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.