Run 1847, 14 February, Ma Wo

Le Massacre de Tai Po

I was delighted to be able to finally make a run, so I plundered from the fridge some special French cheese and pepperoni I had been saving for weeks, and set off for the familiar shelter at the top of Ma Wo Road, Tai Po.

A small pack assembled and the GM launched into a history lesson. Today was St Valentines’s Day, and we learned that the French were far better at covering up February 14 massacres (900 killed in 1349) than the yanks (a mere 7 killed in 1929). The GM then said that we could expect severe, scary shiggy and blood and that there were no short cuts, and promptly packed us off down the hill. 

Le Paque, such as it was, quickly lost Velcro Lips, never to be seen again. Apparently she ran into a late-arriving “Some of us have work to do!” Golden Balls so they returned to the shelter to drink all of the Tsing Tao and eat all of the crisps. 

In the meantime, Le Paque encountered the first of the numerous checks and carried on down the road to another. Here, BJ checked right and found a well concealed path and then I found trail leading up some small steps up to a path running beneath the highway. Le Paque eventually caught BJ, climbed a barrier and found trail leading through the usual tunnel under the highway. 

Another check had us finally starting to climb up through the woods to a multi-check which held us up for a while. BJ was then seen hurtling back down one of the path options, ski poles whirling, yelling “No No! Wild dogs!!” An angry yapping Pekingese-Dachsund cross then appeared behind him only to retreat at the site of Dingaling-in-Tights. (The “No No” was later assumed to be the in-trail but it was in fact the GM’s canine ambush warning.) 

Another path led to a check-back and Dingaling then went off on the first of his many futile Liberace style jaunts into the undergrowth, while the ladies found trail going through the threatened “scary shiggy”; a barely visible path concealed by roots, creepers, rattan and all manner of “merde a toutes les rosbifs” traps. 

We struggled gamely uphill through this jungle nightmare, in which I was accused of plaintively calling “Don’t leave me!” every few yards and BJ launched into his continuous diatribe of “fuck the French!”. Le Entente Cordial was forgotten and I was only keeping up my flagging spirits with visions of the GM choking on my cheese. 

But the numerous checks kept us together with Dingaling only once finding the correct way through. Somewhere in the midst of all this we came across the Haunted House. An abandoned, collapsing former weekend love-nest with a flickering light to be seen within. What was this? An opium divan? A coven of retired Tai Po mamasans? The site of an atrocity where something ended in a smear of blood? Mango and Eunuch sharing a fag and a can of Skol? 

Puzzled, we moved swiftly on only a short while later to discover the scene of a recent massacre. No bodies to be seen, but blood everywhere; on the walls of another dilapidated shack, on the path and in the undergrowth. And HELP daubed in blood, and SCARE in chalk on a tree. WTF?? 

On we went through the shiggy, expecting to stumble into Tai Po hillbilly gin traps and be buggered at any moment, until we made a final scramble up a bank to the Wilson Trail road where I was grateful for a two handed buttock heave up from behind by Radio One and the offer of a pull from Golden Jelly, which I diplomatically declined having cacked my kegs.

With BJ and Dingaling now nowhere to be seen, Radio One steamed off in pursuit leaving Golden Jelly and myself to bring up the rear. From the road up we finally started down some steps and then a steep but open path, some more shiggy, a scramble along a fence and finally onto a disused stone path. 

Despite it being a modern one and not an ancient boulder road, Dingaling later asked me if it had given me an erection? I explained that yes, it had, and this was what I had tripped over, grabbing a newly planted fruit tree to save myself, only to uproot the tree (which refused to be replanted), before managing to escape the scene of the crime.

After this, we re-emerged onto the out trail to retrace our steps to the shelter. Golden Jelly was last back and dubbed Lanterne Rouge; she looked suitably nonplussed, perhaps wondering if her evening was about to take an unexpected turn to romance – but with whom? 

The group then attacked my cheese (which I thought smelled like a rotting medieval French massacre victim and was about to throw to the pigs) and tucked into a collection of the cheapest and worst lagers on offer in Hong Kong (apparently supplied by the absent Eunuch). 

