Team manager's report:
From Allan Maboon's Delhi CG2010 Diary
Saturday 25 September
At Glasgow airport by 09:15. Shooting Team check-in went smoothly. Lots of TV cameras and press photographers with a variety of individual team members doing interviews. Sports Minister in attendance and seemed very nice, easy to talk to. A likeable politican? Lots of hanging about before departure. Took off about 40 minutes late but flight went smoothly enough, apart from getting stacked on arrival at Dubai – where I’d forgotten that a small latte cost $8US.
Sunday 26 September
Flight to Delhi equally smooth and customs procedures were readily enough negotiated after a bit of hanging around and a lot of faffing from various mob-handed Indian officials who made decisions, revisions of decisions and lots of ‘phone calls – which might or might not have been relevant to dealing with us. I had then to travel with the fullbore rifles to get them into the armoury at Kadarpur and set off with two rifle cases as the sole cargo on a large armoured security truck, which formed a mini-cavalcade with the car in which I myself was to travel and two policemen on a motorbike, these last to be succeeded by four policemen in a Tata jeep at the Delhi city limits.
The dedicated CGW lanes work to a degree, that degree being the extent to which other road users appear not to have been informed of their significance. Traffic in general is pandemonium and the things that happen are quite incredible – even by UK driving standards: ancient vehicles, crammed at least two side-by-side per lane; three-wheeler motorbike taxis called tuk tuks racing each other and squirming in front of crowded buses; mopeds with helmetless ladies in silken saaris riding side-saddle on the pillions, each often holding a small child in their arms and squashing a large parcel of goodness knows what between their forward side and the driver’s back; roundabouts where the level of mayhem makes French priorite a droite seem overly restrictive; and the continual sound of horns being honked as drivers seem to use them in preference to indicators. Anyway, shell-shocked, and starving, I arrived at CGV some four hours after everyone else, feeling pretty shredded. Had a wash, something to eat, nodded my way through a coaches’ meeting and went to bed before 10 pm. Gonked!
Monday 27 September
Up at 7pm to be able to head back out to the range just after 0800 with Angus, Ian and Joan. Coach turned up at the transport mall about 0825 and off we went – on the bus, four of us, two policemen, a volunteer and a soldier with an AK47 and bandolier of cartridges over his shoulder. Ahead and behind, riding shotgun and constantly wailing their sirens in a largely ineffectual attempt to clear other vehicles out of our path, were police jeeps containing two policemen and, in the back, two soldiers with SLRs. The journey took 2 hours and 15 minutes, largely because the route to our destination was a bit of an unknown quantity to our navigators. This had the benefit, however, of taking us into some unreconstructed areas and offering insight to what life is really like for many Indians: crumbly concrete or brick buildings and dark little streets no more than 7 – 8 feet wide, almost reminiscent, building materials included, of the cramped and dangerous conditions of ancient Rome. At the range, rifles were checked over to ensure all was well post-flight and we walked the range in the heat, noting adjacent topographical features that might influence conditions. Tech Officials were in process of setting up the target monitors and indicated that their job might be aided if we hung around to fire some live shots for them. We did this and were able therefore to verify that all is well with the rifles after the flight. Zeroes seem OK. We eventually were ready to make the return journey at about 1545, the coach having parked up and waited for us in the meantime. Back then to CGV to freshen up and eventually have something substantial to eat, having had nothing more since breakfast than a shared single packed lunch kindly provided for us by Cliff Mallett at the range.
Tuesday 28 September
Day off as the Techs have to calibrate the electronics so there will be no chance of our being able to shoot. Chance therefore to chill and catch up on some admin, not to mention having a bit of a lie-in. Team meeting at 10.00 followed by a visit to our accommodation from a BBC film crew. Wifi Internet went down last night and hasn’t come on again since, which is annoying for me as I’ve still to sort out the computer problem that was preventing me from getting access previously. Swapped my too-tight shorts for larger pairs as shorts will be handy in this heat. Found a nice apple drink that’s available in the dining area chillers: appy FIZZ. Very pleasant. Looking forward to more of that.
Our accommodation, incidentally, in spite of all sorts of media scare stories prior to our departure, is absolutely fine. We shooters have the whole top floor of Block 3 to ourselves, the Northern Ireland Team occupying the rest of the building, and we’re perfectly comfortable. The standard of fit and finish may not be up to UK expectations but it’s clean and well-serviced. Some of the design layout is a bit strange, mind you: for example, the loo roll holder in the bathroom for the room that Donald and I share has been fitted rather too close to the shower area so the loo roll gets soaked each time we shower!
