Camping on the Raasay Narrows
Sitting in front of my tent listening to Angus playing his bagpipe.

When camping on the Raasay Narrows during the evening hours you can hear a Piper playing his bagpipes. In this enchanting landscape of the sea and the Cullens in the background, nothing could be more Scottish. Depending on the direction of the wind you either hear it clearly or you will have to climb a hill overlooking the narrow bit of sea between Raasay and Skye to hear his playing. The sound is so very clear and travels so far to reach my ear, he must be playing outside.
I think the wife of Angus, I imagine his name to be Angus, does not allow him to play in the house. She likes to keep the windows and her eardrums whole. Or perhaps she cannot stand the sound of bagpipes or thinks he’s not playing well at all. So poor Angus is doomed to practice on the bagpipes outside, rain or shine….

Raasay narrows

It reminds me of my father when he took up playing the hobo when I was about 11 years old. He used to practice in the kitchen preferably at around 10 o’clock at night due to procrastination. My bedroom was just above the kitchen and I had to be in bed at 9 o’clock. So I fully enjoyed my father’s practice trails on the hobo. It sounded like he was killing a cat. Not very good bedtime music. I did not dare to complain about the awful noise because I did not want to hurt my father’s feelings. And I was afraid he might get angry or worse….. disappointed. So I tried to avoid the sound by putting my head under the pillow, put cotton wool in my ears, put on a piece of counter music but then I could not sleep at all!!! It seemed to be a hopeless case.

Then I thought ‘if you cannot beat them, join them’. Being a child with a fair bit of imagination. The ‘killing a cat’ theme did not work very well. Instead, I thought myself to be in India on a colourful market with a snake charmer. That snake charmer would not be my father on his hobo but a handsome prince… 1001 nights, smell of spices, incense….I painted myself a beautiful picture and fell asleep instantly. I had a very refreshing sleep while my father was playing his hobo. I was never bothered again when my father played his hobo.

I wonder if Angus’s wife could do the same thing. After all, it is not the sound disturbing you, it is you disturbing the sound.

I dedicate this story to my father who died on the 18th of October just 4 days after his 90th birthday. He build a wooden 2 person kayak and taught me and my brothers and sisters how to paddle it and enjoy the water. We had many happy hours paddling during the summer.

Aad Vijverberg
My father, painted by Alexander Gannet.

And, Angus, if you read this….Play ‘Ave Maria’ tonight on your bagpipes, let the music play over the saltwater of the sound and up the Cullins mountains. And I’m sure, if you listen closely you will hear my father singing along with his beautiful tenor voice.

Charlotte Gannet


  1. Sylvia Verbeek on 30th October 2020 at 15:02

    Dag pa…

  2. Sylvia Verbeek on 30th October 2020 at 15:01

    I listen very closely and I hear him sing ‘Ave Maria’ without the bagpipes. Much better!
    XX Sylvia

    • All Exclusive Cruises on 30th October 2020 at 15:11

      I know…

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