The Circle was lively and entertaining and all agreed that it was a damn fine effort for a first trail, especially for a frog, with plenty of checks to keep us together, a cunning route and a good mix of Fuck Le BREXIT shiggy and runnable trails. Bravo! – Gunpowder Plod

Le Hare: Creme Brulee, Grande Maitre

Le Paque: BJ, Golden Jelly, Gunpowder Plod, Dingaling, Radio One

La Marcher: Velcro Lips

Les Couldn’t-be-Arsed: Electrolux, Golden Balls 

Run 1844, 31 January, Tai Shui Hang

Beyond the Fridge

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Velcro sends them out

Velcro Lips was in a pickle. The trail she’d laid at the weekend had been wiped out by three days of rain. And not just any rain. English rain. Cold, miserable, despicable English rain. Now she had to go out and set the run anew in a cold snap that had the high tops of Hong Kong recording sub-zero temperatures. And the waterfront start was bitter with a cold wind coming off the Tolo Channel. So she moved the start to the protection of the local housing estate, where visitor Bob from Australia got more than he’d bargained for in his break from the Sydney heat and decided it was too cold to run.

So the run had been re-set and the small pack set of in, well, small packs. Latecomers Golden Balls and Back To The Future were given short-cut instructions by the hare and were first into the shiggy as the pack messed around in Tai Shui Hang village. The shiggy trail contoured above Ma On Shan then dropped down towards the coast, where the hare had advised those who didn’t want a long run to head back to the start. GB and QT took this option while others headed away from the start for the long on-home along the waterfront. Still others took a creative route with the result that the small pack ran back to the finish from four different directions.

Velcro’s perils were not over, as Mr Jobsworth himself told her to clear off from his housing estate, so once everybody was back we retired en masse to a sort of dead end on the pavement in the lee of the estate where the wind wasn’t quite so biting. A lively circle was made livelier with a chilli (or was it a curry?) provided by the hare as the business was done under a moon that turned pink then deep orange as we saw some tip-top lunar eclipsing.

Hare: Velcro Lips

Runners: Liberace, Eunuch, Golden Jelly, Back To The Future, Serbian Bomber, Golden Balls, QT, Creme Brulee, One Eyed Jack, Geriatric

Non-runner: Bob whose name had something to do with a jockey

Eclipse lager

 

 

Run 1843, 24 January, Fo Tan

A Thousand Runs

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Fourteen runners, a thousand different routes. Or that’s what it felt like.The pack set off in high spirits from the cul-de-sac between a school and a residential block, turning right to encounter a check, whereupon there was much milling around, until hare Geriatric emerged to tell us to go back past the cul-de-sac and try the opposite direction. This should have given an inkling of what was to come.

Trail was duly found and followed around a wide sweep until it turned downwards towards Fo Tan, then seemed to peter out. Gaelle Says No and myself, suspicious that Liberace simply hadn’t gone far enough, continued down the road, but upon reaching the highway we had to admit our mistake. Then we came up with the bright idea of running along the highway until we came across the trail, which we also decided would head downhill somehow. We got to a village and split up. This was the last I was to see of GSN for a while as I rooted out numerous dead ends among the warren-like environs. Eventually, after perhaps 10 minutes, I came across a T facing away from me. Aha! “Trail!”

Following this backwards I eventually found myself on a concrete track leading up into forest. Past a solitary house whose residents were out in force looking suspicious (clearly the pack had already been past), through a gate and up into a shiggy scramble, eventually emerging at a grave. Down to the far end of the village then up a long long flight of steps, passing the snarling dogs that Stingray had warned about when he set a run in the same area three years ago. Eventually I reached the walled houses of the wealthy at Kau To Shan, turning right until hitting a check back about a kilometre to the right. I eventually figured out true trail lay back beyond where I’d emerged from the steps – unmarked – and on into the Kau To Shan conurbation. Still neither sight nor sound of a hasher.

At the end of the road there was a park and a check, and as I blundered here and there looking for trail some bloke having a pee said in a Welsh accent, “Don’t I know you?” I replied, “You must be Mike Ashton.” And indeed it was the self-same taff I’d played football with in the Poly team in the mid seventies. “Got to go, everybody’s waiting for me,” I garbled, but Mike wouldn’t be denied until we’d had a good five-minute yak about forgotten boredoms. Then he said, “If you go down those steps you’ll come to the main road.” Good enough for me, I thought, but I’ll never catch up now. So down I went, finding trail leading via twists and turns to the huge linear estate above Ho Tung Lau depot where, to my surprise, Gaelle Says No came at me from the rear. “Some guy at the top asked me if I was looking for Steve Reels,” he said.