Wednesday 29 September
Didn’t sleep well. Up at 0545 to catch bus ordered for 0700 which, of course, turned up for departure at 0730. Joined today by Guernsey, Trinidad & Tobago, England and Jim Paton of Canada. Very hot at range and there was a delay as the targetry technician was not there to connect and boot up the system. Half an hour of this time was gainfully occupied, however, by Phil Harrison running through the protocols for use of the electronic targetry. Eventually did get started and shot 2 + 10 each twice at 600X before lunch break. Both firers had decent 50s. Wind from right but angling downrange with strength also coming and going. After lunch, had short shoot at 300X for sake of verifying wind zeroes. Jersey rifles turned up as we were waiting for England to finish so that we could get back on the bus and, without telling me, Ian and Angus scrounged a lift back to CGV in the Jersey car. I was furious as I was left in the lurch and got a telling off later when it was discovered that the bus party was two members short of the expected total. Reading of tarot cards on my eventual return and some ground rules laid down. In spite of that glitch, the training session went well enough. It was very hot and, with the humidity, quite oppressive so overdoing things would have been easy. Jim Paton had a headache by the time we got back to CGV, having been out in the sun just that bit too long. Issued with nice new hats afterwards. Very smart.
Thursday 30 September
Journey times to the range are falling as the CWG Lane system begins to be more strictly enforced. Going out, of course, sees us ahead of the rush hour traffic as people here don’t really start work before 10 am. Angus was keen to get zeroes for both rifles today so shooting for us was at 300X, 600X and 1000X. Problems were experienced as the result of Angus’s rearsight eyepiece unscrewing during the course of his shoot and causing shots to appear in unexpected places. With that sorted, however, things settled down and some good groups resulted. He has also been feeling as if he was shooting uphill all the time with resultant positional problems that will have to be addressed.
I still can’t get wifi access so went to the internet cafe in the International Zone at the village in order to catch up on e-mails.
Friday 1 October
Again, no shooting for any Scots today as we had to attend the opening ceremony of Scotland House at the Meridien Hotel in Delhi in the afternoon. Everyone got dressed in kilts and whatnot to set off from CGV just after 2 pm. The whole affair went off very well and we met up with Colin McEachran before team photographs were taken and we returned to CGV.
I again visited the Internet cafe in the evening and this time, as well as sending e-mails, managed to update the Scotland Fullbore at Delhi 2010 facebook page.
Saturday 2 October
More teams have now arrived so the 0730 bus to the range was much busier. We’ve not been able to get lunch at the range previously and today, in spite of Joan having been given strong assurances that there would be lunches for us to collect at the transport mall before we left on the bus, there was again nothing. It was therefore a matter once more of picking up a couple of croissants and some butter and jam from Dining and taking that with us. Ian cleaned his rifle this morning for the first time since his last shoot at Bisley before setting off – and it tightened his group considerably. Angus started well until we moved from 300X to 900X where he had three high shots just into the magpie at 12 o’ clock. Subsequent investigation identified the likely cause to be his foresight iris which was unscrewing from the tunnel. We’re going to have to ensure that everything on his guns is properly nailed down every time before he shoots. We called a halt at the end of the morning session and returned to CGV on a bus that left Kadarpur about 1430. Traffic today was much lighter than before, today being Saturday. Tomorrow is the opening ceremony so we won’t be back out there now until Monday when Angus will begin by firing a group without sighting adjustments, just to reassure himself that all is well, his positional problems hopefully now having been sorted out.
Interesting things were going on with wind this morning, there being left wind present for the first time and direction switching from right through to left and back again. Mirage and flags didn’t always appear to concur and my own suspicion was that the flags were more reliable than the mirage. Angus’s loose foresight iris somewhat compounded this problem, mind you, and no doubt made things more confusing than they actually were. Ho hum!
There will be 21 teams in all taking part so competitions will be run in two details throughout with the frontrunners being in detail 2 at L/R and seeded from the range centre outwards on either side. Still no wifi connection so back to the internet cafe for a long session during which I wrote some e-mails, updated the facebook group page with some photos and chatted online with Mike Ozmond and David Williamson. The latter said he’d seen me on TV last night so the footage from Scotland House did make the news. Jean says, in fact, there’s lots of coverage with something about the Team every time.
