have explored many of these and enjoyed the variety. Uccle has its fair share of mansions, parks and hills, of which we would sample a few again today. [Enough personal ramblings, what about the run? Ed]
 
Nine persons had gathered outside Sue’s apartment for a short but clear briefing: “flour is always on the right, except at the very beginning when the ‘on-home’ sign is on the left, as the trail shares the same short bit of road, but it is on the right as you are coming home, so that’s alright!”. Sue then dutifully accompanied us to ensure that we observed same duplication, but also warned us that she would be heading home before the half-way mark to welcome a visitor (friend of Mic-Mac) from London.
 
He huffed and we puffed down and then up Rue Papenkasteel, down Dieweg to Uccle-Calevoet station, along a stretch of Ch d’Alsemberg (‘most boring street in Brussels’ Mic-Mac), Rues du Coq, de la Fauvette, Robert Scott, Arnold Delvaux, Av Wolvendael, Av De Fre, past the Ecole des Arts, Paul Stroobant, back onto Dieweg, past the Wolvendael park entrance, down Rue du Repos, across Ch de St Job (again), along Rue Geleytsbeek and back to Papenkasteel and home. Alison, Jon, Mic-Mac and your scribe led at various times around this circuit.
 
We arrived back to find the Après in full swing, walkers, visitor and two Mary’s having beaten the runners to a seat at the well-laden table and all the chairs. Peter Blackie did claim to have met Sue on her promised early return so claimed to be only half a ‘Mary’. Caroline did not lodge any such claim, so is counted as a full Mary.
 
A pleasant and varied trail mainly along urban and suburban streets but apart from a short section along the side of Wolvendael park we avoided a lot of trees. Hence the title of this Hash on a blowy but not yet stormy day: ‘safety first’.
 
Many thanks to Sue for another ‘take’ on Uccle.
 
Distance: about 5 km including a few false trails.
 
Turnout: 9.5 hashers/walkers and 2.5 ‘Marys’.
 
Weather: dry and windy, some sun towards end net result 1 ‘Bertie’.

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Hash #2053
08.02.20
 
Pub Run
 
Hares: Ten stalwart hashers
 
Ten volunteers braved the forecast rain and escaped the counter attraction of an Ireland v Wales Six Nations rugby match to run without a hare or trail. Rite-On Sec suggested we enter the woods at which point the pack divided into at least 5 sub-groups setting off in different directions: so much for self-discipline and following rules!
 
Since this scribe was a member of only one group this write-up will be brief.
 
We set off down the ‘Dash’ route for the first 500 metres or so before turning right. We continued running downhill until we reached a steep uphill section. We then met a group doing hill sprints and recalled our own long-ago abilities to engage in interval training. This helped pass the time as we walked up the steep trail. On to the end of the Dash route and we then returned up to the same point where we had turned right earlier. This time we turned into the arboretum and up to the car park by the Tervuren to Jesus-Eik road. We turned left and proceeded back to our original starting point.
 
The noble Rite-On Sec was waiting with an open crate of beer. He explained that three women had detoured to the Bosuil pub and were quickly joined by Chris Stevens. We were then joined by Ian, Julian R, Shirley and Tony Gunn and enjoyed a make-do après of crisps and turmeric flavoured hummus & biscuits provided by Ian. Pete B had also contributed some Palm to vary the choice of beers.
 
Many thanks to Jon Nutter for organisation & crate of Maes and to all who came.
 
Distance: roughly 6 km
 
Turnout: 10 hashers/walkers and no ‘Marys’.
 

Weather: drizzle at start, dry in the middle and increasingly steady rain during the après, net result no ‘Berties’.
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Hash: No 2051 25.01.20
Hares: Harriet and Christian

Start and après: chez eux, Wezembeek-Oppem
I counted them out and counted them in and the numbers did not tally. 15 of us dutifully listened to the hares as they warned us to be careful crossing Mechelsesteenweg and confided we would probably see parts of the commune we had never seen before – no mean feat given the amount of hashing in the area over the years.
As we sprinted up the hill towards the tram track, we met two late comers ambling towards us. Sue and MicMac did not seem in any particular hurry, but thanks to a cunning back check and a lengthy false trail, they had caught up with the pack by the third check.
After some zig-zagging, the trail crossed the notorious Mechelsesteenweg and the pack plunged into a maze of houses between Hippodroomlaan and Leopold III laan. Somehow, at one point, MicMac, despite the staggered start, was way ahead of everyone (I don’t know how he does it – ed).
After about half an hour, the third late arrival – Tim – appeared and proceeded to check like a dervish. As tarmac gave way to some muddy paths, the many false trails laid by the energetic and skilled hares kept the group largely together. “I have never been on a hash with so many false trails,” one jogger/runner confessed.
Back across the main road, the way home confused front runners by not taking the most direct route. Eventually the expanded pack made it back to base in around the hour and was rewarded with lots of home made goodies for its efforts.
Turnout: 18 (at the end)
Weather: dry, overcast and slightly misty
Bertie météo:
:) :)
P.S. Am I the only one confused as to why males get the choice of a small BELLY t-shirt and females don’t?
As has been the case at all 6 previous BELLY trails there will be a tee shirt. In terms of sizes the following will be available:
Ladies M/L/XL/XXL
Men S/M/L/XL/XXL

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Hash #2049
01. 02.20
 
Tour of Schaerbeek
 
Hare: Tim King (aka longer-than-planned)
 
Nine people were corralled by the hare at around 3:20 into the space in front of his garage to hear his announcements. He wanted us to hear his messages and to avoid having to shout. This would be a town run, the middle section is well-laid, he claimed, unfortunately the beginning and end have yet to be laid. As it was a town run, flour would always be on the right-hand side of the flow of traffic. Traffic flow being defined as whichever directions the hashers flow. And so we started late but with the Hare sprinting off laying flour before our very feet we moved quickly.
 
He managed to get sufficiently ahead in the tight maze of streets close to his own. We weaved our way around and down to Av Paul Deschanel, which is the broad dual carriageway that straddles the railway line from Gare du Nord to Gare Schumann, I think. In any case urban dual carriageways present an immediate challenge to 9 walkers and hashers who are already uncertain about the flow of vehicular traffic never mind on which of the four pavements we should flow. With a little prompting from our accompanying hare we found the trail along the middle of a soft footpath covered in wood chippings quite independent of any pavements. Somewhere about this point we picked up a couple of young American hashers who had just arrived in Brussels. Tim had also introduced a new Hash sign – a series of concentric Vs to indicate a viewpoint – a 19
th century Schaerbeek resident who is credited with being the precursor of the helicopter – funny but I thought that was Leonardo da Vinci.
 
After crossing Av Rogier, with its impressive views, we then found ourselves close to Parc Josephat (for the first time). After a couple of abortive attempts to enter the park we were running along Av Louis Bertrand and away from the park up to and around the recently cleaned and resplendent Église St Servais. Then we were on to the broad and today largely empty Rue Royale, then twisting and turning we suddenly faced the spectacular Schaerbeek maison communale bathed in sunlight with its predominant white bricks and stonework set off with bands of red brick and stone culminating in a climax of turrets and towers.
 
By this time, about 4h30, a number of the by now reduced band of hashers were beginning to flag. However, our new young friends from America knowing nothing of the geography took up the lead. We now crossed the Gare du Nord/Schumann railway a couple more times and finally reached Parc Josephat for the second time. After a too brief dip into the park we were back alongside it – we met Hugh Dow walking home in the opposite direction who was somewhat surprised at 4h55 to find us still not finished.
Finally, no ‘on-home’ – a victim of the ‘well-laid middle’ section - but back chez Kings we were warmly greeted by Susan, several choices of beer, home- made soup, hummus and other eatables.
 
In conclusion: a good hash, we now appreciate many more of the impressive late 19
th century buildings and memorials of this commune. The length was more suitable for a group of 25, if it had also included younger and more athletic runners who could have checked more quickly. Still it was a classic King hash: longer-than-planned.
 
Distance: 10.8 km including many false trails and a few back-checks.
 
Turnout: 12 hashers/walkers – no Marys
 
Weather: dry, some sunshine 11 C – two ‘Berties’.

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Hash No 2050 18 January 2020
Start and après: Boitsfort

Hares: Julian O and Barny
Scribe: Julian R with PS from Rory W



The celebration of Richard Wainwright’s life hash  
I have to admit that your scribe missed the morning/early pm activities and was almost the last to arrive. I believe Christian and Roger arrived after me but made the run and Mic Mac was an out and out Mary!

That being said; having been delegated the task of scribing, I quickly tried to tally those present for the run, whilst the chief Hare gave out his instructions and guidance.  I counted 25, including 2 Hares; but your chief scribe confidently said it was 28 (before taking account of Christian and Roger). Whatever, I’m only an accountant after all.
 
So having climbed the hill all the way up to the Hare’s residence; our instructions included:
 
-          Flour always on the right,
-          We would at one point pass the former home of Richard Wainwright – this was marked by “a circle on the left”,
-          The “on on” is down the hill and out the gate to the right.
 
This led me to wonder if we were mixing the symbols of the Sunday Hash with those of Saturday.  On Sundays, a circle = a check and the flour is always on the left!
 
So off we all went, some faster than others!  Our trail took us initially into the woods with an early longish stretch; spurning one or two good opportunities for a check.  Nevertheless, we finally reached a check and after several initial false trails, off we went again; this time out of the woods and to a check by the Auberge au Repos des Chasseurs.  Again, we were led on several false trails before we finally found the true trail round the back of the Axa Insurance building and we continued winding our way round the streets and alley ways of Watermael Boitsfort.  There seemed to be a regular theme of the lead runners constantly going in the wrong direction; either following a false trail or just simply ignoring their internal radars as to where they were and where they needed to get to.
 
Eventually though we finally found Richard’s former abode.  Sadly, the circle outside had disappeared, but there it was – now called Bloemenberg!  I heard it suggested also that Richard sold the residence to a friend of Gianluca, our much missed Italian member now living the high life in the Caribbean.  The veracity of this assertion I can neither confirm nor deny; but am intrigued to know! (You are correct. The Hare can give you chapter and verse – ed).
 
Onwards again around the nearby Church at which Richard’s son and the day’s co-Hare admitted he and his brother used to play wall tennis against and even put a net cord line on the walls – Irreverent and sacrilegious behaviour???  I leave it for others to make their own minds up.  However, I am sure their father would have loved the idea of it.
 
