Monday, 11 August 2014

Commonwealth Games highlights from Glasgow 2014 ... part 2 of 3

Glasgow 2014 will be remembered for selfies, royal photobombs, those wee Scottie dogs, parties and some musical highlights …

The Queen photobombing the
Australian hockey players
Jayde Taylor and Brooke Peris

... one of the unofficial anthems being the Proclaimers: I'm Gonna Be (500 miles) - with even Usain Bolt dancing to it before competing in the Jamaican's team 100m relay race ... 

Prince Imran, Malaysian President of the Commonwealth Games Federation raised the roof when he said in the local patois “Glasgow, you were pure dead brilliant” …

Nelson Mandela and Glasgow have been inextricably entwined in recognition … Glasgow awarded Mandela the Freedom of the City in 1981 …

Nelson Mandela with Brian Filling (1993) - a Scottish
anti-apartheid activist c/o BBC Scotland
(map of Glasgow in Scotland see previous post)
… then St George’s Place in the city was renamed to Nelson Mandela Place in 1986 … when it became obvious that the South African Consulate-General’s address was c/o Nelson Mandela – in apartheid days that was a sting in the tale.

Opening Ceremony

The Opening Ceremony … celebrated plenty of tartan colours … heather landscapes, brooding Highlands with their darkened skies, then finally glens, lochs and forests …

A Scottie leading the Maltese team in ...  or
should it be out?!

… Scottie dogs led out each of the 71 teams … some bounded around happily, others collapsed in a heap and had to be carried!  The little Scottish Terriers stole the show …

… Tunnock’s tea-cakes danced …

All expressing the Glaswegian’s remorseless quest to imbue everything with a low chuckle … a music-hall type experience contrasted with London Olympics 2012.

Cardoons – aka Thistles … the mascot “Clyde” for the Games …

The Games – raised £5 million for the United Nations Children’s Charity via a Worldwide Appeal.

Commonwealth medals

Medals – weigh 100 grams, featuring overlapping rings …

Add caption

Podiums on which the athletes receive their medals have been crafted from fallen trees around the host city.  Fallen elm was used for the gold section and sycamore for the silver and bronze sections …

A quaich being worked ... 
Quaich – a traditional two-handled drinking cup, also made from the wood of trees that have fallen in Glasgow parks – were handed out to medallists instead of the traditional flowers or posies …

Pipes and Drums of the Scottish Regiments played their hearts out at the Opening Ceremony …

I’ve never heard so many bagpipe rounds played …

Ms Loch Ness Monster made an inflatable appearance …

Food and drink … customers’ curiosity took over: 

Deep-Fried Mars bars … the ‘dream’ of the athletes and visitors to the Games … to try this tasty morsel developed by the Scots.

The food is bound to be different to that in the Caribbean … understandably it doesn’t taste like home … we can’t all want to eat Jamaican goat curry – though I’d be happy too …

Haggis is big Games winner … I enjoy it ... not too often! … but it definitely has a place in the Scottish way of life ... another export over the centuries …

Shortbread and those Tunnock teacake sales surged …

Pouring Whisky - by
Erskine Nicol painted in 1869

Malt Whisky was and is always in demand – personally I can’t stand it … funny how our tastes vary!  

A fun time was had by all … cheers!!

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


  1. I saw the picture where the queen seems to have photobomed a selfie. Not sure how accidental it was but it's a great picture and I think it shows a good sense of humour.

    Goat curry is nice. Like lamb but less fatty.

  2. The Queen is a photo-bomber!! That's awesome :)and I totally would LOVE a deep-fried Mars Bar.

  3. I would love the queen to photo bomb my pics. There's so many good things here. Tea cup dance. Love it. I would also love to try a deep fried mars bar.

  4. I love the use of the trees to make the cups that were given out instead of the flowers. I've heard of Haggis, but had never seen what it looks like. Hilary, your posts are always filled with a wealth of information and fun. Thanks.

  5. The inflatable Nessie is funny. That's awesome the games raised so much money.

  6. Oh this makes me want to go back to Scotland. Mmmm, shortbread. I loved it there.

  7. Oh my but those dancing cupcakes made me smile! Such a fantastic event.

  8. I like situations where a country has a little more humor about itself. Sounds like the performances here really contrasted with the 2012 games!

