In the competition season, there always seem to be a few weekends where we have two competitions in one weekend (and, more commonly, a gala day and a competition). I always hate those weekends - it doesn't feel like you get a weekend at all. So, naturally, this year saw the one and only two-competition weekend falling on the weekend of the house move. (Of course, I didn't think I could just opt out - we have the World Championships on Saturday, so really need to be pushing things hard for the next few days.)
In both cases, I went to the event, played, and then rushed away to do other things. In both cases this was a wise decision, as the march-past was cancelled each time. On the other hand, given the performances (and results), I needn't have bothered.
At North Berwick, our preparations were broken up significantly by us constantly being moved - while mid-way through tuning up we were told we were standing where cars were going to park imminently... and then the stewards kept telling us "you can't play there". Which sucked.
Still, that wasn't the real issue. Once again, we thought we were good to go, only to get to the line and have a bad start. After that it was mostly fine, but that bad start was enough to force us out of the prize list.
Out of 17 bands in Grade 4B, we were 5th overall (5th and 6th for piping, 5th for drumming, and 3rd for ensemble). Given the size of the competition, we were not able to play up at that event.
Bridge of Allan seemed to be a much more pleasant prospect, in that our preparation was uninterrupted. Still, we found a lot of people were having problems with drones due to the moisture, while I found my hands cramped up due to the cold (which was not fun).
Unfortunately, both of these performances were just bad from start to finish. There's no one thing to point at - it was just a bad day of work.
In the Grade 4B contest we were 9th out of 16 bands (8th and 12th for piping, 2nd for drumming, and 8th for ensemble). In the Grade 4A contest we were again 9th, this time out of 12 bands (7th and 7th for piping, 8th for drumming, and 12th for ensemble).
All in all, a poor showing for our work, and perhaps the worst possible preparation for the World Championships on Saturday. And given that we were already going more in hope than expectation, that does not look too good.
Oh well. Three to go - and 32 days until the end of the season.