Back to Burns

As promised, after the walk in the glen yesterday I’m going back in time to the weekend when we had a ‘Belated Burn’s Night’ at a neighbour’s home. It was belated because our grandchildren celebrations got in the way of things!

It was the first time that we’ve attended a Burn’s Supper and we were a wee bit apprehensive as we’d been invited to perform the toasts; dad toasting the Haggis, Kevin toasting the lassies and me responding to the lassies’ toast. Dad did remarkably well with his Burn’s poem ‘To the Haggis’, especially as it’s written in Scots! Of course Gordon, our host, read several poems too but he has the advantage of being a Scot!!!


To the Haggis


Correct pronunciation!

‘The toast to the Lassies’ is meant to be a light hearted battle of the sexes thing and Kevin managed to find a gem from a 1950’s Good Housekeeping’ magazine to get us lassies suitably riled! You can imagine the piece I’m sure. It was all about how we ladies should ‘smarten ourselves up’ before our menfolk return from work, perhaps putting a ribbon in our hair, whereupon his dinner is placed before him and we listen to the minutae of his day, whilst not talking about ours, because basically he’s a far more important being, blah, blah blah…! Anyway, I think I gave a relevant response including a reminder to those laddies that applying a ribbon to one’s hair isn’t always practicable whilst mucking out animals, running a cafe, weeding the veg plot, dipping sheep, dismantling scaffolding, feeding guests….

Anyway, after thinking that the 50s were bad, Margaret, our hostess, lent me a book from the mid 1800s, ‘A Whisper to a Newly Married Pair’, which quite frankly would have put you off marriage altogether! Admittedly this was a book aimed at the upper classes who maybe had the time to worry about such things because, after all, they weren’t dipping sheep, mucking out, working in a mill…   Here’s a small exerpt to let you get the flavour of the book (and probably raise your blood pressure!)

…” I remember at one time being acquainted with a lady who was married to a very worthy man. Attentive to all her comforts and wishes, he was just what the world calls a very good husband; and yet his manner to his wife was cold and comfortless, and he was continually giving her heart, though never her reason, cause to complain of him. But she was a woman of excellent sense and never upbraided him. On the contrary, he had every cause for supposing she thought him the best husband in the world; and the consequence was, that instead of the jarring and discord which would have been inevitably produced had she been in the habit of finding fault with him, their lives passed on in uninterrupted peace.” Hmmm.

Without a doubt, a good time was had by all. The Haggis was delicious – Gordon’s own venison version – the company was excellent, the whisky and wine plentiful. It was a slow start to Sunday!




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