Saturday 5 May 2012: NOT A BAD EVENING
Those who know me as a fair-weather pacifist and someone who regards the Highland pipes as more of an instrument of torture than of music will find it strange that I spent this evening at the Redford Barracks in Edinburgh, a guest of honour at the Beating of the Retreat of the Massed Pipes and Drums of the Army Cadets. But I adore the Professor (for whom this was an official engagement) and I am open to new experiences, so there you find me, revelling in the late evening sunshine, snuggled under a purple blanket, mingling with the top brass and - yes it has to be admitted, enjoying a fine display by some impressively talented and hard working young people.
'Beating the retreat', I learned, is a centuries old tradition of calling the troops back to the safety of the encampment from their domestic pursuits, which included foraging for food. So my imagination created images of them out snaring rabbits, gathering firewood and flirting with the local lassies before hearing that distant, murderous wail of the pipes and thinking, 'Better get back quickly and get them to stop making the god awful racket'.
Actually, I do like the sound of Highland pipes. Solitary ones. Without drums. On a hill side. About five miles away.
THREE THINGS TO BE GRATEFUL FOR:
* Forecast overnight frost did not materialise and my wee plants survived
* Lunch with an old friend
* A wee breather to catch up with things