Amazing. What wonderful mountainscapes. “Ben Nevis” made me chuckle. I would say it’s more like the Cullins of the Isle of Skye, if anything. I see you have a Ben Cruachan and also a Ben Lomond. Do they have indigenous names too?
The Ben Nevis peaks outside of Scotland were all named by homesick Scots I believe. The original is impressive when it has a snow cover and is a very decent hike. However I do really like the ranges around the NZ one.
Those look like Breton / Galician pipes rather than scottish ones - different number of drones (pipes) and a very different sound. I understand that the function of the pipe is different too in Breton music (and presumably galecian) with the pipe being an softer melodic accompaniment in the Breton tradition rather than a brash lead instrument in the Scottish. Though I stand by for Breton / Highland pipers to correct me!
Not sure how far back the two traditions branched off, but I suspect it goes back to a common ancestor much longer ago than the current national boundaries and more widespread than the current Breton / Galician / Irish / Scottish fringes of Europe.
Even just looking around the British Isles you’ll find a number of different variations on the bagpipe theme. Spread your search net wider, and you’ll find them turning up in North Africa and in Asia at least as far east as India.
My forebears on my father’s side left Shetland in 1888 for England. So my most recent heritage is not Scottish but Shetlander. Haggis and the pipes don’t really feature in Shetland culture where it’s mutton and the fiddle.
My mother’s forebears left the Hawick area in 1648 for the New Word returning to the UK in 1918. So it’s grits , collared greens and the banjo from that side.
Grits are kind of porridge made from cornmeal instead of oatmeal. They should be smooth when cooked and so I don’t know why they are called grits. I’ve never tried grits so cannot comment but do eat plenty of porridge. Oatmeal is very slow release carbohydrate and therefore is good for everyone but brilliant for us diabetics as we can maintain better sugar control. As it’s slow release it’s good for breakfast as you don’t tend to feel hungry by mid-morning and so a less likely to snack, also good for diabetics. I normally make my porridge with 1/2 water 1/2 milk and place 3 or 4 chopped dried dates into the mix to jazz it up a little.
Porridge is the curse of the tramper (hiker) so far as I’m concerned. As you say it’s pretty much unbeatable for slow release energy through the day and for energy to weight ratio. I start each long trip thinking ‘this isn’t so bad’ … but by day 7 or 8 I’m having to force the stuff down because ‘you’ll hit the wall if you don’t eat’. Stumbling on jars of jam or honey left in huts on my longer trips I found that addition of jam or honey makes it bearable again … but when I repeat that process from the start (i.e. add jam every day) I still find I can’t stand the stuff by the end of the 1st week.
However, as a professional retailer for some 34 years, I can confirm that the “Chieftain o’ the Pudding Race” has gone from an old-fashioned line that sat on the shelf most of the year, save one day in January where the sales wouldd jump >1000%, to something that we now stock multiple varieties of, including Vegan. It also features as a pakora, a bon bon, in sausages, a stuffing for chicken (aka Balmoral chicken) and is often seen on the plate as part of a cooked Scottish breakfast.
So, haggis is having a renaissance.
As for grits, surely that’s just porridge for people who don’t have oats at hand?
That makes you as Scottish than me, probably.
25% Norwegian (where my surname originates)
25% either Scots or Welsh
The rest should be Scots.