What a co-incidence

Looking over to Arran from Stravannan Bay

The doppelgangers have been coming thick and fast. On Bute at the weekend, the spouse and I adjourned to a remote rural hostelry for a refreshing beverage, after spending a taxing afternoon poking about in rock pools. “Oh look,” I said as we went inside, “that woman over there looks just like my sister in-law”. Strangely, she seemed to be accompanied by apparitions of my mother, sister and Creme Egg hating nieces. After Friday’s train journey, one doppelganger was possible, I thought, but five in the one place was just too much of a co-incidence. “That is your sister-in-law” said the spouse, “and there’s your mum, sister and the girls”.

It turned out that they had all made a pilgrimage to the Isle of Bute for a highland dancing competition. We joined them at their table and it was good to find out that the champion’s legs were still in good working order after the terrible long-jumping accident in our hallway at Easter weekend. Just as my sister in-law and I began exchanging hearing aid stories from opposite ends of the table, a noisy wedding party came into the bar. The conversation began to break down.


“Can’t hear you”


“This is rubbish”

As we both gave up, I became aware of a hot breath on my neck. I turned and caught a small person giving my left ear and its contents a thorough once-over in that disarming way that only children can. I braced myself for a ” Hey…what’s that thing in your ear, auntie Moira?” but fortunately it never came thanks to the swift administration of an i-Phone to niece by my sister. A tranche of blurry photos of kilted highland dancers swiftly returned my left ear to obscurity, and after a quick demonstration of some fancy footwork in the car park, we all went our separate ways again.

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