We ran together for a bit until I couldn’t keep up any more. After that it was an interesting route through village and forest up to near the start and a simple run-in. There was Gaelle Says No, short-cutter One Eyed Jack, non-runner Radio 1, Giveupee Velcro Lips and Liberace with his shirt off claiming to have done the whole trail. Where were all the others in front of me? It turned out most of them had come back to the start, having been unable to find trail where it petered out at the beginning and had been sent on their way, with each individual doing part of the trail. It would appear everybody had done different parts and some had been out three times. Under cross-examination, Liberace’s claim of wholesome goodness was found to be false as he was bewildered by descriptions of certain parts of the trail. It emerged that Golden Jelly and Back To The Future, returning as the circle drew to a close, were the only ones who managed the entire trail, albeit over three attempts!

An interesting trail and a good night out enlivened by the hare’s provision of “crap discount biscuits from U-Select” (Velcro Lips).

Hare: Geriatric

Runners: Creme Brulee, One Eyed Jack, Velcro Lips, Gaelle Says No, Liberace, Golden Balls, QT, Vibrator, Bunter, Serbian Bomber, Dingaling, Eunuch, Golden Jelly, Back To The Future

Non-runner: Radio 1

Run 1842, 17 January, Tai Lam Tunnel Interchange

No Country for Gentle Men

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Some things don’t change: death, taxes and the stench from the bogs at Tai Lam Tunnel Interchange car park. This pervasive bouquet greeted the pack as it assembled for what may well be Big Moany’s last run as hare before he heads for his Hampshire retirement in Jane Austen’s village. Ms Austen would have been appalled. Big Moany simply sniggered.

It turned out the reason for this snigger was the cunningly concealed split not 50 metres from the start as trail led out the usual way up the trail towards the ridge. Spotted by only Eunuch, Vibrator and Golden Balls, who quietly ghosted into the trees, this split had the effect of splitting the pack in two right from the off.

Eunuch and Vibrator disappeared up the dark and wooded shiggy trail, while GB was shortly joined by Dingaling. Up all the way to the catchment road and left for the best part of 2km, until a check brought the pack together. The two front-runners had totally ballsed it up by staying on the road and were followed blindly by Liberace until they turned back, suffering Libs’ “you fucking guys” endearments.

Trail went over a narrow, shoe-width concrete bridge across the nullah. So narrow, in fact, that most of the pack crossed it on the seat of their pants, including mountaineer Vibrator, who was heard to admit that he had a crap sense of balance – not the greatest quality in a climber.

It was here that GB turned back, unable to negotiate the dizzy two-metre heights, accompanied by Golden Jelly. The rest of the pack went up steep steps, under a pylon, and onto a nice ridge trail, dropping back down to the road just before where trail had come up to it. Vibrator said to Eunuch, “You go in front because if I run too fast downhill I fall over.” Then he fell over. Radio 1, meanwhile, had invested in neither a good torch nor proper trail shoes, with predictable consequences. First, her torch ran out, then as she tried to keep up with Serbian Bomber and his commando-standard headlamp she slipped and twisted her ankle.

Meanwhile, at the front Eunuch missed the arrows directing hashers to the end of the road and dived down the trail he’d come up for a significant short-cut home. Vibrator, some distance behind after his fall, had no problem following trail and as he ran along the contour path at the end of the road he could see what he thought was Eunuch’s torch ahead of him getting close and closer. With a gut-busting effort he finally overhauled “Eunuch” on the final downhill stretch only to find to his disgust that it was GB.

Long after everybody else was back, Serbian Bomber, who is up there with the best Austen cads, emerged from the gloom with Radio 1 hanging onto his arm, claiming that her saviour was a gentleman. Mistake!

Hare: Big Moany

Runners: Eunuch, Vibrator, Golden Balls, Dingaling, Golden Jelly, Geriatric, One Eyed Jack, G Spot, Stingray, Liberace, Radio 1, Serbian Bomber, Creme Brulee

Non-runners: Luk Sup Gow, Walky Talky, Hard Up, Beer Tits, Mango Groove

Run 1841, 10 January, Tsuen Wan West

A Short Run

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There’s something about January 1841, isn’t there? Oh yes. Hong Kong was declared a sovereign territory of Britain. Whether or not Liberace had this in mind when he set his “short” run from the Tsuen Wan West pier (a run that had been done twice in recent weeks by other hashes, with Vibrator a hare) is unknown, but if exacting revenge was on his agenda he succeeded admirably.

