Saturday, January 28, 2006

Burns Supper

WARNING - just one line of knitting content!
I got my copy of Rowan 39 this morning, which is very prompt. I like it! More to follow on this subject in a few days.

WARNING - Kathleen has fuzzy head after work mate's leaving do last night so please be gentle with me.
And by the way, I have no idea why my links and all that have gone down to the bottom of the page.

Okay, so on Thursday night we had our annual Burns Supper in the glamorous canteen of the school where I work.

It's a soft drink event for the sixth year pupils and staff, and although it is in one of the cafeteria, a lot of work goes into it and everybody really tries to get into the spirit of it. Oh yeah, and the kids all go on to Hamilton Palace night club in their kilts etc while us oldies limp home dying for our beds.

It started at 7 prompt with our Head Girl as Maistress o' Ceremonies. We all stood while John, a pupil who left last year, piped in the haggis while the Head Boy (I used to take him for Standard Grade French) carried it aloft in procession round all the guests. Both of them looked a million dollars in full Highland Dress.

The Head Boy then recited, or rather, performed the Address to a Haggis complete with a skean dhu (black knife, small dagger) attack on the haggis. He really did it justice.

After which, one of 6th year girls who was in my Standard Grade Spanish class a couple of years ago, danced a wonderful Highland Fling to our top table which included all our speakers and invited guests.

The Deputy Head Girl lead us all in The Selkirk Grace before we tucked into scotch broth and a roll which was like a half-brick, followed by haggis, bashit neeps (mashed turnip/swede) and champit tatties (mashed potatoes). The main course was steak pie and boiled peas. Very nice although the pie paste was like the other half of that brick I was telling you about. Then we rounded it all off with oatcakes and Scottish cheeses.

Once the feedin' was over the Member of the Scottish Parliament for Hamilton North, Michael McMahon , gave our principal speech and the toast to The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns. This part of the proceedings does not always come straight after the meal, but it was scheduled in here in case our speaker had to leave early, having a country to run and all that. He was a good sport though, and stayed till the bitter end. In his speech Michael emphasised Burns' affinity with nature and love of country life.

Robert Bruce's March to Bannockburn, or Scots wha hae as it is often known was sung by two sixth year girls, then two of our admin workers did a harmonic duet of Ye Banks an Braes o' Bonnie Doon . Two of our drama teachers performed My Love is Like a Red Red Rose then a sixth year boy lead us all in a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne and then I rounded off the singing with Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation sung unaccompanied. I really enjoyed it and it went down well.

Our deputy head boy gave a tongue in cheek speech and Toast tae the Lassies to which the head girl responded, giving as good as she got. That section of the evening was brought to a close by the Piping Finale, which got us all energised for the ceilidh.

After a quick comfort break, we had dancing to live music performed by a band made up of staff and pupils on the piano, violins, accordian, drums and different whistles. The dances included The Dashing White Sergeant , The Gay Gordons and the inimitible Strip the Willow to name but a few. A brilliant night was had by all.

I don't go for any great love of Burns or haggis, but just to help contribute to the school community. Working in a busy secondary school with a very mixed catchment area can be hard, but the thing that makes it worthwhile is the personal qualities of the pupils, never seen more clearly than in our talented sixth years on Burns night.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like fun, what a talented bunch. By the way I notice there's another Sonja in the world, out in the snow in Vienna!
Sonja x

carol said...

Thank you for that Kathleen - and all the links too. It must have taken you ages to post. Now I know all about Burns night. It sounds like a fun evening was had at your school, and as you said oh so important to take part for the community spirit of it all.

Lorena said...

That sounds like an absolutely wonderful time!