Travelling by minibus for tea with the Queen at Holyrood Palace (Rousse)

I was about to take my seat in the theatre when LF grabbed me from behind.

‘Hey’, she said, ‘Someone forgot the arrangement to meet outside!’

It was true. I had agreed to see her prior to the show, not inside the building.

We found a place to sit on the floor between a couple of rows about six feet in front of the stage. My sister S was already there, busy examining the contents of a box of artefacts held by the theatre. I admired a couple of large, polished, multi-coloured fossils. There were also some completed 3-dimensional puzzles. S explained that they all once belonged to our family, but we had donated them to the theatre for other people to enjoy.

Then the theatre manager approached us. I noticed that ink from my red pen had leaked onto the cream carpet so I hurriedly plonked a brochure on top of the stain. Mission accomplished, the manager instead focussed his attention on the ginger biscuit crumbs that LF had dropped on the floor when she had shared a small snack with the rest of us. As punishment we were bundled out of the theatre and into a minibus which carried a siren and a blue flashing light.

As the minibus raced across North Bridge with its siren blasting I guessed that we were perhaps in for a treat: the Queen was at Holyrood so perhaps we would be her guests at a special tea party at the Palace? When we turned right onto Waterloo Place I thought I was probably right because now we could enter Holyrood Park the back way.

It was a long time since I had last visited the park and I had forgotten just how beautiful it was, especially on a still autumn day like this. The mountains were magnificent, as were their reflections in the mirrored lochs. Such was the driver’s enthusiasm to show us everything he took a hump in the road a bit too quickly and damaged the under-carriage of the vehicle.

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