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Aye, hullo there!  It’s Candia again, dear devotees.  I’m

just recovering from delivering The Immortal Memory speech at

the PTA Burns Supper at St Birinus’ Middle School.

And what a night it was!  Snodbury did fairly well as Master of

Ceremonies, considering he’s a Sassenach.  The School Chaplain

stuttered over The Selkirk Grace, but by then he’d already had a

wee dram.  Or two!

I sat on the top table, next to the School Secretary and Diana

Fotheringay, who seemed to be the partner of The Acting Head.  I

don’t know how she knew him. She seems to be rather an efficient

social climber.  She may have been discomfited by the secretarial

attentions directed at her beau during the evening.  However,

they were probably professionally-motivated.  (Perhaps that’s

the excuse Hollande gave to his First Lady before she took herself

off to hospital, allegedly smashing a Sevres vase or two on the way.

Sèvres Clodion vase.jpg

Anyway, Snodbury looked like a floribunda between two thorns.

One of the Junior Masters got up on his hind legs and sang A Red,

Red Rose, to continue the botanical metaphor.  He was accompanied

on the school Steinway by the choirmaster.  It was quite a poignant

rendition and the tenor seemed greatly affected until he had difficulty

with the top note and blushed at his underachievement.

Consequently the choirmaster could not help his facial expression,

which was akin to that of a disgruntled man who had just peed

on a thistle.

Frankly, he should have transposed the key for an amateur performer.

The local publicans had been grouped together on The John Barleycorn

table and members of the clergy were drumming their toasting glasses

on their Holy Willies table.  By the time they were hauled up to their

feet by Sixth Form girls who had waited on their table, to tapselteerie

some Strathspeys, they had managed to steady themselves, under

the vigilant gazes of their soor ploom wives.

I enjoyed stabbing the haggis, though I shall be sending the school

my dry cleaning bill.

Tam O’ Shanter went down well and at least everyone now knows that

Cutty Sark is more than an eighteenth century tea clipper built on The

Clyde.  The Sixth Form girls adequately demonstrated this sartorial

point in their dress code for the evening.

Cutty Sark

I observed a flash of seamed stocking in The Bluebells of Scotland.  The

School Secretary was ubiquitous and strategically placed herself next to

Snodbury for Auld Lang Syne.  It annoys me when people ignorantly add for

the sake of  to a perfectly crafted lineStill, they don’t know any better.

Curiously, Diana Fotheringay didn’t seem too concerned.  Mind you, with

legs like that on display, I could see the attraction would wear off. I’m

referring to Snodbury’s hirsute limbs, of course.  Cabers don’t come into


Poskett, the choirmaster, walked out at The Loyal Toast.  He fancies

himself as a Republican!  Or he just fancies himself, full-stop!

I saw that he had to be partnered by the songster in The Gay Gordons,

but I doubt this had any sexual significance.

Well, Rabbie, we did you proud.  The staff didn’t seem to fraternise with the

parents over much, however.  One father seemed very much out on a limb

until that rather heavily-jowled Housemistress from St Vitus’– no doubt

released on good behaviour for the evening, scooped him up to Strip the

Willow. He wasn’t a bad looking chap.  I sneaked a look at the name on his

place card- it was Maxwell, or Boothroyd-Something.  Maybe he’s responsible

for that infamous troublemaker in Castor and Pollux’s class.

The last sighting I had of the deflated songster was of him hanging around

the fringes, like a knotless thread on a tartan travelling rug.  His eyes were

fixated on the Housemistress as she whirled around the floor with Poskett,

the choirmaster.

I should think that he has no chance and no worries regarding Poskett.  Her

gaze was continually resting on that Maxwell fellow.