In praise of a Burns bonanza

Published: January 27, 2020

It was not for nothing that the legendary Harmeny Burns Supper was a sell-out this year. From the opening bagpipe procession and the red, red roses that graced our tables, to the final crumb of caramel apple pie, this was a true quality production that did the bard of Ayrshire proud.

Our meal was introduced with a beautifully spoken Selkirk Grace, preceded by an energetic Address to the Haggis. In fact, the dramatic ode was delivered with such enthusiasm that the slashing knife sent the great chieftain o’ the pudding-race for a bit of a tumble!

But no matter, all was saved by Harmeny’s catering team who had cooked up a storm. “This potato is REALLY good”, said one discerning boy at our table. Nor was there a morsel of haggis left to be found once we’d all gone at it. Cooked this well, it made you wonder why we don’t eat the national dish every day of the year.

Great entertainment

You may have been pushed to Strip the Willow between the packed tables, but we still put up a proper ceilidh, with brilliant turns from the children. There were jokes from the Kips and magnificent Scottish poetry from the Ospreys. The Red Kites, meanwhile, tested our Scottish general knowledge with a wide-ranging quiz. It was all just for fun, but there were some high scoring teams – and so there should be as Scottish cities has been a topic for the older children, who clearly knew their stuff.

Three craws (or was it Eagles in disguise?) shared their gift for comedy, falling off stools and chasing after Irn Bru, before we were all drafted in for some community singing. We joined in that well-known warning not to shove elderly relatives off a bus before linking hands to tak’ a cup o’ kindness. Well fed, well entertained and in strong voice, the bard himself would have applauded our efforts.