Anita Jane ‘Princess’ Kiff
28th August 2010
Princess joined the Herts Hash House Harriers just as she started her romance with Ketchup in 2004, since he was a regular runner in the summer months.
She acquired her Hash name of Princess after one particular weekend, when in the morning she didn’t look like her usual immaculate ‘presentable’ self and the truth emerged about her being very unwell throughout the night. The rest of the Hash was very unimpressed by her fall from ‘Grace’.
She was initially called ‘Princess Chuck Up’ at that weekend, but once she was all made up again and back to her normal self, unsurprisingly the ‘Chuck Up’ bit didn’t seem to last. So, it was just the apt name of ‘Princess’ that stuck.
One memorable occasion was on one of the Herts Away Weekends, back on a then annual Herts Hash trips to Wales, there she found the accommodation was camping only, in what was rather basic conditions at the back of a Pub, something she was unaccustomed to.
Princess may have learnt to endure the hardships of sleeping under canvass and having nothing more than a basic wash from a sink, but she was less impressed with the Trail that had been set that Saturday morning.
This was also one of her first experiences of a Hash House Harriers Away Weekend, albeit a small one, no doubt things were a lot more different than she may have expected or wanted to take part in! Some of the early Trails she was on involved lots of Shiggy (Mud) and while other Hashers on the Trail seemed to revel in it, this wasn’t exactly to her taste!
Her avoidance of the Shiggy may have come about as Princess was dressed in mostly white and her favourite pale pastel pink colours, and as for her footwear, well it wasn’t exactly the running gear that you would associate with the Hashing, or even a gentle ramble in the countryside.
Princess’s fancy shoes were never going to be comfortable or hardy enough for getting around this extremely long Trail, which covered what must have seemed like a huge expanse of the beautiful rugged terrain of the Welsh hills and valleys.
At one point the going was tough enough for the most seasoned of Hashers, the ground was an uneven and boggy, but Princess persevered, with more than a little enthusiast help from Hyena who was also at the back of the Pack, a hearty “It’s only mud, it won’t ‘urt ya!” spurred Princess on and she very pleased with herself to have managed to complete the whole Trail before the Sun had set!
Though he may have inspired her to get around the whole of the Trail, Princess was still unimpressed at Hyena’s ability to drop ‘is aitches and one ‘Nita’ too many made her educate him that her name was ‘A-N-I-T-A! Aaaanita!’, on the plus side at least Hyena couldn’t abbreviate Princess!
In her early days with Herts Hash many Herts Trails were missed, she would arrive after the Hash had finished the Run and were ‘On Inn’ at the Bar, this was mainly due to her commitments in juggling work and successfully organising the household, sorting out the children and Ketchup.
A lot of the Sunday winter Trails were also missed because, as we all know, Ketchup used to be unable to get up on a Sunday morning as he used to go in to Hibernation when the long winter nights had drawn in.
However, Princess would turn out for the important Hash weekends, numbered runs and special events like the annual ‘End of summer feast’ and barbeques, then she would always take part in the Trail. Princess was at her best when it came to being formally dressed for the occasion, like the Herts Christmas Party where the Herts Hash dress code is ‘Black Tie’.
On one Herts Christmas weekend, Princess and Ketchup swapped clothes, which resulted in Princess looking far better suited in his Tuxedo than he did in her little black dress!
At another Christmas party it had been revelled that Mr. X was wearing ‘Del Boy’ like tiger print pants under his dinner jacket trousers, Princess then admitted that she was wearing a pair of briefs with a matching print, having disappeared briefly to individually change, they re-emerged and the pair now wore their respective underwear on the outside of the finery!
At one Fontmell Magna Christmas Party Princess had brought a special present for Mark E Mark, a cockerel alarm clock which had the most annoying ‘crow’ as its alarm! No one else in the dorm they shared with Mark E Mark was impressed by this monstrosity!
Princess also attended InterHash in Chang Mai, taking part on some of the Train Rumble from Singapore, through Malaysia and up through Thailand, this was a surprise to many who knew her.