Finally, we crossed the main road again and reached a new check – at which point the Hare announced that he had forgotten to tell us something at the start; namely there was a long and a short split coming up (though the long was not that much longer).  I followed the long and meandered round the backstreets of Watermael Boitsfort, finally turning on to a long upwards rising road past the cemetery on the right and so to the “On Home” sign and into Bonne Odeur.
 
On reaching the gate, your scribe and Ian H tried several times to enter said code with no success.  Fortunately, your chief scribe and Barbara arrived and the chief scribe kindly asked “are you using the correct key pad?”  Duh!  There was a second key pad and sure enough, once the code was entered there, the gate opened.
 
On to the apres and a super feast enjoyed by several other Hashers and guests who had seemingly never gone on the run (preferring the warmth of the Hare’s abode).  Very wise.
 
The weather throughout was stunning and evidently “Bertie” was looking down on us favourably.  Therefore, 3 smiley Bertie’s for the day.
 
 

P.S. Rory W adds…..
Before the hash, Lyn, Julian and two of Richard’s sons, Matthew and Barny, held an informal event from midday to give those who had been unable to attend the service of thanksgiving in St Michael’s Church, Highgate on 29 November, the opportunity to celebrate Richard’s life.
At least 60 people attended, including a score of Richard’s Commission colleagues, a similar number of hashers, most in running gear, and many Brussels-based friends from music groups to neighbours. The relaxed surroundings and generous food and drink created an atmosphere where people shared their memories and appreciation of Richard’s many talents and contributions to our lives (running a hash later was distinctly challenging).
Lyn welcomed everyone and pointed out how important London’s Highgate, where they had built a house and lived for three years from 1970, was to Richard. It was to where he returned when he left Brussels after spending almost 30 years in Boitsfort, which, with its village atmosphere, is in many ways Brussels’ version of Highgate.
Richard Lyal, one of Richard’s colleagues from the Commission Legal Service, recalled the notable contributions he had made in the development of European fisheries, environmental, internal market and competition law since his arrival in 1973. It later emerged that the interview panel thought he was the only Brit they interviewed who “seemed to know anything”. RL paid tribute to RW’s ability to successfully lead, enthuse and manage a team well before management gurus and theories arrived. He liked to use the phrase “Well Done”. Depending on the tone, this ranged from a form of genuine praise to a polite way to silence a voluble colleague.
John Robinson described Richard in one word: “indomitable”. They had first met in the early 1970s, but it was over the last 15 years that they had really got to know each other in their biannual hikes in the Lake District with their friend Bob Hull. Richard was always up for a challenge, whether it was traversing an exceedingly tricky precipitous rock face when he was 78 or climbing a 1,743 metre “ultra-prominent” mountain in Greece last year just weeks before his death. As John put it: Richard had a permanent suspension of belief in his own mortality.
(The text of John’s appreciation is attached to this Hash write-up and will be posted on the Hash web site).
Hugh Dow gave an insight into Richard’s positive approach to life. Does it get to you when things go badly, he asked? “I don’t let it,” Richard replied. He reminded us of Richard’s democratic approach to life. He was happy to give the same cheerful geniality to everyone irrespective of their status or social skills.
Robert Adams, a friend from prep school whose path later crossed with Richard and Lyn’s in Brussels, described the hospitality, friendship and support he had enjoyed from Richard’s family over many years. He also revealed a little known weakness in Richard’s armoury of achievements: he was not very good at golf.

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Hash: No 2047 28 December 2019
Hare: Peter C

Start and après: Chez Coldrick, WSP
Grand Master Birthday Hash
A steady stream of well-wishers of various ages (Really? – ed), clad in contrasting styles of running apparel and bearing liquid gifts paid homage to the venerable GM and hare as he waited patiently on his throne for the pack to assemble for the last hash of 2019.
Once the formalities were over, the hare ordered his subjects to congregate outside before issuing short and clear instructions: “Left out the gate, first right”. The brevity caught the pack, used to a lengthy warm up act of: “The flour is on the right, except when… Be careful when crossing….” by surprise.
This was evident when front runners took the first road on the left before being called to order and steered in the correct direction towards the first road on the right.
The closely knit pack at the start soon disintegrated into front runners, middle runners, front walkers and slower walkers. The skilfully laid trail managed to keep the four disparate groups in sight and touch for the first half of the course and a long false trail, made even longer by front runners failing to see the return-to-check arrow, also helped everyone to regroup.
Soon, however, gaps reappeared (Do you think more shouting of “On On” by the front and middle runners would overcome this problem? – ed). By the time signs pointing to Stockel Square appeared, the laggards were well and truly adrift. Failing to find the flour, they/we trusted instinct, went off piste and finished some ten minutes after the first returnees.
The trail was a delight and an eye-opener. It cleverly eschewed many of the obvious roads. Instead, it used lots of the small alleyways, paths and wynds that permeate WSP and WSL. This provided unexpected glimpses into front and back gardens, small housing estates and recreational areas. “I’ve driven through these communes for years and never knew any of this existed,” confided one Hash veteran.
The après saw the numbers swelled by more well-wishers, much post Christmas bonhomie, tasty food and booze and a tuneful rendition of “Happy Birthday”.
Among the familiar faces, it was also good to see ex-China resident, Rowena and the hare’s son Philip (he had offered to help lay the hash, but been turned down by his Dad on the grounds he would then know where the trail went); a well-behaved dog three paces ahead of Stephen Pursey, an occasional hasher from the early 1980s now back in Brussels; and the three sprightly Watson/Ennis daughters (Do you want to declare an interest? – ed).
Happy Hashing in 2020.
Turnout: 20 + Many Marys hungry for the birthday cake
Weather: Cold, fresh and dry
Bertie météo:
:) :)

PS. The Joys and Benefits of Running
I fully recommend a Christmas present I received: A Run in the Park by David Park (Bloomsbury Publishing). A short, delightful book on strangers coming together to run as they prepare for their first 5km and how the jogging/running experience released them from the different angst and tensions they were carrying.
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Hash: No 2024 20 July 2019
Hare: Judi

Start and après: near the AD building on Square Marie Curie, 1070 Anderlecht
The Last Ahold Delhaize Hash
The omens were definitely not good. A ferocious downpour made driving through Brussels to the start decidedly tricky as the windscreen wipers tried to cope valiantly with the volume of water. Much of the area had been built after Your Humble Scribe had purchased his vintage Atlas du Grand Bruxelles and Bruxelles et périphérie and so did not feature in his usual Saturday afternoon works of reference. Luckily, other occupants of the car had more modern navigation means.

Our arrival was greeted by a nonchalant hare standing under a dripping umbrella at the entrance to the car park of the building where she has worked for the past few years. Then, Eureka: at 15.05 it stopped raining and did not start again until 17.40, by which time the après was winding down. Bertie’s météo was bang on again.

The trail, when the flour had not been washed away by the deluge, wended its way among offices and flats in the vicinity of Square Marie Curie, before crossing the main road, Bvd Theo Lambert, and entering Park Joseph Lemaire. This led into another larger park, Parc Vives containing various lakes and wildlife. Passing under the Ring, we were treated to excellent graffiti and huge colourful paintings on scores of the concrete supports by the local Banksys of the area. A truly splendid sight and worth having a look at if in the area.

The pack then followed the flour into Rue de Lievre. “How appropriate,” MicMac commented as he pointed out the symbolism to those in earshot. This brought us to another park: Parc de la Pede (NOTE: no acute accents on either “e”) – a delightful spot with a reasonably priced café/restaurant and a pop up swimming pool in the lake which was being extensively used despite the earlier rain. By this time, the hash was in Neerpede, the last major rural area in the Brussels Region.

The trail continued along Dreve Olympique past the Jesse Owens sports stadium, the athletics home of Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht, under the Ring to give us another chance to admire the commune’s artistic creativity on the many originally blank concrete canvasses and finally back to Square Marie Curie.

The trail was a delight with its mixture of greenery, lakes and urban energy and showed most of us a part of Brussels we would never normally visit. Many thanks, Judi.

Turnout: 12
Weather: Dry, hot and steamy
Berties:
12 12 (because it was so wet before and after the hash, but dry during it).
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Hash: 2046 21 December 2019


Notwithstanding a grey, dank and chilly afternoon ... but no rain! ... a fine Hash was much appreciated by us all.

Over the Bld de Souv and on up onto the old railway rack, the motley bunch of trail blazers was soon in the park and ... to make our efforts even more laudable ... looking for blobs and crosses, many of which had been erased ...or was this a subtle ploy by Judi and her co-hort, Alison S (for Scotland, of course)???

It was an interesting juxtaposition of the sublime, the 'Kingpin' ever more spritely and lithe, the weight of walkers and a couple of slightly late comers ... the two I's ... according to whom we had left very much on time ... but they were able +/- to follow the plot thanks to Judi's pristine ex-post arrows ... although, it was said, Irini went shopping ...

The trail was very much on the hour and we all got back +/- together ... so spot-on execution, ladies!

The après was jocular, cosy and eminently enjoyable for both the sweet and savoury amongst us 
... Judi's inside (and inward opening - and closing) rather splendid shutters were much admired by Jill ... and the hot soup was very tasty, especially - it was rumoured - as it came from two different 'sources' ... the dexterity of the melange will have made it!

Turn out: a very strong 16 ( +2 ... see above).

Weather: also see above.

Especial thanks to Judi and Alison for getting us going and to the participants for participating ... a Hash worthy of taking us all onto bonnes fêtes.

PS And many thanks to Chris for the open left-over-from-her-previous-week's-hash crisps ... in the meantime, nicely matured ...

PPS And still no one claiming those expensive gloves ...

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Hash: No 2024 20 July 2019
Hare: Judi

Start and après: near the AD building on Square Marie Curie, 1070 Anderlecht
The Last Ahold Delhaize Hash
The omens were definitely not good. A ferocious downpour made driving through Brussels to the start decidedly tricky as the windscreen wipers tried to cope valiantly with the volume of water. Much of the area had been built after Your Humble Scribe had purchased his vintage Atlas du Grand Bruxelles and Bruxelles et périphérie and so did not feature in his usual Saturday afternoon works of reference. Luckily, other occupants of the car had more modern navigation means.

Our arrival was greeted by a nonchalant hare standing under a dripping umbrella at the entrance to the car park of the building where she has worked for the past few years. Then, Eureka: at 15.05 it stopped raining and did not start again until 17.40, by which time the après was winding down. Bertie’s météo was bang on again.

