Scotland and tea — tea and Scotland. A natural combination. Just ask one of our blog writers Jess Hodges, a native of that land. The climate in Scotland is not exactly tropical, actually far from it. So hot tea is in great supply.
The Scots make the most of their warm weather, though, and one way has been traditionally to gather the clans together and engage in tests of strength and skill, otherwise known as the Scottish Games. This tradition continues here in the U.S., and those of us with Scottish ancestry or even a penchant for tartans and other Scottish items flock to them for food and fun and games.
I’d attended Scottish Games several times before meeting the wonderful man who is now my hubby. It turned out that he, too, had gone to these events a number of times and had even helped out at one of the clan tents (where they have information about the clan, complete with merchandise bearing the clan tartan). Of course, therefore, we wanted to share the experience and so went together to one such event several years ago.
The U.S. isn’t Scotland. “Duh!” you say. Yeah, I know that’s pretty obvious. But the point is the weather. I have been to Scottish Games in this country where the heat and humidity were stifling and to ones where I froze my *bleep* off. This time it was the latter. Cold and rainy. Hubby and I were hanging out at the clan tent; he was talking to people who came by with questions or just to chat, and I was huddled on one of the chairs in the back near the portable heater, trying to keep some feeling in my toes and fingers. In the chair next to me was a woman from Britain whose American husband was of this clan. She proved to have more foresight than I and had come equipped with a thermos filled with hot black tea already laced with milk and sugar. She also proved to be most hospitable and offered me a cuppa, pleasantly surprised that a “Yank” would like tea the “British way” (as she called it).
Hot, tasty tea. Guys in kilts. Cold, rainy weather. Guys in kilts. Bagpipe music. More guys in kilts. Need I say that it was a most memorable day? Didn’t think so.
For a schedule of Scottish Games across the U.S., visit The Association of Scottish Games and Festivals. Be sure to check the weather report before attending to know if you should bring along hot tea in a thermos or some cold tea, iced or not. Then, get set to enjoy the caber tossing, drum and bagpipe band competitions, traditional dancers, and bands like the Wicked Tinkers!
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