    Ug to whiskey. I don't get it either!

  9. Ha, ha! Nessy making an inflatable appearance. Too funny! Speaking for experience, goat curry is DEElicious! And some day, maybe I'll have the opportunity to try haggis, though I've heard contradictory reports on how it tastes... :)

  10. I love Walkers.

    I didn't realize Mandela was so involved in the event.

  11. How fun! Especially with all the details you provided! It must have been quite a sight.

  12. Walkers are in all the stores here! Great stuff.

    I didn't know about Cardoons! That's neat that they have puppets of thistles. :)

    Love the tartan and the Scottie dogs!

  13. I especially like Clyde and the doggies.


  14. What an absolutely fascinating show it must have been. Don't know Tunnock tea cakes and I'm ashamed I've never eaten Haggis. I would like that Jamaican goat curry too. I love Ms. Nessie too. I think the idea of the Quaich is excellent, something they can keep. You don't like malts Hilary, shame on you then. Would love to have been there.

  15. My favorite pic is the selfie, although they are all a treat to complement this post. What an adventure! Looks like it was great fun! So glad you shared with us. Have a wonderful week! :)

  16. We did enjoy the games and thanks for reminding us just how good it was. I hope you are well. Have a good day, Diane

  17. Sounds like so much fun. And I would have loved to sample all the food and drink

  18. @ Patsy – it worked and the Queen certainly has a sense of humour … it’s a fun photo; Goat is a good meat – I enjoy it .. and lamb is a little fatty isn’t it – had some last night!

    @ Keith – it’s a fun thought about the Queen isn’t it … and I’ve never tried a Mars bar that way .. not sure my poor tummy could handle it now!

    @ Teresa – wouldn’t we all love the Queen to visit – I’d have lots of questions to ask her! There was lots going on – so a fun post to write up ..

    @ Mason – I thought the felled trees would ring a bell with us bloggers – for the podiums and for the Quaiches … Haggis is usually wrapped in a skin and then spooned out to be served with ‘neeps and tatties (as in the photo)

    @ Alex – inflatable Nessie caught a few hearts – it’s a great idea … and having a fund-raising for UNICEF was a brilliant idea …

    @ Karen – shortbread – all good .. and Scotland too …

    @ Holly – they went to town on having fun and poking fun at themselves – it was a very Glaswegian event …

    @ Theresa – yes Scotland and Glasgow shoed they had lots of humour to share with the world … it’s the Friendly Games v the Olympics – so it’s bound to be a little different … Well I’m glad there’s another non-whisky lover!

    @ Bish – yes the inflatable Nessie … she left her water for a while! I’ve had goat stew, but not goat curry – though I’m sure I’d love it .. I enjoy my food and different tastes …
    Haggis is usually cooked in a skin, like a big sausage, and is fairly spicy and very rich … but very tasty – so I’m sure you’d enjoy trying it … especially if you can eat goat curry!

    @ Diane – Walkers shortbread is good isn’t it ..
    Mandela – Glasgow was the first city to recognise Mandela (1983), while he was still in prison – Brian Filling was an anti-apartheid activist living in Glasgow – and when Mandela was freed … and came to the UK – he accepted various Freedom of City awards in Glasgow …

    So Mandela wasn’t involved with the Commonwealth Games, other than South Africa participates, but is inextricably linked with Glasgow city.

    @ Rosaria – it was a fun event – and everyone was complementary … the sport was pretty good too ..

    @ Elizabeth – I can imagine you’ve imported Walkers shortbread – too good! The Thistle, the national flower, became the mascot for the games in the shape of the Clydes …
    There was tartan everywhere and the Scottie dogs were an inspirational addition to the Opening Ceremony leading the teams out ..

    @ Janie – it was all good and fun ..

