I thoroughly enjoyed the All-Ireland championship last week. For me, it was a relatively sober affair; I was too busy listening to as many bands as possible. In Grade 1 I thought Field Marshall's pipe corps was truly excellent – much better than at the Europeans at Forres. I thoroughly enjoyed the Grade 2 competition and I was pleased to call the top three places in the same order as the judges did. All in all, it was a cheery day, as it always is when 'over the water', although the trip back to Scotland on the ferry is best left unremarked …
I see Her Majesty The Queen visited Falkirk this week. Doesn' she always looks happiest when she is in Scotland? She was there to unveil a plaque officially naming Scotland's newest section of canal after her (which, incidentally, should clearly not have been called the Queen Elizabeth II Canal as Scotland has only ever had one Queen Elizabeth). I didn't think much of the 'tribute' the people of Falkirk paid her. I mean, what can she have thought when she looked up to the sky and saw the aeroplanes had drawn a butt?!? How very dare.
Good luck to Stuart McMillan MSP, pictured right, who is using the summer break to combine our national music with our national sport. The member for Greenock and Inverclyde has organised a ‘pipeathon’ that will see him play his pipes in all 42 of Scotland’s senior football stadiums over five days – raising cash for Clydeside Action on Asbestos, the Andy Adams Fund and Cash for Kids on the way.
Mr McMillan will begin his sojourn at his home club Morton FC on Monday, 17th July and expects to play his last tune at Hampden Stadium on Friday 21st. Fair play to the chap.
Some of you will be heading to either Forres, Tain, Braemar, Kincardine, Ontario or Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Skagit Valley, Kamloops, Jersey Shore or Grandfather Mountain this weekend. Yer auld da' here will be at Kirriemuir tomorrow for the Bon’s Birthday Bash at the Kirrie Town Hall. It's a tribute night for the late, great Bon Scott of AC/DC who was born in the Angus town and who was a piper to boot.
I'm on the Highway to Hell – or the A926 as it's usually called – tomorrow. To get everyone into the weekend mood here's a clip of Lincoln Hilton playing Gordon Duncan's arrangement of Thunderstruck:
Disclaimer: the views of Butter Fingers are not necessarily those of the College of Piping.