This weekend I took a journey up north for a love story.
Overnight and crooked necks, my friend on my shoulder and me on the window. The bus rolls north and we sleep little and light. But the prospect of the wedding is ahead and when we arrive in Edinburgh – sunlight, early morning chill, high bright skies – it feels all worth it.
Up in Callander the hills are rolling green and purple with heather and ferns. At the end of the twisting road is the pier and we gather together, smiling and hugging each other. Kilts and hats and camera cases, the swell of bagpipe music and kisses for the groom.
On the boat Sally and Richard’s faces are smiles. It all feels so real and us girls begin to cry; across the aisle, the boys catch our eyes and smile at our tears. I had never seen that expression on Richard’s face before, the look of his eyes and the line of his jaw. There are yellow flowers woven through Sal’s hair.
That night in the hall, the fiddle music is loud and the girls are barefoot. Outside in the hazy night the air is thick with smoke, biting midges and the burst of candlelight. In the dusky blue we celebrate the new Mr and Mrs Gallagher.