“Burns Night” Lunch remembered!

“Firstly we gathered in the castle keep and were served a selection of wee drams of the fiery liquid called whisky by a pretty maid. The Clan Chief regaled us with the secrets of 3 potions and sought to find our preferences. He said,  look here ye Sassenachs, know it thus, our drink is not fit to drink for fifteen years unlike that heathen brandy that you quaff which is like water. Heads reeling we made our choices and retired to the banquet hall to take our place for the feast to come.”

The 25th January is Burns Night and there was a lunch this week when he was remembered through the earnest endeavours of our Clan Chief, Scott Kennedy. This was a most enjoyable occasion and I was reminded of  last year when I met with the same group and we rememRobbie Burnsbered that great man Robbie Burns and what I wrote at the time and would like to share this with our readers.

“Guys work hard and should relax with friends from time to time and this I do once a month when I go out to lunch and we sit and talk and put the world to rights.

From time to time we have a guest speaker who enthrals us with tales of sometimes dark deeds extraordinaire and mystery which lifts the soul and sends us home happy after a sumptuous meal and a wee tipple.

So this day we gathered to enjoy our feast and were regaled by our northern cousins from above Hadrian’s Wall who had come south to teach the Taffy’s and Southerners the truth and mysterious wonder of Robbie Burns and the Burns Night Festivities.

Firstly we gathered in the castle keep and were served a selection of wee drams of the fiery liquid called whisky by a pretty maid. The Clan Chief regaled us with the secrets of 3 potions and sought to find our preferences. He said,  look here ye Sassenachs, know it 2-  Pouring a wee dram 2012thus, our drink is not fit to drink for fifteen years unlike that heathen brandy that you quaff which is like water. Heads reeling we made our choices and retired to the banquet hall to take our place for the feast to come.

Again the Clan Chief regaled us with mysterious sayings of wondrous things and then having said a mystic prayer, bid the feast to start. All now were hushed and standing tall in honour of the Haggis which was brought to the clan table with great honour by the grand chef. Salutes and praise were made to the haggis whilst glasses were held high and when the sharp knife flashed into the haggis, we were all bid, be seated!

More tributes were made by the Liege Lord before we settled with great reverence to enjoy haggis, tatties and neeps. Now there followed, our chosen main course and tempting platters of smelly cheese or sweet offerings to complete the feast.

Suddenly the lights were dimmed and into the room with lantern in hand came, “Holy Willie” in his nightgown to recount his 10 - Holy Willie - Don Campbell Thompson says a prayer 2012conversation with God and none dared speak until he had finished. What a wonderful event this rendition of Robert Burn’s poem, “Holy Willie’s Prayer”, which was in commemoration to the church elder Willie Fisher of the Parish church of Mauchine, in Ayrshire.

This then was the lead up to the traditional celebration of Robbie Burns the famed poet of  Scotland the Brave who died so young without recognition of his marvellous work. This preview was of the annual event which is re-enacted around the world and my sadness is that I will not be able to attend the main celebrations. The conciliation is that I met so many friends who are proud of their tradition and I will seek them out in the future to learn more of this famous Scotsman and his incredible work.” 

So it was that I met this week with the same group at the Hawaii Restaurant, Çatalköy when we had a very pleasant lunch and listened to the words of reverence from Scott Kennedy although it was sad that Holy Willie (Don Campbell Thompson) was not there to read “Holy Willie’s Prayer”.

By Chris ELLIOTT

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