34-36 Sussex Gardens, Hyde Park, London W2, England
Phone (+44) 0207-262 0905; Fax (+44) 0207-262 1324.

Highland Fling

He slipped back deeper into the soft cushions that adorned the heavy tartan drape on the bed. For a moment he tried to remember what clan it represented but the concentration was too much for him. It had been a hard day trudging through the sleet and snow and all those years south of the border had almost made him forget that bitter north wind. Half in sleep he began to look at his surroundings.

His eyes fell upon the huge stag antlers hung high on the thick oak panelling that clad the room. He recalled how, as a young boy, he would go stalking the beasts for hours with his father through the glens. Finally, with one in the sights of his barrels, his father would not have the heart to shoot. With a sigh he would lower his shotgun and whip out a flask of single malt whiskey allowing the boy a wee dram. "A thing of beauty is not to be killed my boy" he would say as he wiped the perspiration from his brow.

The slow indulations of the heavy tapestry that dominated the far wall brought him back to the present. On it were the images of Scots Kings and Prices. In his semi conscious state the tapestry's movements almost brought them to life. The snow flurries were now playing violently against the window.

His eyelids were heavy with sleep but in the corner of the room he could just make out a small picture in a delicate frame. Could it be? He tried to focus on the scene depicted in the water colour. It was an image familiar to him. A view of loch. Was it? Yes it was. Loch Kilcardy at dawn. He had lost count of how many times he had gone salmon fishing there...

Suddenly the telephone rang shaking him violently out of his sleep. "I'm sorry to trouble you sir, it's reception here. What time would you like breakfast?" He began to remember where he was, as he could faintly hear the sound of the No 36 Bus to Marble Arch slushing its way through the Snow.

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