Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Huntly, Harleys and the Perils of a Dual Mandate

I was at Harlaw Park in Inverurie on Saturday, home of the Locos, to watch the SFA Challenge Cup Final between Huntly and Deveronvale. My mission for the afternoon was to escort the First Minister, and to make sure that everything ran smoothly for him. Luckily, Locos had organised everything perfectly down to the very last detail, so all I had to do in the end was sit down and watch the game.

It did highlight the peril for Alex Salmond of having a dual Holyrood/Westminster mandate, though. Huntly is in his Gordon Constituency for Holyrood, but Deveronvale play out of his Banff and Buchan Westminster seat! I had no such qualms, though – Huntly play in the constituency I hope to represent after the next election, so as far as I was concerned, with no disrespect to the Vale, it was Huntly all the way.

And in the end, it was Huntly who triumphed after what was at times a hard fought but clean game. They took the lead early on, and to be honest seldom looked like losing it. They were first to just about every ball and just looked altogether more up for it throughout the game than did Deveronvale. Their spirit was epitomised with just minutes remaining by their striker, Keith Reid, who fearlessly went head to head with a centre-back twice his size for an aerial ball.

He came off worst in the clash of heads that followed and was unconscious by the time he hit the deck. We all started to fear the worst when he complained of neck pains after coming round. However, the news from the hospital later that evening seemed to be that apart from it having been a nasty clatter, there was no lasting damage done. I hope he gets to join the celebrations with his teammates sooner rather than later!

I spent Saturday night out in Huntly with local SNP Councillor Joanna Strathdee and her partner, Mike, watching the Rugby World Cup. To blow the cobwebs away the next day, we went out on their Harley Davidsons for a quick blast round the area. Sadly, I was a pillion passenger, since I've never quite got round to getting my full bike license. One of these days, though :-)

Anyway, I was back on the redeye on Monday morning for a full day’s work, then went off to Brixton Academy at night with my mate Rich and his girlfriend Nicola to see The Bloodhound Gang and Bowling For Soup. I’ve also been offered tickets to go and see Runrig tonight at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Tough choice - concert or hot bath and collapsing in front of the telly? Normally, Runrig would win out of the park, but unless I go home first, I’d have to go in a suit. And it’s going to be a heavy week anyway, what with the whisky olympics SNP Conference being held in Aviemore…

Social events. Like busses, sometimes.


Mark McDonald said...

I went to see Bloodhound Gang up here not long ago, they are fantastic quality live.

Nae sure about Bowling for Soup though...

See you in Aviemore?

Richard Thomson said...

Definately. I'm flying up tomorrow, and if I can scrounge a lift from Inverness Airport with Mr Dow, I think we're going to try and watch the Aberdeen - Panathinaikos game somewhere in Inverness.

If you get to Aviemore early enough, why not come along? Alternatively, if you're arriving via Inverness tomorrow afternoon, maybe you can get a lift down after the game too.

Mark McDonald said...

Alas I have Grampian Fire Board on Friday morning in the 'deen so won't be up til late afternoon on Friday.

I've posted regarding a potential bloggers meet, are we going to have a get together of sorts?

Richard Thomson said...

It would be a shame not to at some point. Feel free to make the necessary arrangements... :-)