To make up the two fourballs we were joined by Georges best friend, Shaun McIssac, who happened to be passing through town, (I'll explain that fluke later) and myself. That's three times this season I have had to play and that is three times more than usual. A amusing moment before we teed off was the second that George was introduced to his caddy. George once again was extolling the virtues of Kenny (the walk on water caddy) when today's caddy appeared. The caddys name was Heather, yes your right a female George took one look at Heather and uttered the immortal words "Kenny who" ? Fortunately for Heather her partner Ronnie was caddying in the game for Shaun, which kept George on best behaviour.
The game went well and the sun stayed out, but the wind got up to about 20mph, which made the course a little more difficult than usual. Everyone had their share of good and bad, birdies here and bogeys there etc. Even Gary managed to temporarily solve his hooking problem, although this was not a permanent fix. When the guys finished it was off to The Dunvegan for lunch. What everyone did after lunch I do not know as I disappeared to take care of some issues before our evening commenced.
It turns out that George is good friends with Bruce Guthrie who happens to be the lead singer with the Scottish band Runrig. Last night Runrig were headlining a festival at Scone Palace, known as the homecoming concert. The homecoming event is a government sponsored scheme to promote the 250th anniversary of the birth of Rabbie Burns the Scottish poet. Bruce had given George tickets for all of us to attend the concert and the party after. I picked the guys up at 6.30pm, despite the fact the event had started in mid afternoon. Bruce had text ed George to say Runrig would not be on stage till 8.30pm. I must admit I did have a chuckle to myself when I picked the guys up because I don't think I have ever seen a more unlikely bunch of rock concert punters ! George had the obligatory denims and Geoff still showing off his new waterproofs, the rest a group of maturing gentlemen in assorted golf clothing, plus Heather (Shauns wife not the caddy) and walk over water Kenny.
It just goes to show what a class bunch of people these guys are because apart from George, Kenny, myself and maybe Shaun I don't think any of them had ever heard of Runrig, and looking at the way they dressed they certainly had no idea they were spending the evening in a cold field next to Scone Palace. Regardless of the miss match we set off the guys drinking beer and myself still chuckling. I have to point out that I may have underestimated one of the group, as it turned out we discovered that Mike is a veteran of over 350 rock concerts.
As the evening unfolded it turned out that my fears about the guys being in the wrong place were unfounded. An runrig concert is indeed a very unusual event in terms of the people that attend it. If we take away the political overtones at the start of the evening which included the unveiling of the Scottish Soltire Flag on Scone Palace for the first time in history and a typical chest beating speech from the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, it was a very good night. Yes it was cold and we were well ripped off on the price of the drinks, including my coffee but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
When the show finished we had been told to make our way to the first aid post to the left of the stage and there we would get in to the after show party. This was the reason George had wanted us all to go so we could meet his friend Bruce. As after show parties go it was something of a disappointment and by that I mean a lack of celebratory more than anything else. As for the guys I think most were looking forward to getting back to the hotel. Bruce eventually appeared and despite his after show commitments to others he very kindly spent more time with us than I think he was supposed to, so for that we thank him. When he finished talking to us his time was taken up doing the political thing with Alex Salmond and press stuff. That done off we went back to the hotel. We got back to St Andrews just before 2am.
Just a comment for those that are interested and this is not a political point of view just an observation. Alex Salmond is the First Minister of Scotland, and this event was part of the 250 years celebration of Rabbie Burns birth. Alex must have thought that this would be a great opportunity to rally the masses. Scone Palace with it great Scottish heritage, the home of Scottish Kings etc, and Runrig headlining. I expect he believed he would walk on stage and be welcomed like a returning Lybian terrorist. There were cheers from the crowd but there was also a good proportion jeering. Now Alex whether you like him or not, is definitely one of the smoothest operators in politics in the U.K. He leads the Scottish Nationalist Party who currently have the majority in the Scottish Parliament. He also retains a seat at Westminster as an M.P. representing his Scottish Constituency. As one political opponent recently stated "geting dirt to stick to Alex Salmond is like trying to nail custard to the wall".
With all that has gone on recently by that I mean the early release of the Lybian (whose name escapes me just now), and the American reaction to that release, I wonder how long it will take before we discover it was actually nothing to do with Alex and his party, but more to do with Westminster. My money is on Alex being relinquished of all blame as usual. I think the jeers got his attention because when the party started and the people appeared he had a very nervous few moments, I think. Then he discovered he was among friends. Like I say just an observation and I could well be wrong and if I'm not I will never be able to prove it.