Finding something interesting to write about in the closed season should be the reason for long gaps between blogs but being unable to find the time due to socialising is inexcusable.
The life of this band seems to run perversely against the slow turning of the seasons, as winter approaches everything slows, sheds leaves or succumbs to torpor. Not us, as the nights darken we just wear brighter tops and are drawn like magpies to the glitter of dances, balls, pub sing songs, and cèilidhs.
After the rigours of the End of Season bash our first big outing was to the annual End of Mòd cèilidh in Dunoon, a big house with a hot tub had been procured and various folk who should know better headed over on the Thursday. Wee Mel exited Gourock railway station and walked across the road, the pub was shut, she re-entered the station and asked if they’d just built it having no memory of being there before only realising where she was when a train came in. This was the first in a long line of memorable events including; the Duke asking if the Gaelic choirs would be singing in gaelic, James the Hat sitting in the hot tub at 3 in the morning thinking this will make a nice picture and pulling his phone out of his pocket, doh, and next day myself doing a remarkable impersonation of a 50 something fatman falling down the stairs in his underpants while not spilling his beer. Try getting that image out of your head.
The cèilidh itself began with sound issues and the usual faffing about you get at the start of these things but when Trail West had turned down the volume on their suits we could get on with the dancing. The first dance, a Gay Gordons I believe, was called and the whole company, barring a few misanthrops, got up and danced. And that was it until Gunna Sound finished the last waltz at 4:30am. I was knackered, James the Hat was broken and The Duke had drunk enough lager to keep Mr Tennant in gold bathtubs for another few years.
Next morning after two hours sleep and munching a medicinal bacon roll we watched the choirs march down the street. The singing was angelic and more than made up for the taxi incompetence, in Dunoon if you book a taxi for nine people the prevailing wisdom is that they send two taxis for four and somebody can walk. The strange thing is that, because you’ve been up all night and are sleep deprived and probably still drunk, it feels like a Sunday. This turned out to be the longest most enjoyable weekend yet.
Our own Hallowe’en Ceilidh has established the McGeachy family in the last two years as the most competitive fancy dressers in the county. This shows either a passionate love of dressing up and play or lack of a social life. Me, being a bit of a haddy, had turned up dressed for a cèilidh having decided to leave the fancy dress to those with greater imagination or no social life. The fact that Clamjamfrie turn up in fancy dress puts me to shame.
The dancing was fast and furious, to see a wheelchair weave in and out of the strip the willow mailstrom with everyone hooching and bouncing about like pinballs brought a wee tear to this Websergeant’s eye.
Once, in ages past, we provided a big poncy buffet with prawn sangwitches and stuff in mayonnaise with things but now we provide plain manly/womanly provender to keep you on your feet and fortify you through the Flying Scotsman (a terrifying dance). We provide pies, butchers pies with beans or peas for the traditionalists. Someone was heard complaining that the pies had too much filling.. *shakes head and walks away*
After the overstuffed pies it’s prizes time with the winners of the Fitba Jersey and Quiz being drawn and then the raffle. Where do the prizes come from, tables groaned under the weight of them. I won a box of shortbread which is a marked improvement on the tin of tuna and hair conditioner I won at the tombola on Lilias Day.
Ladies and Gentlemen the dancing resumed and the party atmosphere grew, people who don’t normally drink were drunk, the band played on, the dancing and singing waxed and suddenly it was 3 o’clock and taxis were arriving to take lightweights home and James the Hat and I eyed each other with concern hoping the other was sober enough to lock up.
Another brilliant night closed with Doombar and The Doors, some toot may have been talked.
Next up is the bone chilling Season of Lights, keep a wee eye out for us, if you turn your living room light on too dramatically we might be there to pipe it in.