Saturday morning found me being dropped off at the bus at the very civilised time of 10:30 full of croissants and coffee but sans hat or sunscreen as it transpired. The search for a Bluetooth speaker began almost the minute we started moving but wasn’t resolved until we reached Dumbarton and Tiny Bubbles erupted from the bus PA, we know the words now so joined Steak and Kidney for a wee warble. As we approached Dumbarton, under a lowering sky, the DJ had the wheels of steel turning way before we had anyone to intimidate. The phrase, “He got aff at Dalreoch!” sprang to mind.
Having acquired a Quick Getaway pass we were parked on the street, outside the park, outside the park wall. A large group of middle-aged men, women and general haddies watched the weans spring over the obstacle like gazelles then puzzled out various ways of creeping and dreeping over the wall while attempting to maintain their dignity. The Big Blue House of Fun was shouted into place and the well-practiced ‘bucket chain’ soon had the bus empty and everything installed with over 2 hours to go. Let the buffet begin. While not yet back to pre-pandemic levels it was quite impressive in the many ways sugar had been heated, spun, whisked and cooled.
Vibrating alarmingly from the sugar rush it was time for a promenade about the park with JTH and my wife, I decided I needed a hat to save my baldy napper from sunburn, this was my last sensible notion of the day. Suitably dressed in the hat my wife hates I went and listened to some Grade 3 bands then stalked the Grade 1s tuning up.
Back at HQ everyone was admiring everyone else’s dogs and there was a lot of oohing and who’sagoodboying, everyone was relaxed and round and about bands honed their sound and I even met a distant relative for the first time, pipe tunes floated on the breeze. However, time and tide wait for no man and I was handed a tuner, put on the Drone Monkey overalls and set to work on honing our own sound. Pipey watched the clouds, made calculations on relative humidity, ambient temperature and the flight of birds, had a listen to the chanters and led us straight over to where the Grade 1’s were hanging about where Band Baker (provisional) and myself put our newly acquired tuning expertise to work.
After a run in the circle that was generally agreed to be ‘okay’ the hingin aboot til march past began, great acts of romance were observed (Lewis) and I discovered to my horror that just about everyone had brought a bottle of whisky. Oh deary deary me, who knew one man could be so greedy.
Now I should know better but by the time we had spent a pleasant afternoon hanging out in HQ and wandering about the park and not going to the beer tent and accepting every huge glass of whisky handed to me it was time to march past and I couldn’t have found my bottom if asked even using both hands. The Chieftain gave a gracious speech and the Drum Majors were rewarded, then we came second. I have never seen a band so deflated at second place in the Scottish Championships. Well done Govan Schools. Lets hope this setback spurs us to up our game on Glasgow Green. I have no memory of the bus trip home and was last seen being escorted from the premises with skinned knees.
I do believe there was a party in the Boolin Club.
Next up is Arran Highland Games where Mickey Blue Eyes has arranged for us to be followed about by a documentary film unit and I will be joining the Temperance League.