On And On To Strathdon - Part 2: The Inverernan Wedding

The Allargue House Hotel [pronounced al-arg, and not all argue as has been variously suggested ... but not in a compulsory way], is only 5 miles from Inverernan House, where the wedding we were attending was to take place. And a splendid place it is too. The house is much larger than it appears from its front elevation. It stretches back quite a way and is beautiful within - not surprisingly, as Sylvia operates her own interior design business.

The weather was typically clement for the time of year - mist, cloud, rain, drizzle - in fact it ran the whole gamut of precipitation in its eagerness to fulfil its seasonal destiny. Knowing of the old adage (and if it isn't one, it should be), 'if you prepare for rain, it will be gloriously sunny (and vice versa)', Peter and Sylvia had attempted to double-bluff Old Dame Weather by confidently anticipating and indeed preparing for a sun-drenched June wedding. La vielle dame meteorologique, not to be outdone in the bluffing stakes however... 

Briefly, the marquee needed and received wet-weather protection - particularly essential in the dining-tent; even if this resulted in bulging polythene sacks of accumulated rainwater sagging through the joins in the canvas cover, threatening to bomb tables of revellers in a watery blitzkreig.

The flowers were opulently arranged, interspersed with birch trees fixed to the tentpoles, thus bringing the outdoors in. The ceremony itself was very special - full of song and scripture in a joyous and celebratory mix, with the true purpose of marriage always in the forefront. My Precious Lady and myself were blessed by the occasion - so much so in my case that I forgot that I wished to photograph it, and those images that I took were very shaky [to say the least]. You can see this quite clearly, or fuzzily, in the set below...

After the ceremony, P & S were presented with a special gift from all their respective children. This wonderful gift came adorned with grand-children, grand-nieces and nephews and whatnot, who were not a permanent fixture ... presumably.

These small people needed constant re-arranging in much the same manner that one is always needing to tinker with knots, spinnakers, tillers, doofers and all that yachty technical stuff when sailing.

Finally I managed to find a clear view through the thronging weans and wildlife to grab a clear shot of beautiful bride and dashing groom.

The moment was but a fleeting one as they were whisked off to their next appearance on the wedding day schedule. For some of us guests it was a similar experience to waiting to catch a brief glimpse of H M Queen and the D of E (that's Prince Philip, not the Department of Environment) through their limousine window as the fly on to another Royal walkabout.

It dawned on me that this wedding weekend was a fantastical experience - we were lifted out of the usual mundane and translated into a world of which we know very little; and understand even less. I call it 'our Brigadoon experience'.

Brigadoon, as I am sure you will recall, was a fictional wee Scottish village that appeared out of the Highland mist for only one day every hundred years, only to vanish into memory. Well, I consider it significant that since that wedding weekend, we have seen nothing of our dear friend Peter, or his new lady wife; so I fear that he has been caught in that otherworld in the mists of Aberdeenshire never to be seen again.

A fantastical weekend it was and remains in our thoughts. We repaired to the All Argue Hotel for a glass of malt whisky - the evening wine of Scotland (as Alistair Cooke called it) - before heading for sleep, and our journey home the next day.

I hope you will join us for the third instalment of our Strathdon adventure, 'Return from Brigadoon', coming soon ...


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