Global Conferential Tales I: Little Baggage but we got a Castle, some Golf, Whisky and a Tattoo
Travelling Light but Going Off with a Bang
It was always to be expected with more than 100 international visitors booked, and our advice being taken to arrive early and beat the jet lag, that our guests would arrive as and when. And so it proved. The Wiles bus immediately commenced service on Saturday August 12th meeting Colquitt's Georgians at Edinburgh airport straight from Atlanta sans baggages. And so it alas continued for several more travellers from California. In the Art Mortimer family's case [or lack of it] half the bags only caught up with them once they were home again in LA after the Conference and the balance is still AWOL! Whilst we all know lost baggage is a routine travel hasard, these particularly dire outcomes this August arose because of the banning of all liquids and almost all other handcarry items aboard aircraft.
Early Birds Catch a Castle or a Birdie
For those who arrived to socialise and do a spot of orienteering before the formal Registration and haggis supper on Tuesday 15th, two choices were on offer. Either join the inaugural Willie Park Golf Competition at the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club at Prestongrange House or join an outing to the Douglas' outstanding [but only partly still standing] Tantallon Castle opposite Bass Rock beyond North Berwick. As it transpired the majority chose Tantallon and the Wiles bus was followed by a convoy of private cars, taking in the North Berwick Seabird Centre as well on the return.
Chef Andrew Laurie Takes the Willie Park Cup
It was a spirited day at the Royal Musselburgh, and the sun shone on the leaders. But local man, and Prestoungrange Gothenburg Chef Andrew Laurie, who has admittedly played the course since he was 11, beat the field. Nevertheless Duncan Wills, eldest son of Prestoungrange, gave him a fair game as did players from Australia and closer by.
Now Andrew must travel to Sheffield Tasmania in March 2008 to defend his title against their local talent. But for the present he enjoyed his triumph as he beamingly served the haggis, neaps and tatties to all the visitors. And he gets to keep the fine Gold Medal donated by the Royal Musselburgh for the winner on this occasion.
Saturday Wind Down and Up
The Conference formally ended on Friday night, 18th August, with the Civic Reception. [And what went on during its hectic schedlues is reported in Tales II - X elsewhere]. But as visitors prepared to depart two important extra curricula divertimenti had been suggested for those whose stamina was still almost intact. The first was a necessary philosophical visit to the Lowlands Scotch Whisky Distillery of Glenkinchie close by Prestonpans, which distills the very whisky drunk with Tuesday's haggis, neaps and tatties and throughout the week.
The second was a visit to the Edinburgh Tattoo which in 2006 had been arranged to coincide with the Global Murals Conference [or was it the other way around?]. To a man and a woman our guests took themselves off to Edinburgh's Castle in the evening to hear the swirl of the pipes, the beat of the drums and the lone piper on the battlements. In such manner did they receive the final elements of their Scottish education and acculturation.
After which it was home again for all, with or without baggage, yet by all accounts well contented and dreaming wistfully of the next and 6th Global Conference in March 2008 in Sheffield Tasmania.
Published Date: August 14th 2006