As I blog the wife is in mid-air heading back from Foreign Parts; simultaneously the Bronte Quarter are heading
north on GNER, expanding rails always permitting. The latter are our guests for the first part of the Paxton House Music Festival celebrating its tenth anniversary. There may be a few tickets left-anyhow you can get the details and all about Paxton House at http://www.paxtonhouse.com/
The Berwickshire sports page shows scenes of fierce fighting in Duns and this is not a report on the last test against the All Blacks in New Zealand. No it is the ancient game of Hand ba’ where the single men of Duns play the married men in a contest which is cross between rugby and the Second World War. It seems from the photos to be not unlike the Eton Wall game with the Duns market square replacing the wall and it all being about slow territorial gain amidst heavy casualties-perhaps the Somme might be a better analogy than the more fast moving engagements of WW2. In one of the pictures a player is seen grasping the ba’ (Scots for ball, apparently) It is either a much deflated ball judging from a rather fuzzy image or is something else. In the picture it looks a bit like a haggis wrapped in a jock strap* but I wouldn’t vouch for it.
On Rugby Sir C Woodward is not the toast of Scotland having not selected Scottish players from his squad to play the All Blacks. One Scot was apparently on the field for a brief 11 minutes during the last test which the Lions lost as comprehensively as the first two. The Scotsman’s rugby correspondent felt that had this heroic Celt been on the field a bit longer, say 20 minutes, the result would have been very different and Sir C Woodward was showing his anti Scottish pro Albion bias to the detriment of the Lion’s chances of success. He may be right but it has to be said that 15 Scots on the field all the time did little to cover themselves with glory in the 6 nation’s championship. But that of course is a view from south of the border and can be discounted by all right thinking Scots
* This is not traditional Scottish gear despite its name and is certainly not worn under the Kilt Blog-ed