23. “Les Quatres Mousequettaires” – Four Mousequeteers ride again!


4 Musketeers_tumblr_nui9nlSSuD1trkd46o1_540


The Four Musketeers (also known as The Four Musketeers: Milady’s Revenge) is a 1974 Richard Lester originial film, starring Michel York as D’Artagnan (Ian), Oliver Read as Athos (Will), Frank Finlay as Porthos (Nigel), and Richard Chamberlain as Aramis (Colin)

Quel Surprise, Samedi!


The (Mousequeteer) Boys (circa 1971).

That’s us lot (from the top): Nigel (Athos); Will (Porthos); D’artagnan (Ian); and me, Colin (Aramis – I am still worth it!), on the steps of one of Tong Hall’s annexes.  Tong Hall was an all-male Hall of Residence situated in the outkirts of Bradford, near Wakefield.  It was an old Mansion house converted into about 50 or so study bedrooms.  Will and Nigel shared a room in this annexe, whilst Ian and were in the main Hall!  we ‘bussed’ to University everyday, providing you woke early enough.  Otherwise it was a choice of one of two buses – a week!  Hitch-hiking worked well then!

Not only does my best friend, Ian, out of Chesterfield and via Bradford (where we met), from the good old US of A turn up (early!) on Saturday morning, but my dear wife then tells me I’ll also be joined by my other partners in crime, Nigel Bullard and Elwyn (Will) Williams later in the day, as they are also arriving for the weekend! Brilliant news – the Four Mousequeteers reunite!

Anyway, Ian’s early arrival catches us out, Ellen is still in bed (well that bit didn’t, nothing new there!). Elaine was en route to her Jazzercise class when the text message, “arriving at Cupar Station at 10:00 am, now not 11:00 am!”. So, let’s rehash the plan: Elaine picks him up; I clean and re-lay and light the Jotul multi-fuel woodburner, get breakfast quickly; (Ready Brek with randomly sprinkled Weetabix) , but most important of all, “be ready for when we (Ian and Elaine of course) arrive at 10:00 am” So there! Now have any of my readers out there the answer to this? Should I write “Readybrek” or should it be “Ready Brek?” as my Daughter, Ellen, insists – though she doesn’t always get her way despite being my Editor-in chief!). Well our plans were hatched and we set about them asap.

Ian and Elaine duly arrived and started breakfast – or they did, Ellen and I had had ours by now. Afterwards, Ian declined a sleep offer, but parked his gear in our spare bedroom. Daughter grumbled a little about “Dadda bear or something like that”. But they were fresh, clean sheets – honest, Ian!

We had lunch and then headed for a Christmas Fayre at Fairmont new golf centre, out towards Crail. Elaine bought something (well hidden) and I was allowed to want to buy without doing so – a nice burr elm bowl, sporting 8 coats of teak oil. Ian and I were dropped at a pub in St Andrews (“The West Port”) where he could sample a local IPA real ale, and I my usual “Ready Brek sprinkled with Weetabix” (Kidding!) – I mean orange juice. We watched highlights of the Rugby 7s tournament held in South Africa (I think), whilst doing loads of “Catch up”. Elaine picked us up at 4:30pm and we ensured Ellen caught her bus home to Glasgow. We went home to Ceres and awaited Athos and Porthos and waited, and waited, and waited … Ian and I headed for Meldrum’s hostel to discover they hadn’t even registered or said they would be late, yet!

They eventually arrived at nearly 9-30pm. Elaine fed and watered the steeds! And we did more “catch up”! They left for the Hotel at 12:00am and we agreed to reconvene at 11:00am to take a tour of the Fife coast from Ceres to St Andrews but via Leven, Elie, Pittenweem, Anstruther (for world famous Fish and chips) and eventually to Crail, where we first lived on coming to the University of St Andrews, as its new Teaching and Learning Development Officer in 1996!

We eventually take off on our trusty steed (well actually Nigel’s big Cat – a Jaguar!) and head for Elie. We take in a pint or several at the Ship Inn and then on to Anstruther (A’nster – pronounced Aynster!) for Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas. I pick at a Haddock in Bread crumbs but have to give up. We check out Pittenweem, including two houses we put in “offers-over”, way back. We lost out. Crail remains its idyllic, beautiful self – reminiscent of St Ives in Cornwall, especially for the light! We head for Ceres via St Andrews. We relieve the city of more ale from its hostelry named, “The Central”, and then finally head home.

We purchase more provisions, wine, ale, chocolate, DVDs on the way and spend the rest of the evening consuming a wee Glaswegian comedian, Kevin Bridges, who has suddenly gone all ‘grown up’, and even slightly ‘educated’ on us, (though with tongue in cheek for the most part – Yippee!).

Kevin Bridges 1

Kevin Bridges in his video, “The Story Continues…”, as well as his latest (below), “A Whole Different Story LIVE 2015”.  This includes the line, “when did I didnee?”, as a retort to a bouncer asking a drunken punter when did he pay (to be allowed in)?”  A beaut!  The DVD also includes BBC1’s Live at the Referendum.

Kevin Montage 3

Everyone departs through floods of tears at 9:30pm. Elaine and Ian must be in the car heading for Inverkiething Railway station for the first train to Waverley station at Edinburgh. They made it, I understand as Elaine slides back into the Old Manse’s master bedroom at 7:00am. I sleep til 10:00 am. What a flying visit that was!

Well that is it for tonight’s homework.

I’ll add some “holiday snaps” later – promise!

Back to 3. Testing, tomorrow

What is testing, etc?







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