Summer 2012: A slow start and a strong finish

Piping down the sun, Northumberland Strait, NS

Vancouver – A few months ago I was bitterly complaining about our lousy spring weather. “Junuary” was the term being tossed about in the Lower Mainland of BC. I was piping on many of those rainy, spring mornings, and often the thermometer showed single digits. It made for a miserable May and June.

However, it’s been a remarkable turnaround. July, August and now September have been glorious, with blue skies and warm temperatures. Now summer is extending into the early fall and it continues to be great weather to play outside.  My pipes have never sounded better. Tight joints, a consistent Jamie Troy reed and a Piper’s Pal reed protector that keeps the reed in great shape and takes only moments to bring into tune: ah summer! I wish it would never end.

My favourite piping location is, of course, at a cottage along the Northumberland Strait in Nova Scotia. The piping tradition of the Antigonish County area goes back 150 years to when the pioneering Scottish Highlanders arrived in the area. In fact, the Antigonish Highland Games will celebrate a century and a half of bagpipes, highland dancing and competition in 2013. A drive is now underway to invite back every and all pipers and drummers who have played at the Games in the past 150 years, to return and march together in the Highland Games parade on July 13, 2013 to commemorate a great occasion. More information can be found here on the Piper’s Glen 150 Facebook page.

First, however, we need to weather the upcoming winter.  Soon we will start to feel the cold in the fingers; feel the chill of the changing season and start thinking about seeking our indoor practice locations, our basements, community hall or churches to prepare for next spring when we’ll head outdoors once again.

About Mike Chisholm

Official Piper: Rocky Mountaineer Rail Tours. Pitt River Resort. Exec. Dir. ScotFestBC: The British Columbia Highland Games, Director, BC Pipers' Assn. Former journalist, Nova Scotian, Dad.
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