This is the last of my current posts for the Alan Paine Blog:
As with anything you’ve been looking forward to, when the big day arrives it all goes too quickly.
Saturday started with the familiar butterfly nerves, getting ready with one eye on all the #NLSD2017 messages flowing through on social media (jealous to see so much sunshine while up in North Yorkshire the forecast rain lashed down).
Picking up my friends (who before NLSD hadn’t so much as picked up a gun), a flurry of excitement met us on arrival at Hazel Bank Shooting ground. A throng of forty ladies all trying to contain nerves, catch up and find out which group they were in.
I’d been placed in the experienced group (gulp!). I booked my NLSD2017 place as a beginner in December, in mid-February, I shot at Hazel Bank as an intermediate and now I’m experienced? As I’ve been spending my recent Wednesday evenings feeling like the biggest novice, it was an amusing upgrade. I needn’t have worried, my group had several familiar faces and my past few weeks of league nights certainly helped me with the stands we faced.
Shooting in a group is great fun, shooting in a bun club group is just brilliant. The banter and camaraderie as each of us takes our turn is fantastic. Even though technically we are competing against each other for a prize, there is nothing but support and encouragement. As befits the “experienced” group, our 5 stands had a mix of challenging clays. Nothing super easy, but nothing we couldn’t hit at least once each.
The bouts of rain didn’t help but also didn’t dampen spirits. I decided to wear my Alan Paine Compton jacket. The collar closes right up to keep out of the way when shooting, and it has plenty of handy pockets to distribute my bits and bobs so I could go bagless round the stands. Then shooting over, a quick change into my Aylsham gilet & I was ready for tea and medals.
The S&CBC cake rosettes are more hotly contested than the shooting! Across the country, confections of amazing technical wizardry were displayed, tasted and judged. At Hazel bank, we had a myriad of chocolate and fruit creations, with a devilish rocky road winning the treasured rosette and my friend Amy’s Pimm’s fruit cake coming a deserved second.
My score of 27/50 was topped by a 30/50, so no winner’s rosette this time, but plenty more to aim for in the future. Sadly, no best dressed prize either, maybe because I did manage to wipe my muddy gun slip across my knee at some point spoiling things slightly (I don’t need a toddler to get mucky it would appear).
My friends really enjoyed their day. Both had found the gun heavy, which isn’t surprising for their first time. But both are keen to come again – result!
I’m now looking at the S&CBC website and planning our next trip out with the bun club girls!
This is the last post written for the Alan Paine Blog for now at least. I’ve found it a really good learning experience. Writing to a deadline and a set word count has helped me stop procrastinating and just get on with things. It’s time for someone else to have a go on the Alan Paine Blog, although I hope they will have me back soon.
Now I’m going to get going on my other “trades” – the elderflowers are in bloom, next blog will be all about the cordial!
Bye for now!