A big girls blouse………   4 comments

I thought I’d share an amusing little story with you today, just for a change.

As you’d expect, we have a state of the art security system in the castle; so sensitive that if a large spider were to walk across the wrong piece of floor, then all hell would break loose!

Well, last year, that’s exactly what happened, and one night I got roused from my bed around 3.00am to the sound I dread most. Dornie is a very quiet place, especially at night, and sound can travel huge distances across the water, and our alarms are NOT quiet.

Hurriedly throwing some clothes on, I arrived at the front door of the castle at almost exactly the same time as a number of large, burly, local policemen, none of whom would have looked out of place on the front row of any International Rugby team!

One policeman positions himself at the front door, directly below the kitchens, while the rest of us started a systematic room by room inspection of the castle. Now there are a number of different bunches of keys that have to be used in the internals of the castle, and on this particular occaision I’d stupidly neglected to pick up all the bunches I required. This was a rather daft oversight on my part as certain lighting systems we have can only be operated by little fish-tail keys. The Law of Sod was definitely at work that night as the one bunch of keys that had the required fish-tail key was not on my person!

Now castles can be rather spooky places in the depths of a dark night, with lots of strange creaking noises, shadows and suchlike playing tricks on the mind. Remember the fact that Carlos, our Spanish ghost is also reputed to haunt the place, though I have to confess we have yet to be offically introduced.

Having checked the majority of the castle, we arrive at the kitchens where I realise that the afore-mentioned fish-tail key is required! Doh! Now as you’d expect, I’m very familiar with every room in the castle, and the darkness doesn’t bother me at all, so I proceed to enter the dark and gloomy kitchens with the policemen behind me to check things out. (Those of you who have visited the castle will be fully aware of the fact that the recreated kitchens have a number of lifesize dummies in them, and herein lies the tale!)

I’ve just about reached the far end of the kitchen, and about to enter the scullery, when the most blood-curling scream I have ever had the misfortune to hear rents the air! Suffice to say, one of our big burly local policeman who has never been inside Eilean Donan before this night, has bumped into the model of Isabella MacRae-Gilstrap, and had more than a little start!!! Now I’m quite sure Isabella was quite a formidable woman in her time, but she was all of about 5 feet tall, yet has managed to turn our local bobby into an absolute quivering wreck! Having established the cause of his panic, we all proceed to have a good laugh at our man in blue’s expense. I’m quite sure that his colleagues ribbed him mercilessly for weeks afterwards!

An unforeseen tangent of this whole fiasco is that the policeman stood below at the front door on sentry duty hears his colleague’s scream and starts to get more than a bit twitchy himself! By the time we arrive back to the front door he is VERY relieved to see us.

For those of you not familiar with the kitchens, here’s a wee photo of it, in daylight! Isabella is the lady on the left!


Posted July 15, 2010 by eileandonan in Tales & Stories

4 responses to “A big girls blouse………

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  1. Very funny! So, how did you determine what set off the alarm?

    • Hi Eilidh, unbeknown to us, we had a swallow nesting in one of the outer rooms. In the interests of my beauty sleep, we now employ a plastic perigrine falcon fixed on the top of the castle that fools the swallows into keeping their distance. It also drives the crows and the seagulls nuts!

  2. I love it. That is sooooooooooooo funny.

  3. I loved the spooked policeman story……..& the plastic falcon story too!!

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