2011 highland games, the condensed recap.

Team Munchkin Wrangler went to Lincoln, NH this weekend to attend the 2011 NH Scottish Highland Games. For those who have no idea what that is, the Highland Games are a loud celebration of All Things Scottish: caterwauling bagpipes, cask-strength single malt Scotch, men in wee skirts, and delicacies made from the animal parts most other cultures reject as unfit for human consumption.

We had tickets for the Laphroaig Scotch tasting, which was easily the highlight of my weekend, but all the other stuff was neat as well. Here are some snapshots:

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pipe & Drums, basically the varsity of bagpipe teams.

The White Mountains of New Hampshire, doing their best to approximate the Scottish Highlands, only with more trees and tax-free liquor.

The kids, doing their now-traditional annual ride up the mountain in the resort ski lift gondola.

Your humble correspondent (on the right) in a kilt. The tartan is MacMillan (ancient), and the kilt is a loaner. Next year, I’ll go to the ball in my own kilt, which will be the lovely New Hampshire state tartan.

That “Cask Strength” single malt is quite possibly one of the crowning achievements of human ingenuity.

When we got home earlier today, it was cool enough to fire up the pellet stove. The dogs are currently celebrating the recurring annual ritual of The Lighting Of The Warm Cozy Red Thing.

And just in case you’re still wondering what kind of stuff one watches at the Highland Games, here’s a brief iPhone video I took of the RCMP Pipes & Drums doing what they do.

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14 thoughts on “2011 highland games, the condensed recap.

  1. John Richard/Texas says:

    My good Scottish Presbyterian relatives would’ve been pleased! This Scottish Presbyterian is glad I don’t have to wear a kilt-breeks suit me just fine. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Shootin' Buddy says:

    You know that the kilt was invented by an Englishman, right?

    Still do not understand why people wanting to be Scots run around in such an English invention. Oh, well, quasi-free country.

    • Tam says:

      This story has become well known, due in part to the historian Hugh Trevor-Roper’s work, but more recent evidence has shown this theory to be out of date as several illustrations have been found of Highlanders wearing only the bottom part of the belted plaid that date long before Rawlinson ever set foot in Scotland.[citation needed] There is some suggestion of its use in the 1690s,[citation needed] and it was definitely being worn by the early 18th century. It most likely came about as a natural evolution of the belted plaid and Rawlinson probably observed it and quickly deduced its usefulness in his situation and insisted on introducing it among his workers. So while it may well be the case that Rawlinson promoted the philabeg, he is no longer credited with inventing it.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_kilt#The_small_kilt_or_walking_kilt

      Ye lyin’ Sassenach.

  3. Windy Wilson says:

    I went to the Scottish Games in Seaside, CA last year, and almost got press-ganged into the Black Watch. . ..
    I have a tie in MacMillan (ancient). My American Civil War ancestor (The drunken Wilson) married a MacMillan after surviving the shindig.
    But all the bad characteristics come from the Wilson side of the family, or so my mother always said. :P

  4. perlhaqr says:

    That’s a video of puppies.

  5. The video link at the end didn’t work. Please try again.

  6. Shootin' Buddy says:

    Well, we can always trust the great historian Professor Citations Needed.

    • Tam says:

      Spoken like someone who didn’t go read the article or the footnotes. I guess that was too much like work.

      Dismissive mockery is much easier; nobody knows that better than I,

  7. freddyboomboom says:

    Did you have the cask strength Laphroaig neat? I’ve read that you’re supposed to add water to cask strength to match what’s in the bottle of your “regular” 10 year, 18 year and 25 year.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      I tried it both neat and with water. Cask and quarter cask strength are really too strong to drink neat; the alcohol just numbs the palate. The water brings out the flavors and reduces the burn.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Recently learned that my family is apparently clan MacLean. Looks like a lovely time. Wish we could have been there. Michael would have worn his kilt. It’s not his tartan (Baird), but it was free which is appropriately Scottish. I would have just reveled in all things kilted.

  9. Dogzard says:

    My girlfriend just left the Isle of Skye and is currently enroute back down to the Highlands. She is loving it over there.

    She saved the trip up the Shetland Islands for when I go with her, next year.

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