This years St Andrews Day Rally in Edinburgh could have fell victim to the atrocious weather but the Gods above shone down on us all and we at least were able to carry on in a somewhat smaller scale due to so many of our further flung friends being unable to attend due to the snow!!
We marched our usual route down the Royal Mile finishing at the Scottish Parliament building whereupon we had Ted Christopher and Duncan Fenton waiting to say a few words to the assembled throng. Ted went first and gave us a fantastic speech which really hit home with the crowd, Ted has a magnificent way of saying what the rest of us are thinking!! Next up was Society Convener Duncan who once again shared his fantastic knowledge of all things Scottish which kept the crowd enthralled as they hung on his every word, well done guys, two of the best speeches I've heard all year!!
A few beers were shared on the Royal Mile while we waited until opening time for our night time venue at Lodge Trafalgar in Leith, may I just take a moment to thank the staff for all their hospitality during our time there, thanks guys!!
Our evening started with Albannach to get the crowd fired up and boy did they deliver, they soon had us dancing which made us completely forget about how cold it was!! We also had Ted Christopher and Fiery Jack plus a buffet!!! Yes that's right all three plus a buffet for a tenner!! Bargain of the year for sure!! Ted and Fiery Jack finished off an absolutely fantastic night which few who were there will forget especially our two American friends and guests of honour Lydia and Thomas.
We were also able to launch our dear friend David R Ross' last book where David's publisher and lovely daughter Kim looked after proceedings whereupon I believe they sold out on the night.
Well done to everyone for making this an event to remember once again and special mention to the Lothian and Borders Police for all their help with the march, thanks guys!!
David R Ross before his death had been trying to establish some way of paying some homage to our flag, not an oath of allegiance or anything like that,
more some words from the heart of what it feels like to be Scottish and live under the shelter of the Saltire, what he came away with was stunning in its simplicity:
" I stand before this flag, the white Saltire of St Andrew in the blue summer's sky.
It represents the soil from which I sprang, and to which I must one day return.
It represents Scotland.
As it was, as it is, as it always will be."
Ted says a few words in front of Parliament!!
Despite being frozen the crowd were very attentive!!
I had the honour of carrying the Saltire into the hall!!
Kim and Jamesie!!
Gary saying a few words!!
Best dancers of the night!!
The mighty Nach!!
Presenting Thomas with a quaich in honour of his graduation!!