I'd seen a local marching band a few times and always wanted to join, so I did. The main reason I joined was because I wanted to play the snare drum, but it being a Flute Band they needed more flute players (as you do) so I was roped into playing the flute. Now people don't really how hard the flute actually is, took me a good two weeks to even get a noise out of it. But once I did I was flying it and Today I had my first parade with the band.
Now heres the other thing about the band that I didn't know.. its basically a Republican movement thing seirously in support of Sinn Fein... Don't ask me what it is or what I support because I haven't a clue, I just joined to play the drum and have a laugh.
So todays parade was a Sean McDermort Commeration (don't know either) and it was actually the best day ever.
We like to arrive in style of course.. about 16 of us in the back of a van. One of the lads turns to me, as we we bump along the old road and hang on for dear life, "welcome to the band". What made this even better was the other proffesional band arriving in a huge coach and arriving fashionably late.
After the mile or so parade into town we had sandwhiches and cakes in the communtiy centre and then the real fun began. The two bands and a few members or the public squeeshed into the local pub and we spent the evening playing with every bit of strenght we had left.
It really was a great evening and I felt like part of the family like they did everything they could to include me and we had so many laughs.
The journey home was as unexpected as everything else that happened that night. I got a lift home with the lads and if they weren't singing at the top of the voices they were talking about the scenery. Randomly they decided to stop in town at one of the pubs, and I had no choice but to tag along. Again they never left me standing like a plum on my own, they'd always be talking to me, buying me drinks or giving me jackets to stay warm. After a crazy eveing including hen partys, an American man and planning my wedding we finally all headed home (although now an extra person in the car, so you can guess who being the smallest had to sit on knees).
It's fair to say I'm not the awkard newbie that barely spoke to anyone anymore... All I can say is roll on the next parade.