Robert Burns Day

In January of 2000, I was living in London. A new acquaintance of mine had invited me to a Robert Burns party. Of course, being a poet myself, I knew who Robert Burns was, but had never attended a party of his before. Turns out, it’s a celebration of the Scottish poet’s birthday, the 25th of January.

There was plenty of scotch, fantastic Celtic dancing and music, and let’s not forget the skirling of the haggis! It was a traditional feast that I enjoyed, as much as you can enjoy sheep’s intestine. I stayed up so late dancing, eating, drinking and listening to poetry I can’t even remember how many hours this thing went on. But it was a night I’ll never forget.

Well, back here in Southern Oregon, we’re fortunate enough to have an authentic British pub called The Black Sheep. And every year, they host a Robert Burns party. While not quite the raucous affair as the previous one I had attended, the atmosphere was cozy and the music was lovely. A bagpiper group made the rounds through the pub before Burns’ “Address to a Haggis” was recited.

I sat eating my fish and chips with malt vinegar, I thought about the 10 years it’s been since I’ve seen London and Edinburgh, and how desperately I want to go back. Even my husband, who isn’t quite as crazy about the UK and all its charms as I am, admitted a desire to see it. I told him nothing would make me happier than to show him around.

But in the meantime, “For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne. We’ll tak a cup of kindness yet, For auld lang syne!”

Hygge & HavnJulie Kanta