Saturday, 26 January 2013

Burns Night for the English.

Well folks, we got there!

Although the sky threatened and the six o'clock news bulletin talked of dire threats of heavy blizzards nothing but a faint drizzle of sleet was forthcoming, so we decided to go to our friends J and D for the Burns Night for the English Celebrations.

They hold this every year and J is a fantastic cook, laying out a large cooked meal for however many people turn up - often as many as thirty five ish.   They are lucky in that they have plenty of rooms where tables can be laid out and places set, so that one can choose where to sit and meet new people, as we did last night.

Sadly for J, who had done a lot of cooking, many people - having watched the weather forecast - decided to cancel.  We looked out at the weather - not too bad - and the farmer is an intrepid soul who will go out in any weather, and we went.   I was so pleased that we did as there were only twenty people there and there was a lot of food.

We sat with people we had not met before and had some interesting and enjoyable conversations - that's what it is all about isn't it?

We decided it was time to go at 10pm in case the weather deteriorated.   When we opened their front door it had!!  There was an incredible blizzard blowing and our car was heavily covered in snow.   I would never have dared to drive home, but the farmer calmly got in, cleared the snow off the windscreen and in no time at all we were back home in front of our wood burner with steaming cups of horlicks.

Today it is brilliantly sunny.   It has obviously not been freezing overnight as all the snow which had been covering the trees all week has fallen off on to the floor and the snow is dripping off the roof as I write. 

We were 'advised' by the weather man to make a line of snowmen across our gardens to slow down the thaw and thus prevent flooding in our countryside, where the ground has been water-logged for months.   I understand it was meant as a joke, but was reminded yesterday of how last year somebody cleared the snow off our local market square and piled it into a heap.   The heap got dirtier and dirtier, more covered in rubbish, and took weeks to disappear - so maybe it would not have been a good idea.

Today the farmer is out with the shooting syndicate on the last shoot of the season (Pheasant shooting ends on February 1st), so any pheasants who escape today are safe for another year thank goodness.

If you are interested, I didn't eat haggis last night - I had chicken pie instead with all the vegetables provided.   You ask what is in haggis - I am not entirely sure except I know it is offal of some sort, oatmeal and goodness knows what else.  I had a tiny taste - it was alright but I wouldn't rave about it.   Friends we sat and chatted to all night had recently eaten grey squirrel and said it tasted of very little.  They also regularly ate hare - now that, with my adoration of the hare as a creature of marvel and magic, is something I definitely couldn't stomach.  


Tom Stephenson said...

I don't eat Hare either, Weave - for a start, I just don't think that there are enough of them to eat - unlike rabbits. Those pheasant which escape the guns usually spend the rest of the year walking in the middle of the road, ignoring oncoming cars - not the brightest of flying creatures...

Gwil W said...

A great time was had by all by the sound of it!

I went to watch the Waterloo Cup, a coursing event, once - a lot of hares were got up and most seemed to escape the greyhounds - and I have actually eaten one or two portions of hare - cooked to perfection here in Austria. I have never knowingly eaten a greyhound.

Dominic Rivron said...

Does the farmer have winter tyres on his car? They're a must for intrepid snow drivers - they work incredibly well if what you see on tv is anything to go by.

mrsnesbitt said...

Sounds like a great night Pat. Often when we make the effort we are truly blessed dont you think?
Keep warm. Moor road was a nightmare last night - so many cars left due to the drifting. Think we are venturing out today.

Heather said...

So pleased you didn't miss your night out, and that you got home safely. I feel the same way about hares - they are such fascinating creatures - hare coursing seems sinful to me.
Hope our respective thaws continue without causing flooding. Inspite of the snow and cold temperatures, I see that the snowdrops have developed further and will soon be looking as lovely as ever.

Cloudia said...

A fine evening, Lassie! Mmm a blizzard blows in my imagination. Aloha dear.

angryparsnip said...

Good to hear you did get out last night and had a lovely time.
I am not sure I could eat Hare or even Rabbit. Too close to a pet for me.

cheers, parsnip

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I'm glad you had your night out - and that you got home safely. The dinner sounds wonderul - except the Haggis I fear.

Crafty Green Poet said...

vegetarian haggis is much nicer, very spicy and with a lovely nutty texture and taste.

Thanks for your comment on my blog, Peebles is a lovely little town, lots of nice woodlands round about for walks. Nice riverside walks too. Plenty of nice places to stay too, if you want to ask anything more specific, you can email me juliet.m.wilsonATgmailDOTcom

MorningAJ said...

We did Burns night tonight. We had haggis and 'chappit tatties and neeps'. All washed down with whisky and followed by cranachan (which if you've not had it, is cream and raspberries and oatmeal and whisky)

We were threatened with snow last night but it didn't happen. Derby and Nottingham were hit but we seem to have missed out. Now it's raining.

I'm glad you got out and home safely to your event.

Pondside said...

No hare for me, either, thank you. Now Haggis I have had, more than once. It's really the sort of thing one endures rather than enjoys.

The Weaver of Grass said...

The snow has almost gone over night and there is a lot of water about - only to be expected I suppose as we live below a high moor which has had far more snow than we have. Thanks for visiting.

Dave King said...

This year I completely overlooked the fact that it was Burns Night.Glad you had a great evening - and a safe drive home. Thanks for the write-up.