    @ Jo – it was a fun time .. a few blips at the beginning, but all went smoothly thereafter. I didn’t know Tunnock Tea Cakes either … now Haggis I’m happy to eat … as too the Jamaican goat curry.
    Glad you enjoyed Nessie and the Quaich idea – I know no whisky for me .. makes me feel very unwell …

    @ Karen – lots of pics to choose from – but the Queen enjoyed her time looking around at the various venues … thanks re the photos. I didn’t get up there unfortunately – if I’d have had tickets I’d have gone … but I only had squash ones – and was able to give them away to a local family.

    @ Diane – I have to catch up lots with your blog .. I’m glad you enjoyed the Games – they were fun .. and I was pleased to be able to watch some sports I never usually see on the tv .. eg squash …

    @ Paula – it was a lovely Games – nice to have it here in the UK … having just had the Olympics … there was lots of food on offer and I’m sure you’d have enjoyed sampling the delights …

    Thanks everyone - wonderful to have your comments - cheers Hilary

  19. It sounds like this was a remarkable event, and something I would have thoroughly enjoyed. Except for the haggis. My Scottish grandmother gave it to me years ago, and it didn't get along well with my taste buds. I reckon I don't have the proper "pluck" to eat those nasty innards. (Which, in case you didn't know, the Scots call... "pluck".)

  20. I enjoyed your post more than the rather over-long opening and closing ceremony themselves!
    Listening to Albeniz's Sevilla from the Suite Espanola.
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

  21. ha. pretty cool that nessie made an appearance...and that it raised so much money as well....those two handed drinking cups made of the old trees is really cool too....

  22. Those dogs are so cute. No wonder they stole the show.

    Deep fried mars bars. Those must instantly clog your arteries.

  23. Sounds like a fun games. Glasgow has blossomed as a fun place compared with the dark reputation it used to have.

    Tried haggis a couple of times, but much prefer black pudding.

  24. Little Scottish Terriers are so cute. :) My husband tried haggis when we were in Glasgow (he wasn't brave enough to try the blood pudding).

  25. Ah, Scotland. I will return some day. What a wonderful event. Cheers!

  26. There's something quite special about the bagpipe. We had a fellow lead us into the auditorium when I graduated from college. And they played a recording at my father's funeral. But the sound and music is more than just those 2 memories. It makes me yearn for some unknown clarity.

  27. Those deep-fried Mars Bars look delicious! Thanks for the behind the scenes look at the Olympics, Hilary!


  28. Dunedin is a Scottish city in NZ and that's were I tried Haggis. Mm not really me. New Zealand had about 14 gold medals I think. One of them for SOphy Pascoe who was in my daughters class We are really proud of her.
    I didn't know that money went to UNICEF Great and like the drinking cups

  29. A fun selection of Scottish titbits.

    The games passed me by although you couldn’t switch on the BBC without having a competitor flying at you.

    Glasgow is a city I’ve never visited. Do you think I should? Nice things were said about it but I doubt that I’d understand the natives.

  30. @ Holly – it’s fun having the Games in the UK

    @ Susan – thank goodness we get to see some of it on tv … but I really wouldn’t have minded attending, sadly something I couldn’t do. I think haggis is something one needs to be prepared for …

    “Pluck” is good when it’s cooked properly … and I don’t mind those nasty innards! Many would mind though and go yugh! …

    @ Bazza – well thanks so much … I struggle to watch Opening and Closing Ceremonies too ... but there were bits that were fun – and writing after the event I can at least combine things …

    I don’t think I know Albeniz’s work .. but I’ll need to check – thanks for the tip towards your music choice …

    @ Brian – Nessie was fun wasn’t she; yes the fund raising for UNICEF – took off … while the little quaiches are certainly different and worth keeping ..

    @ Jeanne – the Scottie dogs … always capture our attention. Deep fried mars bars – I think one needs a young stomach! But I’m sure they taste delicious!

    @ Ian – there’s lots going on in Glasgow now … they’re trying to put that challenging reputation to rest, so the Games have definitely added to the positive nature of Glasgow as a city of Culture.

    I buy black pudding on occasions … but would only probably have haggis in Scotland … or on Burns Night!

