Not for our time but for all time

Last night, with friends from Paisley and our friend Brenda we attended the annual Wester-Ross Burns Club Burns Supper. Hugely enjoyable. This year because of problems at our usual Poolewe Hotel venue it was held in Donald's The Shieling restaurant. About seventy good Burnsians enjoyed an excellent meal of Cock a Leekie soup, Haggis Neeps and Tatties (a kind of offal sausage, mashed turnip and mashed potato), climaxed with an extremely alcoholic Clootie Dumpling or equally well-whisky'd Crannachan.

Our Chairman Ian had of course opened proceedings. His Address to the Haggis was delivered with gusto, bravado, charismo, embrogio and any other word meaning 'great' and ending with a 'o' you can think of (and my goodness, did not our wee Chieftain o' the Puddin' Race taste wonderful!)

Mel delivered a brilliant 'Immortal Memory'. He used a format combining key events / dates in the bards life with other key events / dates around the world at large, all spiced up with his usual dry, sometimes self-deprecating humour. In fact all the toasts were very well delivered and equally well received. Chris Powell toasted the Lassies. We were led to understand that an early encounter with the lady now his wife engendered comparison with the rose that 'is not much good in bed but marvellous up against the wall'. Jo Powell in response seemed to indicate that her good husband (perhaps just a little bit vertically challenged) would have had to stand upon a box.

Finally came the live music. Beth Hunter performed right nobly for us on guitar and in song, her confident humour and Old Folks Home anecdotes inspiring an atmosphere even more convivial if that were possible. But when she sang we listened, especially to her pro-plus rendition of 'My Heart is Like a Red Red Rose' which is one of my favourites. And when she invited a choral accompaniment how wonderful the results! Except around our table of five, that is, where you could hear all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order. For me the piece de resistance was Beth's solo lead and the assembled company's enthusiastic following into Auld Lang's Syne. (If I spelled that wrongly, apologies Meron.)

More than a century before Robert Burns was born another great man died. On his tomb Ben Johnson had inscribed a line meant for his friend Wm Shakespeare but applying equally and in full measure to our Scottish Bard. He wrote ... "NOT FOR OUR TIME BUT FOR ALL TIME".

Hear hear. Roll on January 2xth 2012.

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