Sunday 3 October
Lie-in until 08.20. Was really tired last night and had a decent snooze. Need a shave but my shaver has given up, either because the switch is faulty or the batteries have gone down. Battery-wise the same applies to my Dillon scales and now possibly my toothbrush. Electronically, I’m not having much luck on this trip. After eating breakfast, I tried the general stores to see if they had batteries but – guess what – they don’t.
Set off for opening ceremony at 1625, returning at 2100 by reason of only staying for the march-on. Holding area was exciting and colourful with all of the countries in their uniforms. I wandered about on my own for a bit just taking photos and watching all the activity. On several occasions I was asked if I would myself be photographed with various groups, all attracted no doubt by the kilt. It was an experience worth having and I’m glad I did this one as it will be my last opportunity, my involvement – if I have any at all – in the next CGW being likely to be quite different. To get into the arena, we had to make our slow way through a service tunnel running along the inside of the stadium’s perimeter. It was stifling in there, being where the air conditioning exhaust was vented, for some daft reason. Several Aussie team members keeled over and had to be taken to hospital as they had been held for a while in the tunnel before entering the arena. Once out in the glare of the lights, it was great fun and all at once I could identify with Dame Edna Everidge’s ‘I love you all’ gestures.
Now we have to get down to serious training and practice so we’ll be off on the bus again tomorrow and each remaining morning at 0730. Disaster, however: appy FIZZ has disappeared from the chillers.
Monday 4 October
A solid day’s training with encouraging results from both shooters.
Tuesday 5 October
Very long day for me as we shot in both morning and afternoon sessions until just after 1500. Angus and Ian then went off on the bus at about 1540 and I remained behind to attend two meetings, the usual pre-competition technical meeting and the CSF Fullbore meeting, each of which went on at considerable length. Left the range at about 1900 and didn’t get back to the tower until 2100. Bus journey back in the dark was exciting with other traffic encroaching upon the CGW lane having wing mirrors clipped off as we went by. Gives a new meaning to ‘clunk, click every trip’.
Wednesday 6 October
Visibility looked poor on the way out to the range this morning. Start delayed as 300X targets had been put in at 500X. Light conditions becoming difficult as a haze has started to creep into the bottom of the range, causing a loss of contrast in the sight picture. Conditions also seem more difficult with the wind now coming from left to right for a change. Groups have opened up with some very wide shots – both to wind and elevation – cropping up. Question is, however: how much of that is actually down to the wind having becoming almost unreadable as opposed to the poor sight picture on its own being the culprit?
Thursday 7 October
Ian stuck in loo so missed 0730 bus and I waited for him. It was obvious on journey out to range that visibility was going to be even poorer than it had been yesterday: it was so hazy that the sun wasn’t getting through. In fact, I didn’t see the sun until we had returned to CGV late in the afternoon. Perversely, things were better on our arrival at the range. There was a delay to the start once again, however, and, by the time we did get going, the bottom end of the range looked like the milky way, with a white haze that just stayed down there all day. Shooting was at 900X and 1000X and we experienced very mixed fortunes. It was generally agreed, however, that what was needed was a strategy for coping with the appalling sight picture. We very seriously considered the possibility of aiming at a number board and adjusting sights to cause the shot to fall on the target, the boards, being nearer the firing point, being more plainly visible than the targets, but we eventually discounted this on the grounds that there were too many variables on moving from one target to another and consequently also too many risks. There were also two targets available at 300X so, for the sake of reassuring ourselves that there was nothing wrong with the rifles or the shooters, we had a session on one of these. Groups were tight and confidence returned. On return to 1000X, Angus experimented with colour filters and eventually determined that the best picture was obtained with a yellow filter and greatly increased foresight aperture. Where before vertical flyers in the magpie had been appearing, bad shots were now at least more contained, straying no further than the confines of the inner. Without benefit of a filter, Ian was still having a struggle to achieve contrast. By now, however, we were convinced that the problem related entirely to the extremely poor quality sight picture making it difficult – impossible – to maintain rifle zero point over the centre of the target. Angus’s shoot did offer a gleam of consolation, though, and we left the range optimistic that a possible way forward might exist.
