I’ve never observed Burns Night, for no other reason except I’m not Scottish so it’s not something I’ve been brought up with. However, in the past year I have acquired 2 new friends who are so special I regard them more as family and Leslie is Scottish! Therefore, they do have a Burns Night party every year with a few close friends. This year, much to my great excitement, they invited myself and Jamie to be the 2 extra guests.
Bobert Burns, responsible for Haggis Tatties and Neeps on the 25th January!!
It was an evening I was really looking forward to, partly because I have zero social life so any social occasion is a big event, more so, however because I got to spend time with Mol and Leslie and meet some of their closest friends at a celebration I have never attended before. We weren’t disappointed. Leslie had gone all out to make the party as Scottish as possible with Tartan tablecloth and napkins, Thistles and Heather for the centre piece and wrapped up in the napkins, Haggis, Tatties and Neeps and Cock a Leekie soup.
Having enjoyed our soup, Leslie brought out the Haggis with great pride and as she placed it ceremoniously on the table she said a poem in brilliant Scots which ended with her heaving a huge cleaver into the Haggis! I was exceptionally impressed but a little alarmed at the sight of her brandishing a lethal weapon with a look on her face that would have terrified William Wallace, never mind the genteel bunch sitting around the table! We all applauded loudly at her her fantastic dramatic talent and she set about serving the revered Haggis.
The Haggis after Leslie attacked it with a cleaver!
She had been kind enough to get vegetarian Haggis for Jamie and I so we could enjoy this speciality as well. I have to say I really liked it and so did Jamie, the whole meal was exquisite and very traditional and the effort Leslie had put into the evening was extraordinary. I personally felt very honoured to be a part of it.
After the fifth course we adjourned to the sitting room which is a beautiful, comfortable and homely area with a log burner and watched a short movie that Mol had made with Jamie about superstitions. The other guests were 2 couples, Jonathan and Jane and Alan and Ronnie, couples that Mol and Leslie have known for many years and lovely people, all of them. Alan and Ronnie are involved with microscopes and training people in how to use them. Alan is very impressed with Pippa’s Microscopy series so we chatted about it at length.
The inevitable heated debate!
I learnt a lot from Alan, he’s a very learned man and Jamie and I spent a long time listening to his stories about his days working in Path labs. The conversation was lively and interesting and then all hell broke loose! Ronnie and Mol started having an extremely heated debate about equality, human rights etc.. Ronnie has good reason to be passionate but I did wonder at one point whether they were going to come to blows! We all sat back and enjoyed the entertainment, what fascinated me was they were actually agreeing with each other! Alan summed it up in one sentence at the end by saying “So it comes down to ‘should’ or ‘could’ “. We all sat for a second and then realised that he had condensed the past 2 hours into 3 words! Brilliant!
Jonathan and Jane left fairly early at about 1.00am, Jamie being the youngest and therefore the one with the least stamina 😉 went to bed about 3.30am, Alan and Ronnie left about 6.30am which left Mol, Leslie and me as the ‘diehards’. We eventually went to bed at 7.30am, I can’t remember the last time I stayed up all night unless it was to work! I was just having such a great time that I couldn’t bear to miss anything.
Ultimately I slept through Sunday and we didn’t leave until 8.30pm! A 25 hour party, not bad! An enormous ‘thank you’ to Mol and Leslie for such a fabulous evening and such a pleasure to meet everyone else. It’s an evening that will live with me forever, fabulous company, amazing food and extremely entertaining conversation!