The holiday season is well and truly over, instruments have been looked out and dusted down and sheet music fished out from under the sofa and ironed. At a local Burns Supper there was concern the Pipey wouldn’t be available to pipe in the haggis due to the heavy snow of storm Frank. Am I the only one disappointed it wasn’t storm Fanny? Anyway I was in the frame for piping duty and there was real concern my bag would shatter if suddenly inflated, Wee Mel saved me that indignity by volunteering if Pipey got snowed in. She’s a brave lassie as it was a male only supper, just as well she had her hair cut short for the Little Princess Trust, you can donate at her Just Giving page. The Pipey made it and it was a wonderful night, there were a few bandsmen there so good company, whisky and Burns equals much singing. I think we could persuade a few more bandsmen to attend next year.
Even though it’s the dark days of January and perishing cold the band have been out and about helping keep the blood of the nation hot with performances at the Science Centre and a Burns Supper for veterans from Erskine. The video of this is all over YouTube and Twitter as everyone in Morrisons Johnstone had their phone out. What they failed to capture was Pipey asking for volunteers to play for the dancer, the entire band taking a step back and leaving Mikey high and dry. An hour later when I arrived on a mission to find haggis and a turnip he was standing looking frustrated and annoyed; the dancer wasnae dancing and due to mission creep he was now playing Flowers of the Forest for the veterans departure, an odd choice as the weren’t dead.
Practice has resumed in earnest and my bag did not crumble to dust when inflated, I did. It’s astonishing how out of shape a few weeks not playing can leave you. The work is now on and I have even been swimming to build stamina and no I didn’t get stranded on a Norfolk beach. It’s just a matter of time and hard work and we shall see if my hours of bottom hand embellishment practice has had any effect on my playing. All we can do is prepare for the coming season, polish our excuses for dodging out of playing at Sanquhar and prepare for more fundraising merriment. A second beetle drive has been mooted.