The Wedding – The Final Countdown

Last time we had another SHIRTGATE PART 2, we had SANDWICHGATE, LATEGATE, CHURCHGATE. If that’s enough to explain it all, or you actually read Parts 1 and 2 😳, then let’s go………

Never had a wedding drained the guests so much, before actually getting to a wedding. Many would have given up by now and gave it up as a bad job, but not us. We were resolute in our mission to attend this wedding, no matter what😳……blessed with the knowledge it HAD to be better than what we’d encountered thus far. At last, Borthwick Castle loomed on the horizon. We’d made it in time. 😍

Borthwick Castle
Borthwick Castle

The scene that met us was one of serenity and beauty. Lovely manicured lawns, populated by lovely manicured people carrying glasses of champagne…….CHAMPAGNE…..they were already into the CHAMPAGNE!!!! Now, I was starving, but as the old saying goes, any old port in a storm. I can’t remember who welcomed us onto the lawn or whether I even acknowledged them, but, within seconds, I had my paws round a flute, nay flaggon, of France’s best. At last, as the 13% sparkly bubbles descended my parched throat! I felt peace descend upon me……….


It was Fran! I nearly sprayed my peasant squashed nectar into the middle of next week.

‘what’s wrong? We only just got here….!’

‘You’ll never guess what Uncle Gavin just said to me…..’


I was already in monosyllabic mode. We’d barely been on the bloody lawn for 5 minutes. The sparkly champagne bubbles had barely had time to burst in my throat and something had happened.

‘He asked me if I was “number 1 or number 2” ‘

Oh crap. The silly old bugger. Of all the sentences on all the lawns, he had to pick this one, this time and that sentence. That was him out of the running for ‘diplomat of the year’. At this point it’s worth knowing I’d separated and was now with Fran, so i could understand her getting a bit annoyed.

‘Look, he didn’t mean anything. Probably just his daft sense of humour. 😳 Ignore it and get some sparkly down you’

Fran calmed down, and, it wasn’t long before we were called to attention to move into the castle for the actual ceremony. I was checking taxi numbers on my phone……πŸ˜‰ We were escorted through a door and onto a narrow spiral concrete staircase. I don’t know what I was expecting, It was a castle after all πŸ˜€ Despite being reasonably fit,I was pecking by the time I reached the top step. There to greet us, were rows of pews on a fine carpet, surrounded by flowers and other weddingy things that you find at weddings. It was lovely. It was lovely until my sister came rushing over to me and exclaimed…..

‘You’ll need to come. It’s Dad, I think he’s having an attack!’

Now, given she was a Sister in a hospital, the words coming out of her mouth had to be taken with some high degree of seriousness. At the rear of the regalia’d hall sat Dad. He was struggling for breath and his lips were not a good colour.

‘Are you ok Dad’

The lack of a decent reply, told my brain, that, no, he wasn’t ok. He wasn’t the fittest of blokes and I’d forgot selfishly, he’d had to climb the 76 concrete spiral steps as well. I shouldn’t have felt so bad, as I certainly wouldn’t been able to lift him 😁
I was about to phone an ambulance, when Dad got his nebuliser out and started puffing. Within a minute or two his colour returned and he started breathing properly again. Eventually we got him sat down on a pew and I knew he was ok when he said…..

‘Bloody weddings…….never again’

Just then my Aunt Jan and my Mum arrived from the opposite direction. They looked lovely in their wedding finery and not a bit out of breath’

‘How did you get up here?’ My Dad asked them.

I couldn’t help it……..’the LIFT’ I blurted out…

‘the LIFT……what BLOODY LIFT!’

My mum and aunt stood flummoxed, as the rest of us burst into laughter. Dad was back from the brink and even he smiled. To this day I’m not actually sure how mum and co. got up there. They certainly didn’t climb the 76 steps of the spiral staircase. So, the lift has become folklore, even if I’m not 100% sure there ever was one.

If you think I’m going to spend much time on the ceremony itself then you’d be mistaken. There were hats, veils, white dresses, kilts, music, standing up, sitting down and some ‘I Do’s’ at the end. That was it, they were married.

We were directed into a grand room to wait while preparations for the wedding meal were completed. I checked Dad was ok, saw more sparkly bubbles being offered and headed for a seat. I noticed there weren’t many so, I nudged Fran towards a two sweater sofa near a large warm open fire.

‘Get in there quick!’

We selfishly nabbed it, feeling pleased with ourselves for getting ‘pole posish’. We now only had the meal and the disco to get through and it would ALL be over. One night in the hotel and home to a warm bed and normal life. No shirts, no tantrums and no Moffat toffees (well, maybe one ☺️) we were still high fiving and backslapping each other when this happened…….

