The Anticipated Burns

Poetry Group tonight, and a special session anticipating Burns night.

I can now truthfully claim to have drunk whisky in the library. But not to be drunk on whisky. My dry period from pre-‘flu to now is over.

David, a poet and our convenor, who works as a library assistant, had engaged the services of other staff who appeared ceremoniously with a meat haggis and a vegetarian one. We had our plastic glasses charged with Old Grouse, which make s a change from the usual apple juice. David had already read the Selkirk Grace, now he launched into Address to a Haggis and stabbed both of them (with different knives, obviously).

We also had oat cakes, trifle – that most Scottish of puddings – and shortbread.

I think most Scots would have been confused by our antics, but we had fun.

The evening finished later than usual, after lots of poems being read, Burns’ life being discussed, and even Auld Lang Syne being sung – the launch of the library choir! – with our glasses charged once more.

Next month it’s Emily Dickinson, which will be great, but I’ll be on Skye. So I’ll just have to email my choices or drop them by.


7 thoughts on “The Anticipated Burns

  1. I now understand why it was so early.

    I rather like haggis but since moving to England my tastes have changed and will only eat Marks and Spencer haggis now. I like the turnip with it. Did you have orange or white neeps? In Scotland we call the orange ones turnips and the white ones swedes – quite the opposite of England.

    • No neeps – it was the library after all!
      However i had baked beetroot and goats cheese at home, so that was another root vegetable.
      Interesting that the words are the other way round. My mother, who is, as you know, Northern Irish, says it the English way. But maybe she’s learned to do so from being here so long.

  2. The best ‘Burns’ night I ever went to was in Australia and it fell at a weekend, and the following day was Australia day… so we had a party that amalgamated the two. Loads of table bought out and put on the grass and the Scottish doc (Glasgow accent so thick we are sure most of his psychiatric patients couldn’t really understand him. We couldn’t really understand him) recited the Ode….we were outside and warm and it was great fun.

  3. I read that first as a Scottish dog, and was imagining a determined little balck dog in a tartan collar. As I read on the sentence didn’t make sense, so I went back and all became clear.

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