Lorient Cheese Nazi

August 4, 2009 on 2:55 pm by Michael Grey | In Pipe Bands, Stories | 6 Comments

Just as you should expect the music at the festival is superb. I’m still savouring the great tunes delivered by the first grade bagads at Saturday’s competition. It seems to me the best bagads play with a level of musicianship that exceeds even the best of pipe bands. It’s inspiring.

On the (Toronto Police) band front there been a lot of playing. Much more than we had anticipated. The festival’s big money maker, the “Nuits Magique”, is a big tattoo thing that packs the football stadium and is not what any of us would call “fun”. A nice experience (maybe) but not fun. These tattoos begin at 10:30 pm and end with a lengthy explosion of fireworks at 1:00 am. The pipe bands are positioned just below the fireworks and are showered nightly by the fallout of cinders. In fact, last night a couple of our guys were hit by live cinders.

One of the local schools is used as headquarters for feeding the hundreds of performers. The food is classic institutional, as you’d expect, but the management of the cafeteria “system” is remarkable.

Here’s the drill: you grab your tray, select your eats and out the door you go to the tables. But not before the lunch security matron counts the food on your tray. Feel like two slices of cheese in lieu of say a salad? Forget it. You’re sent back, tail between legs, to return your ill-gotten grub. Two rolls? Mon Dieu! Not on. One of our guys had his food matron-handled as hidden stashes of food were sought – concealed, perhaps, under a piece of meat. “Watch out for him”, she called to her colleague. Anyway, its all good fun. A real experience. There lots of wine and cidre at every meal and, anyway, we’re not here to eat – or sleep, for that matter.

I am writing this in the Lorient town square (with Doug Stronach, Tom Foote, Nathan McLaren, Reagan Jones, Shane Cressy) in an outdoor table of the Cafe Parisien. The sun is setting, the beer is cold, bombardes are playing, people are dancing.

When you have this, who needs a second piece of cheese?



  1. Nice. Sounds like an excellent time so far, despite the grueling schedule. Want to hear more about it!

    Comment by Vince — August 5, 2009 #

  2. “Lorient Cheese Nazi” sounds like a good tune name.

    Comment by KevinAuld — August 5, 2009 #

  3. Do they still serve the big trays with giant, whole cow’s tongue, replete with hair still on them? It was like some Anthony Bourdain nightmare. Yum.

    Comment by aberthoff — August 6, 2009 #

  4. Yes, still with the tongue, veal shanks, and assorted tripey stuff. M

    Comment by mike — August 7, 2009 #

  5. Funny how you can get as much wine as one would want but take 2 buns and your a gluten glutin.

    Comment by tfoote — August 10, 2009 #

  6. Funny “ha ha” or funny “hic hic”? M.

    Comment by mike — August 10, 2009 #

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