The Songwriting Weekend at the Friar's Carse had the biggest ever turnout this year, which looked pretty terrifying on Friday night, but the group of participants were lovely, and by Saturday afternoon every nook and cranny of the eccentric hotel hosted a busy songwriter, guitar on their lap, pencil in hand, papers scattered, or sharing ideas on the big Chesterfield sofas, smiling and strumming. After stuffing our faces once more on hearty Scottish fare, we rolled into the lounge, repositioned the sofas and embarked on the evening concert; Scott, Martin and myself started the ball rolling and then one by one, people showcased their songs. liz broke the ice with a very funny set, and the novice song writers presented for the first time songs they had created that very afternoon. For a lot of them this was not only the first song they had ever written, but also the first time they had ever played and sung to an audience; but there could not have been a more supportive crowd to listen and applaud. It was a very entertaining evening with some poignant songs. Alan's song, The Firing Man, described his horrible task in HR, having to lay people off because of the recession in the construction industry, including one of his best friends (who we missed hugely, it must be said). Hats off the the bravery of the newbies, and also to John for his song 'Please Don't Grow a Hitler Moustache' which had everyone in stitches and me in tears of laughter. As always, it was more than just songwriting; it was about friendship and camaraderie, and I don't think anyone even noticed the rain. Roll on next year and thanks to Andrew and Martin for putting into place one of the happiest and most productive events of the year!