pay the piper

Mr S and I are now back from Scotland. We were there for the wedding of good friends. It was all rather lovely – Scottish mansion, log fires, fir trees and stag heads outside the ladies loo. The most magical thing happened shortly before midnight. We were called outside onto the Italian loggia (Italian not Italianate – it had been shipped stone by stone from Italy in the 19th century) where orange scented candles had been lit. The lawn was dark, then out of the gloom appeared a piper in full highland regalia. We listened for a few minutes, until there was an echo, another piper in the distance. The second piper was joined by a third, then drums and marching feet. A highland band marched across the lawn, and played a series of melancholy songs.

There is a note of sadness in the bagpipes; they play the music of the battlefield with the knock of drums, and the stamp of young men’s feet. We listened in the night and heard the echo not only of these pipes, but those of the battlefields of Scotland from long ago. We heard Robbie Burn’s lament and the cries of Culloden and Bannock Burn. Then, before the clock struck, they turned and marched away into the darkness, the song fading into the gloom, and then they were gone.


The bride paid the piper with a wee dram… but I think that really I ought to have paid as the music and the melancholy has given me an idea for Fred…



Filed under Book 2 - Tyneford Project, writer pontification

2 responses to “pay the piper

  1. Gillian

    This brought tears to my eyes – thank goodness for you Natasha as Mr S (although a writer too) was a little short on the details of the wedding. Now I feel like I was there. Thank you and keep on writing! I am addicted to your blog.

  2. natashasolomons

    Thanks Gillian, – that’s boys for you. But, I did think his description was very funny…


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