It was a wet summer for Mystics cricket. The Chairman's Cup game was rain-affected and a draw, notable only for Clem's 65 and Michael Parker's debut. The next day we lost to Broadclyst.
Everything was pretty much perfect about the Scotland tour; everything, that is, except the weather. We were staying in Falkland at Burgh Lodge, which, thanks to Camilla's helpful hopefulness and the pub around the corner, was an excellent base for a tour. The opposition list, featuring Freuchie for the first time among the old favourites like Clacky and Breadalbane, looked pretty much right. We had a good tour party: able to be strong enough to offer resistance to Falkland, and weak enough to lose to anyone. Shame it rained, really.
The group are assembled here outside Burgh Lodge. Left to right (and top to bottom) are: Chris Healey, Camilla, Ern, Chloe, Planet Meg, Jo, Graham, Ellie, Neil, Kate, Adam, Windy, Adi, Suzie, Chris Cook, Clem, Dunc, Annie, Chris Squire, Matt, one of the Hair Bears, Kev and Jim.
We played half a game at Gargunnock. Batting first, two wickets fell in the first over before Duncan, Jimmy D. and Adam restored our pride. After thirty overs of drizzle, we called it a day. At least we got to the pub early. In fact, it was that Sunday evening that we discovered the Lomond and its ladyboy toilets. Monday's game, the eagerly awaited fixture at Freuchie was cancelled, as was Tuesday's at Falkland. Still, at least we got to the pub early. We shared the lounge bar with the group of Germans who were also staying at Burgh Lodge. They were, it seems, on a caber tossing tour. Little persuasion was needed to get them interested in the idea of tossing Clem. Clem spent the rest of the week with a haunted look, bolting like a startled rabbit at the sound of a German word, and reacting particularly badly when it was suggested at Largo that he "Toss it up a bit".
The weather's real achievement was saved for Wednesday. Clacky's ridiculous hospitality had reached new heights. Since the Arns was better suited to water polo than cricket, Clacky had hired the Scottish Cricket Academy's facility in Edinburgh, planning some indoor cricket. We arrived at two o'clock, full of expectation and vim, only to discover that a lightning strike during the previous night's storm had taken out the power and that they were closing the hall for heath and safety reasons. Mystics rallied around. Adi and Kev went shopping. Some of us went to the beach at Elie and played cricket on the sand. Kev, Chris and Dunc cooked a meal, and bonhomie was freely available.
Incredibly, the sun shone on Thursday and we played at Largo. Big Cook scored an unbeaten hundred and Adam took a Mystic moment winning catch on the boundary at the sea end. A team called The Ladyboys won the quiz in the Railway Inn. The next day we drove north to the Robinson's stunning bunkhouse in Aberfeldy. The catering team came up trumps again with the evening meal. The tables were cleared, and the Travelling Gillespies led the entertainment. The floor was cleared and Chris Healey led the drinking games. Suzie struggled to come terms with the difference between "Ja ja" and "Ja JA" and Graham just struggled.
We played through the rain at Aberfeldy. Apparently, they do not consider it to be raining hard until it makes your head bleed. Breadalbane won despite our ten bowlers and despite Duncan and Adam's heroics at the end. At the Ailean Chraggan, Adam was the only choice as player of the tour, while Peter Thomson completed his set of awards, being crowned supporter of the tour.