Russell (bassman99) wrote,

A BLAZE OF GLORY

That's it, then: Highland 2007 over in a puff of smoke and Franz Ferdinand singing Take Me Up. On CD. The finale was spectacular, and illustrated why a good fireworks display doesn't come cheap, but £300,000 for a torchlight procession from town to Kessock Bridge followed by a 15-minute show? When the Inverness homeless shelter has just closed through lack of funding? Interesting priorities.

Matchgirl and I watched the proceedings from our privileged position on the balcony of New Century House, the nerve centre of Scottish Provincial Press, fortified by Australian Cab Sav from Lidl (extremely good) and Diet Coke (she was driving). With us were most of the great and the good of SPP, accompanying family members, and a clutch of local dignitaries and other high heid yins who arrived late and barged straight to the head of the stovies queue. That's power.

The procession, it must be said, was impressive: a huge number of torch-wielding Invernessians preceded by a flame-spouting JCB and several stilt-walking fire-jugglers. Don't try this at home, children. While the assembled throng doused its torches and found viewing positions for the great event, the balcony party was chivvied back inside the building by headphone-wearing organisers so The Lone Piper could play the first verse of Highland Cathedral before the tune was taken up by the massed band below. Very moving, although spoilt a little for those of us who'd heard The Lone Piper's squeaks and grunts a few minutes earlier as he warmed up in an adjacent room.

With minutes to go, one of the organisers recommended that we all join the throng where we'd get a less oblique view of the bridge and thus see the display in its full glory. As this meant leaving warmth, drink and food behind, everyone stayed where they were.

The show, complete with music, was superb. Particularly memorable were rockets emerging horizontally from the bridge, like a galleon firing a broadside, and golden rain falling from the arches. Then it was over. £300,000 well spent? The arguments will continue to rage. One of SPP's fine photographic team captured the full display on video. Technical glitches permitting, this will soon appear on the Inverness Courier website. I'll post a link when it's there so you can see what you missed.

Band Update:
Good news: Jim's been in touch with Shane the prospective drummer and found him still interested. Bad news: He's not moving north for another two or three months. Good news: He's willing to come up for the occasional weekend so we can play together. Bad news: Like Jim, he works offshore. Good news: He's in a position where he can mostly pick his own work rota. Life can be complicated.

Wedding Update: Much pondering took place today. Several decisions were made and unmade almost immediately. This wedding planning's not easy, is it?
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