A weekend off is a rare thing.
Bandsfolk check the diary before booking holidays, committing to visit elderly relatives or electing to have surgery. Pipey has arranged a few free weekends this year, it’s just a shame the weekend he is away isnae one of them, and as the name implies nothing is planned. The last weekend off had unsettled everyone and Dolomite Dave had entered the bandroom skieted through the door and slide tackled Brian. I think he managed to touch his left shoulder blade with his right foot. All the wee semi-quavers and gracenotes fell out of his pipe case and rolled about the floor til he gathered them up in embarrassment.
It usually involves heavy lifting for me.
So Friday finds James the Hat at my house drinking whisky and listening to an eclectic mix of music on my phonogram and lamenting the fact we have to do it on Friday as Sunday morning is an unscheduled cruise ship. Morning is an ingenuous term anyway as it was more like late Saturday night. 6:45am on a Sunday! Is that even a time? Saturday flew by in a blur, possibly as a result of the whisky and lack of sleep. I think I did a lot of laundry, car repairs and thousand yard staring.
Sunday morning. A gaggle of tartan clad insomniacs can be seen pulling themselves into shape at Clydeport, Greenock. Many mistook Mr Abramovich’s yacht, Eclipse, for a cruise ship and cursed at being got out for such a wee, but pretty, boat. How we laughed. By the time Britannia cleared the Tail o the Bank and hove into view we were ready. We played everything, the drummers even gave us a new and unheard syncopated beat for the Brigadier Snow set and Fiona put her Angry face away and posed for photographs while giving a solo performance for the ship. The passengers cried “Encore!” but we left them wanting more and headed to the McArthur’s house for breakfast. This is the only reason most were here this early.
Wow! A breakfast blowout of Desperate Dan proportions. Forget your bacon and egg doubler, here were tattie scones and black pudding too. Huge mugs of coffee and tea or wee dainty china cups for us sophisticates. And pipe bands on the telly. There was enough to feed a regiment and I, who am no stranger to a big meal, had to stop at two or the buckles on my kilt would have given way. It takes a lot to impress us but we were well impressed and I think the agreement is that Fiona can stay. Thanks Mr and Mrs McArthur for the fantastic spread and the photographs.
The remainder of my weekend off was spent at church and lying on the road under my car being cooked by the sun and coated in oil and dirt, I was going to make a loaf but not with these hands. And later, after a bath, at practice, I got into a fight with my pipes and retired to watch James the Hat sweep all the broken bits of drum out of it’s bag, the early start had killed it.
Next weekend is Paisley competition, in Paisley. Someone always asks.