Backchat was wondering whether Patrick Snowball, the former army major who is now chief executive of general insurance at CGNU, suffered a flashback to his days in the mess last week.

The high and mighty of CGNU treated some of the great and good of the broker world to watch the military tattoo in Edinburgh.

After a thoroughly enjoyable evening, the party retired to the Balmoral Hotel in the early hours of the morning whereupon a bleary-eyed Snowball slumped in an arm chair and pronounced he was feeling peckish.

“Go out and get us some grub,” he roared at his lieutenant, Ken Wallace.

“Batman” Wallace, the CGNU intermediary business director, duly obliged and reappeared half an hour later with burgers and chips for everyone.