Sunday, 31 January 2010


It's Burns Season again. Although it is officially January 2th, the date of the birth of Robert Burns, it isn't always possible (or desirable) to hold events on that night so various types of gatherings take place when halls can be booked and musicians or performers lined up.

While proper Burns Night is a formal sit-down meal many people modify this and have a ceilidh or concert format. In our experience it usually includes recitations, singing (Burns songs) and dancing.

So we spent a pleasant evening in Bowling Village Hall where the Bowling Harbour Ceilidh Band were holding a Burns Evening.

There is no show without Punch, as they say. So while the band, i.e. Peter (with whom we share our boat), Ken and Alan started the evening with some songs and pieces for dancing, Iain gave everyone a tune on the pipes (giving the band time for a break).

Peter enthralled everyone with Tam o'Shanter - he's been doing it for 40 years! - and after some more dancing, he recited the Toast to the Haggis. This is Iain piping it in with Peter who is carrying it around the room on a tray.

Peter has for many years done Burns Suppers, in Scotland and also many countries abroad (mainly the old Soviet Union where they are very keen on Burns). Here he is reciting Holy Willie's prayer. Every year he just gets better and better!

Finally the evening finished off with the band playing for more dancing: Peter on the guitar, Ken on the whistles and recorder and Alan on the accordion, concertina and harmonica.

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