Sunday, 17 May 2015

Letting it all hang out at the Victoria Highland Games

If "Letting it all hang out" rings a bell somewhere, here is the SONG that is responsible for it. And yes, like a lot of other Eric Clapton hits, this one was written by J J Cale!

I owned his records when I was 15 years old (on VINYL :-).

And here is a heart-warming little FLICK by Eric Clapton on Cale's death in 2013.

But enough on that, that doesn't explain the title.

Letting it all hang out in this case is a reference to what presumably goes on under that male garment referred to as  The Kilt.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.The day starts in the morning. And it starts poorly: when I try to put on my wristwatch, the leather armband disintegrates (all the cycling sweat I guess).
Fortunately my brain is running at a high clock speed this morning and I head to the reception to ask for a stapler.
et voila; I was unsure which way the stapler stapled, so the sharp edges will be removed later.

I go for a morning discovery ride (actually I am looking for a gas station to sell me some cigarettes ;-) and spot yet another reminder why Victoria is considered an old folks town.

The low tide reveals signs of thoughtful and conscientious citizens of this town,

The Empress Hotel. Bringing back memories of when George and I were here ages ago

the houses of P

Signs of China Town

The venue of the Highland Games is only 5 blocks from my motel. Thank you again Karma! I already hear bag pipe music when I lock the bike and I race towards the music once the bike is safe.

Some people have an uncanny feeling for cameras being pointed at them ;-(
From some YouTube watching I had formed the impression that most pipe band members are pasty white and not what one would call cute.  So I take a picture when I seen an exception.

The International Scottish Drum Major competition.  The guy in the top left throws his stick twice as high as anyone else (yes, same one as in the previous picture)

This is what I came here for: The SFU Pipe band, 5 or 6 times World Champion. Well, at least their tent ;-)

The 'Grand stands' are filling in anticipation of the main event
As with most events, the good guys and gals always appear at the very end. In order for beginners to be able to win anything, the pipe world band has competition in 4 or 5 categories.  So the first bands to enter the area are those in the lower categories.

There are a few more beginners or youth bands and this is followed by a break for some more Drum Major competition, which I use to walk around and get some food (NO Haggis, but Filipino curry chicken on rice ;-).


Probably no point ENLARGING this picture ;-)

Sometimes one hears bag pipes from all directions. Those performing right now, and various others standing around practising.

In the video you will notice that the FAMOUS and FABULOUS SFU Pipe band is led by no other than the guy whom I photographed at the very beginning. This is also about the time that I find out that he is the World Champion in Scottish Drum Majorism or better-said he is the current World Champion Scottish Drum Major.

There is some time after this to wait for the Medley competition (they play many tunes merged into one instead of just one tune), so I have time to roam the grounds.

A working steam engine

Variation on a theme

I manage to film the medley performance of the SFU pipe band towards the end of the event but even though it is truncated, the file is still too large to upload to Blogger. HERE it is on YouTube.  I leave the event when the sound produced by the perfect interaction between the various pipes drives tears to my eyes.  Better to leave on a high note (Pardon the pun) than have one's memory soiled by something that could happen later!

All day I've been texting Tamil, who recently moved to Victoria and now find out that she lives about 3 blocks away from where the bag pipes played.  I haven't seen her in about 5 years and we meet for a cheap drink and a great chat.   (not my picture; I stole it from the internet; Tamil is FAMOUS ;-)

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