Back at the tower block I had a text message from Jean telling me that a letter had come from the bank requesting me to contact its fraud department as it appeared some ‘unusual transactions’ had occurred. Panic! I had had a problem a week ago when trying to get rupees from an ATM in the International Zone when the transaction was rejected and the card ‘captured’. I was fairly certain that this was the cause of the problem. An account balance enquiry suggested that no unauthorised withdrawals had taken place and, once I got my mobile working to enable me to call the Bank of Scotland in UK, it transpired that my indication to the bank that I would be in India had not been properly processed and had in fact been confused with my earlier indication that I would be here back in April. An attempted transaction occurring post-April had therefore caused the shutters to crash down but a bit of time spent with the wee wifie (definitely Scottish) to whom I spoke on the telephone got things sorted out. Breathe deeply and relax again.
Friday 8 October
Ian was unwell during the night and had had to visit the medics who gave him anti-bios. He was due to return for a further visit at 0730 so I said he should forget about training today and just take things easy in the hope of achieving a recovery in time for tomorrow’s opening matches at 300X. Angus and I therefore went to the range on our own and, conditions being only a little improved on those of yesterday, applied use of the yellow filter in conjunction with a greatly increased front sight aperture – and it works! Angus had a 50.6 at 600X and a 74 with plenty of vees at 1000X. The one he lost would not have been lost in any sort of coached situation as he was caught by a very swift and transient wind change whilst on aim. His group was excellent and we left, very much bucked up by the morning’s experience. He has a spare rearsight eyepiece with filters and will lend that to Ian for use in the matches. We got back to CGV well before 1600, had a coffee and relaxed for the rest of the day. Ian was feeling a lot better, though had a sense of residual discomfort just below his ribs.
Saturday 9 October
Siver medals for Shona Marshall of clays and Jon Hammond of smallbore today. Congratulations to them both. At Kadarpur, Ian and Angus got their Pairs Match off to a good start with a 50.3 and 50.4. Only South Africa bettered that and no other teams were clean. In the Individual Match, Angus suffered the consequences of a loose position in 300X Stage1, dropping two points before tightening for 300X Stage 2 in which he made 50.6. Ian made life difficult for himself with a shot on the wrong target in Stage 1, in spite of which he never strayed from vee or bull all day, making 50.5 in 300X Stage 2 to finish the day on 5 off. Had this been the same target as was used in 2006, that would have been it – goodnight Vienna. With the tighter ICFRA target, however, and the difficulty in getting a decent sight picture on account of the haze and lack of contrast, especially at the longer ranges, there is still the possibility of doing something. As I said to him, should he drop no more points between now and the end of the match in four days’ time, he’ll be in with a very strong shout.
Sunday 10 October
All shots on our own targets today but a target malfunction resulting in relocation from one side of the range to the other cost us a point in the 500X Pairs Match. Conditions from one side of the range to the other differed and, had we not had to move, we would in all likelihood have gone clean as the guys were nicely in step with the wind until the move took place. There were lots of other Teams suffering target malfunctions today with subsequent confusion. We really don’t need the added stress. Regardless, we remain in second place in the Pairs, Canada having assumed the lead by 5 vees. Angus went clean in both individual shoots and Ian dropped his very last. Neither converted his sighters when both of their partners did. That put added pressure on them for their last three shots. I myself feel that Ian was too quick in firing his last – it was certainly the fastest shot of his series – but he thinks the wind got up, taking him just out at 9 o’clock. If it did, it was twice as much of an increase as anything occurring earlier in his shoot. He shot with Parag and it was interesting that Ian’s elevation spread was more than twice that of Parag while his windage spread conversely was only half. Parag very quickly nailed his elevation and so had the whole width of the bull to work with throughout, giving him the luxury of being able to misjudge a wind call with impunity in the conditions prevailing. Ian’s greater elevation spread leaves him vulnerable to losing shots over or under the shoulders should he misjudge wind. That said, he has been very much in tune with the conditions, reading them well for the most part. Still a long way to go!
Monday 11 October
600X and clean in the Pairs Match again today! Therefore retained 2nd spot and pulled back on Canada by one vee. The real fun will begin tomorrow, however, when shooting is at 900X. Angus remained clean all day and, with only two points dropped, is currently sixth in the individual match. Gaz Morris is the only shooter still to drop a point there with his partner, Bob Oxford, in second place with one off. Ian lost two points in the 600X Q2, one due to the two nearest flags on the right getting wrapped around their poles and the other when the angle swung square across the range whilst he was on aim. Felt really tired this morning as I wasn’t 100% when I went to bed last night and therefore slept fitfully. OK once I finally got going. Probably got too much sun yesterday so stayed in tracksuit jacket and trousers all day today. Jen and Kay took Gold in the Women’s 50M Prone Pairs event today. Very well done, indeed.
