Monday, August 22, 2011

Foxburg Scottish Festival

The clan and I recently journeyed to the Foxburg Scottish Festival. This was the second time I dragged them *clearing throat* meant to say we traveled to the festival.
We started the day's events by walking along Clan Row. Why not start with my Campbell friends? This was an interesting tale for sure. For those of you that don't know, Book 1 of the Bad Boys of the Highlands series depicts the Campbells and MacGregors. In actuality, history portrays the Campbells as a beloved clan and the outlawed MacGregors were clearly that. I asked myself 'what if' a lot and ultimately decided to have the right hand of the king, Campbells, falling from grace. Imagine my surprise when I approached the Campbell tent to find this Campbell wasnae verra friendly. Perhaps history was mistaken.  

I can usually talk to anyone and make them smile. You know, kindness with kindness. I picked up one of the books on the table and examined it. I knew it was Kilchurn Castle since that was what Book 1 was based upon, the Campbell seat at Glenorchy. I smiled and said, "Oh, I see you have Kilchurn Castle. Was that the Campbell seat in Glenorchy then?" I am but a stupid female. Please enlighten me with your expertise.
If it was even possible, his scowl deepened further and he yelled to his wife, "Hey, come here and answer this lady's question." Bloody Campbells.
That did not dampen our spirits. In fact, we moved on to the vendors. Their wares consisted of everything under the Scottish sun. From kilts, sporrans, tartans, plaids, dirks and swords to Scottish short bread and the Scottish drink, Irn Bru. I always wanted to try it and the man who sold it insisted it tastes just like Bazooka bubble gum. He was right. It was great for the first couple of sips, but then I had to pass it to the kids. Too sweet for me. 
While the men showed off their prowess during the Highland Games,
some had colorful opinions and displayed them openly. If it's not Scottish, it's crap!
We meandered over to the sheep herding event. If you have never seen border collies in action, they are definitely something to see. Following only the commands of a whistle, these dogs are very agile and are able to herd the sheep from a specific area to another with minimal instruction. If only we could train our kids that way!
The people were colorful and dressed to the kilt. Pun intended! From the wee laddies to the pipers...
To the animals. The stuffed and the real...
Everyone wanted to be Scottish, if only for a day.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Celebrating the Sale of the Bad Boys of the Highlands Series

In celebration of the recent sale of my Bad Boys of the Highlands series, I treated my three biggest fans to dinner at a local Scottish pub. My daughter, CP and Beta all joined me for a wonderful treat at Piper's Pub.
We started our enjoyable evening by my CP's recommended appetizer of Scotch Eggs. A hard boiled egg was encased in sausage, breaded and then deep fried. I almost forgot. It was served with hot sauce. I felt my cholesterol rising before I even took a bite, but it was so good. 
 The atmosphere was loud as you would expect from a pub, but that didn't stop me from toasting my three favorite gals for their unwavering support. I passed out gifts to all of them, including the necklace pictured to the right for my beautiful daughter.
The food was wonderful and plentiful. How could you go wrong with the traditional corned beef, cabbage and potatoes?
Not to mention the Beef Shepherd's Pie.
We topped off this hearty meal with a Scottish ice-cream sandwich. This delicious morsel consisted of vanilla ice-cream surrounded by Scottish shortbread and topped with a chocolate, raspberry, butterscotch and blueberry sauce.
Even though we will not eat for a week, a great time was had by all. It's fun to celebrate with friends and family. My heartfelt thanks go out to these three who have been and continue to be my biggest supporters.
How do you celebrate a special occasion with family or friends?