After fourteen years of jigging it up with the Northern Suburbs Scottish Highland Pipe Band, last night I handed in my sporran and did the old resigneroo. There were tears (or what would have been tears, were my ex-fellow-bandspersons not congenitally predisposed to stiff upper lippery), firm handshakes, and a dozen sets of bagpipes mournfully impersonating flatulent geese. I delivered a rousing oration (yes, of course I did), exhorting my ex-fellow-bandspersons to pipe louder, faster, and in ever less socially appropriate locations, then promptly nicked off with a new reed.
Not being myself congenitally predisposed to stiff upper lippery, I here shed a tear for the piping life that was, for a band that strathspeyed its way through the Sheik Zaid Camel Racing Championships, for countless ripostes to strangers enquiring after my knickers, for airport security staff understandably concerned about letting ten sets of disassembled bagpipes pass for hand luggage. Farewell, Northern Suburbs Scottish Highland Pipe Band! May your kilts never be caught by indecorous gusts of wind, your bags never suffer puncture wounds just before important performances, and may your silly hats provide ongoing delight to silly hat fanciers across the nation.*
* These silly hats bear no resemblance to silly hat featured above.