Happy Valentine’s Day 2020!

Happy Valentine’s Day, dear readers! Whether you are celebrating the day with that special someone, sharing the love with a cherished friend or family member, or by doing something nice for yourself, I hope it’s a very happy one! Here’s a little ooh la la for you on this day of love, brought to you by the master of love, Scottish poet Robert Burns.

From “Oh Were My Love Yon Lilac Fair” by Robert Burns

O gin my love were yon red rose,
That grows upon the castle wa’;
And I myself a drap o’ dew,
Into her bonie breast to fa’!
O there, beyond expression blest,
I’d feast on beauty a’ the night;
Seal’d on her silk-saft faulds to rest,
Till fley’d awa by Phoebus’ light!

Roses climbing up a stone castle wall.

xo,

Happy Burns Night 2020

If you live in Scotland, are of proud Scottish ancestry, or just love the Scottish people and culture, chances are that tonight you will be celebrating Burns Night. Every year, on January 25, people from Scotland to the Americas to Australia and beyond come together to commemorate the life and works of Scotland’s beloved poet, Robert Burns. It is an evening of merriment, good food, and good drink.

Sadly, Mr. C and I have to postpone our celebration this year. Poor ol’ Mr. C is ill, and I’m pretty sure haggis is the last food on his mind. So, in lieu of our traditional festivities, I am instead spending part of my day enjoying The Complete Poems and Songs of Robert Burns, a wonderful publication by Waverly Books. With a glass of the good stuff, of course. Not altogether a bad way to spend an afternoon.

If you are celebrating Burns Night tonight, have fun, be safe, and eat a bite of haggis for me.

A glass of Scotch on a book of poems and songs by Robert Burns.

Slàinte mhath!

“The Fall of the Leaf” by Robert Burns

“The Fall of the Leaf” by Robert Burns

The lazy mist hangs from the brow of the hill, 
Concealing the course of the dark-winding rill; 
How languid the scenes, late so sprightly, appear! 
As Autumn to Winter resigns the pale year. 

The forests are leafless, the meadows are brown, 
And all the gay foppery of summer is flown: 
Apart let me wander, apart let me muse, 
How quick Time is flying, how keen Fate pursues! 

How long I have liv’d-but how much liv’d in vain, 
How little of life’s scanty span may remain, 
What aspects old Time in his progress has worn, 
What ties cruel Fate, in my bosom has torn. 

How foolish, or worse, till our summit is gain’d! 
And downward, how weaken’d, how darken’d, how pain’d! 
Life is not worth having with all it can give- 
For something beyond it poor man sure must live. 

Wishing you a restful Sunday and a happy week ahead.

“O Were My Love Yon Lilac Fair”: A Poem by Robert Burns

“O Were My Love Yon Lilac Fair”

by Scottish poet Robert Burns

O were my love yon Lilac fair,
Wi’ purple blossoms to the Spring,
And I, a bird to shelter there,
When wearied on my little wing!
How I wad mourn when it was torn
By Autumn wild, and Winter rude!
But I wad sing on wanton wing,
When youthfu’ May its bloom renew’d.

O gin my love were yon red rose,
That grows upon the castle wa’;
And I myself a drap o’ dew,
Into her bonie breast to fa’!
O there, beyond expression blest,
I’d feast on beauty a’ the night;
Seal’d on her silk-saft faulds to rest,
Till fley’d awa by Phoebus’ light!

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

xo,


Cock-A-Leekie Soup-A Recipe for Burns Night

Every year on January 25, Scots (and those who have plaid hearts), come together to celebrate the life and literary works of Scotland’s beloved poet, Robert Burns. Burns Night is a night for making merry. Though celebrations vary among its participants, generally it’s a night to gather with family and friends to eat traditional Scottish fare, to be entertained by all things Burns, and of course, to drink whisky! At more formal occasions, the evening commences with the joining of hands as everyone sings ‘Auld Lang Syne.’ Mr. C and I celebrate our own version of Burns Night, but to celebrate this event IN Scotland is one of my bucket list dreams.

The traditional fare on Burns Night is usually some sort of soup (such as cock-a-leekie), haggis, neeps, tatties, and something sweet (like cranachan or clootie dumpling). Today, I would like to share with you my recipe for cock-a-leekie soup. I know it sounds funny, but it’s just chicken soup with leeks. The addition of allspice really takes the taste up a notch. Enjoy it on Burns Night or any other occasion. It’s utterly delicious!

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Parks and Rec Made Me Cry So I Booked a Trip to Scotland

In typical fashion, Mr. C and I were late to the game.  A few weeks ago, on a lazy vacation day in Kentucky, we discovered the comedy series “Parks and Recreation” produced by and starring Amy Poehler.  Never mind that the show ended like three and a half years ago, but hey.  We’re not big television watchers, and it takes a lot in a show to impress me and hold my attention, but boy, when I find a show that does both, I’m ALL in.  Smart, witty, hilarious, and occasionally quite poignant and touching, I think “Parks and Rec” knocked it out of said park.

The show’s characters are an extremely eclectic bunch, and I get such a kick out of them all!  But it’s Ron Swanson – that deadpan, highly private, masculine, meat-eating, whisky-loving, mustache of a man who I adore the most.

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Ron Swanson from the show “Parks and Recreation”, played by Nick Offerman
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Happy Valentine’s Day

A red rose.

“A Red, Red Rose”

-by Robert Burns (1759-96)

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ ’twere ten thousand mile!

Happy Valentine’s Day to each of you today!

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*Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

The Bard of Ayrshire: Robert Burns

Welcome back! Today I would like to pick up where I left off in my previous post about Scottish poet Robert Burns and the annual Burns Night celebration. I promised you I would go a little deeper into the life of the man who penned “Auld Lang Syne” and who, some 222 years later, is regarded as the national poet of Scotland. So let’s dig in!

Ol’ Rabbie was a handsome chap, eh?

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The eldest of seven children, Robert Burns was born on January 25, 1759, in a small town in Ayrshire, Scotland. His father, William Burnes (the family later dropped the ‘e’), and mother, Agnes Brown, were poor tenant farmers. Because of the family’s impoverished situation, young Robert spent his formative years engaged in hard, manual labor on the family farm. This facet of his life would shape his world view and inform his writing throughout the years.

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Burns Night-A Celebration of Scotland’s National Poet

It’s the 25th of January, and in Scotland, that means one thing – Burns Night!

Burns Night Suppers are an annual event whereby folks in Scotland and beyond get together to celebrate and commemorate the life and works of Scotland’s beloved national poet, Robert Burns. The Suppers take place each 25th of January on the anniversary of his birthday.

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Robert Burns: 1759-1796
Photo:  Public Domain

Robert Burns (also known as Robbie, Rabbie, The Ploughman Poet, and the Bard of Ayrshire) is one of Scotland’s favorite sons. You probably know him best as the man who first penned the words to “Auld Lang Syne.” Perhaps you know him by the verse that reads, “O my Luve’s like a red, red rose that’s newly sprung in June.” Or maybe you have a fondness for any one of Rabbie’s other 700+ works. He was a prolific writer and covered such topics as death and war, anguish and greed, religion and politics, love and sex, and many other topics in between.

Although archived and no longer updated, I discovered a BBC page dedicated to Burns that lists 716 poems and songs. It allows you to search for works by title, season, theme, and the year written. Well worth a look if you are interested in Rabbie’s poetry!

What happens at a Burns Night Celebration?

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