I awake bleary-eyed and mealy-mouthed after a t’riffic Burns supper with my pal Jack, a true Scot and one of my oldest friends. The picture above is of us dressing up as the kings of Scotland and England when we were young ankle-biters.
Jack and his flatmate Jack (a helpful coincidence after one dram too many) fed us on vintage homemade wine, roast woodcock, partridge, and, naturally, haggis. Their attempts to make their own went as far as ambling into Sainsbury’s and asking if they had a sheep’s pluck. They didn’t. Not that it mattered – the Macsween’s version is, despite protestations to the contrary, not bad at all; pleasingly peppery and with a good, offally pong. Or maybe that was the homemade wine.
Anyway, this is really a tribute to a great Scottish legacy. It’s such a wonderful tradition – the whisky, the haggis, the fact that you spend five minutes complimenting your dinner before eating it…I can’t really think of any ‘English’ tradition that compares. The Scots celebrate with passion, grace, and love, while we Sassenachs oscillate wildly between purse-lipped awkwardness to pavement-spewing, drunken incontinence. Sure, I know at the weekend the streets of Glasgow encompass some of the more refreshed gentlemen on these shores, but, when it comes to celebrating, the Scots have it right.
So how was your Burns night? Did it pass you by entirely, or did you find yourself elbow deep in haggis?
This is our dark, blurry, and slurry attempt at Burns’s Address to a Haggis.