of the new year has passed already; however, rather than think of the speed at which time is flying by, I’m thinking on the positive side: at least Spring is drawing closer. I can’t wait for the cranes to pass overhead and announce warmer weather is on it’s way.
Every year we honour the Scottish poet Robbie Burns on the 25th January, his birth date. This year four friends came over from the UK just to enjoy a Burns celebration supper with us…madness!
They arrived for a late lunch and we managed to pack in walks, talks, dancing, poetry readings and a full supper, as for decoration nothing escaped the tartan as you can see.
Some of our guests contributed by reading out their chosen poems, Graham addressed the haggis, which you see above on the platter in his hands, (it’s vegetarian of course). (Photos, some of which I have cropped, by courtesy of John Atkinson.) Graham narrated the Tam o’ Shanter, recreating the spine-chilling tale with great fervour, and he read out my poem which I’d written in Scots style (apologies to the true Scots scholars!) It’s an address “to a salad” ( and it played havoc with my spell check!)
To a Salad
Fauchie grim is auld scots fare.
Wi’ its neeps an’ champit tatties.
An’ a cairnie o’ haggis heapit hie,
dreich as a haar frae th’eastlin tide.
Tae save the day frae douth delichts,
tae tickle the juses an’ caum th’ fatties,
wie’ll ser ye a lettys o’ verdur bricht
ma muilleach freens: feest well an’ hertie !
I’m still sketching away in the warm house, while my oil paints await me, grumpily glowering in the corner of my cold studio. I’m mostly fascinated by the shapes our new dog creates, she curls up to sleep and her long legs appear to fold up until she resembles a tight black comma, or she stretches out so long and lean, a lithe black ink-blot on the floor. Most sketching is done when she’s asleep of course, she moves too fast to give me time to get my pencil out let alone to sketch her, as you can see from this one below.