It’s Burns Night…and I’m not eating haggis. I know, I’m a bad Scot. But getting the stuff in England tends to be a right faff, which means acquiring a Burns Supper has become a lot more ‘interesting’ since I moved away from Scotland in 2011.
A brief history of my Burns Supper eating:
- 1985-2002: Burns Supper at home, cooked by parents, complete with horrible off-key chanter playing by my dad (who is a good musician but not a regular chanter player) as we ‘piped in the haggis’ and people reading the Selkirk Grace off a teatowel
- 2002-2011: as above, except that I no longer lived at home so went round to my parents’ specially; my dad had given up on the chanter playing by this point as well
- 2012: our first Burns Night living in Southampton – Geth bought extortionately-priced veggie haggis from a butcher and made a decent if not entirely presentable job of cooking it, but I felt SO HOMESICK
- 2013: went to eat at a cafe in Southampton where they were serving ‘haggis’ made out of tomatoes and had people onstage reciting really patronising attempts at ‘Scots’ poetry – had to leave before table flipping occurred
- 2014: still in Southampton; had friends round for Burns Supper, which was slightly ruined by Geth buying the wrong veg due to English supermarkets’ insistence on calling neeps by the wrong name (they call it ‘swede’ instead of ‘turnip’ for some reason, so he ended up getting something completely different that did not mash well at all)
- 2015: we were preparing for a stressful move from Southampton to Newcastle, so Burns Night, along with various other late winter celebrations like Valentine’s Day and Shrove Tuesday, fell by the wayside that year
- 2016-2017: took advantage of only living a 90-minute train journey away from Edinburgh to go land on my parents for Burns Night again, just like old times
- 2018: did vaguely plan to go up to Edinburgh…but house moving has struck again, and we’ve been too busy/tired to get organised
Dry January also means no toasts with whisky or Thistly Cross cider. I couldn’t even find any Diet Irn-Bru at the supermarket today. Living in England strikes again.
To make up for the lack of the haggis picture that would obviously accompany this post had I cooked any, have a link to Tam O’Shanter, my all-time favourite Burns poem.