The trail, when the flour had not been washed away by the deluge, wended its way among offices and flats in the vicinity of Square Marie Curie, before crossing the main road, Bvd Theo Lambert, and entering Park Joseph Lemaire. This led into another larger park, Parc Vives containing various lakes and wildlife. Passing under the Ring, we were treated to excellent graffiti and huge colourful paintings on scores of the concrete supports by the local Banksys of the area. A truly splendid sight and worth having a look at if in the area.

The pack then followed the flour into Rue de Lievre. “How appropriate,” MicMac commented as he pointed out the symbolism to those in earshot. This brought us to another park: Parc de la Pede (NOTE: no acute accents on either “e”) – a delightful spot with a reasonably priced café/restaurant and a pop up swimming pool in the lake which was being extensively used despite the earlier rain. By this time, the hash was in Neerpede, the last major rural area in the Brussels Region.

The trail continued along Dreve Olympique past the Jesse Owens sports stadium, the athletics home of Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht, under the Ring to give us another chance to admire the commune’s artistic creativity on the many originally blank concrete canvasses and finally back to Square Marie Curie.

The trail was a delight with its mixture of greenery, lakes and urban energy and showed most of us a part of Brussels we would never normally visit. Many thanks, Judi.

Turnout: 12
Weather: Dry, hot and steamy
Berties:
:) :) (because it was so wet before and after the hash, but dry during it).
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hash #2045
14 December 2019
 
Hilly Hoeilaart, or Illy Oeilaart
 
Hare: Chris
 
From midday to 14h30 the gods had provided plenty of the wet stuff, so it was a pleasure and surprise to find a dozen stalwarts ready for a run/walk. Chris announced that “flour was on the right except when it wasn’t”. She went on the explain that as Hoeilaart was rather hilly she had attempted to lay a trail that avoided an excess of inclines [most of us understood this to translate as ‘given your combined ages and lack of apparent fitness, you wouldn’t manage anything more strenuous’].
 
We were off around the back of her block as Alison S set a cracking pace across the park. A check at the top of the hill allowed the walkers to catch up before we were off again in a southerly direction.
 
We then veered left and right as we climbed up towards the Groendaal / La Hulpe railway line, at which point the trail led down the appropriately named Engelselaan, along which most of the pack headed enthusiastically. However, the hare and her partner stood resolutely at the top of the hill while a couple of fearless runners headed off down Amerikalaan thinking this offered a brighter future.
 
Led by a limping John Forman, followed by walkers Ken and Lucy, we gradually distanced ourselves ahead. The pack eventually caught us up as we emerged along a footpath at Groendaal station. Then it was across the road and into the woods and past the first lakes and on to Waversesteenweg leading towards Hoeilaart centre. Flour was difficult to spy on the right or left and as a result of the earlier mentioned precipitation, but by keeping Chris following the pack we knew we were not deviating unnecessarily. If any indolent hasher thought we were done with inclines however, he or she was wrong.
 
Finally, we ascended a longish narrow road with various false trails until we hit on a yellow-brick path, like magic it took as back to the central park and on home to Caronstraat.
 
Chris quickly revealed a table of home-made breads, hummus and welcoming spicy tomato, onion and parsnip soup ideal for the cold and often hungry hashers as well as other delectable consumables. Seasonal cheer and consumption of various beers resulted in an increasingly loud and happy group.
 
Turnout: 13 hashers/walkers and Peter Blackie as a ‘Mary’
 
Weather: dank, an occasional flash of sunshine and a light drizzle but mild at around 6 C – zero ‘Bertie’s’

 
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Hash #2044
7 December 2019
 
The NIGHT Hash
 
Hares: Judi and Rory
 
First and foremost many thanks are due to Norma for single-handedly organising the biggest Hash of the year since the 2000
th in Feb. (Ed having travelled to the wilds of North Devon to canvas to stop Brexit  – thanks Ed – let us know how it went? Editor).
 
We assembled in the gathering glooming as the sun had recently set. Norma took the now customary McGovern photo then Judi and Rory (welcome back, after several weeks injury) addressed the festively clad hashers including Roger is his customary single red T shirt, shorts and runners, Katie festooned with lights, on-time Caroline in a striking multi-coloured jacket and Marleen, all looking great.
 
We were off and up to the first check on the roundabout above the 39 tram stop.
For the first but by no means the last time, we managed to confuse the passing traffic and each other by going in multiple directions. Eventually, we divined that we should be going back and on across the Ring.
 
And so we jogged, walked and ran along and around the suburban streets of Wezembeek/Stockel borders, criss-crossing the tram tracks and Ring again. Finding and identifying the flour was not always easy (for your scribe at least) as some checks were camouflaged in long wet grass – well-spotted by Irini who was a regular leading lady of the peleton. John Forman, fresh back from Tenerife looked convincingly Father Christmassy in his red and white trimmed top and cherry-red face and white beard. Chris Stevens clipped along with Nordic poles sounding and looking seriously athletic and ready for a long trek. Christian was illuminated with a chest-light but afflicted by a horrid cough as he took the lead in a middle section of the run.
 
Finally, as we skirted the Stockel shopping centre, we turned again and found ourselves heading along a long straight road back to the roundabout from where we had started. On-home was called and we sprinted back to the light and warmth of the McGovern residence.
 
After a quick change of footwear and a glass or two in hand a brave band of singers were accompanied by Roger at a high pitch and fast rendition of a dozen familiar carols.
 
The dining table groaned with a large selection of freshly made and attractively displayed eats of all sorts. Norma excelled herself by providing more than enough food, mulled wine, beers, wines and soft drinks of many colours.
 
A memorable occasion to inaugurate the Christmas season: the hares did well ensuring no-one was lost, Roger hammered the ivories with his customary energy, and a good time was had by all, thanks to all involved.
 
Turnout: 25 hashers/walkers and a couple of ‘Marys’, who appeared at the après.
 
Weather: dry, a little chilly and a 2/3
rd moon.

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Hash #2042
23rd November 2019

Pear-shaped Hash?

Hares: Jan & Jill

A dozen hashers/walkers gathered in autumnal sunshine just off the Ch de Waterloo, behind the furniture store Flamant (Ed: is this a play on ‘flamand’ ?).

Despite some mutterings about the absence of visible hares in the minutes approaching 3h10, Jan appeared looking trim and without a trace of flour to announce that “flour was on the right” and we were off.

We started along Av de la Brassine and soon encountered two successive false trails on the right into suburbia; intuitively we knew that the real trail would be into the woods on our left, but check after check led us further and further down the self-same Avenue. We passed one horse-riding stable after another large suburban villa facing the woods, we even got into the woods at one point but only to find ourselves running or walking parallel to the Av de la Brassine. Eventually we found ourselves at the end of the road and the trail led past yet another stable alongside a huge recently ploughed field in the direction, sight and sound of the Ring! It was another false trail, so we retreated and entered into the woods proper.

Passing small groups of dog-walkers, family parties and other well-heeled residents of Rhode St Genese we jogged and called our way deeper and deeper into the forest. There were some long gaps between the blobs of flour until an unlikely right-turn was signalled, which inevitably turned out to be a back-check. On we went, a few complaints were raised about the time and distance already covered and then we found the welcome ‘on-home’ sign and sprinted back along the track, covered as it had been for much of the afternoon by a carpet of golden leaves, to the starting point.

Why is this Hash described as pear-shaped? Not because there was anything wrong with the trail, but when reviewed on the tourist map at the start & finish the main trail we had traversed roughly resembles a pear: the false trails at the beginning, middle and end could be seen as a leaf or stalk on the pear-shape.

We quickly made the trip from the Flamant back to Jill’s warm kitchen where we were treated with beer, crudités and plenty of bread, cheese and other dressings. Under questioning Jill revealed that this Hash was indeed just over 5 kms, as she understood was the new normal, and was an adaptation of a previous hash set by her some years ago. No pear-shape intended!

Turnout: 10 hashers + 2 walkers.

Weather: dry, little or no wind, and 2 Bertie’s.

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Hash #2041 16th November 2019

Basic but stretching

Hare: Jonathan Nutter

A round dozen hashers/walkers gathered in autumnal sunshine just inside the ‘Arch’ [slow readers are referred back to the invitations to this hash].

Rite-On Sec announced that this would be a basic hash, flour was on the right and we were off. Well-placed checks were quickly identified but the subsequent trails sometimes proved harder to locate. Nevertheless we circumnavigated the three long skinny lakes that run from the Arch in a north-easterly direction.

We then encountered two successive false trails that proved hard to escape until Rite-On Sec revealed that one should have been a back-check; once released we were off again through the woods and then back down to the restored Spanish House at the top of the largest Tervuren lake.

We criss-crossed the lakes before heading along the shadier side and then back into the woods and uphill to the stones. Within sight of the car park it was difficult if not impossible to resist taking the shortest route home.

Jackie and David Z led the pack on most of the trail as we all reassembled for a plein air Après put together expertly by Tony G. It was then revealed that we had three male chefs active in preparing meals: Tony because Shirley is on a cultural post Rugby world cup tour in Japan, David who is preparing his famous Thanksgiving Hash dinner and Julian R who is supervising many of the preparations for cooking the Hash Christmas lunch in a month’s time.

It was good to see some less familiar faces including Keith, Peter Blackie, Jackie and David Zaruk.

While described as ‘basic’ this was a Hash that also turned out to be stretching and satisfying.

Turnout: 10 hashers + 2 walkers and a couple of hungry whippets, which appeared at the après.

Weather: dry, little or no wind, chilly but 2 Bertie’s.

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Hash #2040 9th November 2019

Back-to-Basics

Hare: Julian Rummins

As announced by Rite-Hon Sec birthday celebrations later the same day meant we would be running a bare-bones type hash: not true! Julian R who had already organised a superb hash on 19 Oct stepped up to the plate again and provided us with a full-length (for this year) hash with oodles of flour.

A group of 8 had assembled by the appointed hour: 3 of the Class of ’44, MicMac, Wolfgang, Tony, Judi and 2 Julians; Pete Briggs was wearing new shoes but we refrained from stepping on his toes or otherwise dirtying his claimed waterproof footwear.

First check was at the start of the midsummer Dash at the top of the cathedral avenue of beech trees looking perfect in the autumnal sunshine: green, yellow, orange and russet. We then went down the Drunken man’s track and along a very wet and swampy glade before rising slightly to cross the Dash trail.

On we jogged and walked in a broadly anticlockwise direction around the outside of the forest until we returned to the car park outside the Arboretum. At this point we were joined by Captain Coldrick on his bike, who had well-calculated where we might meet, and thence back towards Jesus-Eik and Tulpenlaan where Julian R and others provided an Après sur place.

