John Gibson: The pace has got to be slower

Not so much the galloping major The years are catching up. When he was soldiering – Cameronians and KOSBs – he’d do 140 paces to the minute.

Anyway, Major Brian Leishman is back home in the New Town, this time for keeps, having sold “my paradise in Umbria” after eight years in the Italian sun.

His summer retreat, “wee cottage on a hillside that became too much of a climb for the old bones”.

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The major is into his third tranche of 21 years . . . 21 in the army, 21 as the Tattoo’s business manager and now 21 as a virtual free agent.

Saluting you, sir. Enjoy.

His finest hour

Go on, talk us through it again, John. We never tire of hearing how you, all by yourself, liberated Kabul. Sunday was the tenth anniversary for Afghanistan’s powderkeg city and we could bank on it. Nothing surer, John Simpson was wheeled in by the BBC for his recollection of his finest hour.

We’d been down that road before, John taking viewers by the hand. The Beeb’s world affairs correspondent has milked it till it has curdled. Undrinkable by now.

The high lights

Two more chandeliers, doubtless at phenomenal expense, have been added to the ten acquired in the autumn by the Dome. So, what with the occasional flurry from the snow machine, the George Street venue is more than ever the Christmas fairyland.

One wonders what the electricity bill is, how many lights there are and is it true a power station will have to be built in neighbouring St Andrew Square to provide power for the Dome alone?

Unquestionably it is unrivalled for its let-there-be-lights theme pursued by director Brian Crawford. The overall effect leaves youngsters a-gasp.