On Saturday we went to the Tomintoul Highland Games, which have been held since the early 1800’s. There is such a lovely atmosphere on any games day and there is a cacophony of sound that never lets up. Around the arena there are so many different events going on that you don’t know where to look first. The first competition we came to was the highland dancing that goes on all day, with different age groups and different dances.
In the four corners of the field there were solo piping competitions where the lone piper had to play and walk at a very slow pace around the platform.
There were a few pipe bands that would play and march across the field in the middle of all the action. I thought that the lone pipers deserved a medal just for keeping going with their own tune when a whole band was passing by them.
This is the Ballater & District Pipe Band.
Of course one of the things that everyone goes to see is the heavy events with men in kilts throwing large objects long distances. The rules actually state that they have to wear the kilt to compete.
In the picture below the man in the middle of the picture is running with the caber (very large wooden pole) and then he will toss it. The aim is to get it to flip right over, but whilst we were watching none of them managed to achieve it.
This man was sitting near us at the cafe, and as you can see, his plaited hair was down to his bottom.
I’m just going to leave this here – it was on the wall in the cafe.
Earlier in the day when we had been watching one of the piping competitors we noticed this man having a very sound sleep on the ground beside the platform. How he could sleep with the noise that was all around him is incredible.
When we returned he was very much awake and busking near the front gate of the games, playing the electric guitar and the tin whistle. He’s a bit of a dude.
One thing that I have to do at any country show or games is have a donut or two as there’s nothing better than freshly baked ones covered in sugar – totally yummy.
Haste ye back. This is a sign that we often see on the way out of towns in Scotland and I thought it was lovely that it was on the back of the games sign so that you only saw it as you went out of the ground. In case you didn’t realise, it means to come back soon.