Pete reported that his waterproof shoes had indeed repelled any ingress of H2O, MicMac and Judi discussed bus and tram routes from Auderghem and a good time was had by all.

Many thanks to Julian R for a well-laid hash, at short notice.

Turnout: 8 hashers plus 1 Mary, aka Peter Coldrick.

Weather: dry, little or no wind, 1 Bertie.
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Hash #2034  28.09.19

Groenendaal station car park and bus stop

Hare: Ian Hamilton

We assembled in the open-air car park at Groenendaal station, but as the rain got heavier we retreated to the bus shelter which, by 15:10, was having issues accommodating most of us. An airport bus drew up; the driver must have thought with so many people Christmas had arrived early, but tempting as it was, only one person (not a hasher) got on board.

We set off to run in various directions but the first ‘on-on’ was called to pass under the railway bridge, only to be almost as quickly called-back. We then found our way along a gentle downward sloping footpath en route for Hoeilaart before crossing the main road and entering the woods.

That was to be the easy part. From there on the trail got steeper, wetter, slipperier and just a bit confusing. Our hare was keen on big floury double X’s “in case any single check-point got rubbed out” but a little less active in marking changes of directions. Flour was deposited in small and somewhat random frequencies. To be fair the almost continuously vertical wet stuff - which had not been forecast and which some of us noticed afterwards had not fallen in neighbouring communes – had washed out a good few blobs of flour.

Nature notes: there was a wide variety of trees and consequently varying ground cover in this part of the forest: as well as the predominant beech, there were also oaks, ash, birch and conifers. There were also plenty of roots, brambles and nettles. Birds of various songs were also heard, a chipmonk and at one point your scribe espied a small frog hopping uphill as we were descending – did he know something we didn’t?

After some 45 or 50 minutes among the dripping trees, did anyone else notice the weather, we criss-crossed the grassy and by now fairly sodden meadows. Then back into the woods, around a small lake with a rather ominous looking and sounding generator, which was measuring or monitoring some aspect of the local environment. From there we were nearly home judging from the sound of traffic on the nearby Ring and the Groenedaal – Hoeilaart road.

Your scribe in the company of a few other weaker hashers headed for our separate residences and a hot shower or bath and a warm drink or two or three.
Ian kindly invited everyone else to adjourn at his nearby house for the Après

Turnout: 18 runners and walkers – including Denis from San Francisco, attending a Brussels trade fair.

Weather: mostly rain, apart from a 30 second flash of sunshine, so zero ‘Berties’.
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Hash #2033   21.09.19
 
« Pastures New » Silombos, Erps-Kwerps, 3071
 
Hares: Harriet & Christian Kusters
 
As many hashers, cyclists, friends and relations had attended our dear friend Bertie’s funeral earlier, the hash started at 16h30. May he rest in peace.
 
It was a perfect day: warm, sunny, little or no wind, low humidity, I could go on.
We gathered in one of several large pastures that had recently been mown in the middle of Silom woods. Unusually for Flanders we seemed to be in a big estate with few buildings and even fewer other people. Harriet advised that flour would be mainly on the right or middle of the trail, but not to miss the ‘black widow’ to be found at the end of the first back-check.
 
We were off, after a couple of false trails we entered the woods and ran along flat paths that were strewn with board walks indicating that the terrain is often wet if not flooded. As predicted, we discovered a carved stone statute of a ‘black widow’ about 75 cm high on top of a stone plinth of about 1.6 metres, in the middle of quite a dense forest by a small stream, identified as the Molenbeek.
 
Back to the last change of direction, we wove through the meandering paths until we had to climb a small bridge of less that a metre to cross the Molenbeek river. This was to be the sole change of altitude that we were to encounter. This must be one of the flattest hashes in the Brussels region.
 
Christian & Harriet had laid a clever trail that took us back and forth through woods and pastures. We met very few other walkers and only the very occasional vehicle. The only noticeable noise came from the aircraft taking off from nearby Zaventem – we were almost directly under the flight paths. After almost exactly an hour we identified the on-home sign.
 
Après: ‘sur place’ was ably managed by Christian, providing tablecloth, as well as a more than adequate supply of welcome chilled drinks and plenty of crudités, breads, cold meats and cheeses. 
 
Turnout: 12 walkers & runners – plus Caroline, as a Mary, she was stopped only a few minutes from the start by a local bike race, the marshals for which halted all traffic 10 minutes before the first riders appeared but this was enough to make Caroline late.

Weather: perfect in all respects so, exceptionally, 5 ‘Berties’: ☀☀☀☀☀
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Hash 2032 14.09.19

Hare: Julian Oliver

Julian Oliver’s write-up of Hash 2031, which was run or walked in constant rain, ended with the line “no sun, so no ‘Berties’”. By the following Saturday, when BruH³ assembled for Hash 2032, with Julian himself as the hare, we had learned of the death of Bertie Johnston, who had embarked on his final “On home”. And because the Great Hasher in the Sky has a droll sense of humour, we were blessed for the occasion with no Bertie but lots of sun. 

There were 14 willing souls who made it inside the gated community of rue Nisard, where Julian offered them some gentle counsel for the route and Ed took a photograph. Julian informed us that there was no flour to be found until we were outside the gates, which at the time seemed reasonable enough – it’s ok to besmirch the streets of Watermael-Boitsfort, but you don’t want to mess up your own doorstep – until MicMac took a wrong turning before we’d even made it to the front entrance/exit.
The trail, when we did get outside, took us into the throbbing metropolis of Watermael-Boitsfort, where our shouts of ‘on-on!’ amused or bemused the clientèle of the pavement cafés around Place Léopold Wiener. We were quickly on into a park that we have run through many times before, but whose name most of us would not recognise. It seems to be called Jagersveld – a reference to the presence in the Middle Ages of the hunt of the Dukes of Brabant. The park was created in the early years of the 20th century when what became the boulevard du Souverain was constructed, at the instigation of Edmond Parmentier (commemorated by a different park at the other end of the boulevard) to soften the link with the Chaussée de la Hulpe).
The hare had the good sense to take us to the bottom corner, where the more observant hashers could admire a statue/fountain by Jean-Michel Folon. Thence it was a quick descent to the drève des Silex, where the Etang de Boitsfort was glinting in the afternoon sun, and photographers with ridiculously long lenses were taking pictures of the waterfowl and the dragonflies. At the end of the drève, the trail took us into the Parc Tournay-Solvay, and a backcheck gave us the chance to assess the state of the crumbling chateau of Tournay-Solvay. Apparently, there are now plans to turn it into an inter-university centre for the study of theoretical physics, which would have pleased Bertie: though quite when those plans will be realised is subject to distortions of the time-space continuum by the black hole that is the budget of the Brussels regional government.

A descent into unfamiliar parts of the park was followed by a more familiar ascent through the walled garden and up to an extremely familiar tunnel under the railway. In that part of the Forêt de Soignes, crossing the railway gives a much greater choice of route and soon we were descending into the sniffily named valley of Vuylbeek. Indeed, we travelled further along this valley than the hare had intended. A combination of too much sunshine and too many idle walkers on the path meant that your scribe missed a deviation in the flour. He was further deceived by the remnants of an earlier trail (MicMac wanted to take credit for this – a relic of a trail he laid for ‘the other hash’). Indeed, the diversion might have lasted a bit longer, if your scribe had not emerged onto a tarmac path just as the hare and Peter Coldrick pedalled by. Enjoined to turn around, he retraced his steps, and was chastened (and not-so-secretly delighted) to discover that no one else had taken the correct route.
At which point, we learnt why the hare had warned that the route was hardly suitable for bikes: a steep ascent, off-piste, through a field of bracken. Some further uncertainties in navigation meant that we were well grouped by the time we emerged onto a metalled path that led us back over the railway line. The crossing is called ‘le pont des chats’ and it leads, logically enough, to Kattenberg. Put another way, the trail followed the edge of the grounds of the International School of Brussels before disgorging onto the Chaussée de la Hulpe. After some fiddly bits in the backstreets, we were soon climbing past the cimetière de Watermael-Boitsfort. The slope was uncomfortably angled to catch the late-afternoon sun, so we were relieved to encounter the on-home sign and pleasantly surprised by the proximity of rue Nisard.

Indeed, it was a feature of this hash that, although much of it traversed frequently hashed territory – think Boitsfort Station (a MicMac standard starting-point), or Avenue de l’Arbalète (Gianluca’s) – yet there were still some different takes and new angles.
No matter the quality of the hash, it was surpassed by the après. For those of us who had missed the previous week’s rain-soaked outing, there were some leftover bottles of Adnam’s – Arthur’s imports from Suffolk – to enjoy. But the undisputed highpoint was a very tasty quiche, which was demolished to general acclaim. The credit, it seems, was due to Lyn rather than Julian. That was only one element of a generous spread that had been laid out on the north-east terrace (so many terraces to choose from), where you could opt for the shade, or take a seat in the late-afternoon sun. Lyn had time for only the briefest of marketing spots for her latest directorial project before heading off for rehearsals (further details at irishtheatrebrussels.com). The rest of us were slower to depart.

By the numbers:
14 hashers plus one hare;
0 Marys;
1 visitor/newcomer, whose name I failed to find out, mea culpa.

Berties: 3
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Hash #2031   “The Kauwberg hash” 07.09.19

Start: opposite entrance to Verrewinkel cemetery, Avenue de la Chênaie 125, 1180 Uccle

Hares: Arthur Pooley assisted by Rory W.

A goodly group of hashers huddled from the rain under the limited shelter of the eves of the entrance to Uccle cemetery at the appointed hour. Both Rory and Caroline were on time [Shurely a double record? ed.] but Caroline was being delayed from leaving her car by son Max, who was in the “Why do I have to come with you…?” mode that every parent recalls concerning their own recalcitrant offspring. But eventually we were off or was it on?

Arthur explained that there was to be no ‘On-On’ shouting in the cemetery and that Kauwberg did not translate as ‘cow mountain’ but was full of biological and natural diversity as well as having a post-industrial archaeological interest [see link]. Before entering the nature trails we did a circuit of Parc Sauvagère, including a small bird zoo. We exited the park to enter the cemetery only to find that this was a false trail. Back round the park and into Kauwberg, which really is unexpected: rough pastures linked by thick wooded areas penetrated by hilly paths and tracks. On the edges we met horses and a donkey.

Slipping and sliding up and down muddy hills and dales we got occasional glimpses of views across Brussels, often from the tops of somewhat precipitous cliffs of abandoned sand quarries. We also enjoyed timely encounters with Arthur who always had arrived at key points ahead of the pack. If we were in danger of deviating ‘off-piste’ elsewhere his trusty co-hare herded us in the correct direction.

