Tents large enough to allow 170 people
to be seated for dinner and dance
afterward are called "marquees" in the
U.K.  This particular marquee was kind
of a scary place to be in the hours
leading up the party on Saturday night.  
The cloth roof blew precipitously in the
wind, and you sensed that at any
moment, you might find yourself under
yards and yards of material.  

Although it was a dangerous day to be a
purple flower in East Lothian, they
looked amazing in the tent.   Giant
baskets like the one at left hung from the
ceiling and centerpieces on each of
tables were so large that the touched
the ceiling.

But while the dress might be Scottish,
there was also a strong Western theme.  
As guests arrived, they were
photographed in front of a backdrop of
the Grand Tetons.  (My contribution to
the party was the small stack of plastic
mini-cowboy hats that you see next to
Leslye and David at left.)

After a two-hour cocktail hour (during
which guests were served
mini-cheeseburgers with American flags
sticking out of them), there was
scrumptious dinner of haggis, venison
and chocolate birthday cake.

There were a few speeches welcoming
Cameron to adulthood (see right).  That
was followed by an hour of Scottish
reels.   This had been troubling for me in
the days leading up to the party (at one
point, I'd even contemplated going to
Atlanta and taking lessons with Janice),
but when they started, I realized that we
really weren't talking about the kind of
stately dances you see in Jane Austen
movies.   Scottish reels are raucous,
fun and of the 170 or so people  at the
party, there were about 20 guests who
were really good at them.   The rest of
us just drank a lot and just sort of
lunged into the fun.
My tenth (and maybe the last for a while) visit to Scotland was one of the best.   
When Janice and I were there in November, Janice suggested that since: 1) the
Hardies are leaving this summer to return to Wyoming; and 2) Cameron was
turning 18 and "leaving" (we call it graduating over here) school on the same day,
a party was in order.

Little did she imagine that David and Leslye would follow up in such a big way.

Not leaving the party until midnight?  Good
news!  You can still be home by dark.

This picture was taken about fifteen minutes
after midnight.Scotland is so far north that
in mid-summer, it's only dark for about two
hours each night.  While it made getting
home after late nights easier, it was
somewhat problematic if you actually
wanted to sleep at night.
The dress code for the evening was "tartans, kilts or trews (a
particular kind of tartan trousers that are cut like army pants).  
Beyond that, I was under the impression that the party was
black tie--so I bought a pair of "Spirit of Black" tartan trews to
wear with my tuxedo.   I found out after I got to there that the
black tie option had been waived.  Oops.  At right, Janice got
into the spirit with a tartan jacket and a special "fascinator"
she'd found in a souvenir shop on The Royal Mile.   The fancy
flamingo wineglass came from Atlanta.
I can't remember a party that was more fun (or when I'd had more to drink.).  Janice and I
stumbled back to the house where we were staying around 4:30--long after the sun was
Speaking of where we were staying, the
Hardie House was full of Cameron's
friends from school, so Janice and I were
taken in by David and Alison Johnston, the
lovely couple you see me pictured with
above.   The live in a village near
Haddington called Athelstaneford
(Athel-sten-FORD) in a house called
Fairnielaw House.   The photo at right is
the former stable house at Fairnielaw
House where Janice and I stayed.

While we were in residence, David treated
us to a dram of the "peatiest whisky in the
world."  It was very generous of him, and
ten days later, my tongue is still fuzzy.
We also found things in the store that just sort of struck us as
odd. Given that I think we saw the sun exactly twice during this
trip, and I wore a sweater every day, it's not much of a surprise
that the sunscreen wasn't moving at Tesco.
The Falkirk Wheel (right) is the world's most
unusual canal lock.   I won't go into a long
description of it here, but if you want to
Google it, it's pretty interesting.

While I was amazed by the engineering, it
was kind of disappointing to be told that the
canals it connects are no longer used.  The
Wheel itself was built to be a tourist
So naturally, all that
sightseeing and shopping
worked up a big thirst.  We
stopped at lots of pubs.  Our
favorite was "The World's
End" on the Royal Mile.  As
you can see, Janice was
reluctant to let go of the
fascinator she'd worn to the
But as always, most of the fun to be had from visiting the Hardies
is visiting the Hardies. In addition to Cameron's birthday and
school leaving, Lachlan also celebrated receiving an award at
school while we were there.  below.  He's showing us where he's
standing in his school picture.  

We look forward to seeing the Hardies in Wyoming, but we'll
always have warm memories of their--and our--time in Scotland.