Why is it always assumed I want to put up tents?
I’m here anyway putting up the Event Shelter and it all goes surprisingly smoothly until we decide (Isy decides) we need the wee gazebo over the decking. This isn’t one of your Pop-up, 30 second, shazaam, it’s done, jobs. An erection manual is required, very much required, as are four people to hold things and a supervisor. The whole thing is guyed down and secured using unpickable knots and we discover that the party is inside the pub anyway. We are once again at the Glenleven Inn, under new owners, and at 1 second past 4 the drinks vouchers begin piling in drifts behind the bar. The party has begun and we hang about shivering while children whoop and holler on roundabouts, slides and the bouncy castle. There is a distinct lack of Barbeque accoutrements and the fear of last years micro-grillette being wheeled out begins to gnaw. The fears are baseless as higher powers have decided to serve the nosh indoors and it is a feast of belly bursting proportions. My burger was so good a big black Labrador ate half of it and I had to queue up for a second go at the buffet.
As this is a social engagement people had made the effort and many nice frocks and stylish shirts are on display, my natty purple shirt is causing quite a stir, New Michael is quite taken with it but it’s generally eliciting comments of the “curtains, curtains, much cheapness,” variety, thankfully I am endowed with a very thick skin as well as impeccable dress sense.
It’s getting dark and cold so everything moves indoors and leaves the tents to the elements, Joanne had said earlier, “Those who put up the gazebos don’t have to take them down.” So the fact I’m outside picking unpickable knots and dismantling poles should have been a bigger surprise than it was. Indoors the band have taken over the pub, us old farts are being edged into the sidelines by our younger members stretching their wings and it’s good to see the band ethos is in good hands. After the raffle and whisky trail winners (Lucky Hepburn) are revealed Brad produces a set of pipes and music is played for dancing, nobody dances, it’s too early. There is now a round of pipe solos from many of our pipers, my Dark Island has grown men crying at the bar but I’m since told that the rest of the band have built up a tolerance to my playing. Melissa, Emma, Isy, New Michael and Yvonne give us a tune before Brad concludes the performance. Brad played with us years ago before going on to fame with Clanadonia.
The crowd are baying for the Awards and the slideshow but the karaoke man with the laptop is having trouble with corporate control freakery and his machine won’t play industry standard files, give me strength. Once again Isy’s Alex saves the day and allows the Celebration of Ineptitude to begin, he also brought the vodka jelly, good man.
After a few singers have sung their song we move on to the Awards and Neil and Isy take the Furious Piping Face award, this is a new award and joins the Cruelty to Animals Award (Lorna) and Best Carry Out Award (Danny), the Donkey award I won last year has a new owner and is now Dougie’s Donkey for a uniform malfunction at Rothesay. I won an award for Earliest E along with Richieeee. The annual slideshow is next up but modern technology has passed this pub by, no soundtrack, the karaoke guy adds some Drums n Roses to move it along and all around the laughter gets louder and faces more flushed. People begin approaching the microphones and the karaoke bursts into life, the standard is higher than usual only because Grant isn’t there and ever so slowly people start making their goodbyes and the crowd thins out until it’s just me and James the Hat sipping whisky and contemplating the walk home. A last minute swally by some of our younger members reanimates the party before they head off to a Tranny bar.
Thats the 2015 season put to bed, here’s a wee sample of our exploits