Aren’t royal weddings brilliant? In 1981 my dad and I celebrated by walking from Craighouse to the top of Beinn an Oir, the highest of the Paps of Jura (and back, obviously...). It was a beautiful July day, although at the top of the mountain it was windy and cold, as you may be able to guess from my slightly pained expression in the above photo. Note the trusty Adidas jacket and fetching wooly socks pulled up over black Wrangler cords. Blimey, it was tough being a fashionable 15 year old in 1981...
On another day during the same holiday my mum and I took off for the day with our dog Sula and climbed Beinn Shiantaidh, another of the Paps. On the way back down we were (literally) surprised by a flight of RAF Buccaneer airplanes flying low over the hills. They erupted from behind us, as if from nowhere. I guess one of the pilots must have spotted us, as he waggled his wing tips as he passed. Whether in greeting or as an apology for surprising us I’m not sure...
So yes, whilst others of my generation remember that day for wedding dresses or kisses on the balcony at Buckingham Palace, when I close my eyes I see my dad on the top of Beinn an Oir under a cornflower blue sky, the sound of Jura spread below us in hazy repose.
Thirty years on, I’m not sure what my lasting memory from this royal wedding will be. Probably of a blustery bike ride up the valley under grey skies and an evening ginger beer in the garden room. And in it’s own way, that would be no less delightful.
And finally, my soundtrack for July 1981 would likely have been something like the following:
Flowers of Romance - Public Image Ltd.
Up the Hill Backwards - David Bowie
Primary - The Cure
Drowning - The Beat
Candy Skin - Fire Engines
Is Vic There? - Department S
Treason - The Teardrop Explodes
About The Weather - Magazine
Spellbound - Siouxsie & The Banshees
Youth of Nation On Fire - Bill Nelson
Going Back to My Roots - Odyssey
Wordy Rappinghood - Tom Tom Club
Me No Pop I - Coati Mundi
Show Me - Dexy's Midnight Runners
A Promise - Echo & The Bunnymen
Tempted - Squeeze
Julie Ocean - The Undertones
Love Action (I Believe In Love) - Human League
Ghost Town - The Specials
And in celebration of the Big Day, we flick the V's at The Man and share the mix with anyone smart enough to be reading Unpopular blogs rather than watching the telly or camping out on The Mall. Get your flowers of romance here.