Tuesday, 25 January 2011

To a haggis...

Today is Burn's night, and we're having haggis for supper, as one should when one lives in Scotland. It's noteworthy because it'll be the first time I've had haggis on Burn's night, after only recently discovering that I like it! Who knew it was so tasty? We (probably) won't be doing the more elaborate bits of Burn's night ritual, e.g. piping it into the dining room or stabbing it with a skean dhu, but we might just manage a verse or two of the address...

To a Haggis, by Robert Burns
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hudies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut ye up wi' ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reeking, rich!

Then horn for horn, they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
'Bethankit!' hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As fecl;ess as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Tho' bluidy flood or field to dash,
O how unfit.

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll make it whistle;
An' legs, an' arms, an' heads will sned
Like taps o' thrissle.

Ye pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware,
That jaups in luggies;
But if ye wish her gratfu' prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

New Year New Knitting New Babies

Happy New Year!

It's been a whirlwind start to the year. I'm teaching again so there is lots of thinking and reading and preparing and photocopying and tinkering with the university VLE going on. And, there has been plague in this house. I am the only one not to have succumbed and the only one not to have antibiotics. DH is still laid low and although ordered to rest by the GP, as a self-employed person, he is inevitably tucked up with his laptop... So time to knit and blog has been small.

Anyway, there is new knitting and new babies to report. First, some old friends welcomed their second child, a girl named Zoe, last week. She was born at home, like her big brother, and on her mama's birthday! A day later - near neighbours Lorraine and Trevor welcomed a little girl called Sophia Rose. Welcome to the world little ones. We wish you much love, light and peace as you grow. And, to your dear parents we wish much sleep.

On the knitting front, I swapped one of my Christmas presents (a sock book) for something I was a bit more excited about: Rowan Winter Kids.

It's stuffed full of gorgeous projects and the bean has already requested one of the sweaters... not sure I'll manage it in time for his birthday (next week!) but I have already cast on for one project - Ava - a girl's cardigan knit in one piece in a chunky yarn.

I am using something from my stash rather than the colourscape yarn specified. It's a shame not to have such lovely colours to work with, but stash busting is *still* the challenge in 2011! I'm hoping to gift Ava to a friend's daughter, but it will depend how it looks in my tweedy yarn...

Oh yes, and one last thing, I  had some scrumptious sock yarn from my mother for christmas. It's Jenny Cook's again, and so tempting that I wound the skein on Christmas day and started knitting straight away. The first sock is done, and the second on the needles...