Sunday, June 01, 2008

Something From The Weekend

Just back from a very productive weekend out on the stump. Let's see... on Friday, there was the SNP golf day in Ellon, which as well as letting 11 teams have a great day out, looked like it raised a tidy sum for the Gordon campaign; I took a trip to Rhynie during the day to visit a post office which is in danger of having its working hours cut back from 37.5 to just 8; then at night, there was the chance to meet some of the movers and shakers of the Collieston and Slains Community Trust, who are seeking to build a new Community Hall for their village (please take a look at their site and read about how much they've achieved so far - it's really quite remarkable).

On Saturday, there was the Ellon Fire Station Fun Day, where one of the highlights (apart from the BBQ) was a demonstration of how a casualty is cut free in the aftermath of a car accident. It was good to meet the high-heidyins of Grampian Fire and Rescue; to run into fellow Blogger Cllr Mark MacDonald who sits on the Grampian Fire Board; and also to spend some time with another chap whom you may recognise if you watch to the end of the second video :-)

Almost every time I'm in Huntly, it seems like there's some kind of big event on and this weekend was no exception. Today, it was the 'Music in the Square' festival, which as the name suggests, saw the town square being given over to music and dancing.

It was great to run into folk whom I've got to know over the course of the campaign so far, and also to meet new people like fellow fiddler Paul Anderson for the first time. I remember hearing him absolutely walk away with the seniors competition at the Strichen festival nearly 20 years ago and hoping that one day I might be able to play to his standard. I think I've done allright music-wise since then, but that may be an ambition permanently out of reach! He was performing later in the day - sadly, I didn't have my fiddle with me to join in the sessions promised for afterwards, but there's always next time.

We had to knock the music and dancing on the head for a couple of hours to have our monthly Gordon SNP Constituency Association meeting in the ex-Servicemen's club, but afterwards, we went for a walk round the square with the First Minister. He gets a tremendous reaction wherever he goes but this was truly exceptional - he could barely walk 10 yards without being stopped for a chat or to have his picture taken on someone's mobile phone... manna from heaven for the candidate seeking introductions when given the task of walking around with him!

Anyway, this weekend saw the culmination of a rebranding of Huntly, which has seen the town get a clever, stylised variation on its traditional stag's antler crest. However, the highlight of the afternoon was a communal rendition of the Waterboys number 'Room To Roam', inspired by Huntly-born George MacDonald's poem of the same name, which has been adopted as the town's 'anthem'. You can get a sneak peek here:

If you look closely, you might even catch a glimpse of Waterboy Mike Scott himself, resplendent with red guitar in the middle of the stage, leading the performance.

All in all, it's been a great weekend. Flying back south tomorrow and going back to work is going to be a bit of a grind...


Mark McDonald said...


You could at least have spelt my name correctly Thompson!


Richard Thomson said...

Oops... with a name like mine you'd think I'd be more careful!

My dad was in hospital once in Australia, and he got yelled at by the matron for trying to get up to go to the toilet in the middle of the night without getting permission first. She demanded to know his name and he swears he replied "It's Thomson... so far, without the p"