    @ Rosey – the Scottie dogs were such a success; sad as blood pudding/black pudding is very good – especially for breakfast?! .. but am glad he tried haggis …

    @ JJ – I hope you get to come back over to the UK and see Glasgow in the process … it was a fun event …

    @ Joylene – bagpipe music is very different, very haunting. What fun that you had bagpipe music for your University graduation …

    Having bagpipe music at your father’s funeral must have been very emotive …

    So often bagpipes are played in the landscape – their sounds echo around … interesting about your unknown clarity …

    @ Julie – deep fried mars bars .. for the kids I think; The Commonwealth Games have been fun to have in the UK following on the London Olympics …

    @ Marja – lots of Scottish names in New Zealand … at least you tried Haggis in Dunedin. I quite enjoy tasty sausages .. and I enjoy haggis, but don’t eat it down here .. and only in cold weather!

    Sophie Pascoe … getting the first NZ gold swimming medal – winning the Para-breaststroke 100m final … good for her and she’s obviously overcome lots of obstacles – she must be inspiring to your kids …

    The UNICEF was a fund-raising call out .. which was obviously very successful …

    @ Friko – thanks .. it was fun giving an overview like this … I know the Beeb was constantly broadcasting the Games or talking about it … only 10 days though – now we have football for the next 11 months: seems an imbalance to me?!

    I think Glasgow now has a lot to offer – it was city of culture in the 1980s .. and has plenty of museums, arts, festivals, music etc .. and beautiful stone buildings …

    Understanding the natives – now that’s another matter!

    Cheers to you all – thanks for sharing the Games with me .. Hilary

  31. LOVE the Scottish terriers! Loved scrolling through the entire post. So colorful. How I would love to see it all in person. You've done a great job with these two parts. Lots of work to put it together, but it's obvious that it has been enjoyed by many. (Hope you're having a good weather and otherwise week. Cheers and ((( ))) from me and Jen from across the pond :)

  32. Wow. I was pretty taken by the Scottie dog and the twirling cupcakes? Is that what they were? Life is strange. =)

  33. I missed almost the entire games this time - thanks for the overview Hilary. I would have loved to have seen the Scotty dogs - they are so cute. If we ever stop touring and stay at home, I want one - to go with the half dozen cats I'll be finding :)

    Never could get my head around deep fried Mars bars - but Tunnocks Teacakes!!! Yum!!! :)

  34. @ Ann - good to see you - it was quite hard work .. it's how to bring the whole together ... but I've enjoyed drafting up the posts and am happy you've enjoyed the read.

    Things settling down and the weather is changing somewhat ...

    @ Crystal - there were 41 of the Scotties .. and the twirling Tunnock's teacakes - a Scottish 'marshmallow-type biscuit' (photo in next post!) ...

    It was fun and made us all laugh at times ...

    @ Fil - well you've got lots of performance festivals on - so I'm not surprised.

    The Scottie would love to be at home in Ireland with you .. and I'm sure the half-a-dozen cats will enjoy Scottie's company! Sounds a fun thought ..

    I've never tried a Tunnock teacake - though think I can imagine what they'd be like ... and I've never tried a deep-fried mars bar ... but similar to melting a mars bar over ice-cream ... except distinctly gungier!

    Cheers to you all - and thanks for your support - Hilary

  35. We so enjoyed the Commonwealth Games. Good to have it summed up here by you hilary. I think the Queen has a great sense of humour though confess, I have never met her. A deep fried mars bar sounds hideous and therefore is probably delicious but I shall not be trying it :-)

  36. I missed the games completely, but I did see the selfie with the Queen on it. She looked as if she knew exactly what was going on and was delighted. Well I like to think so!

  37. Hi Hilary,

    Cheers to a fun time for all!

    I'll have to try the Deep-Fried Mars bars sometime. It may be the only time I try it, but it's now officially on my "To Do While I'm Still Alive List."

  38. @ Debbie - Glasgow seems to have had a very successful Games. I understand the Queen does have a great sense of humour .. and seemed to enjoy her time at the Games.

    Yes -I think that's probably the right thought for a deep fried Mars bar ... hideous, but oh so delicious!

