Highland Gathering and Games

A week from today, I will be at the 146th Highland Gathering and Games, hosted by the Caledonian Club of San Francisco.  It’s the largest Gathering in the US, and a time for me to spend immersed in the music.  That’s my favorite part.  I love the feeling of the emotion in my heart when I hear pipes and drums.  I’m all for the marching bands and the ballads, but the bands that play the wild tribal, traditionally based, music are my favorites.  I am happy that Albannach will be there again this year.

Last year, I had never heard Albannach before and I called my son Kyle as they were playing.  All I said was “Listen to this…” and held the phone up toward the stage.  When I put it back to my ear and asked, “What do you think?” without missing a beat (sorry! ~ my inability to resist a pun is something I inherited from my father) he said, “Sounds like Albannach”  Amazing. But not really, he’s one of the most aware people I know.

I also discovered Highland Titles last year. I thought that buying a bit of Scottish land would be a great 25th birthday present for Kyle.  The fact that the title Laird came with it just made it more fun!  Of course, there wasn’t any way that I was going to let Kyle lord it over me (oops, sorry, again), so I bought a plot of land for myself, too.  After all, I have everything to do with the fact that he has a birthday, so I felt I deserved sharing in the gift.

I got everything arranged well before his birthday in October, and then had him on the phone (he in Colorado, me in California) when I emailed the pdf of the Deed of Title naming him a Laird of Glencoe.I went through my photos from my second trip to Scotland (he and I did the first one together) and found one that I had taken in the highlands just near Glencoe and emailed that as well.  I’ll bet our land is just on the other side of that hill.


Kyle is a person who has three kilts and wears them at every opportunity, gave himself a Gaidhlig middle name, and uses the  original Scottish spelling of his last name.  A bit of Scottish pride there!  He was thrilled with his gift, and as we read through all the literature together, he was even more happy that we were supporting a sanctuary for wildlife and holding part of a protected land trust.

Kyle attends the Longs Peak Highland Festival in Colorado, which is held a week after the Games here.  I am sure that this year we will again be calling, txting, and sending photos back and forth, comparing our experiences.  When I see the Highland Titles/Lochaber Estates people next week, I am going to be sure to let them know that he will be stopping by to say hello in Estes Park.


About Kate Cowie Riley

Kate writes two blogs currently: "Weaving the Magic Thread ~ the texture of my life", a collection of auto-biographical essays; and "Scottish Heart", where she shares her love of Scotland and the trips through Scotland that she both plans and guides. She is also Copy Editor and Lead Contributor Emerita for "Celtic Family Magazine". Kate retired in 2013 from nearly 40 years in Private Practice as a Somatic Psychotherapist & Bodyworker, Massage Therapy Instructor, Sivananda Yoga Teacher, Spa Director, and Consultant, who also wrote & taught about Eco-sustainability and WellBalance. Her professional blog, "The Riley School of Integrated Somatic Bodywork" is also retired. All of Kate's blogs are copyright by Kate Cowie Riley; all photos are copyright Kate Cowie Riley, unless otherwise stated. All photos and text or part thereof are not to be used for commercial purposes or without written permission from the author. All photos must be used in their original form, no addition or alteration are allowed. Any advertisements that are seen on the Wordpress sites are in no way supported by Kate Riley.
This entry was posted in Ancestry, Ecology, Land trust, Scotland, Travel, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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