You know, there are some towns that don't quite hit the spot. They just
don't have a great deal going for them, where tourism is concerned.
Maybe they don't have a castle or an old museum or architecture that
makes one go 'Oooo' or 'Ahhh'. Dalkeith is like that, lacking in the 'Oooo'
and 'Ahhh' Department. It is in fact so uninteresting that hippos would
not drag me back, no matter their state of wildness. And so, you might
rightly ask, why even bother to mention the place? Well, my visit to
Dalkeith coincided with a parade. A parade of paratroopers, and the last
thing I would wish to do is upset them. I mean, there's nothing like a
pub full of red berets for making one wonder if perhaps now is not a
good time to be moaning about the lack of real ale. RETREEEAT!
(Personally, I'm inclined to think they were actually gathering en masse
in preparation for an invasion of Jedburgh.)
But the thing about Dalkeith is that it is not actually Dalkeith that is
the star. It is what lies just outside the town. There are butterflies
the size of biplanes. They flitter and flutter and land on folk. And if
you wish to escape from the voracious teeth of a butterfly then there
are mines and caves. Or coves, strange underground places where one
might flee for a while and peek out one's head to see if the butterflies
are still waiting to pounce. In fact, now that I think on it, that
could be why there were paratroopers - they dropped from the wings of