Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Lost for words: A lassie's lament

Burns Night is celebrated in Scotland every year on or around January 25th. It commemorates the life of poet, Robert Burns, who was born on January 25th, 1759. The day also celebrates Burns' contribution to Scottish culture – his best known work is Auld Lang Syne.

I wouldn’t normally be mentioning this before the event, but this year I’ve been asked to do something very curious – especially so, as I’m what’s called a ‘sassenach’ – although one of my grandfathers did grow up in Scotland (not sure if that counts?)

Anyway, I’ve been asked to make a speech at a Burns Night Supper. Not just a speech, but a response to the Toast to the Lassies (which… typically, comes after the toast to the monarch, the toast to the haggis and the toast to great bard himself). Anyway, your guess is as good as mine as to what sort of thing I should say - and only one well known Scottish phrase comes to my mind: 'after dinner sit a while, after supper walk a mile.'

So if anyone has any helpful hints, or ideas - or has given one of these uniquely Scottish after dinner speeches before, I’d love to hear from you, as the clock is ticking away, and I’m still psyching myself up for the role.

Meantime, I’ve been finding comfort tracking down some curiously cute accessories to make sure my outfit for the evening is in keeping with the theme. If you’re looking for something curiously Celtic too, there’s a wonderful winter white, vintage rabbit foot brooch at ShopCurious. I’m certainly going to be wearing one of these, as they’re meant to be lucky... and I need all the help I can get - as does the haggis, apparently.

Once again, any ideas for the speech would be very much appreciated – but please feel free to leave other comments too.

Will you?


Jan said...

I'm sure you don't need it but good luck anyway.
I'm half Sassenach and never pay any attention to Burns night, although I have read some of his work.
Sad that he died so young really.
Sorry for lack of input on the speech.

worm said...

I'd recommend wearing the outfit above, should mean you can say anything you like and no one will mind. Perhaps avoid mentioning the highland clearances