“Short run, chalk and paper, no flour, don’t follow other markings, only mine,” he announced to the small pack shivering in sub-10 temperatures with wind chill to boot. So off we set west along the waterfront amid the multitude of joggers and strollers. Suddenly, about 400m from the start, there was Creme Brulee marching determinedly towards us carrying a large pot and muttering in a strangely gallic manner about being unable to find the start. Then there was a check in front of the industrial area. I was lagging behind with Vibrator and everybody had gone by the time we got there. After checking in vain to the north I returned to the check to find that Vibrator had also vanished – I didn’t know he had set the same run a few days earlier, and in fact he was the only one apart from Eunuch to do the whole trail. I continued milling around and then, near the Tesla showroom, I found an “on home”. So I decided to follow trail backwards. This is much harder than following it forwards as, naturally, hares are not expecting harriers to approach markings from the opposite direction. After numerous sidetracks and dead ends I eventually found myself at Allway Garden, where trail led backwards through the unlocked gate to the labyrinth of staircases on the hillside. Here I encountered One Eyed Jack on his expected short cut, who said he knew where the trail went but was doing his own thing. He then proceeded to describe the trail he hadn’t done, which I later found to be accurate. Hmm. So up the steps it as to the catchwater road, turning left and passing such strange inscriptions as “OEJ woz ere” on the road. It wasn’t long before Eunuch came bouncing gaily towards me. We exchanged a couple of insults and carried on our merry ways.

Now the trail had actually continued west along the waterfront from the industrial area, then cut through the residential and over the highway on a footbridge before going up to the catchwater. This in itself would have constituted a fairly standard one-hour-plus run back to the start (not “short”), but Liberace had decided to take everybody up Ha Fa Shan as well, in case the run was too short. Where trail descended to the catchwater was where I now found myself. But I spied a staircase leading down and decided rather magnanimously not to delay the circle by doing the whole run, but to cut down the steps and sniff my way home. After some descending I’d somehow sniffed my way back to my out trail – the actual in trail – when I sensed a familiar bouncing behind me, followed by a stream of imprecations. Yes, it was Eunuch.

When I got back – in 1:30 – only Eunuch and One Eyed Jack had returned. But there were several others in attendance: Mango Groove (I feel a bit iffy), Velcro Lips (I couldn’t be arsed) and Creme Brulee (I couldn’t find the start), as well as the hare, who kept looking at his watch and peering anxiously along the waterfront. All of a sudden Stingray arrived from the wrong direction , followed over the next few minutes by Radio 1, Serbian Bomber and Golden Jelly. Finally Vibrator fronted up, this time from the right way.

It turned out that Creme Brulee’s pot contained some delicious mulled wine, and that Velcro Lips had brought a lovely chicken curry, and two burners were running, a most welcome spread on a cold evening. Just as we were winding down the circle a mad Italian turned up. We gave him a beer and fobbed him off with Serbian Bomber.

Hare: Liberace

Runners: Eunuch, One Eyed Jack, Golden Balls, Stingray, Radio 1, Serbian Bomber, Golden Jelly, Vibrator

Non-runners: Mango Groove, Velcro Lips, Creme Brulee

Run 1840, 3 January 2018, Wun Yiu Road

OK, Radio

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There was a good turn-out for virgin hare Radio 1’s run above Tai Po, with a visitor and a few first-time runners to boot. The start, from the big shelter on the Wilson Trail heading up to Leadmine Pass, was also a new venue, at least for me.

Markings led down the road back towards Tai Po, punctuated by a couple of gratuitous checks that went into dead ends but nonetheless caused a lot of mayhem among the pack, who naturally expected to be heading into trails or shiggy on the lower flanks of Tai Mo Shan. Instead, we went right through a village area, had a brief off-road moment and then emerged on Shan Tong Road, following this – with a short off-road diversion – all the way to JC Castle at the top. Here trail tracked round the property fence then went downhill on a forest track to an unnamed road. From here it went through a village area, emerging on Wun Yiu Road just below the start.

The hare was ready and asked front-runner Gaelle Says No as he ran in, “How was it?”

“It was OK,” came the lukewarm response.

Runners and walkers trickled in over the next half hour. Antiseptic walked in. “How was it?” asked the eager hare.

“It was OK,” came the lukewarm response.

To her credit, the hare refused to be crestfallen, and as her SP I can report that she spent hours getting lost with me on abandoned trails in the hills above Siu Lek Yuen, her first choice of venue, before abandoning that and trying Wun Yiu Road. We reccied for two afternoons only to find that trails shown on a 1:5000 map no longer exist or have all been illegally fenced off by villagers. It turned out that the trail we eventually set is the only feasible 6km loop around the area. This was revealed by local resident and sometime Shek Kong hasher Captain Quick, who lives there and came to the run. We had done his training route.

