In the pocket of my dog-walking coat was a small Lego trumpet. I vaguely recall how it had got there: it had been glinting on the road, I had reached down to pick it up, as much to see what it was as anything. Unthinkingly, I had pocketed it. There it had stayed, buried in fluffy detritus.

The road trip to Edinburgh had been long, but worth it. We stayed with friends who had just moved North, their cottage overlooking the sea, a microclimate keeping the storms at bay. Happy days seeing the sights and walking the dogs.

We had planned the way back to be punctuated with places we had always wanted to visit, visiting people we would never see otherwise. The first stop was Lindisfarne, the long drive along the spit windswept and bleak.

We parked and walked, backs hunched against the weather. The air was damp, a light, misty rain wisping back and forth. We turned a corner and started towards the abbey, now a ruin, its forlorn structure silhouetted against the darkening sky.

There in front of us, some players were unpacking their instruments. They had travelled from Germany, we were told later, a church band on tour, drawn to play on the island. And play they did, the soaring notes of brass weaving in the wind, man and nature intertwined.

As we watched, mesmerised, I put my hands in my pockets. My fingertips fell upon something, for a moment I wondered what it was then I remembered — that plastic trumpet. Smiling I put it to my mouth and said, “toot.”

And in that moment, all was right with the world.


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