Monday, 30 July 2012

A quick Scottish trip

Unfortunately I haven't been doing much bike riding for the last couple of weeks, but to make up for that I enjoyed a wee trip north of the border for a long weekend. My elderly mother often reminisces about her time as a teenage bagpipe player in the 1930's when she travelled the country appearing with the Dagenham Girl Pipers. She often mentions her girlhood friend Eileen who she met aged 11, and has kept in touch with ever since, even though Eileen moved to Aberdeen to marry. As Mum and Eileen both celebrate their 91st birthdays this July, and Eileen is in a care home, I thought it'd be a good birthday treat to fly her up for a reunion.

When asked to pose with a Girl Piper, the Pipe Major volunteered that he'd never heard of such a scandalous idea!

While we there, we managed to get a visit to the Tomintoul Highland games; set in the middle of the amazing scenery of the Grampian highlands, one of the best parts of the visit was the journey there, over roads familiar from my biking adventures a couple of years back. And I have to admit, I was smitten all over again - I had forgotten about the twisty, well-surfaced roads with virtually no traffic and amazing scenery that exist up there; plus the friendly people and the unpolluted air and... I could go on, lets just say I'm contemplating a return trip very soon.

Big Lads these Hammer throwers

Some good Piping, according to Mum

Mum also got plenty of time to reminisce with her friend, and I managed to catch up with a few old friends. We also got in a trip down to Carnoustie to visit the family, all manner of cousins and nieces turned out to see the old lady. All in all, a good time was had with few problems apart from a minor hiccup with the wheelchair at Heathrow. One important thing I did learn though, was that if you want a smooth, quick journey through an airport, take a really old person with you, it works like magic!

Old lady posing on Neolithic stone circle at Midmar church, Aberdeenshire


  1. What a fun trip. I am jealous you live so close to Scotland.

    It is nice that you could take your Mum to visit her friend. I'll have to remember that trick for the airport.

    1. Trobairitz - it was fun, but I can't believe you're jealous when I look at the great scenery and roads you have right outside your front door!

    2. Oh, and remember you need a really old person for it to work - I'm in my 60's and thats not enough.

  2. Sounds like a great trip and true Highland Games. I am a bit jealous.

  3. Troubadour, it was a great family-friendly games, not like the big corporate events.

  4. El D:

    It was very thoughtful of you to take your Mother for an outing. I know Troubadour has a kilt, and you know what I am wondering . . .

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