7 April 2013

It's bloody Brigadoon!

On Saturday, we journeyed South through the mists and time and on the highways to a town called Brigadoon. Actually, it's normally called Bundanoon but for the last 36 years they have been hosting this gigantic Scottish lovefest and for one day each year, they call themselves Brigadoon and they even have the signs to prove it.


We weren't there just because we got the notion, which is always the best reason to turn up to the bizarre and absurd, but because my nephew plays in a Celtic band and was playing his Snare drum, resplendent in his kilt, beret and long socks. And I come from a long line of 'joiner-inners'. We try anything once, twice to be polite and thrice if we love it.

Gratuitous photo of my cute daughter
So we packed up two cars with four adults (my in-laws are in town from England and of course wanted to travel to the Australian countryside to take part in a celebration of Scotland - its why the English travel)and two children and drove down and had the tour of Bundanoon via the detours to the car park. And then, not one word of a lie, we didn't leave the local oval. And you can only do that kind of stuff in small country towns flooded with 15,000 extra people and only one functioning ATM. Because I am not joking - the stalls didn't have EFTPOS. I know.

We got there just in time for the opening parade which goes on rain, hail and shine. And I tell you - the Mardi Gras aint got nothing on the Brigadoon parade. Celtic band. Southern Highlands Vintage Machinery Club (Tractor). Celtic Band. Tractor. Celtic Band. Tractor. Celtic Band. Fire Engine. Tractor.

Tractor.
 And they wave at toddlers and give out balloons thus assuring public adoration for all time. And my mother-in-law was able to name every song the bagpipes were playing. She maintains 'from school' but I suspect a closet bagpipe addiction. It's the quiet ones you have to watch.

And then came said nephew, tongue poking out the side of his mouth in concentration. Beret askew, elbows jiggling with appropriate snare drum action and the Tullinator was thrilled.

He of the jiggly elbows
She is his biggest groupie and that is before she realised that he played the drum. Now when we refer to him and his sister, his name was listed first. I was worried that the beginning of our visit to Brigadoon might outshine all the moments to follow but I had underestimated the attention span of a two year old and her one year old sidekick.

We spent some time collecting individual pieces of gravel. Filled our pockets. Day made. Again.  And she that was slightly smaller fell charmingly at people's feet and giggled.  Day made.

We wandered throughout stalls that sold tartan, things made out of tartan, things alluding to tartan, jewellery designed with tartan in mind. By people who wear tartan, think tartan and accessorise with tartan. And we wanted to have our face painted. But before we could manage that we ate food so inexpensive and scrumptious that we could only be in the country. And we had Dutch pancakes. And Brazilian coffee. And American softdrinks. And Australian corn. And we did not have Haggis pie.

We watched sword dancing and more bagpipes. And more snare dram. And caber tossing. And waterbomb fights. And saw Highlander. Which is billed as the world's best Australian Celtic rock band. I know. Unsure if it's a backhanded compliment or just a fact. Either way I'm unsure that its something they should use in their regular marketing spiel.

And we got our face painted. Which is the most ridiculously exciting thing ever. Rainbow tiger. Scottish rainbow tiger obviously. Day MADE.


I think my in-laws love love loved it more than anything they've ever done in Australia. And it has to be said, it's definitely more of a culturally accurate Australian experience than many. Little bits of everything with a small blonde, kilted snare drummer the star of the day.

But seriously - these kinds of days, which take you out of your own zone of familiar and into the heart of other people's obsessions and passions are always fabulous. Such good hearted, joyous days.

A pure like it! (So says the Scottish/English phrases book!)