This nearly slipped under my radar as I fret and fuss about the Somme show. We have run a Christmas Fayre with stalls for the last few years and it’s always a sugar fuelled arts and crafts extravaganza.
As I’ve been a bit preoccupied with all things Somme for a month or so now the fact that my Lady Tenor has been knitting and fiddling with beads and charms should have alerted me to the close proximity of the Christmas fayre. This is Isy’s baby and she has a vague look of panic about her.
All the plans are in place when suddenly the Friday night meeting to set out stalls and arrange tables is cancelled. So in time honoured Pipe Band tradition we have an early Saturday morning rise to get everything out and looking sparkly. We get everything done by dint of Herculean effort and men doing what they are told so when our first visitors arrived they find the Cave of Wonders, with tea. There is a table groaning under the weight of raffle prizes; hampers, handbags and booze. Grant and Alison have obviously been living the life of hermits as their crafts table is piled with masterpieces; framed pictures, cushions, wine charms reindeer food and much more.
Graeme and Lesley haven’t been slack either with innovative and fun ways of coaxing pennies from your pockets. There is a cake to have its weight guessed, guess the snowman’s name, more later, and build a lego Christmas tree against the clock. It’s mental.
Pipey gives us a quick tune up and shoo’s us out into the car park where, after the customary milling about aimlessly, we form a raggedy circle and play for the locals. To announce we are there and literally drum up trade. We all have our noses painted red and look like a troop of scottish clowns. Inside the fayre is in full swing and tea and coffee are being drunk and cakes and jam consumed in huge quantities. My Christmas tree crispy cakes aren’t popular, bright green is off putting in a Rice Crispie, but my assertion that they are Gluten Free sees them start to move. I sweated blood making those.
Pipey has opened a bagpipe repair shop in the Small Hall where those too lazy to do their own pipe maintenance bring him problems.There is a dismembered bagpipe on the floor when I pop in and he is prodding it with the toe of his brogue; it looks dead.
The face painting has gotten out of hand, Wee Jo is sporting a copy of Mike Tyson’s face tattoo for goodness sake. What Wendy Tenor thought were face paints are glitter tattoos, so with the red noses and sparkly reindeer tats we are the meanest hombres in the Princess Perfect Unicorn Rainbow gang.
I have 15 raffle tickets and 10 aren’t mine. The joy of the raffle is watching Clock’s face when his tickets don’t come out and then the jubilation and air punching if he wins, he spends a fortune on tickets. I pocket a bottle of good whisky in the raffle and then foolishly guess the name of the snowman which nets me the plastic cup snowman and a hamper of chocolate. Not a bad day’s pickings.
With the raffle over the hall empties, one minute we are planning to play a few sets and next minute there is nobody to play for and the instruments are put away and the clearing up begins to the sound of Le Jocks CD. I volunteer to take the bags of waste to the dump and cut a dashing figure in my kilt and red nose, which I’d forgotten about, at the municipal tip.
The Somme slide show is on Thursday, if you fancy coming drop me a line.