Scottish Gathering 2014 in Elizondo, Spain

this year’s Gathering was great but a little strange.

firstly, this year’s Scottish meet was in Spain. i can’t go into the hows or whys of that but that part was cool as it’s always nice to visit a new place, even more so that i didn’t have the time this year to turn it into the usual three week casting and fishing affair and it was only 600km round trip from home instead of the usual 3000 or so. i basically live in the Pyrenees mountain range but on the diametrically opposite side. i’m on the north-east slope closer to the Mediterranean sea in France whereas the Spanish Basque region is on the south-west slope of the range closer to the Atlantic. same mountain but subtle differences in the landscape and weather patterns make it exotic enough, besides, the Pyrenees range is one of my favourite places on earth. although i was born and raised very far from here, in a sense, it’s the closest i can think of when i think of ‘home’.

having been kicked off of the Sexyloops forum several months ago made it even more strange. not because of all the great friends i’ve made over the years through the forum which was the real reason i went there, and where the friendship status hasn’t changed one iota, but you know, being kicked off a forum for no real or valid reason by its owner leaves a sour aftertaste even if that sourness is very mild.

this being my fourth Gathering i knew that the ‘play it by ear’ style of event organisation was the norm but i can’t help but feel bad for our Spanish friends who are always used to meets that are very structured and where casters of different levels are taken into consideration and offered casting games and different activities other than all-afternoon comp-style distance casting.

to be honest, i’m a lot more disappointed than what the above might suggest. the super high-level quality and willingness to share of my attending friends was there but it seems that the sour atmosphere of the forum has taken some of that enthusiasm away. i’m not the type to dwindle on the past and nostalgia but these meets where a hell of a lot better before. things change and i guess that’s normal but the most important hasn’t. here’s what some of them look like.

Trevor BourneTrev castingBen DixonBen's toe dance

Joaquin Quintas, Carlos Azpilicueta, Mikel Coronado, J Nieto FernandezLos Amigos
Craig AnonCraig X
Mark SurteesMark's demo
Mark displaying a very Masterful ‘wind knot’Mark's knot
Michael HeritageMike's demo
Spanish/French border just north of Elizondo (french side)Col de Something
at first i had thought maybe Tracey had forgotten to bring deodorant but it turned out that Carlos is simply allergic to airborne pollen.Tracey and deodorant mask
casting film crew- James and Trev ‘The Bipod’cast filming crew
CarlosCarlos demoCarlos' TMCCI Carlos
Scott LoudonScott Loudon

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