Last night's SNP Cowal Branches Burns Supper in the Pipe Band Hall in Dunoon (which raised a significant amount of money for this year's Scottish Parliament campaign ) was the first of four for me this year. I was delivering the "Toast to The Immortal Memory" and my colleague Brendan O'Hara MP addressed the Haggis.
Colin Stevenson from Strachur provided one of the highlights of the night by reciting a word perfect Tam O'Shanter. which I couldn't resist blipping.
Care, mad to see a man sae happy,
E'en drown'd himsel' amang the nappy!
As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasure,
The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure:
Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious.
O'er a' the ills o' life victorious!
There were a couple of people I met at the event last night who had had never been to a Burns Supper before which always surprises me as I have been attending , reciting and speaking them since I was at school - which my extra photo today confirms. It was taken in 1970 I think at at a Burns Supper in the Parish Church Hall in Troon.
But then I was brought up in Ayrshire, the home of the poet and at that time once the Christmas decorations were down, the Burns books came out in preparation for what was called "The Burns Season".