Stop droning on and pipe down – Susan Morrison

Many thanks to those who joined us at Previously… Scotland’s History Festival last week. It was a joy to meet so many wild enthusiasts for not just Scotland’s story, but history from around the world.

Friday, 29th November 2019, 6:00 am
Susan endured the Siege of the Bagpipers at the French Institute. Picture: Getty
Susan endured the Siege of the Bagpipers at the French Institute. Picture: Getty

The French Institute up on West Parliament Square is a lovely building and staffed by patient and helpful people. They have a beautiful bistro with amazing food and wine. They were the perfect hosts.

We should do something to thank them. We could start by lifting the Siege of The Bagpipers.

At one point, there were four of them. Two had the entrances covered, and two were fighting a holding action in the square. Two were very good. Two were…..loud.

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One was playing Suspicious Minds. This is not an oft-heard melody on the chanter, and for good reason.

Now, I am huge fan of the pipes, as long as they are played outdoors, preferably in Fife and I am in Lothian. However, prolonged exposure to that particular drone has an almost hallucinogenic effect. Think LSD with the Dashing White Sergeant. Throw in the Gay Gordons and you’ve got yourself a perfume advert.

They were busking, of course. During the filming of the recent mega-movies here in Edinburgh, they were apparently paid to go away. Can’t help but think that this might be a better financial model at least some of our pavement pipers.