It is not very often that my drive to work inspires a blog post. And it was the general loveliness of a Colin Baxter style morning either. It was an odd moment at the lights at Barnton.

On days when I am without the entertaining chat of @stuartamdouglas, I often avoid the motorway and wander to Livingston via Cramond/Kirkliston. This takes me through the land of grumpy people in large 4×4’s looking far less delighted with the success/excess than you would imagine.

This was much in evidence today, perfectly turned out women (what time do they get up?) sternly driving large black Range Rovers/X5s/etc. You start to get this horrible ennui and a glimpse of the sort of madness in the human condition that let to the credit crunch etc.

So, it was with unashamed delight that I smiled broadly at the sight that greeted me while stopped at the lights at Barnton. In the car to the right, an old man used the brief pause at the red to bring out his chanter and play a little tune to himself in the car.

He didn’t look like he needed the practice. He was clearly a player. He can only have done this simply for the pleasure of playing the tune. Now, opinion may be divided on how much pleasure you can get from listening to the chanter ( and by divided I mean 80/20, not 50/50 ), but even so, it was a joy to see.

There isn’t enough basic joy like that about*.

Obviously, thoughts immediately turned down the road of working out how I could achieve same on days when the music on the randomiser just isn’t doing it. Current fave is a harmonica. Oh oh.

* we can’t ignore the possibility that he’s actually a grumpy old bastard, but benefit of doubt will be given