Whilst trying to find something different to do whilst in Edinburgh, I suggested that we take the train to Aberdeen. At least we would see some different scenery and travel over the Forth bridge. Whilst we enjoyed the journey there, we didn't actually find that much to do in Aberdeen which we couldn't have done in Edinburgh. True, one can admire the granite buildings, but that wears off after a few minutes.
I took my practice pipes apart, primarily to air them (they have a musty smell). I connected the blowpipe to the chanter in order to create a practice chanter but still could not get any sound out of them. I strongly suspect that the pipes are missing a reed. I am going to take the whole set to the bagpipe shop to be checked.