The Road to Sanquhar

A fairly bland and uninspiring February  pushed the NOx button and vanished into the distance leaving swirling snow, travel chaos and chilblains. So bad indeed that Thursday practice was cancelled.

This is our usual quiet time, when people wonder where we’ve gone but it’s also the season of Burns Suppers and we have had  pipers at a few Burns events across the area; Abbi played for the Ayrshire Foster Parents with James the Hat toasting the Haggis, Mickey Blue Eyes played at the General Society dinner  and gave all the bandsmen there a preview of the Medley, Scooby and Eden played but I can’t for the life of me remember where. Mickey Blue Eyes also played for the singing at the Whisky Society bash that may still be going on as I have no memory of it ending.

There has been drama and heartbreak in the past 2 months; Old Blue managed to fall off a ladder doing something not pipeband related and fractured his spine. The prognosis is good and I’ll keep you posted. Pipey and the Tuning Crew auditioned all the pipers and if you passed you were playing at Sanquhar, needless to say I played a honker and booked my place in the Nithsdale Hotel bar. A tutor has been engaged to raise the standard of the ‘Drapt’, as we’ve taken to calling ourselves.

The AD&G Indoors at Sanquhar is the first chance bands get to be judged competitively and to see if the changes made over the winter are pleasing to the shell like ears of the Judges and if not you have 6 weeks to get it sorted before Gourock and the start of the season. That’s the plan. The road to Sanquhar is long and winding; physically and metaphorically, and after a heart stopping roller coaster bus trip something unusual happened. The band piled into the Academy, registered and found our allocated classroom then while Pipey did his thing I went for a pint with James the Hat and Ross. None of that puffing and blowing for us; a gentle stroll to the bar, a chilled beer or 2 beside a roaring fire and then a stroll back for lamb curry and apple crumble. I can see us being forced to play at Coatbridge to stop us enjoying ourselves. The band sounded good during the 4B performance but the old competition nerves raised their heads and handed us a 4th place. The drummers took 2nd in both grades; our drummers are the salt of the Earth and never cast this up to the pipers.

I headed home after our return but the younger and fitter went out merrimaking , even James the Hat went home. I think he might be broken. Little Boots turned 21 again so we got her a  cake.

Little Boots blowing out candles

I apologise for the lateness and bittyness of this blog, I’m back on it and normal service should be resumed by Coatbridge Indoors.

Cannae wait..

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