Is it a Bird?

January 30, 2010

Is it a plane?

Or is it just the charming – and only faintly disturbing – haggis table decorations made by the village primary school kids for the Burns Night Ceilidh last night?

Obviously, we released ours into the wild once the evening was over – they’re getting quite endangered in these parts, due to the local habit of putting haggis in absolutely everything. I just hope the local shoot don’t mistake it for a pheasant…


Legend in my own Lunchtime

January 29, 2010

Did I say this?

Foolish, wasn’t it?

Yesterday, before all that, I cycled down to buy our tickets for the village Burns Night ceilidh.

‘Did you come on your bike?’ asked the woman in the school office as I handed over the cash.

‘Yes,’ I said, a little surprised because I wasn’t wearing anything particularly bikey, and I didn’t even have my trouser leg tucked into my sock for once.

‘It’s just, I see you madly pedalling about everywhere,’ she explained. ‘And jogging too.’

I suppose there are worse things to be than the village eccentric.

Putting the Burn into Burns Night

January 25, 2009


Because setting fire to things beats haggis any day

Burns Supper: Lessons Learned

January 19, 2009

Well, you’ll be excited to hear I survived my first encounter with haggis on Thursday night. It wasn’t too bad, actually, if you don’t think about what’s in it or, indeed, what it’s in. I learned a few other things too:

  1. if bagpipes were originally designed as a weapon of war, then played indoors they’re a weapon of mass destruction. They certainly make for very poor incidental background music while people are chatting before a meal
  2. on the other hand, watching a tallish piper with a taller set of pipes limboing through a low door while piping in the haggis adds to the evening’s gaiety
  3. Scots derive great entertainment from making Englishmen recite Burns. Apparently they don’t mind their national poet being mangled.
  4. However, when the bard’s verse is read by someone who actually knows what it means – and does the actions – it almost makes sense. Almost
  5. a full plate of haggis, neaps and tatties is possibly the stodgiest meal in the world. Fortunately, they diverged from tradition for the pudding course and I didn’t have to tackle a deep-fried Mars Bar to follow.
  6. you’re not supposed to cross your hands until the last verse of Auld Lang Syne. First you have to sing all the verses in between the one you think you know the words for (Should auld acquaintance be forgot and tumty-tumty mind…) and the last one. There are a lot of verses.
  7. when someone asks ‘Should we try a couple of sets of strip the willow*?’ the correct answer is ‘gosh, is that really the time, we should be going …’

There was probably more, but by this time there had been drink taken and if I had any other words of wisdom to share with you, I have forgotten them.

*It’s a dance. Get your mind out of the gutter. Honestly…

Two Cultures

January 17, 2009

So – for reasons too complicated to go into – we were at the local aviation museum helping to make a willow-and-paper lantern for the Burns night parade. An artist had been provided to show us how it’s done and she had done some research in preparation.

‘I looked up a picture of a Spitfire on the internet,’ she said. ‘And I’ve done a design of how we might make it by weaving the willow together here.’

‘That’s great,’ said one of the museum guys. ‘There’s just one small problem.’

‘What’s that?’

‘That’s not a Spitfire in your picture. That’s a Zero

Google image search strikes again. Fortunately, the museum had a Spitfire of its own – still handily in pieces from where they fished it out of a local loch – to act as a more reliable guide for designing our lantern. Oh, and one of these, which was a more convenient size for working from indoors.

You may even get some piccies of the end result, one of these days.

Unhappiness is…

January 16, 2009
oh dear

oh dear

… a cold rayburn.  We had to administer the coup de grace last night as it was stuttering to a halt. Now all we can do is wait till Tuesday when help will come.

Fortunately we’re going out to eat tonight at least. Unfortunately, it’s for an early Burns supper. I have a feeling haggis will be unavoidable.

Suggestions for non-haggis related meals that can be cooked in an electric frying pan gratefully received.