The club hosted its annual Burns Night on Saturday. This year, the address to the haggis was given by Iain Cameron, one of three Scots in traditional dress. Iain’s stirring theatrics entertained the diners, with the seeming incomprehension of the audience surely just being expressions of hunger and anticipation of the coming feast.
The 100 club again managed to make a meal fit to make a Scot homesick, with second helpings aplenty. John Buchan was given a gift in recognition of his many years of contributions to the event and perhaps a reminder of changing times. This year, rather than journeying from Edinburgh by train in John’s possession, the haggis made the somewhat shorter journey from Waitrose after an online order. It seems the produce of the annual haggis hunt has made its way south in modern times, though the lack of hills prevents successful commercial haggis farming in Cambridgeshire.
In an innovation likely to be repeated in future, Iain called for rowing-themed adaptations of Burns’ poems, or perhaps the poems Burns would have written had he discovered God’s own sport. Despite entertaining tales of loyalty to shells and the bond between oarsman and boat, the most memorable oration of the night belonged to Barry McCann. Barry’s paean to the ladies of the lake raised in this order, a few eyebrows, some thunderous applause and possibly some other things your chronicler forbears to mention…
An attempt was made to share this ode with the rest of the club, but “the best laid schemes o’ mice and men, Gang aft agley” and so it proved! as sober heads prevailed and spared Barry his blushes.
The Scottish-themed quiz saw a high-scoring contest between opposite ends of the conservatory, with Damen’s table narrowly beating the top table.
Your humble servant found himself the recipient of not one but two raffle prizes, perhaps an attempt to curry favour in this document? Being by nature a greedy man, an attribute I strive to control, I chose a kilo of porridge oats as my second raffle prize – recipe suggestions welcome, as even the most ardent Scot would struggle to eat that much porridge alone! Amongst the items received, the entire container of chocolate and orange cookies was instrumental in restoring your narrator to health after an inexplicable bout of flu-like symptoms the next day – headache, dehydration and a delicate constitution in no way related to the consumption of a hip flask of uisge beatha the previous evening…
Though finances were far from everyone’s mind at the time, tak’ a minit here to reflect on the success of the evening; the night raised £892.62 for the club.
A seemingly-sober JC eventually brought the successful night to a close at an unidentified time, decanting Barry, Sally and myself into a waiting taxi – perhaps with thoughts “that man to man, the world o’er, Shall brothers be for a’ that”.