The chief starts the week with hankie and thermometer. The poor man has man-flu, so sympathy and hot drinks are the order of the day, as is paracetamol. I squeeze oranges and this fruit-avoider reluctantly drinks the juice.
It may be nasty medicine, but there is nothing for it. My husband has two days to lose the lurgie. The sniffling and sneezing must stop. For we are heading south with best bibs and tuckers.
The house is locked up and the MacNaughties are farmed out. Literally. They are staying with friends at a nearby stables and are last seen being billeted between a Dartmoor pony and a Leicester Blackspot.
With all these exotic animals it promises to be an exciting sojourn. Although just how much sleep the doggies will get is debatable. As we leave, the pony is kicking the side of his stall and the piggy-wig is doing an awful lot of grunting. There is a cock that crows in the yard and a gaggle of excitable geese in the nearby field.
We, too, are setting off to somewhere loud and chaotic, but slightly more upmarket. The Scots Guards are getting new colours – and they will be presented at Buckingham Palace.
This is an important day for the MacGregor’s old regiment. It only happens every 20years or so and it promises to be an impressive military event.
I wear my light blue suit and matching straw hat. And, despite the fact that the event takes place in the afternoon, the chief is in full morning suit.
The sun shines as we arrive in London. But by the time we reach the palace the heavens have opened. In the gardens we find seats and I use the chief’s handkerchief to wipe the water off. Thank goodness we have a brolly to shelter under.
It is well and truly raining on our parade. But a downpour holds no fear for the bold boys of the Scots Guards who march onto the field, rifles at the ready, to the tunes of ‘Scotland the Brave’ and ‘Hielan’ Laddie’.
Nor does a wee bit of water deter our doughty Queen who comes out under an umbrella to inspect her troops. This remarkable woman walks the full length of the battalion whilst the pipes play ‘Highland Cathedral’.
I imagine that royal feet must be soaking. Mine are certainly soggy, spiky heels now stuck in squelchy grass. But it is moving and thrilling. As the old flags bow out and the new colours wave in the wind, there are lumps in throats.
Emotion gets the better of some and with official duties done, a Guardsman is spotted proposing to his girlfriend. Down he goes on one knee on the waterlogged grass. She pulls him up and throws her arms around him.
We presume it is a ‘yes’ – and a great cheer goes up in the crowd. It is wet wet wet. But who cares? As long as we don’t all catch colds…