Those of you who read Blethers will know that we have had the Russian Choir in Dunoon this week. It was a lovely group this year: younger, quieter and more timid (and therefore much easier to cope with) than the more exuberant group that I encountered two years ago. The first group to arrive at the rectory this morning were the twenty-somethings. They caught a glimpse of Molly fleeing up the stairs and next thing you know, they were all sharing stories of their cats and showing me feline photos on their phones.
Then someone looked out the window, just in time to see the grey beast that prowls our waters raise its head and pass by.
They stood, watching the nuclear submarine cut through the water, laughing and pointing in delight.
I stood, watching them watch with no ripple of awareness that I grew up in a world where it would have been inconceivable for an American to stand in a room with Russians and watch the icon of the cold war pass by without fear.
It is good that we can stand together now, talking about cats. It’s not good that we have so quickly forgotten how deadly that grey beast really is.