Après: ‘sur place’ with plenty of crudités and a generous supply of Adnams beer imported from Arthur’s local Suffolk brewery. The rain stopped and Max produced a pet mouse which miraculously retained it tail despite being held upside down by it. Finally, the weather improved further and Max was able to put the roof of Caroline’s car down for departure, mouse on board.

A most unusual hash route, which none of those present could recall ever having traversed previously, we also failed to meet or pass any other human, which must be a record for a Brussels city hash [perhaps this was due to fact that each entrance to Kauwberg has recently been marked with signs advising people not to enter due to risks of falling branches and other natural hazards, ed.] or perhaps it was due to the persistent rain: well done in any case to Arthur, Rory and Sylvie.

Turnout: about 15 walkers & runners – plus Sylvie and two grandsons.

Weather: rain from start to finish, but none après – no sun – so no ‘Berties’.

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Hash 2030 31 August 2019

Start: Bloomtuinenlaan

Hare: Katie Challans – another record!

Katie has many record hashes to her name and this one added at least one and possibly two new records.

We assembled in the shadow of the back entrance to Leopold III, 6 in front of the children’s play area. Greetings were exchanged with Gianluca, back from the Dominican Republic for the annual reunion of EU Heads of Delegations. Julian Rummins back from safari in Kenya & Tanzania and Marleen making a repeat appearance after her memorable Herzele hash the previous week. (Tim wishes me to note that distance cycled by he and Susan last week was not 35km but more like 53km x 2, for the return home: well done Mr & Mrs King, correction accepted) Hugh Dow, another near neighbour also participated.

Instructions were clear: “flour is always on the right; treat the one disfigured Y as an X“– why you may ask? Just because “otherwise it might have looked as if it was on the wrong side” was the answer.

Off we went along the side streets off the boulevard Léopold III, some nice touches of no flour for 300 or 400 hundred metres, which nowadays tends to discombobulate some nervous or anxious runners. Hey ho, we reached and crossed the railway at the Delhaize/Carrefour roundabout. Again, another nice touch by the layer, despite the fact we were back into the area of small cottages where Marleen, Hugh and Katie had previously lived, the trail deliberately omitted homage being paid – this discombobulated at least a couple of hashers who thought they knew better.

Along the Av Charles Gilisquet to the Bd Lambermont where again the leading runners thought they knew best and crossed the dual carriageway and ventured into the Park Josephat but to no avail.

We then returned up the boulevard back to Leopold III and home.

Records: not the shortest - 31 minutes still stands – not the longest or hottest but a double record of NO false trails and every check was beautifully created and hand-done (not laid by bike, ed?), centred on the smallish square pavement tiles, with two fingers indented into the carefully laid flour – if you weren’t on this Hash best impression can be gained by observing the checks printed on the 2000th Hash blue and white T shirts © Katie Challans Designs.

Après held on the 11th floor with panoramic views across Brussels, plenty of eats and drinks and good craic among old and new – Canadian Andrew + well-behaved dog and Jackie posing as a Mary.

Turnout: about 15 – run was less than 4km

Weather: hot & humid – not too much sun – so two ‘Berties’.
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Hash 2029 Date: 24 August 2019
 
Hare: Marleen ably assisted by the indefatigable Alison S.
 
De Ryck Hash / farewell to Herzele
 
This was to be a double celebration: Marleen’s successful completion of her bike tour of Sweden and the final hash from her parents’ former home in Herzele.
 
A modest and relaxed group was discovered by your scribe a few minutes before 15:10 lying or sitting on the garden in the manner of ‘Dejeuner sur l’Herbe’ by Manet, except that, I hasten to add, the females in Herzele were all properly attired, for a hash.
 
As some of us, me especially, had been caught in heavy traffic on the Ring our Rite-On Sec permitted a few extra minutes for any latecomers. One couple did arrive, much later, but had not been on the Ring: more below.
 
Marleen explained this would be “a repeat hash trail of both two and perhaps five years earlier, so would be familiar to several” – well, we shall see. “As to be expected the flour was always on the right, except when it wasn’t, but since that occurs near the end we could forget about worrying about it” – well, we shall see. The “whole trail is perhaps a little over 5 km, excluding any check-backs” – well, we shall see.
 
Off we went along the quiet roads and farm tracks that surround the village. False trails were satisfying long to keep the peleton in fairly close formation for the initial third or so of the trail. At which point, walkers and a few slower runners were accompanied by Marleen back to the garden, where Lyn was gardienne of the whole estate including the precious De Ryck stash of beer.
 
Pascale, wife of Rite-On Sec, took over the lead position and led us up the gentle undulations that took us to the local windmill, which sits on the top of what passes for a Flemish Alp. The lead was now miraculously taken over by a red in face and running-shirted Tim King. He and Susan had managed to cycle (without any electric motors) from Av Rogier in Brussels all the way to Herzele. Susan was wisely resting with Lyn on said grass, glowing with warmth from 35+ kms cycling.
 
As the remaining runners followed pink King into the village it became clear that ‘we woz lost’! However, the ever-present co-hare, Alison S., guided us through some further twisting footpaths and nettles into the centre of the village. From here on the flour was indeed a bit erratic, sometimes on the right and sometimes on the left. So we knew we were into the latter section. However, as the temperature had risen to 32C and more than an hour had elapsed since we started and our co-hare was not entirely confident of the route we began to flag. We were rejuvenated by the appearance of the remains of a medieval castle tower and part of a moat. Were we found more flour and pressed on.
 
The Après was in full swing by the time the remaining hashers finished the course, which seemed a lot longer than 5km and had confused even those few who had completed it in earlier years. [Seems as if scribe and others may have been suffering heat exhaustion and not so pre-senile memory loss, Ed]
 
De Ryck beers were appreciated in the shade and relative coolness of the Van Waeyenberghe garage – overwhelming as it still is with the typical collection of a family home – racks of tools, bikes, and many, many boxes – some with a handwritten note of contents ‘tuin’ etc. Marleen inadvertently demonstrating her own familiarity with her surroundings by closing a lower drawer of the third fridge with the heel of her sandal behind her without looking back.
 
A memorable hash ably organised by Marleen, assisted by Alison Smith on her first and probably last hash in Herzele.
 
Congratulations to all involved and to all participants: early, late or just in time.
 
Marys: Leo and his two sons
 
Turnout: 18 on the hottest Saturday this August.
 
Berties:   * * * * *
 
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Hash 2028 Date: 17 August 2019

Hare: Everyone and no-one Run/Walk/Bike

A baker’s dozen hashers assembled between the Jezus-Eik chapel and the start
of the annual Dash: plenty of greetings were exchanged pre or post holidays.

Rite-On Secretary reminded us that as no volunteer had been identified this
would be a DIY hash “chacun à son goût” no flour, no leader, but beer and
vitals had been contributed by a select few and would be available from
16h00.

As readers with a sharp mind will have guessed the write-up of this hash has
been a challenge in that your scribe was unable to accompany 12
walkers/runners and at least one biker going off in different directions at
different times and paces. [Stop complaining; just tell it as you saw it,
Ed]

Within a few minutes the 12 had dispersed in different directions at varying
paces. I found myself with a select group who set off down the Dash route,
then turned left along the ‘yellow-brick road’ that undulates through to the
top of the arboretum. We sought a track through the trees but were unable to
identify one that was sufficiently clear of long wet grass, so reached the
car park half way between Tervuren village and Jezus Eik. We crossed the
road, and descended until we reached a T junction turned left again and
returned to the start.

Almost all the other walkers and joggers returned within a few minutes of
4pm and enjoyed the generosity of those who had provided drinks and snacks:
among which was a home-grown cucumber from Chris Stevens, grown in Devizes,
and some home-made humus laced with a fair amount of garlic and turmeric,
provided by Ian. However, Ian himself was still absent as he had decided to
forgo the joys of running or walking to indulge in a bit of retail therapy.
He performed a sort of Mary by turning up later, together with his shopping.

Local police gave us a wave as they passed by our picnic table, otherwise
little more to report.

Turnout: 13.

Berties: nil, dull with light drizzle from time to time
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Hash 2027 Date: 10 August2019

Hares: Hugh & Jackie

Hugh and Jackie’s Hash on Saturday was, and I am not inexperienced
in these matters, the best hash in the history of human kind.
The day balmy, the route fiendishly cunning, the length perfectly judged,
the surrounds (the increasing buzzy Schaerbeek) expertly chosen,
the athleticism of the participants honed, the post-run snacks toothsome,
the beers varied and chilled to perfection, the lingering long into the early
hours, and the conversation worthy of Oscar Wilde, Stephen Fry, and
Christopher Hitchens.

Oh ye faithless who eschewed - weep by the rivers of Babylon.

Sincerely, Hugh and Jackie Dow
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Hash 2025 Date: 27 July 2019

Hare: Ed McGovern

The Wet One

A dozen hashers assembled at the extension of the Zaventem cemetery, confusingly some way from Zaventem, but close to Steerebeek and Moorsel.

For the second Saturday in a row, after a heavy downpour in the previous couple of hours, we started without any palpable rain.

The Hare informed us “Flour was always on the right, the trail was steep and could be slippery and secateurs had been employed during the recce of the previous week”: to protect the weakest hashers, we presumed.

We were off and the going was smooth, there was even some flour still visible even that had not been true the previous week. So we mounted the Everberg heights and twisted and turned up, down and along the sinuous tracks. Despite our early hopes the rain returned and never let up again.

We slipped and slid up and down quite a few steep slopes until the hare took pity on our future chances and offered a short-cut to avoid even more slithering. We escaped the cycle trails as we entered the Huntsman domain: a substantial wood with a small lake or pond adjoining the office and laboratory complex managed by Huntsman, a privately owned chemical company from Texas (and previously established by ICI, the former UK chemical multinational in the early 1970s).

Left and right, back and forth through the dripping woodland brought us to a welcome ‘on-home’ sign, conveniently within 250 m of the start. Just time for a quick final photo under a tree on the edge of the cemetery and we had finished.

A diminished party of half the starters made the return trip to Ed’s residence where he provided a welcome après.

Apart from the first 5 minutes this was the wettest Brussels region hash that your scribe can recall: there was one Ypres hash that equalled it but that was many years ago.

Turnout: 11 or 12 - ED, please check photos for accurate count.

