|La Duchesse Veuve Culdechat (1934- )|
You will gather that we are always on our very best behaviour on such occasions. However, today her visit went very smoothly, and, as a bonus, she undoubtedly produced what so far has been the best line of the holiday period around here.
During the chatter before lunch, she suddenly asked me, "Do you still do - erm - whatever it is you do with toy soldiers...?"
You will recognise that this would be the moment for cheery self-confidence on my part, so I put on a big smile and my best, reassuringly breezy baritone.
"Oh yes - very much so," I said. "In fact, that's been going very well recently - there are a couple of chaps who live not too far from here, and I've been getting together with them for some pretty big games. Splendid fun!"
My smile may have been sagging a little at the end of this, but she was very positive about it all.
"That's good - it's amazing, though, isn't it?"
"Erm - what is?"
"It's amazing," she said, "that there are two people in Scotland that have the same interest as you."
And - of course, as ever - she is completely correct.