the friend online
05 September 2008


The Edinburgh Tattoo 2008: a spectacle of love? - preview

Janice Johnson has an ambivalent relationship with the annual military display in the romantic setting of Edinburgh Castle

Among the most bittersweet of Quaker reflections for me are those arising from watching the Edinburgh Tattoo

  • Of course as a Quaker my heart deplores the whole concept of the military structures and preparedness, the organisation without which the whole thing is impossible
  • On the other hand there is my childhood attachment to the romantic appeal of Edinburgh Castle
  • The darkness, the skilful lighting, together with the breathtaking virtuosity of the deployment of hundreds of people, the intricate patterns of movement, the kilts, the wartime memories or our (imperial) past evoked by the uniforms of the Gurkhas and Sikhs, whose aid was so valuable in defeating our ‘enemies’, and not least my delight in the gracefully precise, nimbly shod footwork of the Scottish dancers – albeit around crossed swords

  • Janice Johnson

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    The Edinburgh Tattoo 2008: a spectacle of love?
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