Monday, 24 January 2011

Burns supper...

Good Evening friends,

Tomorrow will be a big occasion in Scotland and indeed in many other countries throughout the world it will be BURNS DAY. The day when some Scots celebrate the birth of Robert Burns. Suppers are help everywhere and most follow the same tradition that has been going on for many many years...Now as most of you know I am Scottish but I have a confession to make....I have never actually been to an oficial burns supper...I have had many many ordinary burns suppers...indeed I can hardly remember a year when we have not had the celebratory Haggis for lunch/dinner/supper....Tomorrow I will again be having my haggis. Sarah, Flick, (Sarah's friend) Mary and two or three other friends are joining me at a local pub for a burns lunch...Many of you will be already familiar with what goes on at a traditional supper but in case you are not I will write a bit about what actually goes on..and on ..and on...whilst usually the whisky flows !!!!

Piping in the guests

A big-time Burns Night calls for a piper to welcome guests. If you don't want all that baggage, some traditional music will do nicely. For more formal events, the audience should stand to welcome arriving guests: the piper plays until the high table is ready to be seated, at which point a round of applause is due. At a more egalitarian gathering - with no high table - the chair can simply bang on the table to draw attention to the start of the evening's proceedings.

Chairman's welcome

The Chair (host/organiser) warmly welcomes and introduces the assembled guests and the evening's entertainment.

The Selkirk Grace

A short but important prayer read to usher in the meal, The Selkirk Grace... Although the text is often printed in English, it is usually recited in Scots.

Some hae meat and canna eat,                               some have meat and cannot eat

And some wad eat that want it,                              and some would eat that want it

But we hae meat and we can eat,                          but we have meat and we can eat

And sae the Lord be thankit.                                 And so the Lord be thankful

                                           Piping in the haggis   

Guests should normally stand to welcome the dinner's star attraction, which should be delivered on a silver platter by a procession comprising the chef, the piper and the person who will address the Haggis. A whisky-bearer should also arrive to ensure the toasts are well lubricated.

During the procession, guests clap in time to the music until the Haggis reaches its destination at the table. The music stops and everyone is seated in anticipation of the address To a Haggis.

Address to the haggis

The honoured reader now seizes their moment of glory by offering a fluent and entertaining rendition of To a Haggis. The reader should have his knife poised at the ready. On cue, he cuts the casing along its length, making sure to spill out some of the tasty haggis within.

Warning: it is wise to have a small cut made in the haggis skin before it is piped in. Instances are recorded of top table guests being scalded by flying pieces of haggis when enthusiastic reciters omitted this precaution! Alternatively, the distribution of bits of haggis about the assembled company is regarded in some quarters as a part of the fun...

The recital ends with the reader raising the haggis in triumph during the final line Gie her a haggis!, which the guests greet with rapturous applause.

Toast to the haggis

Prompted by the speaker, the audience now joins in the toast to the haggis. Raise a glass and shout: The haggis! Then it's time to serve the main course with its traditional companions, neeps and tatties. In larger events, the piper leads a procession carrying the opened haggis out to the kitchen for serving; audience members should clap as the procession departs.

The meal

Served with some suitable background music, the sumptuous Bill o' Fare includes:-


Traditional cock-a-leekie soup;

Main course

Haggis, neeps & tatties (Haggis wi' bashit neeps an' champit tatties);Haggis mashed turnip and mashed potato


Clootie Dumpling (a pudding prepared in a linen cloth or cloot) or Typsy Laird (a Scottish sherry trifle);

Cheeseboard with bannocks (oatcakes) and tea/coffee.

I have been reading in the national paper over here that there are moves afoot to get the regulations forbidding the export of Haggis to the USA changed so perhaps one day soon you will all be able to join with me in raising a glass to the Haggis   LOL

I am quite sure tomorrow up at the Quarryman's Arms none of us will be addressing ..the haggis...indeed I fully expect it will arrive on our plates without us even seeing the Haggis as a whole !!!     however there are some things that we will enjoy.  I am sure that Sarah will be reminding us of years long past when she and John used to make their own haggis...and of times they celebrated with the Flick and family and friends.

