Auld lang Syne, caber, Clyde, Cutty Sark, First Lady, Gay Gordons, haggis, Holy Willie, Immortal Memory, John Barleycorn, Red Rose, Sassenach, Selkirk Grace, Sevres vase, soor ploom, Steinway, Strathspeys, Strip the Willow, Tam O' Shanter, tea clipper
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.
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.
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 line. Still, 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,
I should think that he has no chance and no worries regarding Poskett. Her
gaze was continually resting on that Maxwell fellow.