bits of culture

As we move away from our cultural heritages we begin to lose bits of those heritages but cling in an odd way to their symbols. And as we cling to those remnants we develop a sentimental view of them. I am still smarting from the actions of a woman who on New Years’ Eve (a few years ago) started to go ‘blah blah blah’ loudly in my ear as I began to sing Auld Lang Syne. I’ve always tried to sing it – even against the odds in a pub in Tolaga Bay or in the company of stupid women.

I didn’t sing it at all this year, even to myself so was delighted when a refound friend (cheers Facebook) posted this online.

I hasten to add, lest ye get too maudlin, that the slosh seems to be the dance du jour in Scotland. Look it up. Oh hell. Here’s one.

So although this year I failed to sing it, I did get to sing along with this version and a few days after New Year to have a sip of a fine single malt and an evening of reading Rabbie Burns (without the ode to the haggis) but enough to burst into “Ye banks and braes“. I also made some excellent shortbread before Christmas thanks to Jamie Oliver and a different recipe from the one I used to make shortbread for my grandmother. (I used to cream the sugar and butter but Jamie of course indicates the correct short pastry/mix of rubbing in the butter).

So here’s a great Burns poem that’s still relevant A man’s a man for a’ that‘ and my grandmother who always wondered why we celebrated Christmas not hogmanay. I never did go first footing and only on a few occasions have heard the piper, but it was good to celebrate in a kind of extended version aspects of a culture I have lost. Almost.

Oh and happy new year.

A few wee songs

Coming through the rye

Will ye go lassie go?

The Skye boat song

The Scottish soldier (Dad’s favourite)


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