Captain Quick was accompanied by other first-time NNT hashers Cindy, Brenda and Mr Law, as well as visitor Ash from Taiwan, who arrived on a motorbike and finished third. Captain Quick’s wife, Joanna, dished up delicious local delicacies: a curry pot of fishballs, beefballs, radish and tofu and a fantastic glutinous rice with Chinese sausage. Please come back!

Hare, SP: Radio 1, Golden Balls

Runners: Gaelle Says No, Liberace, Ash, One Eyed Jack, Gunpowder Plod, Geriatric, QT, Bunter, Mango Groove, Eunuch, Brenda, Captain Quick, Cindy, Mr Law, Serbian Bomber, Antiseptic, Hard Up (list may be incomplete; please advise for update)

Run 1835, 29 November, Kowloon Tong

Plod Remembers 1967

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There is an oft used expression in military officer performance reports: “His men will follow him anywhere – if only to discover how he’ll cock things up.” This is the only explanation I can think of for the large turnout for Plod’s special A to B run from True Light Lane (2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness…” NOT his arse as oft misquoted!) next to Kowloon Tong MTR.

Here the faithful but misguided loaded their bags into Plod’s car along with the injured Dram and after the usual Plod briefing about stolen HK Police barrier tape and bits of string, they were off.

Despite Plod’s directions to run straight through the park (mindful of Gestapo removal of hash markings), the pack screwed around in the park for a while upsetting canoodlers (apparently including 9 Ignorant Cocks taking Guttermouth out for a slapitupanddown dinner of M&S sandwiches – Plod) (not to be confused with dragonboaters who generally ALL get wet…) before finding a check at the top near the squash centre.

The pack was brought back together here until the cunningly hidden trail at the back of the courts was discovered leading up to Cornwall Street and another check. The trail then led into and around Shek Kip Mei Park (no canoodlers here, only frustrated gropers and muggers) and a check leading down some steep steps to a main road. Trail led 500m up this road to another check leading left into a lane and then on a dark and misleading loop not for the timid or tremulous (Penile Dementia and Radio 1?) back to further up the lane and another check.

From here a path led around the fenced Shek Kip Mei hilltop reservoir. Lesser hash markings were observed here, leading the opposite direction which Stingray, Mango Groove, One Eyed Jack, PD and Liberace may have recognised from a feeble Monday night joint run) but that did not detract from the joy of rope assisted climbing and swinging until a small dark park at the hilltop was reached with the lights of Sham Shui Po and beyond twinkling far below. (If there were canoodlers here, they were well hidden and stifling their heavy breathing.)

Another check and then the pack, mostly still together with Velcro Lipsacting as rear-gunner, starting descending the many steps. Dram and Plod reported later that the torch lights appeared in a string like UFOs, greatly alarming the local natives who buggered  off screaming, leaving the two geriatrics alone on a bench with a terrified teenager (terrified of being abused by the two old codgers, not any aliens alighting from their space ships).

In this Berwick Street Park, a solemn toast or two of Jack Daniels or plonko rosso was drunk by the pack to commemorate the stabbing death and revolver robbery of PC SIT Chun-hung of the Royal Hong Kong Police 50 years ago to the day in the vicinity of the park. He was apparently the 9th of 10 police murders during the 1967 Leftist Disturbances. RIP.

Then it was on on down Berwick Street, scattering the SSP hoards, and to a check at the bottom of a thickly wooded hill. The trail then led up and around and over and down via three or more checks on unlit trails large and small, causing QT to tumble but, unperturbed, to trundle on trumpeting loudly.

The trail eventually emerged at the back of the Police Club at the top end of Sai Yeung Choi Street, the pack still together although depleted by the desertion after the libation stop of short-cutters Golden Balls and Velcro Lips. Velcro was last of all on home after managing to get lost/go shopping in Sham Shui Po.

Here Plod, Dram, Eunuch and Golden Jelly had set up a rickety bar made of discarded junk on trestles incorporating Jack Daniels, plonko rosso, cheese, German ale and a dark German beer called Cockshootster in casks from U Select – all three were eventually consumed.

On-on-on was at a Sichuan food dai pai dong in Fuk Wa Street (much fuk wa going on…)

Hare: Gunpowder Plod

Runners: Creme Brulee, Velcro Lips, Radio 1, Back to the Future, Liberace, Stingray, Golden Balls, Vibrator, Mango Groove, Penile Dementia, QT, One Eyed Jack

Non-Runners: Golden Jelly, Dram, Eunuch

Report by Anonymous Mystery Pen

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