A very Good Afternoon to you all!! Or rather should I say ‘och aye a wee bonnie Good Afternoon to you all?!’ For if you’re a Scotsman (woman / child – delete as appropriate) then today is a jolly good reason for a bit of a knee’s up – today is Burns Night. Burns Night I hear you shout……..what on earth is that?? I have an Italian friend / colleague who was asking exactly the same question – what was it a celebration of and do you know what – I didn’t actually know. I just know it to be a night when Scottish people like to make a lot of noise and English people use it as an excuse to have the odd sip of whisky and eat Haggis!
Isn’t that ignorant? I live 90 minutes away from the beautiful country of Scotland and I don’t even know why a festivity takes place. I mean I know there are lots of events all over the world and unless I have Google for a brain (which unfortunately I don’t!) then we can’t be expected to know them all. But I feel I want to make an effort to learn – so I looked it up on good ol’ Wikipedia – here is a summary just for you to impress your friends later, my lovely reader :
Burns Night is celebrated every year on Robert Burns birthday, 25th January (Today!). People across Scotland gather to celebrate the great poets work, but also Scottish culture as well. People eat haggis, go to dances, listen to traditional Scottish music, and wear tartan. Pipers are also very high in demand at this time of the year too!
Who was Robert Burns?
• Born on 25th January 1759 in Alloway, two miles south of Ayr in South Ayrshire, Robert Burns was a popular across Scotland for his poems and storytelling.
• Many of his poems become embedded within Scottish culture and are widely remembered over 200 years after his death.
• He started writing at the age of 15, with his first poem My Handsome Nellabout the subjects he loved most, whisky and women!
• He was a controversial figure at the time for having several illegitimate children (children that were born when the parents were not married), and his relationships with different women (he later married a woman called Jean Armour but had earlier planned to run away to the West Indies with his lover Mary Campbell before she died) – risqué!
• Burns was very proud of being Scottish and very patriotic. He travelled through Scotland before settling in Edinburgh, becoming friends with a number of artists and writers. In the next few years he became a national hero after producing masterpieces such as Tam O’Shanter and A Red, Red Rose.
So now you know! History lesson over – now to tell you what I will be getting up to!! P & I will also be joining in the celebrations, although we have very little to do with Scotland except for some very dear scottish friends and a tartan rug that the cat sleeps on! I happen to love Haggis (accompanied by the necessary neeps – (turnips) & tatties – (potatoes) as long as I forget what it is made of exactly, and P is partial to a spot of whisky (bleurgh) so we’ve reached a lovely compromise! It is also the Celebrity Big Brother 2013 final which I have no shame in admitting that we have been watching. Have you? It has been scandalous this year!! So I will be enjoying a nice cosy fire, sampling a spot of whisky probably mixed with lemonade or dry ginger – I just can’t drink it stright I feel like my throat will be ripped out – know what I mean? Snuggling up with my boys and eating a delicious dinner. Oh and enjoying the fact that I have a rare, empty, plan free weekend ahead of me!
If that wasn’t enough reason to celebrate – hot off the press news is that our man Andy Murray has just beaten Roger Federer to make it into the final of the Australian Open Tennis Final – could it possibly be his second grand slam victory?! And he is Scottish – so if you don’t have a reason to celebrate tonight then I have just given you one! I would love to hear about any celebrations you are taking part in this weekend – for Burns Night, having a Celeb Big Brother party or anything else! We need more stuff than ever to keep us cheery through this loooooong winter month!
Whatever you may be doing, thank you for taking the time to join me in this short History lesson, I hope all of your friends will be impressed and buy you lots of extra drinks in the pub – make sure you keep wrapped up warm and take care not to slip!
Lots of Love & cosy snuggles in pyjamas & slipper socks
PS – one of the best things about Burns Night? Apart from the food and whisky – tartan is massively popular to wear and there are endless varieties of patterns – therefore you have no reason not to wear some dazzling, complementing make up and dazzle!