Goodnight Friends...... LOVE ONE ANOTHER

I had some great news this morning I have won a "give away" by my good friend have a look at her wonderful blog    Buttercup Counts her Blessings...   you won't be diappointed

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Outings, and new starts,,,

At I am well into 2011 and only now beginning to get back to normal...whatever that may be..   I have been reading lots of blogs and see that you have all had a good time over the festive season and some have been making New Year resolutions...wonder how many are still sticking to them.  I rarely ever make one as I know that within a few weeks I will be back into the old routine !!
Mary and I had a quiet start to the New fact after a drink or two early she went home and I actually went to bed just after 10pm.  I did get up again about 11.45 mainly to phone Sarah as I knew that she would be feeling particularly alone by herself for the first time at the start of a New Year. I called her just before midnight and so we were "together" as the old year went and the New Year arrived.  Afterwards as is the tradition I opened the doors to let the old year out and the new year in and then it was away to bed again !!    New Years day itself brought Margaret and Mitch over for the first meal of the year the usual steak pie etc . that went down well as always.  They did not stay too long as they wanted to go up and have a quick visit with Sarah ( Mary Peter and I had gone up early morning)  and so the year 2011 is now well on it's way.
    As the snow and ice have now gone I was able to get back to church and what a joy that was I had only missed three services but it seemed many more, it was great to see friends and exchange news.....Mary and I have been able to take a couple of trips into Bath...first time was a quick visit as I hadn't realised that the battery of my wheelchair was in need of a charge so we couldn't wander around as was the plan. However I did get to spend some vouchers in a lovely shop called Lakeland they sell mostly kitchen things and all things that are difficult to find in conventional shops nowadays. I got two enamel pie tins that I have wanted for ages but hadn't seen them on sale anywhere..they also had some of their Christmas things on I came out with more than I had gone in for !!   Also spent a voucher in Smiths where I  again got a bargain  60% off  a USB drive thing..we ended up having hot chocolate in a new up market shop that has recently was delicious as was the macaroon we had with it !!
The next day found us in Bath again this time with the battery fully charged !!  and we made our way down town to M&S I managed to get three crew neck jumpers and a lightweight fleece and also for Sarah a pair of trousers and a fleece, she has lost a lot of weight and most of her clothes are too big for her now ! Mary also bought me a new pair of earphones for my birthday which I will enjoy using when I use my radio (I have such tiny ears that I can't use the usual in the ear phone things).   This week saw the start of the usual routine..Monday Pam my friend was over in the morning. we have such fun together and always have a laugh or two or three !!  In the afternoon we had first meeting of Guild, again good for us all to meet up. This week we had a speaker tell us of a charity she set up after her 16 year old daughter first she gave money raised to OXFAM to build a water well in a village in India later, a good few years later she went to see the village and the well..and said if she could help in any way to get in touch.  About a year later she Had an e mail asking if she could provide a toilet !! she asked how many ? any number was the reply at the cost of £70 !!  she thought of three..but where could she raise that amount of money..she thought and thought and then asked a friend who came up with the great idea of asking 210 people for just £1 that was much easier to raise...since then she has continued in the same vein and has provided 120 toilets and a building used to help teach village children from families to poor to let them attend the usual school it is also used as a workshop for the village folks to produce things with the sewing machines she has been able to donate...and so from one small well...what a change to a whole village...Later the guild will give a donation to this worth while charity...  Yesterday morning we had our first bible study for the year only 5 of us at the moment but I am sure it will grow as we get going...  Today we were in Chippenham where I had a hearing aid test as my hearing aid didn't seem to be working as well as it did.  It was a new man and he was very good, all he had to do was change the setting by computer on my hearing aid and it seems to be much better..  so Mary won't complain that the TV is too loud !!!    And so what happens next ?   Tomorrow Margaret and Mitch will be over and we are all going out for lunch it will be someones birthday on Friday ! !so we are having a celebration lunch ! Sarah is also hoping to be able to come with us which will be a real treat.  Friday think Mary intends to take that certain person out for a Chinese meal... I am always quite happy once the first half of January has gone ... maybe then ...except for the odd chocolate still to be cleared away...I can start watching what I eat...maybe  LOL
  It has been awful watching all the news footage of the flooding in Australia most of the places that they mention are all places that Mary and I have visited when we did a 10 day coach tour from Cairns in the North to Sydney we stopped in quite a few of the places overnight and can hardly believe our eyes...Please join me in prayers for all these poor people...

Good Night,  God Bless,    and   remember   to

                                        Love one Another