It never rains, it pours: more this week than usual. I’m writing this from bed, weak and with a severe cough, listening to water drumming on the roof and gushing down the rain pipes. A good day to stay in bed and drink tea.
On Monday I experienced Burns supper for the first time in the five years I’ve lived here. All this time and no invitation to any private ones materialised, so I decided that it would be a disgrace to miss it again, and took matters into my own hands. I ended up reaching out to BoysEatScotland to see what good public ones they could recommend, and they came back with Whiski Rooms on the Mound, somewhere I was meaning to visit for months now anyway.
Burns supper is a Scottish tradition to celebrate the prolific life and works of their beloved national poet Robert Burns (or Rabbie Burns). The uncomplicated meal is of a simple soup, followed by haggis neeps and tatties, but more important is the the set format that the event follows. I’d say Whiski Rooms followed the traditional order of events quite closely, and brought us a really entertaining and authentic host for the night. The guests were piped in, greeted in the usual manner, we said the Selkirk Grace and the Address to Haggis was performed with real west-coast gumption, not to mention the beautiful recitals and songs that followed between courses. We had a great piper and a wonderful host.
The tiny letdown was perhaps the make-up of the audience, which was largely foreign. The few locals in attendance did laugh along with the jokes in each of the poems and sometimes sang the songs too (which I know is the norm), but it was painfully obvious that us foreigners didn’t get as much as a word of auld Scots at times. I think next year I will try even harder to find a Burns supper with mostly locals, just to see how that changes the atmosphere. I suspect that it makes a huge difference.
So that was my first Burns Night… I was going to write about it immediately, but right the next morning a bad cold hit me in the head like a sledgehammer. It started out with a wee cough on the night of the supper, that I shrugged off. In the morning it was a bit worse, yet I got up at gym o’clock and forced myself through a very painful 5ks again. It didn’t make it worse, but it didn’t help either. So I was off to work and by 11 I just wanted to keel over — nearly blacked out on the bus home. I swear that out of all types of colds, coughing is the most hideous and exhausting kind.
I guess the up-side of being stuck in bed is at least that I can take better pictures in the full daylight when the sun comes out to play.