Come rain or shine

Scottish summer time. It’s as unpredictable as…..well, the weather.

We’ve just held one of Leuchie’s major fundraising events of the year, our Ascot Gold Cup Tea. Nearly 200 guests join us in a marquee on the Leuchie House lawn, dressed in their finery, for a prosecco afternoon tea and a flutter on the races, helping raise £14,000 for Leuchie. Given the weather last week, in the days before the event, you can imagine the conversations around the House. ‘Have you seen the forecast?’ ‘They always get it wrong – it’s bound to be alright on the day’ and so on. As this was the first time in four years it had rained for the event, there was a feeling of inevitability. We’d got away with it before, so it was bound to be wet this year!

Unfortunately the forecasters were correct and the rain did fall. But at no point did it put a damper on the occasion. An industrial heater was borrowed, umbrellas were donated, a gazebo was erected over the registration desk and everyone had a rare old time despite the damp conditions.

It’s the same at the raft of other summer events that go on around the county at this time of year - the gala days that draw communities together, Fringe by the Sea which helps bring the arts to East Lothian and fundraising events like ours that raise money for good causes. There’s no way of knowing what the weather’s going to be like when dates are set. If the sun shines on the day it’s a bonus, but if it doesn’t the community spirit will kick in and there’s that added feeling of having triumphed over adversity.

We’re now looking forward to Hops in the Garden, a brand new music festival for Leuchie on Saturday 9 July at The Walled Garden. It’s a full day event, 11am-11pm, with a host of musical talent, family entertainment and a special guest appearance by Barbara Dickson.  Hopefully we’ll be basking in blazing sunshine by then. But, you know, whether we’re in our wellies or our flip-flops, it’s sure to be a great day whatever the weather.

(Mairi O'Keefe, Chief Executive, Leuchie House. Published in The East Lothian Courier, 23 June 2016.)