We usually just take the bus to the ferry then it’s up to Hazel to count heads and give us all tickets. However this year we are taking the bus with us to save all the hassle at the end of the day when all the bags, cases, Event Shelters and inebriates have to be ported
back to the harbour. It’s a great idea for a possibly wet day.
Everyone on the bus has to breathe in so we can squeeze onto the boat, they need a bigger gangway. The crossing is dry and fairly smooth, the forecast of gales hasn’t materialised. There is a rumour that the newly formed Gin Society of Kilbarchan and District has infiltrated the bus but they are keeping a low profile this early in the day. The bus makes the forced march up the hill redundant and also provides a dry place to escape the driech when it arrives. The Event Shelter is wrestled into place and the glampers set up the chairs, tables and urn that make it our home from home, just as well as we’re on quite late and there is a lot of hingin about before Pipey and Tweedie begin all that voodoo stuff they do to turn us into a pipe band.
We have a huge number of mini-drummers and young pipers with us today and the juvenile band is taking shape with Pipey blooding them in G3 for competition experience. The number of families is one of the joys of this band, it keeps the language moderate and provides a ready source of labour if you need something done. Ask a piper or drummer to help and you get a piper or drummer but ask a young piper or drummer and you’re going to get mum, dad and maybe a couple of siblings or grampa too.
There are too many tenors so Hazel falls on her sword and steps out. A Vaughan free performance. Although we are on late it arrives too soon and we head for the arena. After we let some runners by its 1, 2, we’re on.
The time between G4 and G3 in the late afternoon is taken up with drinking tea and watching the running and the big lassies dancing. The Gin Society are still to make their appearance. After the kids played in G3 it’s back to the tent and a wee tipple in plastic crystal glasses and the Gin Society appear with a big bottle of GnT with slices of lemon in. For tasting purposes only you understand.
There is a new worrying phenomena of people approaching us to find out who writes this blog, I’m okay with having a blether but I draw the line at autographs and book tours.
The march past includes young Evan, on drum and looking resplendent in his new uniform, for the first time, we’re all vewy pwoud. Well, we were placed 4th in G4 and went mental. The prize money will help pay the fine the RSPBA hit us with for forgetting to return the trophy we won last year in G3 which is doubly embarrassing as Tweedie is their Trophy convener? Sorry guys! Johnstone continued their winning streak and this time with the bass drum upside down, Basso reckons it was deliberate and plans to emulate them at Cowal, hoping for a higher placing.
The march down the street to the harbour saw Alec and Evan lead the band with our trophy and poor Abbie getting lunged at by a random alky. Once we’d squeezed the bus back onto the boat there was nothing for but to celebrate a trophy that has been long in coming with a small sherry as the gin had run out.
The next outing is the season finale, Cowal games in Dunoon