This weekend has basically been entirely taken up with band stuff, which really isn't for the best. It was always off to a bad start with us doing two gala days on the Saturday: Linlithgow first and then Grangemouth. This is never fun, although we did take the wise step of borrowing a mini-bus to get us from one to the other. And the band needs the money, so needs must.
Then Sunday was Helensburgh Highland Games, which was an altogether less enjoyable experience. This was my first competition back after missing the last two. It was also already somewhat controversial as we weren't playing until 2:45 in the afternoon and yet the bus left at 9:30 in the morning. Which meant an early morning followed by a lot of waiting around.
Still, we went, we waited around, then we got ready, and were all set to go on. And then it all went horribly wrong...
Firstly, the organisers changed their minds about when we were to go on - we were all set, and then we had to wait for another band to go first. Which was mostly fine, as it gave us some more time for a final tuning. But then, suddenly, we were being rushed to get on to the field by those same organisers. Which seemed rather poor, to be honest.
But that's not an excuse. Unfortunately, when we did go on, after everything having been fine during the tune-up, several drones just refused to strike up - a combination of residual damp from Saturday's exertions and, more problematic, rainwater from the heavens. And, as a consequence, it was a bad, bad performance. So we played, we came off, and there was just nothing to say.
Which, frankly, was just devastating.
The rest of the afternoon was miserable, and it was a huge relief when the march past was cancelled - a chance to get home more quickly and just put it behind us.
Only... we came 2nd out of 7 bands competing, being third in the piping and second in the drumming. Which is a crazy result, and I have no idea where it came from. But, hey, I guess we'll take it.
And that was my weekend. Not a good one. And now, next weekend, we have the European Championships in Forres, with a 4am departure time. Yay.
#30: "Pathfinder: For Queen and Empire", by Stephen Radney-MacFarland
#31: "How to Draw Fantasy Art and RPG Maps", by Jared Blando