As you likely know, last Sunday was Burns’ Night, celebrating the life and work of the Scots icon, Robert Burns. Born in Alloway, Scotland on 25 January 1759, Burns wrote many poems but I didn’t know that he also wrote Auld Lang Syne. Well, you learn something new every day 🙂
The night always brings back happy memories. In the mid 1980s, AJ’s job meant that we had to move to Warwickshire (Shakespeare Country). We lived in a beautiful town not far from Stratford-upon-Avon and in the two years we lived there we had a very active and happy social life. We made wonderful friends, many of whom are still friends today, and were always out and about enjoying ourselves. We went to so many formal occasions – Masonic ladies’ nights, police balls, civic functions – that I splashed out on a really gorgeous evening gown. I still have the dress although, alas, I fear I could no longer fit into it. Nevertheless, just looking at it brings back a multitude of good memories and happy times.
One of the happiest occasions during our sojourn in Warwickshire was a Burns’ Night organized by a Scottish friend, Alec. It was a pretty raucous occasion and great fun. We still talk about it today. We stood by our seats at long tables while the haggis was piped in (I love the sound of bagpipes), followed by Alec reading the Address to the Haggis, the ode that Robbie Burns wrote for the dish. Back in those days I wasn’t yet a vegetarian, but remember not especially liking haggis.
During and after the meal, there were toasts to Robbie Burns and readings of his work. It wasn’t an especially serious affair and at one stage Alec, suitably dressed in his family tartan kilt, placed one foot on the table and made a toast. A little the worse for one too many whiskeys, he came dangerously close to revealing the answer to that age old question 🙂
It was a really fun evening, surrounded by good friends, good food (unless you count the haggis) and much laughter. I can never let the 25 January pass by without a toast to those happy times and wonderful friends.