Tuesday 12 October
900X, start of the long range stages, and all hell broke loose. The targetry malfunctioned on a regular basis, causing teams to have to be moved and leaving competitors unsure of the accuracy of the shotfalls appearing on their screens. This going on at the same time as conditions on the range were becoming increasingly difficult created a huge amount of confusion. Formal written protests were made by a number of teams and these eventually led to four teams being allowed re-shoots for one of their Pairs – four and half hours after the event supposedly finished and after completion of the Singles details. Further protests would be made in regard to this by next morning. In the Pairs, Ian and Angus shot reasonably well, given the prevailing conditions, but we left the range in the dark as to how things stood as final results had not been posted. There was a considerable feeling of dissatisfaction among all of the teams with the way in which the malfunctioning targetry and decisions arising out of its effects were going.
In the Singles, Ian’s target appeared to be giving questionable results, shots having appeared to go randomly across the target laterally. He and his partner were relocated but the monitor on the new target stopped providing indication of each most recent shot and it was impossible to make sensible adjustments for each successive shot on this basis. He finished with 58 ex 75. On his behalf, I appealed for a re-shoot, this was granted provisionally, Ian then made 71 and we left the range also awaiting a decision on this. Meanwhile Angus had slightly better fortunes where the working of his monitor was concerned. It repeatedly collapsed its screen to about half height but at least continued to register hits which made some kind of sense. Nevertheless, his 69 would drop him down from fourth to 10th place. Not only do the targetry malfunctions impact on athletes’ concentration levels, the delays associated with them mean even more prolonged exposure to the already physically draining 45F temperatures on the firing point. We returned later than usual to CGV and had an exciting time in the Delhi evening rush hour traffic.
Wednesday, 13 October
Ian, Jane Dunbar (our sport doctor) and I had to wait for the 0800 bus as there was no room on either of those scheduled to leave at 0730. Unusually, the police escort lead vehicle went at a crawl –they’ve previously seemed to take pleasure in being able to zoom along and force other vehicles out of the way - and the journey took ages.
On eventual arrival at the range, we heard that last night’s re-shoot scores had apparently been accepted so we were likely to lose our third place in Pairs. Nothing was definite, however, so confusion continued to reign supreme. According to the scores that eventually were posted for the Singles, Ian’s 71 had been accepted, not that it put him in medal contention, mind. Anyway, with the start of the Pairs Finals, it became apparent that the pattern of target breakdowns was set to continue in spades and people were getting pretty twitchy. Canada, Australia and South Africa – all of whom could have pushed us out of a medal placing – had troubles and there were target relocations, compulsory sighters and provisional shots by the bucket load. Early in his shoot Angus had a magpie and an inner and I started to fear the worst – either the targetry was playing up or conditions were much trickier than they looked. However, things settled down and he finished with a 71. Ian then had a very decent 73 and a 144 looked a pretty reasonable effort in the light of some of the other scores coming in. With Pairs shooting finished, the screen showed us in second place behind NZ, England occupying third slot. This was described as a draft result, however, and it looked very much like there would be the now customary protest storm and that there was therefore a very good chance that we could end up out of the medals altogether.
Lunchtime saw a meeting of all competing countries at which various dissatisfactions were aired and some vague suggestions – including a walk-out - made as to the way forward. It was eventually agreed that embarrassment of our hosts should be avoided and that we should be mindful of the effect that all of this might have on the future inclusion of fullbore in the CWG programme.
So the Singles final went ahead – not, of course, without electronics problems – and Parag emerged in a clear first position there, with Jim Corbett in second and David Calvert in third places, provisionally. Angus had a 69 and Ian a 67. Final placings saw Angus in seventh and Ian in 15th. Meantime the Jury of Appeal was deliberating the vexed question of which protests/decisions should be upheld in the Pairs. Interestingly, none of the teams occupying draft medal positions had been involved in re-shoots. As mentioned already, after six and a half hours, our Silver in the Pairs was confirmed, the Appeal Jury having set aside the previous decisions regarding the award of reshoots. Mind you, confirmation only came in the shape of Ian and Angus being called for the medal ceremony. At the end of the day, of all the reshoots awarded, only Ian’s in the Singles was allowed to stand as the backer confirmed that his target was not accurately recording the fall of shots passing through the actual target centre.
