Address at our Golden Wedding Celebration, in response to a toast from our
old friend Sandy Robertson, in the Trinity College Dining Hall,
18th December 2010, a day of biting cold and drifting snow …
Friends, Neighbours, Family, --- Fellows and Peers,
And Sandy, bosom friend from childhood years:
I warmly greet you in this lofty Hall
Where learned men look down from panelled walls,
Men of distinction, men of diverse talents,
--- And Mary Tudor here for gender balance.
I thank you all who braved this Arctic weather,
That we might gladly eat and drink together.
Of wine I trust you have imbibèd well,
For now I have a touching tale to tell.
Forgive me if I weep to tell this tale;
'Tis but the frailty of an ageing male.
Linty was sweet thirteen when first we met,
With sparkling eyes, and hair as black as jet!
Springtime it was, as ever love was blind:
I vowed right then our lives should be entwined.
Thenceforth upon my soul her radiance shone;
For ten long years I wooed her --- off and on!
And so it came to pass that we were wed;
“Wilt thou do this and that?” --- We will, we said.
I wore the kilt, she’s worn the trousers since,
And fed me well on porridge, kale and mince.
Some months ere then, a warm September day,
I mind it well, as ’twere just yesterday!
We’d picnicked on the slopes above Loch Voil,
No better place to rest from mental toil;
A ring I had concealed within my sporran,
(This self-same pouch through many years I’ve worr’n)
A modest jewel from family vaults purloined,
To pledge my troth that we might be conjoined.
So having drained a flask of claret wine,
On bended knee, I pled “Wilt thou be mine?”
To which she answered “Yes, let’s wilt together”;
We wilted there and then upon the heather!
Soon to these Southern realms we did repair,
Escaping fine Scotch mists, --- we’d had our share;
Now blessed with children; three of them are here
--- While Fergus tends us in another sphere.
Grandchildren furthermore attend this luncheon,
Pandora’s Box the website where they function.
Well, that’s the story of our life together,
O’er hills and vales, through fair and stormy weather.
The clock ticks on, and we must fain grow older,
Let’s hope the climate won’t get any colder!
And now, let’s call upon these minstrels four,
To entertain us from this hallowed floor.
[I give you Chloe, Tabitha, Alfie and Bathsheba]