Monday, May 31

Katie gets married

The sun eventually shone in Edinburgh on Sunday 30 May when my daughter, Katie, married Stuart and ventured out into Queens Street Gardens, opposite the exclusive Scotch Malt Whisky Society's premises where the ceremony had taken place.

I knew everything was going to be fine when I heard her giggling in the hotel, finally about to appear to the world in her dress. Until then more than a little nerves and panic had been evident amongst everyone at one stage or another of the process of managing people and things spread out across the city. Her brother, Russell and I were staying in York Place, close to the ceremony venue but some distance from the Hotel where most of the important people were gathering. Getting from one to the other was an interesting exercise in navigation, particularly with some new road system being developed which completed foiled any of the gadgets I had hoped to use to get from A to B. Tourists wandering around aimlessly and pipers frightening the life out me at various places en route didn't help but were quite amusing in a way and contributed to a tremendous sense of achievement in actually arriving on time.

A dimunitive but highly experienced Registrar lady grabbed Katie, her 'bridesmaid' and me on arrival at the SMWS venue and I'm sure that she took longer explaining what would happen that what actually happened took! Eventually we were all released and Katie and I ascended a huge spiral staircase behind a piper playing something I should probably have known the title of but didn't. We were both relieved that it wasn't one of those wailing and wheezing tunes and we stayed close enough behind to avoid any embarrassing views of the kilted chap ahead.

Then, into the main room where all the guests had been arranged into a nice semi circle and I handed her over to the relieved arm of her husband-to-be-pretty-soon-now and wondered where on earth I should go next. Stick around, I thought to myself, and all will become clear. The delightful service followed and in no time at all there was this almost tangible sense of relief and we could look forward to photographs and then food.

Amazingly the greyish skies cleared and the sun emerged while we were in the park opposite the venue at around 5pm. Staff had battled down a narrow path armed with bottles of champagne and glasses too which was a nice touch and how on earth they managed that without losing any on the way was remarkable.

Eventually we returned to the dining room and a series of wonderfully tasty courses arrived, beautifully presented and with abundant supplies of wine and even some very expensive-looking single malt whisky samples that I am sure would have kept me way over the limit for most the following day had I done more than smell them.

I am surprised that I managed to go up and down that spiral stairway, all 42 steps, so many times throughout the evening to see guests safely into taxis without having to stop for a rest halfway or that no-one took a faster route by tripping or sliding down a few. All was very well that ended well, however, and a really great time was had by all.

There'll be lots more photos soon but, having driven back today (another sub-5 hour run) with Russell this is about the best I can manage!
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