I’d like to offer my sincere apologies to the Chieftain: a can of lager hastily hidden to preserve decorum, treacherously upended itself as I marched past making it look as though I was urinating on my right foot. Sorry! However I’m getting ahead of myself.
This year due to other people’s plans we are not playing at Cowal Games, so for us the season ended at Rothesay. The added bonus was that because we weren’t on til half two we could sleep late and catch the bus at 09:15 where bacon/sausage/scrambled egg rolls were provided. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day after all. Thanks again to Bobbins for feeding us. The conversation revolved around this years Awards and how they were coming on. I’m holding my tongue.
The ferry trip provided the first disappointing cup of coffee of the day, which I managed to tip onto the floor. There were swarms of tiny Heilan Dancers on the boat, some having more hairspray applied to a human head than I’d thought possible and the wind threatened to have everyone’s kilts up round their ears if they ventured outside. The weather was typical Scottish high summer; strong winds driving ominous black clouds before them, damp sunlight with irregular torrential downpours stopped it from getting boring.
The Games were going like a fair when our bus eventually found it’s way into the car park. There must have been a guy putting up signs as we drove past because there is no way a whole bus missed a sign that big. Fair play to the driver who managed to not run over the drum or drummer who stood right in the wrong place and watched him struggle in a tight space. On days like this the priority is the Event Shelters, Rothesay has been having some inclement weather and the park was a morass so we pitched our tents on the path and watched a photo shoot of a girl in a wedding dress who soon had bagpipes and eventually a retinue of gurning pipers.
With hours until we played and Pipey not wanting to expose the instruments to the wet too soon we settled back for tea and the second disappointing coffee of the day. We watched Neil traipsing through the glaur and ruining his freshly polished shoes and when Pipey said, “Pipes out” the rain came on. The time zips past and before you know it we’re marking time to let some runners past, nodding to the stewards and marching into a circle. The damp atmosphere and taught nerves made for a poor performance. My brother said we sounded brilliant, bless!
Between performances there was a biblical downpour out of which appeared the Jeffrey sisters absolutely soaked.
As usual the Grade 3 performance was far better than the 4 which put us in the mood for an end of season sherry. Now Your Old Da got a bit caught up in the revels and got into a fight with a bottle of 100 proof gin and a can or two of lager that led inevitably to appearing to be piddling on my shoes at the march past and to some of the worst bagpipe playing ever witnessed on the streets of Rothesay. James the Hat lead us down to the harbour displaying our silverware, he says it took him right back to being a wee lad carrying the trophies for Girvan Pipe Band.
As we left Wemyss Bay someone noted that the bus was awfully quiet, we’d forgotten Clock and had to turn round and go fetch him. The day ended in the Scout Hall for pakora and pizza. The weather tried it’s hardest to spoil Bute Highland Games but the atmosphere in the park was anything but overcast, well done to the organisers
That’s the season over, which means no more playing until next Saturday for a cruise ship. Our next big event is the Barbeque and Awards.