It is sometimes hard to explain – particularly to overseas sportsmen and women who live in warmer climes – why the 12th August each year is called “Glorious”.
As the clouds scudded across the Northumberland sky and my boot bag blew across the car park I could see our clients enjoying breakfast around the large dining room table in the Lodge, happily chatting away and dressed in shirt and tie.
Clearly some expectation management would be called for! At that moment another rain squall lashed the side of the gun room and I sank slightly deeper into my new Musto Storm jacket, thankful for having the Number One waterproof jacket in the country for the start of the season.
The morning before several of the guests had complained that the Main shooting clothing store in New York had not yet received their allocation of Schoffel waterproof trousers. Luckily an emergency overnight dispatch from William Powell would shortly solve that but there was little we could do about the weather!
Early season grouse are usually shot in civilised weather with light winds ensuring that the shooting, whilst fantastic fun in beautiful scenery, is not necessarily overly testing and sure to give those out the chance of feeling the warm glow of satisfaction at shooting well on driven grouse by the end of the day.
Today this was going to be a little hazardous to achieve! We were seeing the “tail end” of Hurricane Bertha make its way across the UK and as well as causing flooding in Inverness, she was going to add 20 to 30 mph to any downwind grouse encountered today.
Mole’s tail wagged happily beside me – pleased that the long wait of the close season was over and clearly oblivious to the weather – we were off!