    @ Val - that selfie photo did go viral and I'm sure lots of people saw it .. and she did seem to be enjoy being in it, didn't she and I think so too ...

    @ Stephen - what a great idea to put the Mars bar on your bucket list .. "To do while I'm still alive List" ...

    The Mars bar seems to have the most votes - with the Scotties .. happy remembrances - cheers Hilary

  39. I saw very little of the games, but I'm glad it went well. And it was great to see England at the top of the table :-)

  40. Hi Annalisa - I should have been out and about more .. but I enjoyed the parts I saw and then read about afterwards ...

    All the UK teams did well - it brought another emphasis ..

    Cheers and thanks for the comment - Hilary

  41. I loved the selfie with the Queen. I can just imagine the surprise of the picture takers when they discover who's in the background.

    The dancing tea cakes were wonderful. I imagine that's not easy to do in that costume.

    This must have been a fun event, but I'll pass on the Haggis. I might taste the Jamaican goat curry, but I guarantee I would wolf down the fried Mars bar:~)

    By the way, thanks for letting me know about the issues at my site. It was a BIG problem, but hopefully is now resolved.

    Cheers back at you, Hilary:~)

  42. Such a great way to raise money for a worthy cause and connect people in a world of fun and games. Selfies are always bombs or extremely amusing.

  43. @ Sara - I suspect the hockey players waited til the Queen went past - but it's a great photo and the Queen seemed happy to be around the Commonwealth Games ...

    I quite agree - dancing as a teacake in that costume must be a little troublesome .. but they had a lovely evening.

    Haggis is tasty ... but the Mars bar - yes a taster of those would be good ...

    Glad you managed to sort your problem out - sorry to have that frustration on your site - but glad I could help.

    @ Lee - it was a brilliant idea to raise money via a phone-in ... the first time it's happened I gather ..

    There were a few selfies that were happily constructed! But amusing and fun to see ..

    Cheers to you both - Hilary

  44. Those tea cakes are so funny! Thanks for the interesting post.

  45. Well done Hilary! I really enjoyed the post and all the comments - so strange and uplifting to see Scotland through the eyes of the world! I confess, I hate whisky,I have never eaten a deep fried Mars bar, I only eat haggis on Burns night and I sickened myself of Wagon Wheels, Tunnocks Tea Cakes and Irn Bru as a kid! I do make a great Scotch pancake though, and love oatcakes and Scotch broth!

    I love that photo of the queen - it's my favourite one of her EVER. So much humanity and fun captured in her smile.

  46. @ Juliet - they danced their hearts out ... but I expect the many eaten were thoroughly enjoyed ...

    @ Janice - thanks for letting us have your Scottish comment! These have been fun posts to write up ... and I've had melted Mars bar over ice-cream, and on occasions had haggis but not every Burns Night ... and wagon wheels we had as kids ... the Tunnocks and the Irn Bru I've missed out on ...

    Love Scotch pancakes and oatcakes and Scotch broth ...

    The Queen certainly entered into the spirit of the Games and enjoyed her appearances in the selfies as she went ... my iphone photo doesn't really do it justice ... but it gives us the spirit of the hockey players waiting their moment!

    Cheers to you both ... Hilary

  47. how I wish I could have been there Hilary however the next best thing is your blog. One day I will visit Scotland because it has been on my to do list since I was very small.

    Your blog is always a delight to visit.

  48. I adore the Olympics...I wonder if these games are telecast in the US and I've just never landed upon them. I love the scotties, I will gladly leave the haggis, have to run and grab a shortbread out of my pantry as soon as I've finished typing (with coffee, not tea!). This is such a great to part 3!

  49. @ Cecilia - many thanks and I do hope you get over to Scotland some day - it's a beautiful country.

    Just delighted the blog is a happy place to visit ..

    @ Lisa - I don't think the Commonwealth Games will be broadcast - as there is no American input .. it's just the Brits and their connections around the world - including Canada .. but you've raised a good point - whoever decided to watch would learn about other parts of the world ...

    Shortbread - is a good thing to have around isn't it! I'm going to try those teacakes this weekend!

    Thanks so much to you both - lovely to know you enjoy being here .. cheers Hilary