It was waterproofs and wellies all the way as Equatorites gathered at Elliot Street on a grey Saturday morning for the annual #eqtrbbq. But spirits were high and spirits were soon flowing as we boarded the (unusually large) coach and set off for the first leg of our journey to Equator Island in Loch Lomond.
Despite Jen Kemp's best efforts, the boat seating plan was out the window within minutes of arriving in Luss as we scrambled to be among the first to board the gleaming white speed boats. We were soon gliding (well bouncing) across the choppy waters towards our private island for the day, wind in our hair. It would have been very Bond-esque if it wasn't for the West Coast drizzle and the plastic ponchos.
Incredibly as we arrived on the island, the sun began to shine! The bar was fully stocked, the aroma of BBQ was in the air and a giant pig was getting a severe roasting as our idyllic little beach with 360 views of Loch Lomond began to busy with excited Equatorites.
The wellies and waterproofs were soon discarded and the shades were on as everyone settled into a sunny Saturday afternoon in what must be one of the most beautiful locations in Scotland.
The setting brought out the patriotism in many of our international colleagues as our first Manhattan Equatorite Rob rocked a kilt (something he may have regretted later as the midges came out in force), Trinidadian Brent took to the waters of Loch Lomond brandishing a lion rampant and Aussie Jarrod refused to let the occasional rain shower dampen his Scottish BBQ experience
The drinks flowed and the food, consisting of hotdogs, hamburgers, kebabs, salad and that incredible hog roast, was amazing. Our fantastic singer and guitarist got the entertainment kicked off and when the DJ took over later in the afternoon, the dancing began - with Laurent leading the troops in a traditional French dance (The Mia) which looked remarkably like the slosh.
Jacqueline and Lesley proved they are the oldest swingers in town (sorry girls) as they had a ball on the rope swing. Unfortunately Lachlan got a bit over excited and his attempts to join in the fun resulted in disaster.
As the day went on, the bonfire was lit, marshmallows were toasted and there was a questionable game of Twister.
There were a few hairy moments when Laura and Louise took their dancing into the water, but despite the precarious walk to the bobbing toilets, the clamber on and off the boats and our general proximity to water all day, amazingly no one ended up taking a dip in the icy waters of Loch Lomond.
By the end of the day the poor pig had seen better days (thanks mainly to Brent) and to be honest many of us were also a little worse for wear as we reluctantly waved goodbye to Equator Island and boarded our speedboats back to the mainland. (Did anyone else think it was weird we didn't need lifejackets on the way back?). Rounding up the troops to get back on the bus took a little longer than hoped, thanks partly to Colin getting lost on the bonnie banks and crashing a wedding. But we were soon homeward bound, serenaded by Raya's dulcet tones.
For many the party didn't end there, but that's another story... It's fair to say a good day was had by all. The emails were unusually quiet on Sunday and McDonald's Finnieston reported record takings on Monday. Thanks to the steering group for making the #EQTRBBQ 2013 such a phenomenal success and of course to John, James and Garry for what must truly be the best work do ever!!!!