Lonach (pronounced like you have something stuck in your throat)
By now you've read about our friends Andy and Abbi...well, Andy's parents Bill and Joyce took us to some Highland games. On the evening of Friday the 25th of August Bill picked us up to spend the night at their house so we could get an early start the next morning to the games. When we got to Bill and Joyce's there was a lovely homecooked meal waiting for us consisting of roast beef, roast potatoes, some other potatoes, bread and Yorkshire puddings with gravy. It was a true Scottish dinner followed by dessert and then cheese and biscuits. Over here lots of people have cheese and biscuits at the conclusion of their meal. Then, of course, we had our coffee and tea. I had worked early that day so not too long after dinner I headed for bed while Andy read some of Bill's books on Aberdeen history.
The next day we got ready and headed out to Strathdon for the Lonach gathering (Highland games). The seats for the games had been long sold out so we just planned on paying an entry fee and standing most of the day. But, as we went in someone was scalping tickets so we were lucky enough to get some seats. Once we had a look around we walked back out to the car to have coffee before the competitions began. Bill and Joyce set up a little table with lawn chairs and we enjoyed our coffee. On our way back in three pipe bands representing the three clans who started the games came marching by us into the arena. I guess the way it works is that all the pipe bands start out at about 8am marching around the town stopping at different people's houses for a dram (a glass of whisky) and by the time they get to the place where the games are actually held around 1 in the afternoon, you can imagine, most of them are feeling pretty good (or bad depending on the case I guess!). At the back of the bands is a horse pulling a cart which is for the pipe band members who can't make it the whole way. We thought that was pretty funny. There wasn't actually anyone riding so they must have been well behaved this year.
Anyway, we went and found our seats then enjoyed watching the heavy events such as the caber toss and the hammer toss as well as some of the Highland dancers competing. After those events we went back out to the car to have lunch which consisted of chicken, potato salad, green salad and wine. We were well taken care of that weekend. We definitely didn't go hungry! After lunch was more dancing, bagpipe competition, track events and our favorite...tug of war. They were calling out for any women from overseas to make up an international tug of war team to compete against the local women and Andy tried to get me out there but I wasn't having it. Sorry, no tug of war stories from me! We had a great weekend though and really enjoyed our experience.