The Eagles had yet another healthy turn out and the band numbered some 18-20 pipers. Work was done on the last set of 3/4 marches, starting with The Kilworth Hills and then the MSR was put under the microscope.
Our final night is on Tuesday 12th December where we will hopefully have a few runs through the MSR on the pipes. The sound is coming along and John Fraser running round tuning the drones certainly helps.
Perhaps a hard winters practice ahead and what for I hear you ask? Well to be honest we are not sure yet, but perhaps an early Committee meeting in 2018 will determine a few locations where we can take ‘the band’. Certainly a trip to visit The Atholl Highlanders and maybe even heading as far North as Inverness maybe on the cards? Of course we will have our annual meeting with the Royal Scottish Pipers’ Society and it would be nice to play as an ‘Eagles band’ that night.
The following is just so you know, that I know, that he knows, that you know.
So piping is our great passion and hobby but it is not without its moments and politics is never far away, whither it is in solo piping or ‘the pipe bauns’ ya ken.
Some in the solo piping judging fraternity believe it is acceptable to judge their pupils. They are entitled to that stance. You know who they are as the main protagonists have now openly positioned themselves on that side of the fence. Others have a differing view and it has led to some heated debates over the years.
However times have moved on and Associations have been born. Most, if not all groups of people, who form into a ‘body’, do so under the umbrella of a Constitution, Code of Conduct and some form of Discipline Procedure.
Naturally it follows that, from time to time, elected members of committees may have to review or investigate alleged breaches of said Codes or investigate complaints made against members.
And that is exactly what happened to me. As member of the Solo Piping Judges Association (SPJA) I was allocated a complaint to review made against a fellow member, Robert Wallace. Not pleasant and an uncomfortable position to be in but……………
Now why am I telling you this? Well when I was in the police, even in the darkest times or dealing with the most traumatic of situations, there would always be some spark of humour that would ease the pain. In a recent blog in the Piping Press, dated 24th November, and responding to an article in pipes/drums Robert wrote,
‘He’s now privately asserting that he pulled out for medical reasons (a sore arm I’m told) and recently gave lengthy details to a retired policemen, let’s call him Inspector Clueless of Gayfield, to help prove his case to the SPJA. True to form, Clueless swallowed his yarn hook, line and chanter, but nothing of consequence happened and the story continues to do the rounds. ‘
Yes Robert, who incidently has recently resigned from the SPJA, is referring to the complaint I had for review made against him, and yes I am Clueless of Gayfield. ‘Hook, line and chanter’. Marvellous stuff and it brought a tear to a glass eye.
So now you know. And I know that you know. And you know, that I know, you know. So when everyone is laughing and recalling classic Peter Sellers lines from the Pink Panther movies or maybe even playing the lovely new 4/4 march, Inspector Clueless of Gayfield, written by Michael Grey, you will get it.
This episode took me back many years when the pub, CC Blooms, was opened next to the Playhouse, in fact, opposite Gayfield Square in Edinburgh. Someone asked, what does CC stand for? A local ned quickly replied, “It’s the new polis pub. The first word is clueless, you can guess the second.” Very good but as an old chum of mine used to say ‘He who laughs last, laughs last.’
So why are the Eagle Pipers’ and other such societies so important to us? Well perhaps one of the reasons is that they are generally devoid from all the above political nonsense and everyone just comes together for a tune and a blether. They facilitate an arena of well-being and bonhomie that is quite unique. The camaraderie and friendship is special. Even if your high G is razor sharp and your F flat you be embraced into the fold. A pat on the back will never be a recce for a knife.
I seem to recall the first couple of committee meetings of the Eagle Pipers were in the Hon Presidents residence, where copious amounts of gin were consumed during the proceedings. The agenda was followed, minutes were taken, great ideas were proposed, and important decisions were made. However the following day no one could read the hand written minutes or recall what was discussed. No harm done and another piping tale moved into folklore.
Just as it should be, shaken but never stirred.