Things started off well, but when the Hashes left the urban Trails and went in to the more remote areas of plantation and jungle, Princess found the going hard. She endured being the only person seemingly to be bitten by the mosquitoes on the Trail, and she partook in a very ‘wet’ Après Run Circle out in the plantations, she even took to sitting on the traditional block of ice!!!
But, it got to the point where she and Ketchup bailed out of the Train Rumble and took a flight to have a break from the Hash, Running, the old Train and the Jungle, to meet up with the rest of us later in Bangkok.
Having endured the torture of earlier Trails, with the unseen perils of mosquito bites etc, Princess still went out on the Trails in Chang Mai, this torture was offset later on by some serious 'Retail Therapy' in the bustling Thai markets and stores afterwards. Amongst the market stalls and bazaars Princess was in her element.
Princess would have achieved many more Herts Hash Trails if it wasn’t for the fact that her family came first, she was instrumental at organizing her expanded family, from her kids before she met Ketchup to her new family and the even bigger one of the Hash.
After the arrival of Jaron, Princess became more regular on the Hash, once she could take Jaron around the Trails and enjoy the delights of the Herts countryside with him, as well as with the rest of the family. To get Jaron around the countryside Princess and Ketchup bought one of those all terrain baby buggies that look like they have been crossed with a Range-Rover!
Princess and Ketchup even tried to make every Hash Trail before their Wedding, and only missed a couple of Trails before the big event in the Herts Hash calendar.
Their Wedding was important to Princess, and of course she meticulously planned it all, which you would have to if you were planning to spend the rest of your life married to a man who is so laid back he’s almost horizontal.
One of the highlights of the day was the Wedding cake, none of the guests had ever seen anything like this, as the three tiers were whole wheels of Cheese, after Ketchup’s love of cheese from his monthly ‘cheese and port’ evenings at their local Pub, the Goat in Hertford Heath! The cheese wedding cake was complimented with individual bottles of Port, it was certainly a nice touch.
The Isle of Wight was a favourite place for Princess and Ketchup to visit, outside of the Hash there they especially enjoyed it when the music festivals are on, often travelling with Mark E Mark and Lobby Lobster.
On these regular trips to the Isle of Wight she also became good friends with Rainmaker, who was to one of her Bridesmaids at her Wedding. At one festival she couldn’t believe it when Ketchup went missing one day. He eventually returned the next day after walking halfway around the island trying to get home, he slept on the beach at one point and finally came back walking along like John Wayne.
With the her now regular appearances on Herts Hash, Princess was up for her 50th Run but unfortunately could not make that Trail that day due to the Pub that had been chosen having an unfriendly children’s policy, she would not make that a numbered Run.
Only a couple of weeks before she passed away, Princess said that she felt she was ready for setting her first Herts Hash Trail as a Hare, with Daddies Sauce (Kane) to assist. Just to be on the safe side she chose to set this around the familiar territory from the Goat, Hertford Heath.
Even though Princess never achieved setting her Trail, Herts Hash Ran this on the very day select and as Princess had planned it, with Ketchup and Daddies Sauce setting it out by using the map of the route she had so meticulously drawn out for her planned Trail. We had one of the largest turn-outs of the year for this Trail. In the end Her Trail amazed a quite a few, for it turned out to be what most would describe as a ‘Runners Trail’ and not what we expected Princess to set!
During that summer in the family’s back garden, Princess had planted a sunflower for each of the family, all the plants grew to a great height but after her passing, the one sunflower Princess had planted for herself was found to have collapsed and had broken in two.
It still seems hard to believe that many of the Herts Hash attended Anita and Mark’s Wedding in May, and then returned to the same Church in August for her Funeral.
We know that there is one ‘Sunflower’ missing in our lives, we hope she is now looking down on us all, and that she has set her first Trail up among the stars! And of course all of the Shiggy on her Trail will all be made by Olay!