Bag pipes and Blairgowrie

One more day in the beautiful town of Blairgowrie, in the Perthshire district. It is 60 miles from Edinburgh and 16 miles from Perth. I leave tomorrow for Inverness where the Loch Ness Monster lives. Hope it doesn’t get me.

This town turns out to have been a great choice for me, and I will miss it and the kind people who live here.

Last night I got to see a small town in action. The Pipers marched down the street playing bagpipes and drums all the way to a pie shaped, flower-laden, park near the center of town.

I first heard of this event from one of the pipers when I walked by a church and took some photos of it. A man was nearby and I asked him about the church. He was so nice to tell me, a stranger in town, about the event in the park the following evening. It wasn’t until I saw him last night that I knew he would be one of the pipers.

It was fascinating to learn about the music and the instrument, as the sound always seemed to be the same, but last night, I actually could hear the melody and the rhythm of the music.

A woman piper explained how she learned with a small pipe to begin with, and then advanced to the real instrument. The heavy instrument is carried firmly on the shoulder. She blows into the pipe and presses the air bag at the same time….all while walking or marching. Amazing!

A nine-year old drummer caught my eye. He reminded me of my son Ron at the same age. I was producing fashion shows, and recruited him once for a Christmas show as the ‘Little Drummer Boy’. I asked the little boy’s father if he’d take a photo of me with the boy.

At the park, I met a lady named Paulette and her niece who was visiting her. Paulette gave me a brief history of Blairgowrie. Sitting on the bench with her, she pointed to four large brick buildings that were once banks. “This town in its early history had a lot of very rich people in it,” she said.

Some of the riches came from farming berries, called Blairberries, named for the town, and another business venture was the jute factory that began in 1832 in Oakbank Mill. She pointed out towards the river where the plant had been located. The town also had a flax spinning Mill, also near the river.

The town is built on gentle hills, with flower beds and hanging flower baskets all through town.

The walkway near a park and the River Ericht is a pleasant way to spend some time. This was shown to me by Sergio, a waiter in the Royal Hotel. I probably wouldn’t have found it had he not shown it to me.

One of the friendliest and helpful people is the beautiful, friendly travel agent Pauline. I am going to miss her. She provided help for my next adventures.

By the way, people greet each other here with, ‘hiya’, which I was told by a Royal Hotel worker, is a combination of hi, how are you?

I caught myself saying that yesterday, when I met the woman who had shown me where the hotel was located when the bus got into the town. She saw me in Blairgowie yesterday and told me where the library is located. I needed a reliable wifi situation so that’s where I am today.

I need to find a place to stay in Inverness, and so far that has been difficult, but I’ll get busy on that soon.


8 Responses to Bag pipes and Blairgowrie

  1. Sounds magical–bagpipers piping, drummers drumming. I heard once that the bagpipes were played by Scottish warriors to scare the hell out of their enemies, and I could imagine that–as sweet as they can sound, there’s also something eerie about them.

    • Hi Cousin,

      This was the first time I really listened to them, and talking with some of the pipers made me appreciate the music more. It was also enjoyable to see the local folks mix it up with the tourists in enjoyment. That’s interesting about them using the pipes to scare their enemies.

  2. Laureen,
    We just got home from an event put on by the Historical Society, a Tea Party. Bud and I and the girls went. Very well done, lots of great people there. I am anxious for you to get to Spain, meet the Basque people and eat their food. And then a full report back, just as if we are there with you!!!
    All is well on the home front, making tomato jam and canning sweet pickles…..sure keeps us busy.
    Paula and Bud

    • The Historical Society should come to some of the museums here and get some pointers. There are so many and nearly every village has one or two. The libraries post historical photos and old news articles all over the walls. History is supreme. Also, the streets and highways are sparkling clean. There are hanging flower baskets all along the street and gardens galore; both in front and back yards and on the streets.

      I’m right now in Inverness where Loch Ness has a monster! I’m staying in a B&B in town. Well, see today’s blog.

      Thanks for the reply and thanks for reading!!!!!!

  3. small town charm… looks clean/beautiful and fun… how is the food thus far….

    • The food…very good question. In Ireland, standard breakfast food was fried eggs, beans, black sausage, toast, oh and steamed tomatoes.

      In Scottland, it’s pretty much the same, although, where the Irish seem to like peas, the standard for the Scotts seem to be baked beans.

      Lunches are toasties with small salads on the plate. Soup is big in both countries.

      Chips are also big in both countries. Chips to the U.K and Ireland are French fries to us, while potato chips to us, in the U.K are called crisps.

      Most of the food has been very tasty, I must say.

  4. Thanks for thinking of me. Thought it funny you carrying tat pennie whistle with you everywhere. Love it., Plays great.

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