The Campbell’s are coming.
It began with a train journey, picked up by a luxury coach, transferred to a luxury venue, it was time for Piper on Parade, the Inverness Piper to greet them with some rousing celebratory tunes. This was a party of 25 American visitors, all with Scottish ancestry and wishing to indulge in, and taste all things Scottish! Where better then, than to be welcomed to Culloden House Hotel, to begin a tour of the Highlands.
The weather was sunny and mild, I mention this for two reasons the first being as more often than not its usually rain, hail and wind, and secondly for no other reason than I love to talk about the weather like a lot of my countrymen!
The climate was excellent for playing the Great Highland Bagpipe, dry, not humid, and what a backdrop. The stunning Culloden House Hotel, with its Georgian facade and its stepped arch to the front door. All that was missing was Bonnie Prince Charlie manning the reception. This was the real deal!
I stood at the bottom of the steps and as I watched the coach approach struck up with Scotland the Brave, Heilan’ Laddie and The Black Bear. Fine rousing tunes which I concluded that any self -respecting American with Scottish ancestry would recognise. I wasn’t disappointed. They were a great bunch of people. A number taking great delight in pointing out that there was a Campbell in their midst, maybe I looked like a Macdonald, I don’t know but Mr Campbell clearly reveled in his notoriety!!
Once everyone had a drink (except the Piper, changed days!) The photos started. Cameras of every shape and size, Ipads, iphones, other phones all appeared at once. After a while I decided to stop playing for a time believing that there was probably sufficient photos of Piper on Parades blowing, straining face in circulation. I posed with everyone and was reminded of my own wedding day: a sore face with all the smiling, and I should be well practiced as I believe I smile a lot, or so I’m told 🙂
I then led a chat surrounding the origins of my Highland ceremonial uniform dress and the life of a military piper which led to a really easy going question and answer session, which was great fun and full of banter.
I concluded with a wee selection of slow, quick and quicker tunes before saying good bye to everyone as they entered the Great House to be allocated their rooms. It had been great fun, and being a Highland Piper, Piper on Parade really must have the best job in the world.