We went up to see Gavin & Eve last night (and also to watch the Scotland v England game). We half expected Eve to go into labour, especially when Scotland twice scored! But she held on, although it looks like it won’t be long before she supplies us with grandchild no. 2. I recalled with amusement how Gavin’s mum went into labour with our first-born, George, at the start of a Scotland v Belgium European qualifier in November 1979 and I persuaded her to hang on until the final whistle before driving up to the Perth Royal Infirmary (or the Perth D.R.I. as one of my pals used to call it!).

Out on my walk a couple of days ago, I came round by the lovely gardens to the east of Victoria Hospital to find a daughter of about my age sitting on a bench beside what appeared to be her elderly father in a wheelchair. His right leg was propped up on a support but the part below the knee was missing, apparently recently amputated given the bandaging on the remaining stump. I offered him a hearty “Good Day!” and quipped that he seemed to have an awful sore leg.

“Not half as sair as the bit that isnae there” came the immediate reply, followed by a grimace and a wicked chuckle. “Dad, behave!” pleaded the daughter with a reddening face. “Laddie” he continued, “you wouldn’t believe how sore the heel I dinnae have is! And my leg is really itchy but there’s nothing to scratch”.

To keep the conversation in this bizarre vein, I offered to sign him for my amateur football team, Kelso, adding that I felt he might, despite his present predicament, improve the overall quality of the squad. “Sorry, son” he retorted “Saturday afternoons are when I play dominoes in the ward at Roxburghe!”

Roxburghe is the section of Victoria Hospital for the terminally-ill.

I hope I’m that upbeat when the Grim Reaper comes a-calling!