Well at last the great day arrived, and I was ready to make my 30 mile journey from Inverness to the Glendoe Power Plant. I don't think I had ever seen so much snow in my life, and once off the A9 we only passed two other vehicles. The words of 'Good King Wenceslas' came very much to mind!
Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, gathering winter fuel.
“Hither, page, and stand by me, if you know it, telling,
Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain,
Right against the forest fence, by Saint Agnes’ fountain.”
“Bring me food and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither,
You and I will see him dine, when we bear them thither.”
Page and monarch, forth they went, forth they went together,
Through the cold wind’s wild lament and the bitter weather.
“Sire, the night is darker now, and the wind blows stronger,
Fails my heart, I know not how; I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page, tread now in them boldly,
You shall find the winter’s rage freeze your blood less coldly.”
In his master’s steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure, wealth or rank possessing,
You who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing.
Perhaps I looked very poor, because before taking me back to Inverness, Scottish and Southern Electricity took me to The Lovat Hotel in Fort Augustus for a slap up meal! I feasted on haggis, neaps and tatties (for a starter), and then enjoyed venison for the main course. The desert was sticky toffee pudding with ice cream, followed by coffee and tablet. All of this was accompanied by a fine South African wine. Only the pine logs were missing!
By the way, did you spot the postage rates in 1973? 3p for Second Class and half a pence more for First Class!