To read Part 1 of this feature in last week’s post – click here.
I love pipe bands and can listen to them forever. Lucky for me they had pipe bands from various regions competing so I got to do just that. I wondered what criteria the judges would look for in a pipe band. We noticed that around 30% of the band members were ladies. Good on them. The drummers manage to do amazing flicks and twirls with their drum sticks.
|What does a Scot wear under his kilt?|
Then we moved on to watch the big strapping blokes heaving and hurling heavy things about. The UK is painful in enforcing pathetic health and safety measures but here we stood watching hammers and logs being flung about right in front of us. And no one was injured.
The heavy sports seem to be a big attraction and are sponsored by Glenfiddich. Turns out tossing the caber is more than flinging a big log. The men have to ensure it flips and lands facing toward 12 o’clock.
I noticed one of the senior competitors was Polish but he wore a kilt. Perhaps he has links going back to Scotland or maybe he wore a kilt from the area he is living. Read about – clan kilts.
The lassies danced the Highland Fling in their outfits while a piper played music. Between that piper, pipe bands, individual pipe players competing and the rest of the pipers practicing for their turn, there were a lot of pipes playing. But like I said, I love pipes and just as well.
Toward the end of the day came the Tug o’war. Local teams of eight per side geared up to battle it out. I wasn’t expecting to find it nerve racking. Boxing, yes that could be stressful to watch but Tug o’ war? Hardly?
Actually yes! Two of the teams were evenly matched in terms of strength and they hung in. And hung in. We were watching for signs of fatigue or for someone to slip but these guys just held on. Finally one side managed to get the upper hand and won. My nerves were shot and I needed a break.
Then the rain came down and the competitors in traditional clothing put on these cape coats that look like the sort of thing Sherlock Holmes would wear. I think they might be called Inverness Coats. Come to think of it, a lot of the outfits looked a bit Sherlock Holmes. This is the sort of occasion one can wear a Deerstalker style hat and not look out of place.
I wanted to see the massed pipe band finale but we had been hanging around for a good few hours and we were cold and wet. We can tick Highland Games off our list of things to do. I wouldn’t mind visiting a country show along the lines of the Keith Country Show.
It’s an occasion for farmers to show off their animals but tractor racing and sheep races could be fun to watch. Who knows? I might be writing about that next.
Go to – My Holidays and Trips – at the top of this page to read about other places we have visited. Or just click on – this link.