Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Walking, bagpipes and war

Today I took a stroll through Hampstead Heath with X after we dropped Cate at her child minders. It was lovely. I've been walking a lot since we moved here - and it seems that no matter what direction I walk - it's uphill. I feel like my grandpa talking about walking up hill both ways in the rain - which is what I actually do now!

When we first got here I could barely walk three city blocks - I had just had a 9 1/2 pound baby via c-section 11 weeks earlier so I wasn't in any kind of shape. But after pushing two kids in a double stroller up and down the rolling hills of Hampstead - I'm getting plenty of exercise - whether I like it or not.

The weather hasn't been the best but I wanted to see some greenery - granted we have a huge back yard but I wanted woods and ponds. While walking, I saw a fellow walking along with his guitar strapped on his back and wondered if he dared to play in the park. When I was here a few weeks ago with a British friend (from childhood - not a new acquaintance) she told me that no musical instruments were allowed in the park - unless is was bagpipes - because they are an instrument of war! I think that's fantastic!

I doubt war is about to break out on the Heath anytime soon, but I hope there's a piper at the ready, just in case. It got me thinking of other instruments of war - fifes. drums. horns, trumpets, conch shells - all used back when wars were mostly fought in man-to-man combat with horses, swords. sticks and such. The instruments were played to rouse the troops - not to mention how it announced, "We're comin; to kick yer arses." Now war is all about surprise attacks and stealth bombers, etc, Not nearly as honorable - I think.


  1. Scottish armies have used the pipes in battle for hundreds of years 'and still do' but after the English defeated Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745, bagpipes and get this KILTS were outlawed as instruments of war!!! The English crown feared the pipes so much that the punishment for playing them was life imprisonment or death. Kick their arses.

  2. There's something so rousing about bagpipes. I love them...they give me goosebumps!


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