June 20, 2008

The happiest day of the year

This is the equation: O + (N x S) + Cpm/T + He, where O is time spent outdoors, N is time spent in nature, S is socialization in the summer, Cpm relates to positive memories of childhood summers and T is temperature.

Happiest day of the year? That was today (June 20) according to Cliff Arnall, a Welsh psychologist. You may remember him from his 'work' on Blue Monday ie January 21 this year which he described as the most depressing day of the year (actually that was last Saturday's RCCC AGM, but I digress). Arnall has come up with the above formula to determine the best day of the year. How was it for you? I had a great day. I visited the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston. My enjoyment of course really had nothing to do with Arnall's nonsense!

Ingliston of course is where Cairnie House, the headquarters of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, is located, and of course a warm hospitable welcome awaited members, as well as anyone interested in finding out more about the sport, who stopped by. When I was there today, the stand was being manned by Matt Murdoch, RCCC President and Ladies' Branch President Sheila Miller, both kept in order by Claire Milne (Perthshire and Dundee ACDO), Judith McFarlane (Development Manager), Lynne Robertson (National Coaching Officer) and Sheila Swan (National Disability Officer). Coffee was on offer with home baking (courtesy of Jenny Stark), and there was even something stronger, courtesy of Scottish Championship sponsor, the Scottish Liqueur Centre. Zander McIlwham of Curling Supplies was on the stand too, with a selection of curling equipment.

I met Emma Sunderland, the Royal Club's Communications and Marketing Officer, who has taken over from Annette Williams who is on maternity leave. That's Emma on the left.

There was one other pleasant thing I had to do, yet sad too, and that was to say goodbye to Duthie Thompson who is leaving the governing body after fourteen years. He served firstly as Secretary/Treasurer and then latterly as Manager of Finance and Administration. Happy retirement Duthie!

Now, the rest of the day was enjoyable too - it was outdoors, in natural surroundings (well, sort of), the sun was shining and there was abundant socialising! Plug all that into the equation, but don't forget to subtract the number you first thought of. (What's the He? No it's not the sound of laughter, it stands for 'Holiday expected'!)

One other curling encounter in the Show was in the Handicrafts Competition. In the class for a traditional basket (any basketmaking technique), Bryce Reynard from Inverness won first prize for his reproduction of a curling stone basket, which were used to transport your stones to games outside a hundred years or so ago. For his efforts on such an unusual subject Bryce also won the Scottish Basketmakers Circle Prize.

Yes, it may not have been the happiest day of the year, but it was a good one!

Top: The Royal Club stand outside Cairnie House at the Royal Highland Show. Above: Emma Sunderland; Duthie Thompson; the display of baskets in the Handicrafts Competition; close up of Bryce Reynard's winning curling stone basket - complete with a modern handle!; An original basket with stone which is in the collection of the Highland Folk Museum at their reproduction of a curling hut at Newtonmore. Photos by Bob.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like the basket for curling stones! Very careful! :) Can I ask? What is “basket” for curling stones using now?