At the beginning of July, the team headed up to Perth for our second year at the Scottish Game Fair – this was one show we knew we could not miss. Graham and Matt were already up there for a meeting, so Cat and I packed the vans and drove the 355 miles to Scone Palace. Luckily, we didn’t have Matt this time to take us on a detour through rush hour, so we made it in good time. Graham was already on thin ice for forgetting the pillows and then for arriving late because he and Matt were off playing golf. However, all was forgiven when he brought the energy in the form of cold beers, which was much appreciated on a sunny afternoon in Perth. Once we were happy with the setup, we made our way into town to find the infamous Brewdog Bar for beers and pizza.
Life is all about timings, and it’s important to get your timings right, but in this case my timing was very wrong when I pulled out a memory foam mattress to surprise them all. In the great scheme of things I was probably more unpopular than ever when Matt had to use a towel as a pillow and Cat had to wake up twice in the night to blow her mattress back up. With my sabbatical coming to an end and a good nights sleep on a memory foam mattress, I woke up early the next morning and did my conditioning in between the other exhibitors’ marquees. I got a few funny looks as I was running up and down, sweating and doing down ups, in and amongst people having their breakfast and getting their stands ready for the day. Scotland, you’re welcome. I was smug, to say the least, as I reminded the rest of the team all week that I was the only one who got up early to train.
We had a good first day, made even better when someone came to tell us that we had won the best stand award – Bath & West, eat your heart out. Unfortunately, we didn’t realise that we’d missed the prize giving that evening, what with the beer tent calling our names. Champagne in the day and beer in the night worked as a great WD40 for my hips, which the other three enjoyed tearing apart. Clearly, they don’t know what they don’t know.
On the second day we launched a competition on our Instagram to name our new winter boot. We had some brilliant responses that we have noted down for discussion when we release them at the end of the year. The new Harveys in chocolate suede and desert suede were also on show for the first time and we were absolutely blown away with the amount of pre-orders that we were getting – we’re looking to officially release them at The Game Fair this weekend, so watch this space. After living in the UK for about 10 years, I’ve found that I am becoming a little British and talking about the weather way too much, but we did see every season of weather that weekend. Thankfully, it didn’t seem to put people off and we met some really interesting people, including the Queen’s deer stalker. It was so lovely when people who’d bought boots the year before came to see us forchampagne and catch up. This was the first time we’d brought our Brai with us, so in the evenings we sat in front of our marquee, ate some meat, and made some new friends, like Rich, a sheep shearer from New Zealand. So, what was meant to be 3 steaks for 3 people, ended up being shared between 5 of us. I may have become a bit hangry after this, “Joey doesn’t share food” (Friends).
It was a long drive home on the Sunday night, but definitely a worth while trip on all fronts. This was to be my last show as I ended my 12-month sabbatical with joining Bath Rugby from 1 July, swapping glasses of champagne for protein shakes and Chelsea boots for eight studs. Cat and Matt are already getting ready for The Game Fair but are yet to tell me about their antics from Great Yorkshire, I’m sure I’ll get it out of them this weekend.
“We make the Boots, you make the Memories”
Gerrit-Jan van Velze