27th/28th July 2002
This weekend we were down for a muster in Fyvie, which is roughly 25 - 30 miles north of Aberdeen in Scotland, long drive for us in London.
I decided to take extended time off work and take a nice drive up split over two days. I'd just like to point out that the Purdy Lodge, about 20 miles south of the border on the A1 does an excellent steak with cheap beer!
I reckon the weekend was worth the drive back I had on the Monday. Arrived Friday, set the tent up, started on the beer, and just sat around chatting before we invaded the over priced, and very limited choice, beer tent. I feel that was the only let down, the people who were given exclusive rights to supply food and drink to the site were basically shit. Ah well, after a visit to a small village the day after we were pretty stocked!
Saturday morning we actually did something cultural and went for a walk round the castle and other displays going on at the time, found a fantastic ice cream stall! Was also puzzled by a small child eating what looked like a giant drumstick, it was bigger then the kid! Later that weekend we found out there was a stall selling Ostrich meat.
The first battle on the Saturday was pretty good, the field wasn't huge, several cannons, and three trenches fortified with large bits of wood acting as barricades were set up. We were on strict orders NOT tear them down on the first day, they mainly survived, no thanks to Phil! Was pretty hot and bad luck fallen on Trish by finding a rather respectable pile of....ummmm..... nasty stuff on the field.
What was MEANT to happen, was our regiment was down to storm up the centre of their defences and take the main cannon entrenchment.... this would have worked, even though it seemed were were pretty out numbered, if the other side actually died when we hit them. They just would not bloody drop, unless like myself you grabbed them and threw or dragged them down!! Basically, best we could do was at least give a good show for the pretty large crowd watching us.
It also turned out we were outnumbered 5 to 1.... With the regiment's reputation it didn't seem fair on the other side!
The Sunday consisted mainly of recovering from the night before (Where I was dumped right into a conversation with the Lord General and apparently managed to bullshit my way through quite well considering the amount I had drunk). The weather held right up to the last hour before the second day's battle, and then the heavens opened. Skipping the details, but by the end of the second battle we looked the part.... we had a damn good fight, ripped down the fortifications and avoided all traces of nasty stuff on the field. All in all the second day was better then the first, although slightly wet and dirtier.... just slightly!
Even though the weather was worse then the Saturday, I think the crowd was even bigger! Well, it WAS Scotland, I was expecting to see some of them sunbathing in it! It was also rather pleasing for us when we recieved a round of applause off the crowd as we marched by them off the field.
Sunday evening was spent sitting under cover drinking lightly and, at least in my case, discovering I had actually taken a fair few knocks in the previous battle. Trish was rather disappointed by not having a black eye from receiving a musket butt blow to her face.... by a member of our own regiment.... seems there wasn't enough Irish for him to hit.
Finally yesterday we packed up the gear first thing in the morning, in the rain, and set off on the huge trip home.