Yes, I know, it’s Tuesday — but I wrote this on Monday. 🙂
Recovering today from a busy double-header of a bagpiping weekend which was both fun and frustrating. It started off with a GREAT run on Friday morning which was inspired by my husband’s run (I figured if he was out for a run, then I had better squeeze one in, too!) It was my first time to try a 3.7 mile loop near our house which I did exclusively on the asphalt road (including the tough parts where the surface has big stones embedded in it) and barefoot, of course (obviously this would have been no big deal had I been shod. :)) The best part was that my third mile (after the horrid rough pavement) was the fastest, clocking in at 8:27.
After the run Friday, we had a quick birthday party for Claire who turned five this weekend. Neighbor kids were quickly invited, cupcakes hastily assembled, and party bags thrown together; before we knew it, we had happy kids and a watergun fight on our hands, “the best birthday party ever,” according the Patience. 🙂
I ran straight off after the party for my long drive through thunderstorms up to Charlotte for the Rural Hill Scottish Games the next day. I was able to meet up Friday night with my cousin Marianne whom I haven’t seen in eight years!
Early Saturday morning (as in – 6am!) it was up and at ’em for the games where the Charleston Police Pipes and Drums were competing with the Grade V band (not the one I’m in, but it was nice just to have some people there I knew) and I was playing in the 2/4 March and 6/8 March Competitions. Neither one went particularly well for me, although I am happy to report I played closer to my normal performance level than I did the last time. I still messed a few things up from nerves (and frozen fingers – it had to be under 40 degrees), and my chanter was poorly tuned (It had sounded fine in the Charleston weather – who knew I’d get there to the damp, freezing North Carolina morning and need to spend an hour, which I didn’t have, to get it back in tune?) One day, when I am able to play in front of a judge as well as I do in front of my friends, family, and the golfers who populate my backyard, I will know that significant improvement has taken place, and I will be satisfied with the day. 🙂
The most enjoyable part of these Games for me was, I must admit, the vendor tents. Taking my time (for once), I strolled happily through each row of cloaks, broadswords, ghillies, and homemade crocks, admiring the handiwork and chatting with the craftsmen. The haggis exceeded my expectations and paired well with my pint of Gaelic Ale from the Highland Brewing Company out of Asheville, NC. There was something left to be desired from the scones and tea, but the kettle corn more than made up for it. 🙂 Pretty soon, I was headed back to Charleston (with two long Starbucks pit stops due to feeling a bit sleepy at the wheel.) I swooped in, nursed Daniel, changed into my Charleston Police kilt, and hurried out for a gig with the part of our band which had stayed behind for the weekend in downtown Charleston. Here’s where we played:
It’s called The Palmer House and is one of the “50 Most Famous Houses in Charleston.” (I slurped that picture over from the Palmer House B&B Website.) We started with a short concert on the lawn and then followed the guests inside for a lovely buffet. 🙂
By the time “dinner” was over, the sun was long gone, and we led the group in a march around town — at 10pm!! Yes, that’s right, folks: Pipes, Drums, and Torches through the city streets from 10-11pm. With a police escort. Here are a few more shots, and then I’m off to make dinner –