My knee felt tense earlier in the day. I should have heeded this, especially when the Resident IT Consultant proposed he take me on a mystery tour somewhere, as it looked like the afternoon might be sunny.
Let me be clear on this. I never agree to unknown surprises! But I felt I could just about give in, this once. As I got ready, I quickly ran through possible places he might have in mind, and realised fairly soon what he must intend. I didn’t want to ruin his happiness, so didn’t say ‘it’s going to be Linlithgow, isn’t it?’
But it was. Obviously.
So 42 – and a half – years after I didn’t go to Linlithgow, I finally set foot in the place, so carefully avoided, in order to keep it mysterious.
I needed my daily walk, so hobbled round the outside of the Palace, which was nice, but with a bit too much downhill for my liking. Kneewise. My mind doesn’t object to downhill.
Then hobbled along the High Street as far as Far From the Madding Crowd, by which time my knee pointed out it would like to sit down. That’s a bookshop, by the way. Bookshop with crafts and stuff, fully in the spirit of an old-style Scottish town.
My knee didn’t linger, so it and I hobbled back the other direction, to the tearoom we’d noticed earlier, where I did what I do best; tea and scone.
The Resident IT Consultant was feeling in need of a bookshop, so abandoned me there and went to Oxfam, which supplied him with a new old poetry collection, to replace his falling-to-bits one.
By then darkness was descending on Linlithgow, so we went home again.
Life will never be the same.