I saw this scene today and took 14 pictures of it and made some software stick them all together.
I implore you to click on the image to see a larger and far more smashing version. This island of Tiree is truly beautiful, and a little bit magical. It has been a privilege to be here and meet two very lovely people in Colin and Sue. Waxing lyrical? You bet I am.
Driving around in Birmingham has made me realise how little time I spend driving around in big cities.
To drive for half an hour seeing nothing but built up areas starts to make me feel claustrophobic. To add to the effect, the driving today was all accompanied by a steady stream of persistent drizzle of the kind that Britain excels in.
The interesting side to the driving was that I was receiving directions at all times, so therefore did not need to engage my brain at any point. At first it was relaxing, but gradually I began to get a little annoyed that I had absolutely no idea where I was going, where I had been or even what side of Birmingham I was on.
I suppose for me ignorance is not bliss. I found myself wanting to trace the path on a map and gain some sort of overview of our journeyings - but as I had no idea about many of the places, even that would have proved somewhat problematic, or involved asking the kind of questions which quickly try the patience of those being asked.
So I have surreally been guided down, and maybe up the backstreets of Brum for a couple of days. I have learned surprisingly little and eaten practically nothing.
Made especially nice by the attendance of NBTS' most active community campaigner, EG
Obviously there were shenanigans. The best was the massed swannee whistle and kazoo orchestra, with me tagging along on melodeon. The food, it hardly needs saying, was delicious - especially Jason's hand reared bread rolls, all of which he individually named. I personally ate Thrempful, Perjewly, Nightfist and Plimmyparper.
The game of Dutch Blitz which followed was rarely less than frightening. RDW concentrated more than I have ever before witnessed. AT made strange whooping and gurgling noises that i didn't immediately associate with the game. Jason pretended to speak and joke normally whilst at the same time playing Dutch Blitz as hard as he could. This proved to be an almost total failure.
My own tactic of "appearing to play most rounds and then making up a believable score" worked a treat, and I will be employing the same principle again. It's based around the fact that it would be near impossible for me to win such a game - so why waste effort trying? Far more enjoyable to watch the others and enjoy their impassioned energy.
I've been trying to decide what picture to put in as a still. I think I chose well. Don't you?
Well worth a click, this image, might help with the captions.
The band who have carelessly forgotten to sack me were playing in North Durham the other Saturday. It was a great night, and over £8000 was raised for Cancer research from ticket sales, charity auction proceeds and other donations.
It really is a pleasure to be associated with such events, as they do some genuine good, and are not just expensive excuses for a great many people to get very very drunk.
Needless to say, a great many people got very very drunk - but it was in a good cause, and so perfectly fine. I seriously doubt that some of the auction lots, such as the bag of logs, would have gone for large amounts of cash without a little help from the wine and beer. Still, every little helps, as the saying goes.
So, it was a great atmosphere and our co-performer, Charlotte, did a lovely job getting everyone in the mood. I'd better not say for what. Suffice it to say that our performance, when it finally arrived, can only have been a disappointment.
That said, it could hardly have been more of a disappointment than the buffet. In this band, we sample a great many buffets - this one was the worst so far. Burnt food, dry sandwiches, cheap sausage rolls - and very little even of this inferior fare. The Derwent Manor should be ashamed of themselves.
The food did not spoil the night, because people's goodwill is far more formidable than any meanness of a hotel. Thank goodness.
On with the captions: (click on the image to biggerise it)
1) The ever lovely Chris, adorned in party balloons. One to treasure.
2) A look down onto the stage, where Tony keenly blows the lighting rig.
3) A further look down onto the dance floor, soon to be heaving. Oh yes.
4) Christine and Jason, chilling-out before the musical onslaught.
5) The disgusting spare ribs - burned to a charcoal crisp.
6) Jason attractively models the programme. Thason.
7) Katie is drinking, here. I don't know what Katie did next. She sang a bit later on, if that helps.
It was a late finish, and my car would not start as I attempted to leave. Thanks to Paul, our trumpeter, for the use of his most excellent jump leads. Waiting an hour or more for the RAC to turn up might have taken the shine off such a good evening.