Louise Queen

Posts Tagged ‘Scotland’

The History of Robert Burns and the Burns Supper

In Sites and Sounds on January 25, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Burns Supper

Well today is non other than the 25th of January – the birthday of a famous Scottish poet, Robert [Rabbie] Burns.

Robbie BurnsRobbie Burns

Robbie Burns was born on the 25th January 1759 just south of Ayr (on the Scottish west coast) and is widely regarded as Scotland’s national poet. He was born into poverty and hardship, a farmers son. He had no formal education and what he learnt came mainly from his father, who did his best to teach his children reading, writing, arithmetic, geography and history.

By the age of 15 the responsibility of his father’s farm had fallen to Rabbie and it was during the harvest of 1774 that he was inspired to write, ‘O, Once I Lov’d A Bonnie Lass’

In the summer of 1775, he was sent to finish his education with a tutor at Kirkoswald, where he met Peggy Thomson, to whom he wrote two songs, Now Westlin’ Winds and I Dream’d I Lay.

Robbie Burns was notorious for his casual love affairs and his first illegitimate child, Elizabeth Paton Burns (1785-1817), was born to his mother’s servant, Elizabeth Paton (1760-circa 1799), as he was embarking on a relationship with Jean Armour. She bore him twins in 1786, and although her father initially forbade their marriage, they were eventually married in 1788. She bore him nine children in total, but only three survived infancy.

During a rift in his relationship with Jean Armour in 1786, and as his prospects in farming declined, he began an affair with Mary Campbell (1763-1786), to whom he dedicated the poems The Highland Lassie O, Highland Mary and To Mary in Heaven. Their relationship has been the subject of much conjecture, and it has been suggested that they may have married. They planned to emigrate to Jamaica, where Burns intended to work as a bookkeeper on a slave plantation. This plan never came to fruition due to the death of Burn’s Jamaican contact. That summer, he published the first of his collections of verse, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish dialect, which created a sensation and has been recognized as a significant literary event.

As the years passed Burns continued to write and publish his works until his death was caused by bacterial endocarditis exacerbated by a streptococcal infection reaching his blood following a dental extraction in winter 1795.The funeral took place on 25 July 1796, the day his son Maxwell was born. A memorial edition of his poems was published to raise money for his wife and children, and within a short time of his death, money started pouring in from all over Scotland to support them.

Burns Supper

The format of Burns suppers (which takes place on or as near to Burn’s birthday as possible) has not changed since his death in 1796. The basic format starts with a general welcome and announcements followed with the Selkirk Grace. After the grace comes the piping and cutting of the haggis, where Robert’s famous Address To a Haggis is read and the haggis is cut open. The event usually allows for people to start eating just after the haggis is presented.

haggishaggis

What is haggis? Read the rest of this entry »

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A visit from Cait

In Sites and Sounds on August 5, 2009 at 9:32 am

Last week one of my oldest friends from Scotland came over to visit. We spent quite a lot of time at the beach…

Cait @ Bayswater Beach

Cait @ Bayswater Beach

They even had lifeguards on duty…

Lifeguards

Lifeguards

Eventually we plucked up the courage to jump in the Atlantic for a swim, however, sadly don’t have any photographic proof!

We also explored Aspotogen Pointe…

Mermaid

Mermaid

Cait thought she’d try her hand at being a mermaid but sadly her singing wasn’t good enough to attract any local sailors. Read the rest of this entry »

Tartan Totes

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Well as many of you may or may not know Jackie (Cameron`s Mum) and I have been working on a business idea for the past few months. We are now ready for the launch so I thought I would tell you a little bit more about what we have been up to.

Logo

Logo

As it says on our homepage of our website, we wanted to make something that was unique, original and which utilized recycled fabrics. We wanted something that reinforced the connection between our past and present, old Scotland and new Scotland – and what better than tartan to do this. We think the tartan we source for our totes is colourful, fashionable and practical – we do hope you agree!

the ailsa

the ailsa

The Kirsty

The Kirsty

For more bags and styles please check out our website at www.tartantotes.com and let us know your thoughts.

Just another teuchter in Scotland – Part 1

In Sites and Sounds on March 13, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Sorry about the lapse in my rantings but as many of you will know I have spent the last couple of weeks back in my homeland.

I must say it was good to go back but it’s definitely been nice to return to the much more relaxed Canadian lifestyle. Remember you are all welcome to come and try it anytime you fancy.

Anyway, it was a pretty jam packed couple of weeks. I arrived late afternoon on the 25th and wasn’t much good for anything other than a full 12 hours of sleep. The following day I headed Elgin/Inverness way to catch up with a uni friend.

Back home on the 28th to celebrate my little sisters 21st. We were taken by limo (free champagne) to a restaurant where we had a lovely meal and birthday cake.

Kim

Kim

Read the rest of this entry »

Feeling Homesick

In My day to day on November 26, 2008 at 8:52 pm
Home sick

Home sick

With the snow all gone Lunenburg seems to have lost its charm and Scotland has been calling…. I guess however, that Scotland doesn’t look anymore appealing at the moment. Would just like to see my friends and family and reassure myself that we have done the right thing (an hour with you guys and I will wanna get on the first plane back to Canada)

How about filling me in on some of the gossip…? That way I might not feel so far away. Plus our B&B facilities are open all year round, so just give us a shout should you need to book a room!