Flower of Scotland, God Save the Queen!

To Murrayfield on Saturday for the lacklustre England Scotland Calcutta Cup match.  Despite a distinct lack of oomph on the pitch, Edinburgh itself was in very fine form.  The sun shone without a break from early till late and I was happy to join the thousands of visitors wandering round this very fine city until it was time to repair to the pub for some pre-match socialising.

Popped into the National Gallery of Scotland which is probably the most delightful, small gallery I’ve ever been in to and was surprised and delighted to find Canova’s Three Graces there - surely one of the most beauiful sculptures of all time?  Dotted around the wall were great examples of Rubens, Rembrandt and Raphael, to name but a few.  What a treat!  Out to Leith to take in the breataking view over the Forth from the Ocean Terminal - more eye candy.

A warm hand of applause for Scottish bus drivers who go out of their way to be helpful and informative.  If one driver hadn’t told us that, on match days, the buses are diverted away from Murrayfield, we would certainly have missed our flight home and probably be there still.

One final, and very important thing, it’s clear that the Scots are an intensely nationalistic race.  Apart from the fact that in every shop, gallery, bus and bar we visited we were served and greeted exclusively by Scots, as the hour for the match drew near it became apparent that national pride insists that all Scotsmen should wear the kilt.  It was intensely heartening to see so many thousands of men of all ages proudly swinging their kilts as they walked around the city.  From 10 year-olds playing the pipes outside the ground, through teenagers, young men and grandfathers, the city was askirl.  Makes you think…..

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