Berties: zilch
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Hash: No 2023 13 July 2019
Hare: Paul
Start: Roundabout Tibet, near SportCity, 1150 WSP
Après: Chez Paul and Nic

The start was a new one on your humble scribe (YHS). Google maps (a usual last minute guide for Saturday afternoons) could identify neither Roundabout nor Rondpoint Tibet. (That’s your problem – ed. Out of interest, when and why was it so named?).
Two key reference points helped locate the start. Sportcity* – a friendly nearby sports centre just down the road from Grand Master Peter C’s abode – and the large group of easy going, colourfully clad individuals chatting and waiting patiently by the roundabout I have driven/run past over the years without knowing it had a name.
There was the usual nonchalant: “Flour is on the right, unless I/you have made a mistake and then it’s on the left.” The significance of that advice became clear near the end of the trail (This is not a whodunnit – ed). Then we were off. Or at least, most of us were. We went back up the hill, through the sports centre and out the other side, only to find the hare and some other shirkers waiting patiently for us as we exited a few metres (Rees Mogg, please note) from the start.
Nic, who knows the hare better than any of us, recognised one of his hallmarks. “Paul likes to do this to give latecomers a chance to catch up,” she explained. Encouraged by this thoughtfulness, we pressed on through the maze of WSP urban streets where a mixture of checks and their absence (Wezembeek rules I have heard old stagers say – ed) at various junctions kept the pack together.
Later we entered the woods and after much gentle running on nice terrain came to a separation of paths where two false trail arrows both on the obvious path home – one on the left and one on the right – gave heavy hints the hare’s route, after some 50 minutes, would take us even further away from our ultimate destination.
The more lazy and astute, including YHS, reasoning the hare had made a mistake by overegging the false trail arrows, decided to walk through them a short distance and wait for the pack’s return after its detour. It was a long wait.
Nic, in a sure sign that she had not helped to lay the trail, headed off undeterred, confident she could read Paul’s mind about the route home. She was followed by a small group of seasoned and not so seasoned hashers. The former missed the next crucial check and ended up negotiating their way through tough undergrowth and were the last back. The latter, who included Tony and Shirley’s nephew and wife (Welcome – ed) avoided that mistake and managed to join up with the fainéants waiting patiently.
After that, it was all downhill (physically, not figuratively) with a twist in the tail. Instead of following the direct route home, the trail did a detour into a small park to underline the vast amount of hidden greenery Brussels contains.
A lovely afternoon, imaginative trail and great après. Many thanks Paul and Nic.
*The venue for the excellent annual Foulées des Flosses which Paul and Nic help to organise. This year’s event, which the hare will no doubt inform you about nearer the time, is on Sunday 13 October (8km and 16km). It’s a great way to start a Sunday after a relaxing Saturday afternoon.
Turnout: 20 + various Marys
Weather: Dry, warm and slightly overcast
Berties: 😊 😊
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Barry's Memorial Hash Dash – 2019
 
This year’s results:
 
Conditions: cool & dry.
 
1. 08:03 Jan
2. 08:47 Tim
3. 09:08 Tom
4. 10:35 Claire
5. 10:42 Philip
6. 11:03 Eric
7. 11:40 Mads
8. 11:48 Joanna
9. 11:58 Barry
10. 11:59 William
11. 12:45 John F.
12. 13:21 Robert
13. 13:21 Gaetano
14. 13:45 Jon N.
 
Barry’s record of 07:33 still stands !
 
Timekeeping team: Peter C. & Ro, Keith  & Chris – job well done and thanks!
 
Supporters: Gordon, Houser, Mick Mac, Lyn, Susan & Rosemary.
 
Thanks also to the Blue Mooners for the generous supplies of Hoegaarden Grand Cru – to
remember Barry, JW/SG/UtT and other fallen hashers.
 
Congratulations to all – see you next year !
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Hash 2019 15 June 2019
 
Hare: Tim King
 
Start and après: Strombeek-Bever outside a swimming pool complex
 
As our assiduous and mathematically inclined Rite-On Sec noted in his details for 15th June this is the first and probably only occasion on which the number of this Hash coincides with the year!
 
Briefed by our hare, in writing, that this was a further instalment of his ‘never-ending exploration of the
border country between Brussels and Flanders’ [careful there young Tim, you could still be a hare for
another 30 years, Ed.]; it was therefore a surprise to see Caroline on time, and accompanied by her son
and a friend, well in advance of 15:10.
 
Our hare then spoke to tell us that flour would be on the right, except when it wasn’t, and that was
because of special circumstances that we would understand once we reached that section, “clear as mud”
was one comment, then a baker’s dozen set-off, walking rather than running.
 
Quickly into woods and lakes, looking especially pretty in the dappled sunshine, we then encountered
a series of back-checks on either side of a long residential street. This had slowed the progress of the peleton sufficiently for us to be joined by Mic-Mac who then led us into open countryside at his enhanced pace.
 
The hare was punctilious in not giving early clues as to the correct route and consequently had the
satisfaction of seeing the pack run 99% of the laid trail. We criss-crossed the Ring and the unmarked
borders with ease and frequency. Our hare had the good luck or good judgement to find several
junctions with 4, 5 or even 6 potential routes forward and we dutifully checked nearly all. But we
never did quiet determine where the flour was not on the right.
 
Just as exhaustion was about to set in we found ourselves back at the swimming pool car park.
Beer, water, juices and food was quickly provided and laid out in full sunshine on the grass.
 
Congratulations to Tim & Susan for stepping in to organise a great hash at the last-minute.
 
Turnout: 14
Berties: 😊 😊 😊
 
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Hash: No 2017 1 June 2019

Hares: Richard ably assisted by RiteOnSec

Start and après: Groenendaal Bosmuseum
It was great to see Richard back in Brussels in such fine form fresh from a few weeks sailing in the Med.
The return of one of the earlier Brussels hashers also encouraged two other venerable members to put in an
appearance: John Robinson, a co-founder of our Saturday afternoon activities, and David MacRae who has spent
most of the past few decades in the Pacific and Africa. It was also a pleasure to see Pascale out with us again and
checking with the best of them.
We have occasionally started from the Bosmuseum in the past, but this time the trail used a large number of small good running paths in the nearby Arboretum that were certainly new to me and gave numerous opportunities for checks.
One of these opened into a field where we have seen majestic Highland cattle in the past. They must have gone to
pastures new for the summer.
The circular trail, all on leafy paths, then crossed Duboislaan between the lakes and wrong footing those who
thought we were heading for the Groenendaal Hippodrome did a gradual left turn that eventually brought us
back to the start.
With one eye on the Belgian weather, the après was organised in a copious covered car port complete with
seating in the museum’s local car park. We need not have worried. It was gloriously sunny.
Many thanks to Richard, our London-based hasher, and to RiteOnSec, our Hoeilaart resident with his unrivalled local knowledge.
 
Turnout: 18
Weather: Warm and sunny
Berties: 😊 😊 😊

Before we move on completely from the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, I offer an extract from the Uxbridge English Dictionary:
Bidet (n): Two days before D-Day (coined by Willy Rushton)
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Hash: No 2016 25 May 2019

Hares: Harriet and Christian

Start and après: Huldenberg (junction N253-Margijbosdreef/Margijboseg)
Who knows their weg from their dreef? That was the latest intelligence test for our band of intrepid Saturday afternooners.
This is not the Flemish/Dutch equivalent of the cruder Anglo-Saxon expression. But it was the challenge facing eager
hashers using different forms of compasses/satellites/old fashioned maps etc setting out for the start. Should they look for Margijbosdreef as the locals and the hares know it, or Margijbosweg, according to Google and de Rouck?
In true hash checking style, the hares offered a choice. Everyone arrived safely, although one GPS user almost ended
up at the wrong end of the dreef/weg.
Before the Off, the hares delivered key instructions. Towards the end of the trail (exactly where was not explained),
the pack would come across two forbidding No Entry signs. We were to ignore them and carry on running.
 
More bemused than apprehensive, the pack set off in the direction indicated. It turned out to be a false trail,
back to the start and another false trail (not the first time the hares have performed this trick). Eventually, the
right direction was discovered – up hill.
 
It was a truly lovely trail, almost entirely in woods with shade, overhanging branches, nettles and twisty paths
and a gentle run-in along a small, lethargic stream. The No Entry signs were eventually located and gleefully
ignored. As you would expect from these youthful veteran hares, there was some new terrain for most of us,
although some of our cycling fraternity recognised parts of the trail.
 
Dr John F was to the fore in checking and shouting On On. (Are you sure these weren’t cries of pain given the
size of the wooden splinter that was later pulled out of his leg? – ed).
 
It was great to see Peter C doing parts of the hash on his bike and son Philip, back in Brussels after six years in
China, checking with the best of them.
 
We say goodbye to Rambo number 5, who joined us for several hashes in recent weeks, providing us with
photos of our antics and wish him well in Abidjan.
 
Turnout: 20
Weather: Nicely warm and sunny, despite earlier warnings of rain. It duly arrived as the après was packing
up around 5.30. Great timing.

Berties: 😊 😊 😊

___________________________________________________________________________

Hash 2015 18 May 2019

Hares: Hugh D & Rory W – A Walk in the Park or A Comedy of Errors?

It all seemed so straightforward: a new rendezvous within 200 metres of Le
Bois de la Cambre, a clement afternoon, sunny periods and a reasonable
turnout but hashes are not expected to run so smoothly.

It started with the arrival, not late but not early enough to avoid an
ogling group, of our first hare and temporary host in a large car which he
chose to reverse into an unknown dark carport: not impossible but more
challenging due to critical comments from the bystanders.

As the hour passed 3pm and the minutes were slipping towards 3h10 Hugh
announced that we might need to wait a little longer for his co-hare Rory,
who had indicated that he might be coming via public transport. Given his
reputation for arriving late even with his own wheels we were less than
reassured. However, only a few minutes late, up rolled our trusty second
hare.

Hugh briefed us, while Rory de-robed, with the news that the trail was not
too long, it would cross some busy roads, flour was always on the right of
whichever side of the road had been chosen but that it was such a long time
since he had laid a Hash that some signs were the wrong way round: checks in
place of false trails and back-checks in place of something else.  All
clear?

We were then off – led by Alison, as is more and more frequent these days,
there was a trail of hashers at least six of whom had chosen to wear the
2000th Hash T shirt with its large distinctive white cross on a bright blue
background – looking from the rear as if we were active supporters of
Scottish independence – to the puzzlement of several pedestrian burgers of
Brussels as we passed by.

