Bagpipes and gloom

The first weekend in June means Highland Games in Whatcom County. It also usually means gloomy weather. Luckily we had slight break in the rain to enjoy pipes, haggis, ale and sheaf tossing. The Campbell member of Seven Trees took part in the clan march that precedes that massing of the pipes, one of the highlights of the games. Leading the Campbell clan is our Washington State commissioner, Robert Campbell. The great and powerful Wiki says that 30-40 million Americans claim Scottish ancestry of some sort. Which means a lot of people can probably claim affinity to one of the clans represented at the Highland Games. It’s a lot of fun to connect with your heritage and represent your clan.

Unfortunately, our favorite band, the Wicked Tinkers, didn’t make it up this year. The rotten economy has them sticking to the gigs paying enough to make the time & travel worthwhile. (We do hope to see them in Kelso this September though.) What did show up at the Games this year were the SAAA Heavy Games – you know, the crazy stuff like caber throwing, hammer throwing, sheaf tossing, etc. This pdf flyer has some definitions of the events. A photographer friend attended the games with us, and got some amazing shots of the athletes. If you’re on facebook and want to see more excellent pictures from the Highland Games, check out this album.

And it wouldn’t be the Highland Games without some time spent in the Blue Ewe ale yard.

The weather quickly returned to our now-usual June gloom after the games on Sunday. We often get a teaser of summer weather in May, and the complaining really sets in once we realize spring isn’t going to be a gradual progression of ever-nicer weather, culminating in a glorious PNW summer. The funny thing is, people have been griping about our weather for a long long time. Weather professor Cliff Mass has a great blog post about it, with quotes from the original hardy souls:

“Well, March went out, April came in, and with it, cold, wet, disagreeable weather, and a universal spirit of discontent, and a disposition to “growl””
“Throughout the entire month, and even up to this, the last day of May, it has been precisely the same, and some amongst us profess to be so thoroughly disgusted with the weather …. that they threaten to leave the Territory altogether.”

I can’t say we’re threatening to leave the Territory, but one of our household has taken up a defensive position against the weather.

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