After the medal ceremonies, I and the other managers had to travel with the rifles to have them put in the armoury at Karni Singh Ranges, the venue for all of the other shooting events. Confusion continued even then as the police escort didn’t know we were doing that and initially headed back to CGV. When they were made aware of our actual itinerary, they stopped on the motorway and all got out for a confab. The entire convoy – escort vehicles, bus, firearms truck and fire engine – then did a reverse turn and set off in a quite different direction. We ended up bumping over dirt roads in a part of old Delhi that, in the dark, looked very interesting . . . and in which we got quite lost! Eventually we did find our way to Karni Singh where, of course, our arrival was unexpected. Further confusion and delay were eventually resolved by resort to completion of some ad hoc documentation. We finally arrived back in CGV at 2230 hours, hoping that we’d be able without difficulty to withdraw the rifles when next we appeared at the Karni Singh armoury.
Thursday 16 October
There had been an attempt by doping control to event test Angus, Ian and other medal winners just before the medal ceremony last night but that had been thwarted when Jane complained that it was more than six hours after the event’s conclusion. No such luck today when first Angus and then Ian were required for a ‘random’ test. Well, first find the beggars and then get on with the tests. Eventually all was done and we slowly moved towards departure for the closing ceremony – which I’m not attending, going later direct to the Meridien Hotel for the post-Games bash.
This has been a pulverising three weeks and I shall be immensely glad to get back home to, I hope, normality. Over the last few days, I’d been piggy in the middle of an argument between Team Scotland management and the shoot organisers at Kadarpur over payment for ammo used in excess of the 167 rounds free allowance for official training. A bill for 17,000 Rupees was outstanding when we’d left Kadarpur. This afternoon Joan appeared, having been handed that sum in cash with the instruction to pay the bill after all. How? There was no way I was going back out to Kadarpur at such a late stage. Phoned TS Dhillon, the Shoot Manager, and made an arrangement to hand the money over to him at the closing ceremony – if we could find him. Well, we couldn’t so Joan gave the cash back to management and we’ve no idea as to how the matter will ultimately be resolved.
The Scotland Party at the Meridien in the evening was a fun event. I was introduced first to a Malaysian Prince who is Squash’s world supremo and then to Prince Edward. Also met a guy called George Meiras who seemed vaguely familiar. Turned out he had the same feeling about me. It eventually came out that he had run the shooting at Merchiston in the late ‘70s! He’s now integral to World Squash and has a huge network of influential contacts whom he promised to tap into as a means by which to help support our push for decent facilities at home in Scotland. Got to bed about 2.30 am.
Friday 17 October
Not due to move out until 20.30 so there was time for a bit of a lie-in before embarking on a serious packing session. We’ve been given a lot of stuff since arriving here and, as far as I’m concerned, getting it all into my one bag was a considerable challenge. Eventually made it and was able to take things easy for the rest of the day. In the evening, however, the truck due to take our baggage to the airport never turned up and we therefore spent more than an hour as mosquito bait before we ourselves decided upon an alternative course of action, loading our baggage into the bus that was to take us first to Karni Singh to collect all the firearms and then on to the airport. Of course, the security truck that was to carry the firearms from Karni Singh didn’t materialise either so we loaded them on to the bus as well. At the airport we went into wait mode for more than an hour yet again until the check-in opened before then heading for a final shambolic customs check that would allow us to hand over the firearms and browse the delights of duty-free. The man in charge proved incapable of dealing with one person at a time, instead flitting aimlessly from one person to another while shufflling umpteen bits of paper and simultaneously trying to check serial numbers and count all sorts of quantities of different ammunitions, subtracting quantities used from quantities remaining and therefore to be exported. Basically, he didn’t have the required intellectual capacity required by such an approach – or enough eyes or limbs - so the whole process took ages longer than it ever should have done. Not the most relaxing precursor at 2 am to a long and tiring flight home. But eventually we did get on the aircraft and it did take off for Dubai on the first leg of our return. Later, take-off from Dubai was delayed by about an hour and a half until such time as 500 missing items of baggage – namely, those of every member of the Team - had been tracked down and stowed in the hold, the “Indian effect” being far-reaching and reluctant to release its hold on us, it would seem. But we did eventually make it to Glasgow around lunchtime on Saturday and the adventure was finally at an end.