Noteworthy honour for our Eric

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What’s in a name?

Eric von Ibler was keyboards player and conductor of the choir in the miniscule Canonmills Baptist Church and I met him there on several Christmas Eves.

I had neither seen nor heard from him until he rang to say he’d just been knighted.

Odd I’d missed this in the honours list, until Eric followed up with a written communication listing his achievements.

Was this an order, Eric, or merely a note for my info?

Making it clear that the knighthood has been conferred by King Harald of Norway. The highest Norwegian international honour for services to culture in vocal and choral music. He was teacher to actor Alan Cumming, pictured.

Edinburgh-born Eric was educated at St Mary’s Cathedral Choir school and Danial Stewart’s before studying at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Says Cumming of him:’’He was my singing teacher at drama school, giving me the confidence to sing and is much to blame for me still singing today. Bravo, Eric!’’

Small problem

A MIDGE too far. Happy holidays, everybody. If you’re going up north, let me, ever the harbinger of bad news, inform you that this is going to be a record year for the beastly blighters infesting the Highlands.

I have this on reliable authority.

Doomy Doctor Alison Blackwell of Dundee-based Advanced Pest Solutions: ‘‘A warm winter followed by wet and damp conditions has provided the ideal environment for midges as they prepare to hatch.’’