‘Hello. ladies and gentlemen. We have a break before the meal, and….since half of you have travelled all the way from New Zealand to be here, we thought we would provide some traditional Scottish entertainment…….. I’d like to introduce Dougal who will……….’

Dougal who will…..what? Sing? Highland Dance? Play the bagpipes, the fiddle, toss the caber……WHAT? What was Dougal going to do……..?

‘………tell some stories…..’

TELL SOME STORIES……..WHAT? AT A WEDDING! Sheesh……. Then Dougal appeared. Dressed in the ubiquitous kilt and wearing a green beret. He looked the part and I shouldn’t have been so harsh on him……..until he took up residence right in front of the fire……right next to us…..

‘Ah’m here Ti tell ye a story, aboot a princess and a frog. One day a Princess was oot walkin along bi the river, the sun was oot, nae a breath o’ wind…….’

Fran and I looked at each other. Not only was our route to the champagne blocked, not only was our escape route blocked, within one sentence, we realised we’d picked the worse seat this side o’ Dalkeith. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the New Zealanders loved it, but, it was my worst nightmare. The only thing worse would have been if he’d asked Fran, in front of everyone, whether she was number one or number 2, or, even worse, shown my Dad where the lift was.

‘…..until she saw where the voice wiz cummin frae……on a stane beside the sparklin water, there sat a frog……’

Arrgh, so he went on, while we, parched starving and trapped, listened to Dougal. It served us right. ‘POLE POSISH INDEED’

‘……so, she kissed the frog…and guess whit happened……?’

The Frog and the Prince
The Frog and the Prince

Don’t say it turned into a Prince…

‘……it turned intae a handsome Prince’

Arrgh, help me please…….

Eventually, to tumultuous applause, ( I gave him a standing ovation 😳 ) Dougal had run out of frogs, princesses and other Disney characters who’d obviously popped over to Scotland for the wedding. He left, his cruel work done, to go and write something about a girl locked in a tower with long golden hair or something.

With Dougal gone, we were escorted through to a lovely hall for the meal. Fran and I followed the rest of my immediate family to a table on the left. Mum seemed to know what she was doing so, we followed her. As, one by one, my family began to sit down, Fran started to look a bit confused…..

‘I can’t see our names’

She was right. Our names were not there. We went into ‘slightly embarrassed’ mode as we were now the only ones left standing. It turned out we’d been shuffled to another table complete with total strangers. Fran gave me a look. I sheepishly sat down and looked at my watch. We quaffed more french bubbles to make us forget we were the only ones shunted to the rear amongst the boyfriend of the best man and other important guests. 😳

Soon, the meal and the speeches were over. It was the last leg……le discotheque. Well, actually, I didn’t know whether it was a ceilidh band or Bon Jovi. Sometimes Scottish weddings have a mixture of Scottish and modern music. I waited with baited breath…….
At least, having moved to yet another large room I the castle, we were back safely within the confines of my family. We’d all had enough percentage of the water, we’d even started laughing about all the things that had gone wrong. It was all behind us, we’d have a dance, drink some more, go back to the hotel. End of……

a New Zealand accent arrived…….it was the grooms mother.

‘ thank you everyone. I hope you’ve had a lovely day (😁)….. We have some music now and I’d like to introduce the New Orleans Jazz Band. I hope you all like jazz music…..thank you once again……enjoy the rest of the evening….’

I turned to the rest of the family….

‘did she just say “Jezz” ? ‘

Suddenly, there were red and white stripey waistcoated, boater wearing, shiny instrument wielding punters everywhere.
Now, I like a wide range of music, but, unfortunately, jazz was not on the list. I couldn’t believe it. JAZZ, at a Scottish wedding! We all looked at each other.

All That Jazz !
All That Jazz !

As the first ragtime something or other kindled up, the 4 people who liked jazz got up to dazzle us with their jazz moves. My head finally sank into my hands. It was almost like someone was using a Dave’s Wedding Voodoo doll and was happily sticking pins in it with gusto.
After the 20 down to 10 ragtime hits had been completed, the New Orleans Monsters of Jazz moved on to the all time Top 10. I was praying they’d kill a jazz version of Living On A Prayer just to finish off the perfect day.

Suddenly, it was over, and, apart from having to wait an hour in the darkness for a taxi, nothing else went wrong. The Wedding Voodoo Doll controller had obviously run out of pins, or gone to bed.

The next morning at breakfast, we went through it all again. We laughed so much, we were getting strange looks from other tables. We packed our bags and, as we set of down Dalkeith High St. we were still laughing………..

The Wedding – The Final Countdown was brought to you by David Linden aka @qosfc1919 and Dodo Productions Β© 2015

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