19.9.15 Weddings, Castles and Kilts

“Marriage is not 50/50.  Divorce is 50/50.  Marriage has to be 100/100.  It isn’t dividing everything in half, but giving everything you’ve got” (sent to me by my Fiancé)

I was excited about travelling over 4 days to perform at Dundas Castle for a Wedding on Saturday and at The Majestic Hotel in Harrogate for a corporate event on the Monday.  The Dilemma (ladies, you know what’s coming), was packing!!!  Well, I managed it.  When Lee arrived (my partner) who was joining me for the weekend arrived, I led him to the hallway where my equipment and luggage was sat waiting patiently.  It looked something like this…
luggage

Boys, you can imagine the look on his face…complete shock!!!

My dad and I were stood next to Lee’s car, as he was taking HIS things out of the car in order to fit mine in, which my dad found hilarious.

The journey to Queensferry took 7 hours, but was so much fun.  Our first stop was at the Angel of the North.
angel of north

Our journey continued North up the A1 where we stumbled upon a picturesque town called Alnwick.  We didn’t understand the parking situation, so popped into a local shop to ask.  It turns out that you pay £1 for a badge which lasts a lifetime AND you can use it anywhere in Northumberland.  Bonus.  (A little fact for you if you’re thinking of a trip up there, or down there depending on where you live).  Walking around Alnwick was lovely, it is so cute and old fashioned.  We had a walk down to the castle and the man on the gates suggested a lovely little walk to a place where we could take some photo’s.  We walked over a little bridge where we found a lion statue, which of course I had to climb on, and into a field by the river full of cows.  I wanted to ride one (I thought it’d be funny) but one looked at me and I got scared haha.

Lee was walking to fast through the field and I was getting nettled, so I lifted up my dress – Lee took a photo…

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I can be quite mischievous…with Lee ahead of me, looking back, and grin on my face, I first looked around to check there were no people, lifting up my dress to quickly flash my bum at Lee…just as a huge bus of pensioners drove past haha.

After lots of laughs and a few mishaps, we made it to the Scottish Border.

scottish border

As we were approaching Queensferry, we thought that it would be a good idea to hunt down Dundas Castle to make sure that we knew exactly where we were going the next day and it’s a good job that we did.  There were lots of roadworks and they were so confusing.  We found it, after doing a few circles in the car.  On the approach to the castle a huge hare ran out on front of the car, it was more like a deer really haha.  I’d never seen one before.  The castle was lit up and looked beautiful.  I managed to get a photo of part of the castle…
dundas castle

The Dakota Hotel (where we were staying) was five minutes around the corner.  Fantastic.  As we walked through the doors, stood there was Ronnie, the Father of the Bride.  I met Ronnie two years ago when I was performing for a conference that he was involved in, at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate, so I had got to know him really well.  He invited me and Lee into his specially booked VIP bar at the hotel with his close friends, who were such a laugh.  In fact, we all got on so well that 4 hours later, we were still sat in the bar…they where on the wine….I was on the tea haha.  Isn’t it true what they say about the world being a small place?  Debbie, one of Ronnie’s friends lives ten minutes from my house and funnily enough, I went to school with her cousin.  I travel 7 hours and end up sat next to someone from down the road haha.

Saturday morning arrived and knowing how beautiful the castle was, we set off super early to get lots of photo’s.  I was so glad of how early we got there, because (baring in mind the surprising amount of equipment I need) we had to walk up a medieval spiral stairwell within the castle turret to get to the ceremony room.  Equally as glad that Lee was with me (he’s good at carrying things).
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We could see all sorts from the turret, the views were incredible but I was more excited that I could see llama’s than anything else.

The ceremony room was very intimate with lots of beautiful features.  I set up on a little platform at the back of the room, which on reflection wasn’t little at all, it was really tall, so much so that there was an inbuilt wooden staircase leading down to the ceremony room from the main door (where I was sat).  I would NOT have wanted to attempt those stairs in a wedding dress…in any dress, actually.  (Wedding Advice: If clumsy, this is probably something you should think about before you book a venue)

The acoustics sounded incredible, that room felt amazing to play in.  The only way I can describe it is to say that it sounded very ethereal.
ceremony room ceremony

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As the guests were leaving the ceremony room, Tim (one of the guests from the VIP bar the previous night) threw a £1 at my feet as a joke.  I giggled, he thought it was hilarious but his wife nudged him and told him off haha which made it even funnier.

The next challenge was to move the equipment from the turret, to the main hall where the Drinks Reception was to take place.  On the way, I had a dress malfunction when bending down to pick something up, one of my straps snapped off.  Luckily I had packed a million dresses (much to Lee’s dismay) so I dashed off to quickly get changed.
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I accidentally played the Rugby World Cup Theme without knowing it but it was appropriate because the Rugby World Cup was on and everybody thought I did it on purpose so applauded, which at the time was confusing for me haha until Lee explained it to me later on. (Musician fail here haha).

There was a great bagpipe player in all the traditional Scottish clothing.  I can’t imagine how long it took him to get dressed.  You’ll understand when you see the photo.  He was a lovely man who I spoke with for about ten minutes, but his accent was so broad, I’m sure that I knew what he was saying.  My nodding could have meant I was agreeing with anything haha.
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The wedding was so enjoyable, as well as performing, I laughed with many of the guests.  Afterwards, me and Lee enjoyed a drink and some giggles in one of the lounge areas, and I found a beautiful piano to play on.
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I’ll update you on the next two days of the trip very soon xxx

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