Into the Bois de la Cambre looking its very best in dappled shades of green,
clean paths and very few runners (most serious competitors for the next day’s
20km presumably enjoying a final day of rest). We headed crab-like down to
the lake and past the ferry carrying punters to and from the erstwhile
Chalet Robinson and then across to boulevard Franklin Roosevelt.

By this stage the group had split into the aforementioned ‘gilets blues’
gently nudged along the correct directions by Rory and walkers shepparded by
Hugh.

Runners criss-crossed the boulevard past grand houses, embassies and
appartments overlooking the park.

Eventually the two groups merged again and ran across the only
horse-labelled crossing – horseshoes marking the edges of a track across the
closed-for-the-weekend exit from the park and on-home to Avenue Montana for
the après.

Hugh then discovered that he had not only forgotten to lock his now
well-parked limousine but had also forgotten bread (and water). However,
there was plenty of butter, crisps, cheese, salami, powerful ginger and
regular beer; enough carbohydrates and fat to satisfy the hungry horde.

A couple of Marys turned up: mother and daughter (as daughter Natasha
observed ‘together we have substantially changed the gender and diversity
ratios’) and then, even later, Caroline and son Max joined the remaining
hashers, stretching the age range even further.

Overall a good run through a pretty park with plenty of comedy to offset the
minimal errors. Rambo 5 observed us all and took plenty of pix, though he
admitted missing the horseshoe crossing.

Turnout: about 17 – run was around 4.5km in just under 60 minutes

Weather:  mild with bright periods – two Berties.
________________________________________________________________

Hash: 2013 4 May 2019
Hare: Mic Mac
Start and après: Neder over Heembeek, 1120 Brussels

The hare is an inveterate explorer of new trails for Bruh3 (and other hashes – ed). He came up trumps again. Our hash rarely ventures north of the canal, but there are rich pickings for a fertile flour-laying mind. Loyal readers will remember we were in this neck of the woods a year or so ago. To confuse us this time, some of the trail was in reverse and there was the occasional virgin territory (even if this was sometimes a false trail).

It was bitterly cold as our small group gathered. At the outset, the hare announced there would be a short cut after a couple of checks. Janet dutifully took this when she reached the appointed junction. We never saw her again until within spitting distance of the end. She survived her largely solitary hash with aplomb.

As for the rest of us, we dutifully followed the flour along some uninspiring streets parallel to the canal and then started to plunge into woodland paths. These were not your south of the canal carefully manicured numbers. Fallen trees, drooping branches and protruding roots almost had minds of their own for the unwary and would be definitely spooky at night. For a fleeting second, the film Deliverance came to mind. The only other people we saw in this part of the trail were a youthful couple in their 60s with their dog.

Then we emerged from the woods into open countryside past a thriving garden centre which gives employment opportunities to people with mental difficulties. The number of vehicles parked on the verge in front as their owners purchased plants could have covered up the check (we faffed about looking for it), but certainly is testimony to the success of the imaginative initiative.

Then it was downhill along well tended wood chip paths, carefully avoiding the hordes of young girl and boy scouts who had suddenly emerged. At this point it became clear that the territory was not as unfamiliar as originally thought. At a complex check, Julian R unerringly found the right trail (“He knows this area from when we had set a hash,” the hare explained).

However, changes had taken place since the hare had last been in the vicinity. A path he had intended to use had been fenced off, blocking any entry. To add to the confusion, a prominent sign, like an invitation, indicating dogs had to be kept on a lead remained in place on the other side of the fence at the start of the forbidden path.

A gentle run in through a small park where the pack caught up with Janet then brought us to a chilly but enjoyable après.

Special welcome to Rambo 5 who joined us while he transits in Brussels for a few weeks before moving from Beijing to Abidjan. We very much hope he’ll join us again before he flies South.

Innovation: it’s all the rage these days and the hash is not immune. The hare introduced us to new signs SC and OH. No guesses for what they stand for.

Turnout: 10 (including Wolfgang and Tim who managed to find us after we had set off)
Weather: Sunny with a very cold wind, but dry, after the heavy sleet of the morning.
Berties: :) :)
p5040477

________________________________________________________________________________

Hash 2010 13 April 2019
 
Hares: Peter B, Barbara and Alison S

The famous bluebell hash
Two weeks earlier than in 2018 for those monitoring climate change. But also, as Head Hare pointed out, the coldest bluebell hash we have experienced in recent years. Well wrapped up, we were off with the traditional send off: “The more false trails you do, the more bluebells you will see.”
The bluebells were plentiful and impressive, but, like us, probably needed a little more sun to reveal absolute splendour. As usual, the trail managed to bemuse most of the pack most of the time as we quickly lost our bearings. The hares, despite loyally hosting one of our most prestigious (the most prestigious, shurely – ed) hashes for so many years, still managed to find new trails. One narrow winding and at times vertiginous path was truly memorable and not to be attempted in the dark or inclement weather.
The surface was great running: hard packed dry earth with the occasional tarmac and a mixture of up and down hill. The trail was longer than usual, but all the more enjoyable for that. When else will we see so many bluebells? At one point, there was a Regroup* at a multipath intersection. Despite the many, many (don’t complain – ed) false trails, the pack had become too stretched out.
In line with previous years, the area is increasingly regulated. Our traditional start remains out of bounds to cars. There are more wardens. They direct you where to park. They are also a fount of information, sheperding lost visitors, even those with maps, in the right direction and offering helpful insights and warnings: “Someone was lost in the woods for four hours yesterday evening.”
More paths are understandably fenced off to prevent people trampling over the flowers – something we have never done over all the years. As a result, flour, checks and false trails have to be more discreet.
But the atmosphere remains friendly and relaxed. The flowers spread their bonhomie. There are far more visitors/walkers of all generations and nationalities and basically good vibes. The bluebells are gaining media notoriety. VRT had a news crew filming and conducting interviews when we were there.
Shock Horror: Hashers outed
None of the pack was interviewed (probably running too fast – ed. You joke, but see below – YHS**), but three were filmed and exposed on the 7pm Flemish news. If you missed it, click on the link below:
https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2019/04/13/stewards-moeten-wandelaars-op-het-pad-houden-in-het-hallerbos/

Interestingly, all three have closer connections to the Flemish community and language than most of the rest of us non-Belgians. Enjoy your five seconds of fame (with apologies to Andy Warhol), RiteOnSec, John F and Pauline.
The hash was also spotted by my French-speaking personal trainer (ok – I admit to trying to resist the ravages of time) with his two kids. He knew we were running in the Hallebos. I have tried to explain to him over the last couple of years the concepts of our hash: collegiate, convivial and non-competitive; no brownie points for being first; various amounts of flour and beer; and a whole host of senior citizens, many in their mid-70s. But I felt he couldn’t quite visualise it.
When I saw him a few days later, he had. “I saw all these white-haired people running and shouting something I could not understand,” he said. That was the hash, I explained. He added: “Some of them were going quite fast, especially one man with white hair and a beard.” I think he had grasped the concept and the benefits.

Special mentions:
Wim: having the initiative to offer a beer to our local Dutch speaking forest warden who then cast a benevolent eye from a distance on the après.
Jan: arriving horrendously late (“I was stuck behind a tractor”) but managed to do all/part of the hash, not get lost and arrive in time for the après. In the past we have sent out search parties.
Pauline: returning to the hash and being among the front running checkers.
Alison and Pete: both laying their second hash of 2019 (me culpa for not writing up your first, Alison) and both a year older after the weekend (laying a bluebell hash is ageing – ed).
David M: our regular international visitor.

Turnout: 35
Weather: overcast, dry, cold with very, very slight snow (ie 15 seconds) at the après
Berties: :) :)
*Regroup: a voluntary informal arrangement when the front runner(s) realise the pack is too stretched out and pause at a check instead of looking immediately for the trail, false or true. It allows all/most other slower members, not just one or two, to catch up and have a breather. This prevents the hash becoming a race or continuous run for people of different abilities. It has been formalised by Julian R as an occasionally used trail sign ‘R’ – no surprises there - ed).
**Your humble scribe

unknown

unknown-1

_________________________________________________________________________________

Hash 2009 6 April 2019
 
Hare: Ed (not ed)
 
Start and après: Recycling bins Groenlaan/Voerpoelstraat (Morsel/Vrebos woods)
 
The Wood Anemone Hash

img_1267
 
The start was almost like a weekly instalment of a bande dessinée. What happens next?
Assiduous readers of these occasional ramblings of leisurely Saturday afternoon folk will
recall the previous week’s drama. There was a happy denouement. The who, what, when,
where and why had been faithfully reported, but not the how.
 
No sooner had Peter Bl arrived with his pristine looking jacket than he was pressed to
fill in the gaps. A coat hanger and lengthy ribbon provided the answer for extricating
his wayward jacket from its predicament. Many thanks to Shirley for sharing her video
of Vietnamese police’s latest techniques for entering tall buildings, but I don’t think it
would have been a solution for us.
 
In the pre-hash pep talk, the hare kindly warned the pack to look out for the occasional
barbed wire and advised that to get a really good look at the flowers it would be a
good idea to stop and turn round occasionally (something to do with the direction of
the sun). And it was Wezembeek rules: a back check was back to the last junction,
not change of direction.
 
The start took us round the houses, literally, before reaching the edge of the woods and
in the process left the way free for the run in at the end. The trail was almost entirely in
the woods, which apart from the occasional walker with a dog we had entirely to ourselves.
 
The flowers were in full force and, despite slippery puddles here and there, the terrain
was firm for running. The pack lost the flour from time to time and ran through one or
two false trails, but the hare was soon on hand to give the necessary guidance.
 
Welcome to Martine’s grandson Theo who had no difficulty in keeping up with the
front group for most of the way.   
  
A very enjoyable afternoon with a leisurely après in the sun admiring the recycling bins.
 
Turnout: 22 (once John F and Julian R had caught up with the pack) + Tim who ran the
hash on his own + one Mary
Weather: warm and sunny
Berties: 😊 😊😊
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Hash No: 2007 23 March 2019
 
Hare: Julian R (also known as The Younger)
 
Start and après: Everberg church car park
 
The instructions made light of the road works in the area. “You just need to follow
the signs and allow 5-10 mins extra travel time,” they advised. What was not said was
that at least a couple of crossroads on the way to the start from Sterrebeek had Omleiding
signs going in every conceivable direction: a check for cars with endless scope
for false trails and confusion.

No matter. We all seemed to get there on time and the only two deliberate late
arrivals, known as Marys, arrived for the après on bikes.

