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Monday, June 4, 2012

Fun and Games

Eight months ago I was in Scotland. 

On Saturday I was in Glasgow.  Glasgow, Kentucky that is!  First weekend of June (for the most part) Glasgow hosts the Glasgow Highland Games at Barren River Lake State Park.  This year the weather was perfect (high of 75 F) so we made the 2 hour drive to join the fun.  It has been years (like 15) since I was last there. 

We arrived just in time for the opening ceremony with the ‘massed bands’ marching onto the review field. 

They were lead in by the official piper of the games, Karen Brumley.

The dignitaries of the Games were seated in the review stand. 

I was enjoying myself!  We had a grand time listening to the band. 

Here’s a bit of video when they played “Amazing Grace”.

After they were finished and cleared the field, it was time for the big boys to come out to play! 

Really big boys…

And the reason they are big is their athletic events involve throwing heavy things for long distances. 

Including up in the air!  That is a sheaf that has been attempted to be thrown over that bar (which I believe was set at 16 feet, something at that time) using a pitchfork.

They also throw handled metal weights! 

These feats have come from tasks of everyday life… clearing ground for farming, moving timber, and hauling anchors. 

Besides the athletics, there was a lot of music.  There were 2 venues going all the time.  One had easy, folk type music, such as played by this performer, Colin Grant-Adams of Oban, Scotland…

… and the other venue had bagpipe rock.  What’s bagpipe rock?  Here’s a video of some of the best out there… The Red Hot Chili PIPERS.  

And speaking of pipers, another event at Highland Games are the piping competitions.  The different groups scatter about to practice, making a fantastic photo opportunity. 

I had a great time getting all the shots I wanted.  The huge crowds of spectators made it a challenge but that is to be expected.


Here is a practice session.

And here is the Kentucky United Pipes and Drums in their competition. 

One of the things to do at the Games is to visit the clan tents.  This is especially fun if your clan is there.  It gives you a chance to visit with them AND a good place to get out of the heat for a while.  Also, if there’s space, you can sit with your clan and watch the games in the competition field. 

At these Games, the Clan MacDuffee was there. 

They are part of the Clan MacFie and a clan themselves.  It’s kind of hard to explain how it all works, I basically think of them as “cousins”.

So I had a good time visiting and talking about Colonsay, while cooling off for a wee bit. 

I found out the Clan Commander was at the Games.  As I understand it, the Clan MacFie doesn’t have a Laird because the Laird was killed without an heir.  Thus the MacFie clan became a “broken clan” and aligned with other clans… including the Cameron’s.  (Which makes me smile since Dave Cameron took such great care of us during our tour of Scotland.)

It’s great fun to walk about the grounds doing a bit of people watching. 

And a bit of shopping and eating.

This is haggis gone wrong.  Sorry folks but a Scotland/Kentucky fusion just doesn’t work.  BBQ sauce on haggis is just nasty and a waste of a pretty good haggis! 

But other than that, we had a pretty good time.  You know it's always a good day when it has pipes, kilts, and clans in it!

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