Saturday, July 5, 2014

Summer Fun: Ceud Mile Fàilte!

We crossed off "go to a cultural festival" from our list today as we attended the local Scottish Games, for the third time (see 2009 and 2012.) And this was the best weather yet!!  Not sweltering and sauna like, but dry and breezy, which was actually the determining factor in our getting up to go this morning.   All the vendors and participants commented on the great weather.

Like years past, one of the highlights was the food:  fish and chips, Scotch eggs, Haggis puff, steak and ale pie, shortbread, and frozen lemonade.  Alas, no delicious Empire biscuits, but there were some really good Welsh teacakes, if you don't mind the cultural cross-over.

Similarly, we enjoyed hearing all the bagpipes and watching some of the dance competitions, this year seeing the Sailor's Hornpipe dance, which is performed in sailor suits and includes movements mimicking rope pulling, swaying on deck, and other sailorly things (apparently, some places say only sailors can perform it!  And it dates back to the 16the century; even Captain Cook encouraged the dancing of it for exercise.)

We missed the caber toss, but I did take a Gaelic lesson!  From a man who majored it in at a Scottish university.  Talk about a challenging language.  Verbs are in the beginning of sentences, nouns have gender, there is no simple "yes" or "no", pronunciations are hard or soft based on dipthongs and the addition of an "h" changes everything, and prepositions conjugate!  I won't repeat the lesson here, as I barely followed it (spoken languages aren't my forte.)  But I did learn that "sláinte," or "cheers" is pronounced slanch-e.  It was fun, but I don't think I'll be pursuing it.

Sis visited all the clan tents, earning a little treat, while Bud most enjoyed buying pickled onions and Jelly Babies from the vendors.  I picked up Maw Broon's Afternoon Tea Book, which seems to have interesting commentary and a style that resembles a scrapbook.  I think Maw Broon is a cartoon character (ah yes, since 1936, apparently.)

On the grounds of an old estate, which partly reminded of us of our hotel in Winchester (but smaller)

I love a pipe band.

Trying hads at a harp

In the magic tree
We finished the day listening to Mac'Talla Mor while Sis climbed around inside the wonderful magical old tree with numerous trunk offshoots undulating around the ground, all enclosed by the voluminous leafy branches.  You could almost believe you'd be transported to Brigadoon through there!

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