It is two months since I last wrote a post and when I look back and sift through the hundreds of photographs I get a feeling that time is definitely speeding up. Is this a sign of impending old age (not there yet, although see the next blog). Life has been busy, Rothesay has been busy – unfortunately a disproportionate amount of time was spent dodging rain. The summer weather was …. unkind. After the glorious fortnight way back in May we haven’t had two really good days in a row – the pattern was more a lovely warm, sunny day sandwiched between two dreich wet ones. Life went on, of course.
On many days we watched the Waverley paddling past with a small handful of cagoule clad aficionados huddled together around the funnels for warmth. Fortunately the day we chose for our annual trip was bright with a stiff breeze.
I watch the Waverley from our house so it was a change to watch our house from the Waverley.
Since the beginning of ‘summer’, as the tide recedes, this amazing creature crawls onto the shore a hundred yards along from us – so far he hasn’t managed to get up and over the bank (where’s yer Nessie noo).
The Butefest Festival at the end of July was very successful and brought a lot of happy, appreciative visitors to the island – but it also suffered from the dreaded precipitation. The resultant quagmire conditions left at the Public Park, mostly caused by the heavy lorries used to dismantle all the marquees, stages, fencing etc, had a serious knock on effect.
To everyone’s horror the Cattle Show (Agricultural Society) a few weeks later had to be ‘cancelled’ because yet more incessant rain meant no drying out of the ground together with a forecast of yet more rain on he day. This decision caused much despondency and disappointment. Later the Society managed to reschedule a much truncated version of the Show, more of which later.
A week later the Highland Games committee were still faced with weather related problems, but with some judicial rearranging of the positioning of individual events they went ahead. The day was blustery with occasional vicious squalls!!!! The crowds were noticeably thinner, but everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, as did I.
It was a bit of a struggle to raise the games flag.
Normally I love to wander around the area where the Highland Dancing competitors gather. A hundred or so, tinies to teenagers, mostly girls but with a sprinkling of boys, complete with their entourages of teachers, Mums and Grannies all chatting, practising, doing stretching exercises. This year the adults were squeezed into the wee grandstand and the dancers were clad in long waterproof coats and wellies and the normally colourful ‘encampment’ looked like this –
– but they kept dancing under those leaden skies.
The new much larger dancing platforms meant the dancers were under cover and the floor dry and safe but the poor judges sat there in the rain with their hoods up.
Both the competitor and visitor numbers were way down on previous years but there were participants in every event.
The weather didn’t seem to faze the large turn out of runners for the 10K race. Within minutes of starting, still within the ‘stadium’, they were running into the most spectacular of the afternoon’s horizontal downpours. When they started to return to the Park about 45 minutes later I was helping hand out the medals and goodie bags.
Not every runner got a great big hug as well as a medal.
Sorry to go on so much about the weather but it did have a great impact – the Highland Games committee are much to be congratulated for soldiering on. I have to confess we eventually wimped out and didn’t stay for the Grand March down through Rothesay.
The Cattle Show was rescheduled for the second last Saturday in September – again a hard working committee did their best. What have the weather gods got against Rothesay this year. Another day of drizzle, downpours and mud, glorious, mud. I enjoyed myself. Not so many photographs this time as I struggled to keep the camera dry and from slipping in the glaur.
The next photograph is quite dark but it does give a glimpse of the heavy grey sky and a hint of the muddy ground – the worst areas were fenced off because if you strayed into the very deep parts a tractor would have been the only way to escape again.
It was dry inside the show tents but surprisingly if anything the mud underfoot was worse – none of the following ‘creatures’ were at all bothered.
As at the Highland Games the numbers attending the Cattle Show were very small compared to ‘normal’ years but, again, congratulations to all involved.