Burns Blizzards


Braving the blizzards outside, friends and neighbours of Wiston Lodge warmed themselves from within at our annual Burns Supper evening...

... on Burns Night, January 25th 2013. It was a well-attended all-age affair with four generations ages ranging from three to ninety two and made particularly memorable by the blizzard outside. The musicians and others coming from Edinburgh had tricky journeys, and Jim Humble and wife Jean arrived clad for a mountain expedition, and rapidly transformed into kilt and plaid ready for Jim to address the haggis.

We ate our traditional meal of “cock-a-leekie soup, haggis, neeps and tatties, and cranachan," complete with vegetarian options. The haggis was piped in by Andrew Macintyre friend from Fiddle Force, and robustly addressed by Jim Humble. Then we heard, the Immortal Memory from our speaker Robin McAlpine, director of the Jimmy Reid Foundation. He asked "How have we created an attitude in Scotland where Burns is almost filed with Braveheart as something of which we are mildly embarrassed? Is it because he wrote about the experience of ordinary people and not the European elite? Or because Scotland has become wary of its cultural identifiers in our era of polarised national debate. It is time we stopped torturing Burns and started reading him again."

The meal was followed by songs and poems from diners ably chaired by George Sutherland. Bill Watson with guitar had us all singing A Man’s a Man for All That, there followed songs and music from Malcolm Crosby, Matt Marks, