Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Diary of a glass-half-empty person 22

Ah, the delicate intricacies of Scottish Law – as simple as a Celtic Knot, and yet as full of spriteliness as a Strathspey minuet.

You will have gathered that our quondam lurker-upon-the-hilltop has been “up before the beak” again. Indeed. T’is so. On this occasion – you’ll like this – he made a declaration of beshrievement, relying on Rex Scotorum vs MacBeachcombe, and on principle historical. The fact that his preamble quoted “køld eru opt kvena rad” was remarkable, as this has no precedent outside Orcadia (except for one occasion when it was invoked in the Bailiwick of Carloway, and that with much ensuing controversy in Chambers Pursuivant).

On this occasion it was ruled out-of-fiefdom by the Scrabster Depute, who informed the assembly of his intention to rule usque ad nauseam if there were no presentations made to the Clerk of the Scrolls before three high tides had passed. The Advocate-in-Chief, however, missived him to enquire whether proceedings could be translated to Fife, and if not, whether Eccleprudence could be revived in this instance. There were several objections to this made by ancillary feu-holders, whose briefs had been declared to be standing behind the case, but these were judged to have fallen, by dint of having no Seal Official.

I had to laugh!

It is just as well that the motto of the Marshall family is: Sicut Ippititimum Collida Tenare!

I believe I had told you before of the effect upon Consuela (my Tejana maid) of our commando raid upon that neighbouring hilltop. Of late she and I have been choosing to spend our nights away from the shelter of the teepee, our backs against a Scots pine, a bivouac of birch-branches and scrim-net over our heads, leaning together for warmth. We fall asleep to the stately dance of the northern stars, to the vigorous heckling of the rain, to the whispered stories of a thousand-thousand fallen leaves, and wake stiff of limb but at peace with the world. One night I dreamed that she leant over and kissed me. I am sure it was a dream but, for the very reason that I remember it, it must have been one I had when close to waking. Back at the teepee the following morning, Consuela was uncharacteristically quiet whilst washing the dishes. Normally she would be whistling, humming, or singing one of her favourite duranguense “corridos”, but on this occasion her lips remained closed and her wistful gaze played over the detergent suds…

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