As you can see from this photo, it was a weekend of some note. This was taken Friday night, when the revellers arrived at Naughton and the first beers, wines and whatever were cracked. Pete C whipped out this outrageous shirt & shades combo to, seemingly, put the moves on Pete W. I was laughing so hard that were it not for the miracle of autofocus this would be a great big blur. Fortunately Pete C got changed, and as more people arrived people started clicking the way they do when there are big events coming and everyone just wants to have a great time.
As we all got to know each other and the beers got drunk I stepped out for a minute to have a look at the moon. It was incredible. A fog rested on the hill of Gauldry in front of Naughton, above which the moon shone so bright you almost had to squint. The fog cascaded down the hillside, absorbing the trees as it approached. I fumbled with my camera, but after a half-hearted attempt I decided this would be one I needed to burn into my memory, not onto a negative, or a memory card. The effort and time to find the right settings and whatnot would have lost me the moment. I sipped and looked, as did the others.
As the party went on the sensible went to bed and the less so took to the kitchen, bastion of late night partying that it is. This was where the infamous mirror debate took place between Lil and Pete C while Pete W, Nancy & Sam looked on, amazed. It stretched the boundaries of physics, philosophy and optical illusion. It made me laugh so had I snarfed my beer. I even took video footage.
The next day was the polo. The TMI Festival Cup match between Scotland and Wales. The day was glorious, as only Scotland can be. I didn't have to tow the corporate line after all, and was able enjoy the day without schmoozing. I took charge of the BBQ and the booze started flowing. The women, without exception, were looking stunning. And were lovely, wonderful company to boot. As were the guys, though slightly more of a strain on the eye, but just because Pete wasn't wearing his shirt. Instead he seemed to be hell bent on playing brilliant polo. This is him riding Milly (a nickname, I have idea how to spell her real name) with 2 Welsh players on his tail. They may have seen him that shirt; you never know.
Scotland lost. Ah well. Someone joked beforehand that if Scotland lost then Pete would get Man-of-the-Match. It was either Dave or me, but the whole thing is sort of fuzzy, though it was probably Dave. Or maybe me. In any case, whoever it was, was right. Pete got Man-of-the-Match and Best-Played-Pony for Floretta.It would have been nice if they'd managed to have their cake and eat it too. I, of course, missed the presen- tations as I'd gotten bored and had headed off to clear up. It was only when I saw Lil and James running Floretta up to the crowd that it clicked. So no pics or anything like that. We had to run pretty quick as it was the Highland Ball afterwards.
I don't think Dundee had ever seen 3 busloads of blacktied, ballgowned, hyperactive twentysomethings rock up to their 24 hour Tesco to get cash for the night ahead. But it was a cash only bar and we all needed to load up. The bad news is that the ball was being held at the new pavillon at the Perth Races. Basically an atmosphere vacuum. But the company was brilliant. Hardcore allday boozing, sun and a tight schedule meant that there was quite a bit of steam to let off but the dancing and bar allowed for that. I loved the jazz dancing. The reels were a bit complex though. 'Toria R-T (soon to be R-T-C) was legendary on the dancefloor, and we managed to mix conspiracy and dancing and make Mervyn think we were professionals. He was pretty wrecked though. She's wonderful - if I ever turn this blog into a testimonial to wonderful people, her entry would be significant. Because of the distaste of partying in a betting shop, a lot of us went outside (such as myself, Pete C, Pete W and 'Toria R-T) to enjoy the evening and cool off from the dancing. It gave me a chance to catch up a bit with some old friends and make new ones that I probably won't remember. The ball eventually ended at about 5. The taxis travelled at light speed back to Naughton and I was so wired I couldn't sleep. I sat up chatting to Hayley until 730. What a fantastic girl. Between her and Nancy the best cups of tea in the world are made.
Sunday was up at 10. Pete W telling me we're supposed be back at polo for 1030 or something. Somehow got up and showered and got dressed. Threw on one of my new favourite t-shirts (a gift): it features a bright yellow banana slug in a yogic position. If there is more appropriate hangover clothing, then I have not seen it. Sadly I do not have a picture of it. But it made me feel better about sleep deprivation and booze overdosing. The polo lasted a little long and didn't quite ignite the enthusiasm of the day before. Mike's ankle was swollen like a balloon. Some people were less grumpy than others. I avoided the BBQ as much as possible. We forgot the beer. Someone went to get some. I gave beautiful women massages as the rhythm helped sooth my hangover (Tiffany needed to destress though she didn't know what from). I volunteered to cook dinner. So dinner for 30 cooked by myself & Pete W with the lovely Nancy, Haley and Charlotte C giving a hand. Omlettes. Casting all modesty aside, it was a great meal. I made butterscotch sauce, recipe which I stole from Pete's cousin and improved. We chatted, had a beer tasting and reviewed the previous night's carnage. While never reigniting to full inferno, a well-chosen playlist, a return to the kitchen and Pete C's classic summer fruit gin & tonics lasted us through til 2. The 7 hours sleep I got helped. Clearing up again Monday morning (Nancy being an angel) and general lethargy ensued. I went back to St Andrews to bank my wages and repack for London. The final fun of the weekend was Jo's rollercoaster lift to Edinburgh for myself and Dymock.
There's lots I've left off - potential of romance for Cap'n C, the underaged smokers, billiards, more laughter, the odd tear, flasks of brandy, Thom, etc. No worries. It was an intense weekend, though the fun was far more due to the people than to the polo or the ball.
PS Capt. James Crawford is beyond any shadow of a doubt the greatest and most generous host on the planet, as well as being a true gentleman. The world should know this, though not SO much, as everyone will be dropping by. Moreso than usual that is. And I think he's had enough guests for awhile.