Saturday, 28 May 2011

Les Jeudistes Scottish Choir Tour No. 5 (final)



Desperate times

We spent the final night of the tour in the Holiday Inn, Ayr, a mile or two down the road from Prestwick Airport, a dismal place whose motto 'Pure dead brilliant' illustrates a characteristic Scottish thrift in its simultaneous combination of hyperbole and litotes.

The return flight, to Girona in northern Spain - the nearest airport to our base in France offering convenient flights to Scotland - meant checking in at 5.30am. We arranged to meet in the hotel foyer at 5.15, ready to embark in the minibus for the airport. The hotel reception staff said they didn't do wake-up calls, so we left it to the troops to manage their own mobile alarms. We suggested setting them for 4.30am.

Easier said than done. We should all have done it then and there, before saying goodnight, rather than leave it to each individual:

*Few if any had changed the time on their mobiles on arriving in Scotland some days earlier.

*Some were uncertain whether UK time was an hour ahead of, or behind, French time.

*And did the UK put clocks forward an hour at the end of March? Or did they put them back?

*Some had failed to advance their mobiles to take account of Continental summer-time.

*Did this mean that UK time was two hours ahead of, or behind, France?

*Some were uncertain if Spain and France had the same time.

The upshot was that alarms rang at 2.30, 3.30, 4.30, 5.30 and - the following morning, to M.'s annoyance, his mobile having been switched off for the flight - 6.30.

A further consequence was that M. and E., two of the lads, as they liked to call themselves having discovered that this is a popular term for 'man' in Scotland, had virtually to be dragged out of bed at 5.30 by one of the lassies, as they liked to call themselves having discovered that this is popular term for 'woman' in Scotland.

(Actually I should excuse E. from all this horological uncertainty. He leads a charmed life disdaining any kind of technology. He has no mobile, iPad, iPhone, anything like that at all. The most up-to-date artefacts he has about him are a comb and a two-coloured crayon. Sometimes I'm quite envious...)

But they all made it. Head lassie B. has put up a photo gallery of the whole trip here. Do have a look, tho' you would hardly gather from it that this was a Seriously Grand International Choir Outing and that we actually gave a few concerts here and there.

As for J. and me, we weren't flying back but returning a few days later by car. Of course I too in my imbecility miscalculated the alarm, which rang at 3.30. I wasn't too disgruntled. I went back to sleep for a bit. We both got up to drive the troops down to the airport, I went back to bed on return and got up for breakfast 3 hours later, by this time feeling really quite gruntled.

14 comments:

Rog said...

Hyerbole, Litotes and Semantic Zeugma. Was this the name of your Ayr solicitors?

Rog said...

The first picture in the gallery is sloping upwards at 15 degrees. Was it on the plane taking off or was the photographer on his third half and a half?

Dave said...

I have no mobile (not quite true, I have one, but it's switched off most of the year, just dragged out for holidays) iPad, iPhone, anything like that at all. I am most envious of a two-coloured crayon.

Sarah said...

Just 3 points to make:
1 I lost the will to live after no. 119
2 what a lot of very large helpings of pudding
3 see you are still tucking your shirt/jumper into your trousers.

Christopher said...

1. You're right, Rog. But as there were no cases among the group of mobbing, plagium or barratry - although one member did commit a nuisance in a bush - there was no need to retain them.

2. I've asked the lassie B. (the photographer) to respond and explain herself.

Dave: It's a crayon with red at one end and blue the other. Would you describe yourself as a patriot?

Sah: 1. People feel the same about the Psalms

2. Yes, tho' we probably had a bet on

3. What would you advise?

Sarah said...

I can't help thinking a more casual approach is required, see:
http://www.esquire.com/style/tips/casual-clothes-for-men

Please note No 4,

and No 39 applies to people you blog with too.

Most importantly no 22 However I have to disagree with 21, (unless you are over 75)

You may find no 25 and 68 helpful.

Hope this helps.

Anyone would think I had nothing better to do on a Saturday afternoon. The truth is I'm waiting for some people to turn up to one of the holiday cottages..and they are LATE !

Z said...

Brilliant. Both you and Sarah.

Les Jeudistes should visit Norfolk, where they can learn to call themselves bors and mawthers, and that "do you" is a suggestion or an order, not a question. And I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I set my watch to the time zone of my destination soon after getting on the plane.

Charlene said...

I didn't look at all the photos but it reminds me of a slightly older white people traveling gypsy band!

I am not a good traveler and with a herd of others I would be gruntled 24/7.

Christopher said...

Oh that's superb, Sah, thank you! I shall go and sort out my sock drawer at once.

Watches, yes, Z. So do I. But the mobile somehow gets forgotten, probably because the cabin crew says 'Do you switch it off, bor.'

Christopher said...

Maybe you were wise, Charlene. I wouldn't have wanted you to trip over Sarah as you left No.119.

(Slightly older white people travelling gypsy band? H'm.)

Barbara said...

No Rog, the photographer was not on her third half and a half, we are not even allowed a first one before singing on stage. The high-lands and a ruthless driver made our bus take off...

Rosie said...

E is the one with the pony tail...right? He's probably Catalan genetically.

Christopher said...

Barbara! Great to see you here - thanks for dropping in. A glass of the usual, or a wee hauf an' a hauf?

Rosie: Yes. You'll maybe have to translate the above for Barbara.

letouttoplay said...

Are those very big bottles or did you take a short detour through the looking glass? (128).