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Anniversary time today – yes indeed .. married young … well preserved … thank-you very much. So it was the French restaurant in Perth – the remarkable Cafe Tabou. It is quite remarkably French – could be a summer evening in Burgundy. But it actually sits hard by St John’s Kirk. I lifted my eyes tonight as one does during a lengthy Presbyterian sermon and found the text above my head: ‘Le gastronomie est l’art de utiliser la nourriture pour creer le bonheur.’ One can imagine John Knox, who preached in St John’s in May 1559, taking a quick break for a Plat du Jour across the square.

Having lived so long in Northern Ireland, I’m quite used to time travel. After all they are talking about beginning again to make the De Lorean car which gobbled up untold millions of government money in a vain attempt to provide employment in West Belfast. It then starred in’Back to the Future’. And, of course, the passions of the 16th and 17th centuries were strong as ever until very recently. It’s amazing that in the tranquillity of St John’s Square this evening, it is as if they had never been.