THERE IS an indefinable element to the Royal Highland Show – and there won't be one person who normally attends that will not miss it. Next weekend, the dreaded Covid-19 curse will be felt on another level from the tragedy that it has already cost.

While 'our' Highland Show is full of shiny new machinery, great gadgets, food to die for, fashion to behold and puts on one of the greatest livestock shows on earth, it is not that which makes it special. It is the people that make it so. That is what everyone will miss most.

But this is a resilient industry. It never lies down to adversity and that's why in the hearts and homes of many in this industry, there will still be a Highland show party. Whether it be the kist parties that have been honed to perfection over many years, or the quiet dram in a trade exhibitor's caravan, they will still happen next week. Just in some very different ways.

Well, The Scottish Farmer team would like to contribute. We have been on the receiving end of some of the best impromptu parties (planned or otherwise!) over the years ­– the Beltex, Highland cattle, Clydesdale, Swaledale, Bluefaced Leicester, Texels and many other breeds have welcomed us while they have all let their hair down after their respective breeds have been judged. It's a tradition and it's a good one.

Professionally, we'll miss the QMS breakfast, the SRUC reception, SAYFC's prize night and even the ScotGov and UK Gov's soirees. We'll miss the Teagle Topper's hospitality and a wee dram of Aberlour A'bunadh with Jock Bryce. It all contributes to the whole and again, it is all about people.

Friendships renewed, regained and brand new ones made are all part of the mix. And, there's always a bit of craic and music, singing and even the odd dance (some of them very odd!).

That's why we'd like to contribute our very own TSF Kist Party next week for those who will miss the show. For all three nights of what would have been the show, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, we hope to entertain you on-line with some music, songs and some craic. You won't need to interrupt your Zoom or Teams meeting, just come on into our website to catch up with the 'party'... and have a wee dram with us.

How to make someone's day

At this poignant time for the industry, it is also the time to check up on those most vulnerable, those friends and neighbours that you do not see very often.

Maybe the Royal Highland would be one of their few outings of the year. If we can all do one thing this Highland Show time, it is to make a connection with those who have few friends to turn to.

So, do more than 25 push-ups in 25 days, please help make their day by a call or visit.