It’s the wedding of the century as Angus Lordie finally ties the knot with Domenica Macdonald, but as the newlyweds depart on their honeymoon, Edinburgh is in disarray. Recovering from the trauma of being best man, Matthew is taken up by a Dane called Bo. Cyril eludes his dog-sitter and embarks on an adventure involving fox-holes and a cardinal. Narcissist Bruce meets his match in the form of a sinister doppelganger; Bertie, embarrassed again by his mother, yearns for freedom; and Big Lou goes viral.
It rather surprised Domenica that she should suddenly think of poor Professor Santaluca after all these years. But it was quite understandable, really, that she should be contemplating the institution of marriage and its customs, given that she was herself about to get married—to Angus Lordie—and was now sitting in her flat in Scotland Street, attended by her friend, Big Lou, preparing for the moment—only three hours away—when she would walk through the door of St Mary’s Cathedral in Palmerston Place. Her entry would be to the accompaniment of “Sheep May Safely Graze” by Johann Sebastian Bach, this piece having been selected by Angus, who had a soft spot for Bach. Domenica had acceded to this provided that it would be her choice of music to be played as they left. That was Charles Marie Widor’s Toccata, from his Symphony No. 5, a triumphant piece of music if ever there was one.
“People will love it,” she said. “It’s such a statement.”
“Of what?” Angus had asked.
“Of the fact that the marriage has definitely taken place,” said Domenica. “It’s not a piece of music that admits of any ... how should I put it? ... uncertainty.”
“Maybe,” said Angus. “It’s the opposite of peelie-wersh, I suppose.”
Domenica was interested. As with many Scots expressions, the meaning of peelie-wersh was obvious, even to those who had never encountered the term before. “And which composers would be peelie-wersh?”
“Some of the minimalists. The ones who use two or three notes. The ones you have to strain to hear. Thin music. Widor is thickly textured.”