Piper’s roulette and a bit of razzmatazz in the Fife highlands

Published: July 31, 2012
(Page 1 of 5)

By Jenny Hazzard

The Scottish summer continues. It has officially been the wettest June on record, and that’s saying a lot. There are ducks paddling on the cricket pitch near my house, and yesterday it took me an hour to drive six miles home from work due to flooding and multiple accidents (apparently driving in the pouring rain is tricky for some).

Incredibly, last weekend’s Highland games were unaffected, and the show went on.

The weekend’s offering comprised two more days out in Fife. I don’t know why the Fife games are concentrated at the early part of the season, but they are. I told my friends at work I was going to the Highland games at the weekend – when they asked where and I told them, they said, “Jenny I think you’ve been misled on the ‘Highland’ part of this Highland games idea. I know you’re Canadian, but you’ve been here a long time and you’re a geologist. I’d have thought you’d have clocked that the Highland fault is some distance north and west of Fife.”

Well, true, but Highland or not, we were off for a couple of days of piping, laughs, and plenty more silliness to report.

Ceres – North-East Fife, 44 miles from Edinburgh, seven miles from St Andrews. Population 1,010.

On Saturday we headed for Ceres, a tiny village that most people in Scotland (possibly most people in east-Fife) have never heard of. At the Eagle Pipers gathering in Edinburgh the previous Tuesday, the P-M announced that the games at Ceres would be held that weekend, and someone asked, “That’s quite a new games, isn’t it?” The rather more informed reply was, “Erm, actually it’s the oldest games in the world.” Apparently true – the story goes that the charter to hold . . .

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Pipers: When getting the pipes up, stretch your arm round the bag rather than trying to shove the bag under your arm.
Anne Spalding, Broughty Ferry, Scotland