Piping Today Magazine – Grey’s Notes: “Piping: No Excuses”

March 17, 2015 on 3:36 pm by Michael Grey | In From Piping Today Mag, Pipe Bands, Solo Piping, Stories, Tips, Whinges | No Comments

My Dad always said that life moves forward at a pace in tandem with a person’s age. So when you’re 10, life seems to move along at a grindingly slow 10mph. At 10 a kid feels like it’ll take forever for summer holidays to come and even longer for the next happy birthday. By age 20, a healthy savings account is a nice idea for dull, boring people; but for most there’s nothing but countless, unplanned days of never-ending fun. Your forties come along and it’s all, “whoa, something’s happening here”: life is moving way past school zone speed. Bill made it to an Autobahn-friendly 86mph before he pulled over and stopped in the parking lot of the inevitable. And this is all to say, the obvious — you’ll know that’s my specialty — and that is, a person’s age goes a long way to inform how life is lived and, in turn, how life is understood.
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Cowal Games 1929

March 15, 2015 on 7:07 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Pipe Bands, Solo Piping, Stories, Tips, Video | No Comments

Say what you like, but I’ve always liked Cowal Games. Of those I recall, my memories are nothing but the happiest – or – at least – really good. OK. Not always, “really good”, but memorable. Yes. Memorable. Well, mostly memorable, but usually fun. Cowal, as much, if not more, than other contests, has given me some stuff to remember. I’ve socked it all away and stand today with a good few stories to regale the unsuspecting at the drop of a hat. Cowal Games: you rock.
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The Worlds: Fish Suppers all ‘Round!

March 8, 2015 on 6:20 pm by Michael Grey | In News, Pipe Bands, Stories | 2 Comments

Here’s a curiosity: a long-ago-redeemed copy of a cheque. Usually such a thing isn’t much interest except maybe for keen auditors (redundant, I know; of course, all auditors are keen), but this image is one for the few pipe band historians around: this is a copy of the cheque that paid out first prize to the 78th Fraser Highlanders at the World Pipe Band Championships in 1987.
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Glasgow 1901

February 26, 2015 on 8:43 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Stories, Video | 2 Comments

A sort of random posting here: a really interesting video clip filmed in April of 1901 of Jamaica Street, Glasgow. An old street name, even for Glasgow, the thoroughfare, or, at least, the street named Jamaica, opened in the late 18th century and was apparently named for the then raging rum and sugar trade.
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“Mike Grey, the doctor will see you now”

February 16, 2015 on 8:20 pm by Michael Grey | In News, Photographs, Stories | No Comments

I’ve had the same family doctor for as long as I can remember. I don’t see him enough, which, in a way, I guess, is a good thing. But, up until fairly recently, when I did land in his waiting room, I’d almost always cause him – or his receptionist – consternation, if not a laugh.
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Battle of the Birds

January 12, 2015 on 6:45 pm by Michael Grey | In Humour, Photographs, Random Thoughts, Stories | Comments Off

The desperate battle of the birds. And, no, not a rare Friday night girl-fight, and no talk of the pibroch generally known by that name; a few words this moment on fighting flying feathered creatures.
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Piping Today Magazine – “Grey’s Notes”: Found! Willie and Johnny’s personal text messages

December 30, 2014 on 8:18 am by Michael Grey | In From Piping Today Mag, Humour | Comments Off

GREAT things surely do come from some of the most unlikely places. And last month in the heart of the Black Isle a truly great happening came to be.

A dusty box of old electrics was uncovered in the back of a North Kessock antiques shop. The box, full of old transistor radios, fax machines and BlackBerry phones (or, more specifically, the early Scots version, the BlaeBerry), festooned with cobwebs and assorted muck, turned out to be a find of historic netherlornic proportions.
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HBD Hector MacDonald

December 1, 2014 on 4:46 pm by Michael Grey | In Photographs, Stories | Comments Off

A photograph today: In honour of Hector MacDonald and his milestone birthday this week. And with it a nice bit of video here showing a little of Constable MacDonald’s other non-piping talents.
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Three Deep Breaths (A Kiwi Tip)

November 20, 2014 on 9:21 pm by Michael Grey | In News, Stories, Tips | Comments Off

A piece of advice I remember time and again is that which came to me through the thoughtfulness of the great New Zealand piper, Gold Medallist, John Hanning. Early in my career, while I was recitalling through the north and south islands of NZ, he passed along his recipe for performance steadiness; that is, his final personal prep for ensuring he didn’t unduly contribute to the filling up of the laundry basket.
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Rare Photo and Video: G S McLennan

October 29, 2014 on 6:02 pm by Michael Grey | In Delightful Data of the Day, Music, News, Photographs, Solo Piping, Stories, Video | 1 Comment

Back in June I wrote a little about the recently posted Pathé film footage of the great Highland dancer, Mary Aitken. Among many other good things, she was the namesake for a fine bagpipe tune, the jig “Mary Aitken”.
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