(Below: Setting up the real pipers for massed bands at the noon opening ceremonies. Massed bands=sort of like Russian roulette with the bagpipes. That is to say, if you are short and in the back, you have a fifty-fifty chance of guessing correctly whether the drum major signaled to end the tune at the end, or to repeat the whole thing. Not that I would know. Yes, I will listen with a good deal more attention the next time the instructions are given pre-attack.)
The weather was superb; a bit hot in the sun, to be sure (and there was plenty of sun) but a perfect day for a chat in the shade. Somebody across the street from the band tents had an orange tree in blossom in their yard, and the spicy-sweet smell alone was worth the drive.
As far as general reporting goes, that is about it. The piping and ensuing camraderie was so delightful that I saw less of the games in general than I ever have, opting to stick around the band tents most of the time. I even missed browsing through the book vendors' tent for the first time I remember (though I am sure my pocketbook is the better for it). I vastly enjoyed the solo competition; I recently switched to Balance Tone reeds for my drones and they have made a world of difference in the way the pipes handle. Murphy's Law did kick in and no matter how nicely I had the pipes going while I was warming up, the drones were out of tune when it actually came time to knuckle down and play for the judge, but playing-wise, they still felt awfully nice.