The hare seamlessly introduced the confusion theme into the hash. At the first
check, after falling for an enticing false trail and retracing steps, the pack fanned
out in vain looking for the way ahead. Nothing doing, until the front checkers
returning from another forlorn search were told to about turn and run on.
The flour they had found had indeed been a false trail arrow, but had subsequently
been insufficiently rubbed out by the hare and should have been ignored.
Thereafter, it was plain sailing and when it wasn’t, the hare was always on hand to
give subtle (right adjective? – ed) directions.

The trail was a delight. Lots of little alleyways, paths across fields, healthy horses
and sheep ignoring our panting, the occasional couple walking, and in the distance
a reassuring tall church spire guiding us to the après. The pack included a dedicated
group of checkers and a middle tier acting as a moderately successful bridge
between them and the walkers.

The hare came into his own again at the après. He appeared to have the only
bottle opener and so was repeatedly congratulated on an excellent trail.
(Useful tip: keep an opener in the car – ed). Some disappeared into a local café
for warmth and coffee, our two Marys joined us and we all put the world to rights.
A very satisfying afternoon. One personal regret: we did not have a chance to run
along what I consider one of the most atmospheric roads (particularly at dusk
or when it is misty) in Belgium – the cobbled tree lined road with old fashioned
lighting that runs from Stonemanor to Kortenberg (I’m sure the hare, if he
reads this stuff, will bear it in mind for the next time – ed).

Turnout: 15 + two Marys

Weather: overcast, dry until a light drizzle just after 5pm
Berties: 😊
 
In our multilingual environment, we should beware of
common/simplistic mistranslations

Innuendo: an Italian suppository
Aperitif: French dentures
Entente cordiale: posh squash for glamping
Magnum opus: A big Irish cat
__________________________________________________________________

Hash 2006 16 March 2019

Hares: Katie Challans – the long and the short.

It is my duty and pleasure to report a correction to last week’s write-up of Peter Blackie’s Hash on 9 March – a knowledgeable and attentive reader points out that there were more participants than stated – at least 15 rather than the baker’s dozen first recorded. A pleasure because its always nice to know that someone pays attention to these scribbles and a duty because we don’t want any fake news in Hash write-ups! [Fake news is a perennial risk when using volunteer scribblers – Ed]

Katie, long-time holder of the setter of the shortest hash for BruH3, produced a surprise before we started by announcing that in contrast to her regular short hashes this one would have a long option. This was a bold proposition on account of the competing final day of the Six Nations rugby season on TV the same afternoon. However, the Hash showed its tolerance and agreed to a longer than usual run. Katie then admitted her challenge was being used to setting short hashes she had run out of flour for the long option, but there was enough flour for two ‘on-home’ signs.

We were quickly off and around her building before beating across the Leopold III junction and down the side streets, onto Ch de Louvain, up past motor show rooms and around 3 sides of St Josse – den- Noode cemetery. Thence through a maze of modern low to mid-rise housing, past Chalet Rose (built in 1946 and now used as a community centre) close to the headquarters of EC translators at rear of Av Geneve, kindly pointed out by Mic-Mac, along a quiet rue Kent and then skirting the Triton sporting centre to end up on a massive roundabout on Av Leopold III again. This was to be the parting of the ways: the shorter option was back down the aptly named Av de Pentathlon to Boulevard Leopold III and home.

Six stalwarts tackled the longer option. Reports back to your scribe were succinct: “it was long and we think we crossed a new bridge over the railway” – to be confirmed by T King.

Wim and Katie provided generous hospitality with soup and pizza as well as copious libations and plenty of cheeses, cold cuts etc.

Welcome to Andrew on a flying visit to Brussels and his wife Claire. Brigit, a former next door neighbour of Wim & Katie was also a recent recruit to the walking faction.

Turnout: about 15 – short run was around 5km, the longer option about 7km
Weather: mild, cool wind but bright – one Bertie... 😊
_____________________________________________________________________

Hash No: 2004
 
2 March 2019
 
Hare: Judi with co-hare Alison S
 
Start and après: chez elle, Auderghem
 
The weather had turned after several glorious weeks and it was back to warmer clothing
for most of us. But there were still smiles on faces and a spring in the step as we set off.

After an early climb up an alleyway of steep steps, the pack soon found itself skirting
Chateau St Anne and into some of the area’s upmarket housing. Thatched roofs and
much renovation appeared to be the order of the day, but there was little sign of locals.

Suddenly urban landscape gave way to woods. The trail went tantalisingly close to Rouge
Cloître, an obvious destination, but instead cunningly veered in the opposite direction
when the abbey was well in sight down below. Front runners fell into the trap and had
to climb back up the hill, helping the pack to regroup.

Back into the woods for a circular route which eventually came out between the lakes
in the abbey grounds. The abbey and its surroundings were looking pristine and impressive
after a lengthy makeover and despite many checks being rubbed out, the pack managed
to find the general direction of home.

The final furlong went through the small scenic Parc du Bergoje along the Roodkloosterbeek.
The name comes from berg (colline) and oje (maison). It now occupies the grounds of an
imposing mansion, the Villa de la Bruyère, which had looked down over the area and was
demolished in 1986.

A date for your diary: Monday, 4 March is the hare’s birthday. This was revealed towards
the end of the après when she suddenly remembered she had bought a chocolate cake to
celebrate. It was duly brought out and slices eaten to the accompaniment of tuneful singing.

Turnout: 12 + two Marys
Weather: overcast, but dry after light rain in the morning
Berties: 😊
 
_____________________________________________________________________

Hash No: 2003
 
23 February 2019
 
Hare: Chris
 
Start and après: chez elle, Hoeilaart
 
Yet another balmy sunny afternoon with a healthy turnout and several of the pack wearing our snazzy new
and highly visible blue and white t shirts. Unfortunately, their cat walk did not lead to any spontaneous
“Allez les Bleus” cries of support as Scotland prepared to take on France in Paris. (Would you expect that in Flanders?– ed)
 
The pep talk at the start was slightly ominous. The hare had had a slight altercation when laying the trail
with a cantankerous resident who had objected to the flour. Shortly afterwards, she had seen a policeman
in the vicinity. Coincidence or not? Anyway, the pack was on its best behavior (as always? – ed) and both
the long arm of the law and stroppy neighbours were nowhere to be seen during the afternoon.
 
Memories can be short. But it did not take long to remember that Hoeilaart is hilly. The hare enjoys
using the terrain to telling effect. From the very first check there was a long uphill stretch. It was by no
means the only one during the afternoon. Luckily, the pack had two fit and keen checkers in Tim and
Claire which greatly helped to reduce the duties on some of the rest of us.
 
The trail was varied. Parts went past some of Hoeilaart’s many greenhouses and newish houses
(“You know just 50 years ago, or less, this would all have been open country” was one breathless
comment). The hare who has earned a well-deserved reputation for managing to ferret out the myriad
of small paths and trails that crisscross the area also used these to great effect.
 
Nor was nostalgia absent. One false trail went past the hare’s former Hoeilaart home. Unfortunately,
according to your faithful scribe’s recollection, only two of us checkers saw and recognised the
landmark (no blue placque yet? – ed). The rest of the pack were admiring the scenery and the sun
waiting for an On On from a different direction, which, of course, eventually came.
 
A special welcome to Pete Chapman and daughters Charlotte and Christa, Hoeilaart residents, who
joined us for the first, and hopefully not the last, time
 
Turnout: 21 + 2 Marys
Weather: gloriously sunny with clear blue skies
Berties: 😊 😊 😊
 
Dad jokes
1.      Two aerials on a roof fell in love and got married. The wedding wasn’t great, but the reception was fantastic.
2.      One-armed butlers: they can take it, but they can’t dish it out.
3.      I’ve decided to sell my hoover…well, it was just collecting dust.
4.      I needed a password eight characters long, so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
5.      There’s a rumour Cadbury is bringing out an oriental chocolate bar. Could be a Chinese Wispa.
_____________________________________________________________________

Hash No: 2002

16 February 2019
 
Hare:  Mick Mac

Start and après: chez lui, Auderghem

We all know that Mick Mac is a hasher par excellence with a reputation that stretches far beyond the confines of Brussels. But even he might have been surprised to learn that one of the afternoon’s pack, Steffy, had flown all the way from Chicago specifically to run on his hash.

OK, Steffy works in the airline business and had decided to come and see Brussels for the weekend, but almost the first thing he did after landing was to come along to the hash. He then proceeded to check with enthusiasm and alacrity.

After welcoming our US guest and Susanne and Cedric who had returned after their first Brussels hash the previous week, the hare briefly explained a change to standard practice. He had used chalk as well as flour to mark the trail. No one asked him why and no explanation was given.

After using various streets in the Chaussée de Wavre area, the trail went past the Delta metro stop and on to the old railway line, where various backchecks kept the pack fairly well together. An early check also offered an opportunity to ponder a baffling sculpture by the Belgian actor and sculptor John-Henri Compère who had designed the memorial at the Cinquantenaire end of the Rue de la Loi to the 32 dead and over 320 injured in the 2016 Brussels terrorist attacks.

The hare successfully wrongfooted front runners who thought the trail would simply continue along the railway track by doubling back along the Avenue du Parc de Woluwe before entering the park from the Chaussée de Wavre end and exiting just before Rue Bemel.

By this time, the pack had split up into various groups with dawdlers ambling along, soaking up the weather and the sight of so many people enjoying Brussels’ green open spaces. As one of the dawdlers, your humble scribe was almost shamed into action when I saw our eldest daughter hurtling towards us as she swept past on her own individual run to the park. But conversation with Peter B was too interesting and we proceeded at our leisurely pace. It was that kind of afternoon.

Turnout: 21 + the occasional Mary
Weather: gloriously sunny with clear blue skies
Berties: 😊 😊 😊

Useful definitions from the Uxbridge English Dictionary
Busking: an owner of many buses
Godspeed: it’s raining
Hamstring: underwear for pigs.
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Hash No: 2001

09 February 2019
 
Hare:  Arthur

The "flour power hash"  9/2/19. The biggest check marks ever, over 1 metre across!
Good turn out on a wet and windy day with 2 newcomers, welcome. Off
we went towards and into the Bois de la Camber, yippee it was closed to
traffic so a quiet, peaceful hash. Several points of interest followed; a
colony of parakeets, flocks of rooks and clarion crows eating the check marks,
after this an ancient stone urinal near millionaires row. Then back to chez Pooley 
for a first class après, the best local food and specially imported Adnams beer
from Suffolk. N.B. Rory, it was not too long and perfectly legal.

Anon.
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