Friday, August 19, 2011

World Pipe Band Championships 2011

Oh dear.

This contest started badly, requiring a 4:30 start in order to get to the contest grounds before they closed down the car parking. Worse was to follow soon, when the bus we had ordered failed to materialise, being replaced with one that was only just big enough for everyone - I had visions of having to nominate someone to get off in Cumbernauld! (Actually, I would have nominated myself and Lady Chocolat, as I was suffering with a nasty cold.)

Anyway, we went, and we struggled through the morning. It wasn't a pleasant time, grim and grey, but you just get on with it. We started to get ready, bid good luck to the Development Band, and waited...

The World Championships are the only contest this year where there's a pre-qualification round in our grade. This made it a huge challenge just to get to compete, and after Ireland hopes were not terribly high.

We went on, and played as well as we could. Unfortunately, as with Ireland, the first three tunes were excellent, but the last one was really poor. It really lost us our chance. (Spoiler alert!)

We then scattered to the four winds while awaiting the results. One of the major benefits of the Worlds is the easy access to Glasgow City Centre, and all the joys that affords.

We didn't qualify. Nor did the Development Band. (In the end, we scored 15th and 16th for piping, 6th for drumming, and 15th for drumming, coming 14th overall, falling far short of the 6th needed to qualify. The Development Band scored 12th and 8th for piping, 12th for drumming and 12th for ensemble, thus scoring 13th overall, where they needed 4th or better.)

So, by lunchtime we were finished. On the plus side, the weather had vastly improved; it was actually a nice sunny day.

At this point, a lot of people left. Given my cold, I also felt strongly that I just wanted to go home. So, I went looking for the Pipe Major to try to let him know, but found no sign. Instead, I checked that there would be enough people left for the march past, sent a text informing him that we were off, and caught a train.

Bad move. There was later a text from the pipe major, sent to all members, expressing some outrage that people elected to leave in this manner. I haven't seen him since, as he's currently in France.

Oh well. It can't now be helped. And I remain convinced that leaving was the right choice; I really didn't feel well. In fact, I probably shouldn't have gone at all, but didn't want to leave the band in the lurch.

Anyway, there is now one more contest left in the season, at Cowal. It cannot be over soon enough.

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