Monday, July 02, 2012

The British Pipe Band Championships 2012

Saturday was my birthday, and I got to spend it in an uncomfortable bus, reading the latest Terry Pratchett novel. Not exactly my ideal day, I'm afraid to say. Still, it could have been worse...

The day started at 6am, which is a totally unacceptable time to be getting up at the weekend. LC and I made ready, and then wandered down to the pick up for the bus. The bus was late, although not unbearably so. And so, we were off to Annan!

On the journey down, I finished off the latest Pathfinder and then started in on "Snuff", which turns out to be a really solid read. And then, a scant two hours later, we were in Annan. Here, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the promised rains were not in evidence, although the field was a bit of a bog.

So, we made ready, we played, and it was okay - probably our best performance of the year. Still, on hearing it played back from the video LC made, I was pretty sure it was not a prize-winning performance.

The rest of the day was the usual tedious waiting. There was one short shower, but otherwise it was a reasonable day. Still, we spent most of the day hiding in the bus and reading.

And then there was the march-past, which seemed to take an age to get started, but which was fairly brisk once we were moving. And, sure enough, the band did not win a prize. In fact, we did rather poorly: 7th and 16th in piping, 11th in drumming, and 14th in ensemble, and 15th overall, out of 17 bands in our grade. (Actually, this was comparable to last year.)

We made our way home, getting in just before 10pm. LC then headed out to get some takeaway, while I got changed. Then we watched the end of the tennis, and that was that.

All in all, a fairly disappointing day. It's also quite dispiriting, in that we're clearly not going to get anywhere this season. Fortunately, there are now only four competitions remaining: the minor at Bridge of Allan, plus the majors in Belfast, Glasgow, and Dunoon. After that, I'm going to be giving some serious thought to the question of whether I want to compete or not next year.

#22: "Pathfinder: Tempest Rising", by Matthew Goodall

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