Supreme Court Ruling (On Turnip Vs. Swede)

I’m not going to bore you about the Brexit vote now needing to be held in parliament to trigger article 50 which on balance I think is a good thing for democracy.

No, I’m talking about the formal process of eating our first ever Burns Supper in celebration of Scottish poet Robert Burns tomorrow night on the 25th January 2017!

Careful readers of this blog will remember I’m English, Debbie’s Welsh, we got married on Saint Patrick’s day and often holiday in Scotland, where daughter Emma is studying for her M.Res. in Victorian literature at Glasgow University.  Coincidentally I just took a call from her where she gave us the news she’s just received a very high mark for her second dissertation which only leaves the final thesis before she graduates!

So looking forward to the event tomorrow this morning I manfully walked across the road to Waitrose and gathered the following “bounty” of haggis and “neeps & tatties“.


Now the observant amongst you will notice I bought turnips, swedes and potatoes for the accompanying vegetable treat to go with the beastie.  Although I think “neeps” is really a swede recipe, the following Guardian article explains my decision to hedge my bets by buying turnips too.  If any Scottish readers could clarify with their comments I would be very grateful!

I’m going to scour Amazon Music as host for some bagpipe music to welcome the guests.  Sadly it will be likely just myself, a rather dubious Debbie & James and two rather hopeful canines, so I plan to whet their appetite will a short welcome speech followed by the Selkirk Grace as follows:

Some hae meat an
canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thankit

We shall start with the soup course, probably Scotch broth, cullen skink or cock-a-leekie.

Then I shall get everyone to stand as we “pipe” in the haggis before reciting the following Address to a Haggis.

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my airm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o’ need,
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dicht,                        (I shall draw and sharpen a knife)
An’ cut you up wi’ ready slicht,                            (plunge into the haggis and cut it open)
Trenching your gushing entrails bricht,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sicht,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmaist! on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve,
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
“Bethankit” hums.

Is there that o’re his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi’ perfect scunner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him ower his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his wallie nieve a blade,
He’ll mak it whistle;
An’ legs an’ arms, an’ heads will sned,
Like taps o’ thristle.

Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinkin ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer,
Gie her a haggis!

Given my impressions of a Scotch accent usually sound more like an Indian I think it’s unlikely I would complete the whole seven verses I will do my best particularly with the third verse as this “ceremony” is normally the highlight of the evening!

This will then be followed by oatcakes and cheese and coffee, all washed down with the “water of life” (uisge beatha) more commonly known as Scotch whisky for the following  toasts.  By going to Asda in Brynmawr for the soup, oatcakes and cheese means this will accommodate the purchase of a good Malt!

Opps – I forgot the soup!

Immortal memory of Robert Burns

I then plan to recite a poem by Burns followed by the toast.

Address to the Lassies

I will then share hopefully humorously my views on women after which James & I will drink a toast to Debbie’s health.

Reply to the Laddies

Debbie will then give her views on men and reply to any specific points raised by the myself again hopefully in a humorous fashion after which she will then drink a toast to James & I!

Works by Burns

We will then attempt as a family the singing of a songs by Burns, probably “Ae Fond Kiss“.


Finally as host I will then call on James to give the vote of thanks, after which everyone is asked to stand, join hands, and sing Auld Lang Syne bringing the evening to an end.

Wish us luck, hopefully pictures will appear on an updated blog afterwards.


Supreme Court Ruling (On Turnip Vs. Swede)

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