Old folk at lunch

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year



As usual, New Year's eve was a quiet one for me -- which is how I like it. Anne has her nonagenarian mother visiting so Anne arranged a small dinner party -- including her sisters June and Merle, plus Merle's husband Ralph and myself. It was a 6pm start, with the good ol' French onion dip to begin the prodeedings. We also had some Riccadonna to start out. A bit too sweet for me.

Anne cooked us some excellent Moussaka for the occasion and we watched the Edinburgh Military Tattoo on TV afterwards. It was this year dubbed the ROYAL Edinburgh Military Tattoo on the apparent grounds that King Abdullah of Jordan was in attendance

The Tattoo contains a fair bit of light entertainment these days which in my view detracts from the dignity of the occasion. But I enjoyed all the piping, particularly the tunes I recognized, of course. There was a good moment when the crowd joined in singing "The Flower of Scotland". Scots are sentimental people and the memory of all their young men lost in Scotland's many wars moves them deeply.

O flower of Scotland
When will we see your like again
That fought and died for
Your wee bit hill and glen
And stood against him
Proud Edward's army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again


The Highland regiments are of course the world's most splendidly attired soldiers so it was good to see them still going strong. Collapsing most of them into the Royal Regiment of Scotland was regrettable though. The historic Black Watch (once the senior Scottish regiment) is since 2006 now just a battalion within the RRS. That dastardly Labour government!

I noted that all the men in Highland units seemed to be wearing spats, in a rather delightful but still impressive anachronism. Spats were fashionable in the '20s and '30s. Mussolini even wore them. Anyway, I decided that I should look into getting spats to wear with my Highland outfit.

I didn't stay to drink the new year in but went home at about 9pm.

This morning I was frustrated that my usual breakfast/brunch place was closed so I took a drive to West End -- not far away. I found a small Greek Taverna open (The Greek New Year is at a different time to ours) called the Kafe Meze (meaning "The entree cafe", I think). I was delighted to see that they had keftedes on the menu, which I hadn't had for years. They came as a meal accompanied by haloumi, Greek salad and flat bread -- and were excellent. I will go there again some time.

Not far from where I was sitting was a table of three middle-aged Greek guys Greeking away (passionately debating some unknown topic in Greek) -- rather as they once did in the days of Pericles, I imagine.

(That last comment will endear me to any Greek who happens to read this. Modern Greeks are very emphatic about their direct descent from the ancient Greeks -- though I gather that it is Athens rather than Sparta that they idealize).

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