People who know this band know that we never have a closed season, there is always something on the go. Helping to tell the story of Kilbarchan or stepping in to save a wedding are just some of the things we get asked to do, the fundraising for Albert has however begun to permeate all our activities and discussions.
Friday night saw a small highly motivated team at the Guide Centre setting up the hall for the Coffee Morning/Christmas Fayre the next day. Tables were arranged, tablecloths draped and taped and stalls set up, Mikey utilised his teachers training and did some sterling colouring in. The urge to stand outside the room with the meditation class and say, “Om” for five minutes was suppressed although they would have to have been Olympic class meditators to remain serene through the racket we made trying to be quiet. Then everyone went home to add the final touches to their fairy cakes.
The one thing that could derail this fundraiser would be bad weather, people would rather not venture out on a blustery day so it was no surprise at all when Saturday dawned cold, wet and windy. The band arrived at 8:30 and began setting out the mountains of home baking, we thought there was a lot and then the Band Baker arrived and we learned what a lot looks like. As the finishing touches were added and the clock hands crept round to 10 the street outside was notable only for its greyness and the paucity of traffic. Pipey decided that as we were playing on the Sunday in Glasgow he didn’t want to subject the instruments to two soakings and would rather not play outside unless absolutely necessary. But to let the villagers know this was a Pipe Band coffee morning we dispatched Mikey out into the chill to pipe up some support. He looked frozen.
Inside we opened the windows as it was too warm. The room was never hoeching busy but a steady stream of hardy souls ensured the tea ladies were kept at it and the stalls were shifting merchandise. Evan Dickie sold all the “Guess Lewis’s Middle Name” boxes and the raffle tickets were flying out of the books. The star prize this year was a Christmas Hamper with runner up prizes of Micro Hamperettes. The general raffle looked to have a prize for everyone in the room, the table groaned under the weight of them.
It was felt necessary to send the band outside to play in the cold. Abject misery, weird noises and random honks later we all skulked inside to dry off and have more coffee before the winners were drawn. A drum roll by Stewart and his apprentices announced the start of the draws. Our first winner was The Medic who correctly guessed that Lewis Harris MacLeod was the mascots full name, he won the chocolate hamper. There were prizes for loads of people during the raffle but not Lucky Heywood and to the cries of “Fix” the Pipey collected the Christmas Hamper. A huge debt of gratitude is owed to all those who attended and raised over £1100 for our trip to the Somme next year. As I vacuumed the hall later home baking was dispatched to various pubs and churches. There was a pub crawl but least said soonest mended.
Sunday dawned even colder and wetter, I had arranged a lift to Glasgow with James the Hat and The Medic for the St Andrew’s Day parade. We arrived in Glasgow during a break in the weather and it looked like it was going to be a cold but dry march. All downhill with the wind behind us. However it soon started to spit hale, then the sky managed to get even darker and the wind picked up so that by the time we got to tuning up there was a fine drenching rain and finger chilling wind. Fingers were so cold and chanters so wet that the honks and farts of yesterday sounded good on reflection. Everyone was huddled together like David Attenborough’s penguins when the organisers decided to pull the plug. So teeth chattering we packed up and climbed dripping into cars. The Medic treated The Hat and I to coffee and warmth in MacDonalds. Four bands were asked to play and four bands turned up and would have played because that’s what you do.
Erskine Hospital is our next outing and then the season of lights.
Brrr! Cccccc aaaannnn eee wwwww ai ai t..