The deadliest, jelliest site ever. Brought to you by Niamh Shaw

A couple of days ago, I was sitting on the balcony on a citronella candle, enjoying the peace and serenity, when the harmony was annihilated by a sound like a cat being swung around by the whiskers.

“HUSBAND!” I roared up the stairs, where Husband was closeted in the cupboard off the bedroom which, at the moment, is serving as his office. “You hear that . . . noise?”


“What the fuck?”



We listened – well, we didn’t have much choice – while the unseen piper tweedled through a medley of bagpipe classics: The Lament of Angus the Brawny, The Rape of Loch Lomond, The Canny Knees of Lord Hamish.

A couple of days later, Husband and I went for a walk up the road, and stopped for a chat with our neighbour. Dave has lived in the house 100 metres from ours for the last eight years, around about the time he renounced razors as being injurious to his face.

“So what’s the deal with the mad Scottish piper?” I asked, during the course of neighbourly conversation. “You’ve heard him, I presume? I like to imagine him marching dolefully up and down Turanga Road swinging his sporran. The bagpipes have to be the most offensive instrument known to man.”

There was a deadly pause.

“That’s my son,” said Dave, his whole beard doing an outraged Mexican wave. “He’s in the Youth Band.”

“He’s really good,” I breathed fervently.

“Very accomplished,” said Husband. I tell you: when our karma synchs we make an awesome team. He grabbed me by the scruff of the neck. “We’d better be getting along.”


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