Monday, September 15, 2008

Scottish Games

I went to Sky Meadows State Park on Sunday with the British Ex Pats group to watch the Scottish Games. This is a beautiful park with meadows and rolling hills. The day was very hot and humid but thankfully, we had a cooling breeze buffeting us. There is so much to see here but my favorite activities are the fiddlers, bagpipes and the highland athletics.

Many people are dressed in Scottish tartan to show their heritage and there are also period actors present, a few suffering in the heat with their heavy costumes and seeking shelter under shady trees, but everyone was smiling and quenching their thirst with pints of Guiness and Newcastle brown ale, including us.

The bagpipes were magnificent, filling the air with their resonant tones and the pipers marching in time.

I love spending time listening to the fiddlers. Last year, I took this photo of a guy who demonstrated every different kind of violin, flute and pipes through the ages, playing each instrument beautifully. I printed a copy and was delighted to be able to meet him again this year so I could give him a copy. He gave me his card so I could send him digital files and later sent me an e-mail saying he would be using this portrait on his website.

After we'd stuffed ourselves with scones, strawberries and cream, we sat down to watch the Scottish Games. The event below is the Sheaf Toss, where the guys have to pitchfork a 20lb hay weight over a raised bar.

This was the Caber Toss where they had to toss a pine pole by the narrow end into the air so the pole would land on the wider end in a 12 o'clock position. This looked very difficult and I was amazed when a couple of women walked out to participate.

This event is the Weight Over The Bar, when a 42lb weight is thrown over a bar using one hand only. This seemed to be a killer event with a lot of screams and grunts being emitted by the participants.
After observing all this energy being exerted, we had to rest under a shady tree with some more Newkie Browns, laying back and enjoying the cool grass. A firefighter friend of Mary's stopped to chat who was sporting his kilt and sporran. I was laying back and flipping through my photos on my camera when he stepped across me, on purpose. I was so flustered that I turned off the power instead of pressing the shutter button! What a missed opportunity, but I have first hand knowledge of what a Scotsman wears under his kilt!

We watched the closing ceremonies and it wasn't until later that I realized we hadn't even looked at the car show, or seen the dance competitions. Oh well, there's always next year...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OH mannnnnn why can a Scotsman in a kilt WALK OVER MEEEEE!!!!! hahahahahaha Love ya, Heidi