Too much time spent in hotel bedrooms on foreign travel has led me to some strange byways of the Internet. I found myself late one night in Brazil near Iguazu Falls sleepless in …Iguazu Falls. I will only lead you into one such youtube by-way, the amazing sub-world of Scottish pipe bands. [ I warn you that one leads to another]. They hail from everywhere: Los Angeles, Simon Fraser University, New Zealand, Western Australia and of course Northern Ireland and Scotland itself. The format is strict. The bands consist of bagpipes, snare drums, tenor drums, and a bass drum. Everyone knows the tunes. They have names like Lord Lovat’s Regret by Robert Drummond, or Jack McWatt’s Strathspey by Stuart McCrimmon. I imagine the bands have to meet in large public parks where they can practice unmolested. I reckon people devote their entire leisure time to the art, which is complex, but it stirs barbaric ardor in my heart.
- After ten minutes you feel like taking fire and sword to your neighbours.
- After twenty minutes you feel like taking fire and sword to your enemies.
- After an hour of this you have reached a cheerfully berserker state.
- After an hour or so of this, your enemies are starting to slip away from their trenches, as they know an attack is coming and they fear for their lives.
I cannot resist one the great scenes of all time in movies. The Canadians arrive to join a group of Americans in what became a joint operation, called the Devil’s Brigade.