Monday, May 12, 2008

Kentucky Scottish Weekend

View from the balcony of our room at the Lodge

We arrived at the General Butler State Park in Carrollton, Kentucky about 2:30 in the afternoon. We checked in and headed to our room. As requested, we were in connecting rooms with our friend, Bob. We had met Bob and his wife, Marilyn, (friends for 40 some years) at Carrollton for the last 2 years. Marilyn passed away suddenly last August so this trip was a bit bittersweet. We knew that dinner would be late so we headed to Subway for a late lunch then back to our room to get dressed for the evening.

We have been sponsors at the Weekend for the past 3 years which means a very nice get together on Friday night with a buffet of salads, sandwiches, meatballs, desserts etc and lots of adult beverages. And ya gotta drink Single Malt Scotch at a Scottish get together, right??? Yum.

We also met up with our friends, Jan and Al, who we met on our first Alex Beaton Tour to Scotland in 2004. Last year at this get together, Jan gave me a pink bracelet to wear. She was beginning chemo two days later for breast cancer. I wore that bracelet continually until January of this year when I knew she was over the chemo and well on her way back to good health. It was soooo wonderful to see her happy and healthy even with her short hair.

Alex delivering the Ode to the Haggis

At most Scottish functions like this, they have an Ode to the Haggis. As many times as I've heard it, I have yet to understand more than two words in it. It is a poem by Robert Burns. If you wish to read it and get a decent translation and learn more about the wonderful, tasty, yummy Haggis, go here. (Ok, I'll admit it--I'm a wee bit weird but I happen to like Haggis.)

Saturday morning, we headed down the road to the event. Scottish Weekends and Highland Games consist of Pipe Band contests, Individual Piping contests, Scottish Dancing contests, Clan Tents, British Cars, Vendors, Sheep Dogs and of course, entertainment. We usually look around at the vendors, check out the clan tents, and then head to the entertainment tents. I love Pipe Bands and watching the dancers but my real love is Scottish music and in particular, Alex Beaton's scottish music.

The official opening to the Games/Weekend is usually held around noon of the first day. This is when all of the attending Pipe Bands meet together as a Massed Band. National Anthems are sung--the Star Spangled Banner and Flower of Scotland. Even though each band has it's own Drum Major, there is always a Head Drum Major who is in charge of all of the bands. 4 years ago I noticed, with glee, that the Drum Major was sporting Montgomery tartan. I am a member of Clan Montgomery and we have one of the prettiest tartans out there. It is one of the few that is purple. Since that time, I have met Greg Cutliff (the Drum Major) several times. He and his wife, Tana, sat at our table last night. Obviously I had to get my picture taken with him in his full regalia.

Me with Greg and Tana Cutliff

Of course, I took lots of pictures so I have included a few. Here goes.
Chuck and Bob checking out one of the cars.

British cars

Alex and Greg before Opening Ceremonies

Greg in full regalia

Pipers come in all sizes

Alex performing

Dueling Bagpipes. Two members of the group MacTalla Mor.

Saturday evening was the Ceilidh which included Alex, MacTalla Mor, dancers, pipers etc. Unfortunately, I was a bit under the weather and spent most of the evening in the Porta Potty. Ugh!! I'm not quite sure what made me sick but I think it was the Shepherds Pie I had for lunch.

Sunday morning we headed to Kirking of the Tartans. This is a church service held at most Scottish Games. One of the parts of the service is called Flowers of the Forest. Names of Clan members who have passed away during the year are mentioned. Our friends, Al and Jan, had submitted Marilyn's name. We normally would have stayed for Alex's first performance of the day but the weather was horrible. High winds and heavy rain. The big tent was heaving a LOT during Kirk and I wasn't too thrilled about the thought of it coming down on me. A couple of the Vendor's tents had already blown down and they were all packing up and leaving. There were less that 100 people in attendance and it looked like there weren't going to be a lot more. Sooo, we said our goodbyes and hugs and left for Findlay.

We pulled into our northern home at about 2:30. As good as it was to be home, I wished we were pulling into Sanibel instead of Findlay. I miss my baby birds!!


The Farmer Files said...

heard of dueling pianos, never dueling bagpipes!

I grew up in a Presbyterian church (Scottish origin) with bagpipes. I love bagpipes!

Tink *~*~* said...

Lovin' all that plaid, Snowbird! :D

I'm sure the baby birds miss you too. The time will pass swiftly, and you will be back before you know it!

Tink *~*~*

MariBy said...

Although I was sorry to read of your friend, Marilyn, I was glad that you shared the good news about your other friend, Jan.

You are braver than I - I don't think I could even look at a haggis.

Glad you got some good times in and are safe at your other home. Keep blogging and you'll be back in Floriday before you know it.

gpc said...

LOL! You given me more reason to marvel at you -- and, as Mariby says, your bravery. I don't know a single person who would dare try haggis, much less admit to liking it! You are always the adventurer.

ChrisC and JonJ said...

I've had haggis!My favorite uncle used to make it.
That looks like sooo much fun!