I've spent the last few days mostly in Edinburgh on Gurkha Welfare Trust business. We are inducting a new Treasurer, and there is a lot of stuff to hand over and sign.
The person who is taking over manages to reduce the average age of the committee somewhat, which is no bad thing, and he's a thoroughly nice chap as well. I can well see us sharing a drink out of Trust time in the future.
The retiring Treasurer had had lunch with an old school chum of his. Their combined ages, about 170, show they are talking about Hawick where they come from about 80 years ago, and there was much chat of the horses and carts that delivered post,coal, goods and whatever at that time in the Scottish Borders.
I always love elderly men's tales of their school days, which invariably demonstrate some naughtiness, but other qualities as well.
Today, the two friends had been engaged in something 75 or so years ago, and had been well and truly caught by a master. Unfortunately, he was the father of one of the boys.
There were other boys involved. But not a word would these two say to implicate their other friends.
" Very well," said the master, " I know there were at least 6 of you involved, so you will each receive the punishment for 3."
In Scotland this would be the tawse across your hands - very nippy.
He singled out his son and dealt out a savage beating. He turned to the boy who would become our treasurer.
" Well John, you can tell me who else was involved and save yourself some pain".
John held his hands out.
" Or I could tell your father."
Now this was truly torture. Telling your father meant a real trashing, and was definitely not to be desired.
Now our treasurer was - and is - a wily old bird. He immediately put his hands down and said "As you wish sir".
The domine looked at him, and sighed.
" Just hold your hands out again," and gave him a couple of half-hearted swipes.
" Now let that be a lesson to you both. Someone who supports his friends through thick and thin is worthy of respect"
70 odd years later the two old friends roared with laughter at this, and there was no animosity that one had suffered more than the other.
In fact, if anything it had brought them closer together.