“Wail of a Weekend”

by ESP on September 13, 2014

Kids at grandparents…check

Photo ID…check


Bagpipes…check, hmm not quite?


We were off with the Silver Thistle Pipe Band http://www.silverthistle.org/ to compete in the Capital District Scottish Games, Albany, NY but first I had to get a set of highland bagpipes through airport security as hand luggage.

Bagpipes are a tricky instrument to play and equally tricky to travel with.

Vintage sets containing ivory mounts now require extra permits, inspection fees and run the risk of confiscation and delays.


I stood in line and privately winced as my multi-chambered set slowly rolled (with a few raised eyebrows and general chatter) through the airport x-ray security machine.

The inverted image looked like a ‘portable’ Bangalore torpedo, naturally I was pulled aside.


Pipes, drones, tubes, tongues, zippers, stocks, valves, flaps, gussets (well it is a funny word), drone-reeds (that resemble small plastic projectiles), you name it, this instrument has it all.


I won’t even get into the moisture control systems that reside ‘inside’ the actual bag itself.

A few “so what does this bit here do?” questions later and we were flying high.


“och its just a moisture control system, that’s a’ it is”


The following day we were at the games surrounded by some great weather and scenery.


Warming up:

Capital District Scottish Games

Very warm at this point:


Then it was onto the battlefield with our Medley Selection performance:


Back down to Earth:

Remember this swash buckling opuntia?


Well it appears all the rum and debauchery has finally taken its toll.

After witnessing it stagger uncontrollably under this bamboo muhly canopy, I found him,

grasslying face down in a pool of his own paddles.


While the rum is taking care of my opuntia, it is the spider mites that are sucking the life out of my rosemary bushes.


A common problem in the warmer, dry months.

Spider mites are not insects but are more closely related to other arachnids like ticks and spiders. Like spiders they produce silk from a pair of glands near the mouth.

Itching yet?

spider-miteThe silk strands allow the mite to spin down from infested to non-infested leaves and before you know it…your rosemary could look like this.

A regular blasting of water from the hose usually takes care of things and our recent rain will help, these mites hate the water.


This front area is about to be reworked.

Small flagstones will be replaced with large slabs, brick walls will be removed and some large boulders positioned.


Here is the area is almost prepped…but should this vitex stay or go?

I do feel like I have been polishing this particular



for way too long.

I have hacked limbs off it for years to raise the canopy and still it grows over and onto my roof where it insists on making irritating little grinding and squealing noises as it tries to claw its way inside the house.



Here is the side of my house after my latest frenzied attack on it…ugh.

DSC07224This poor tree already had ‘issues’ when we inherited it over a decade ago and I think they are only getting worse.

Inspirational Image of the week:

rooftop terrace

TERRA fluxus LLC:  Design for a rooftop terrace


Stay Tuned For:


“Beans Boots & Mullein”


All material © 2014 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.

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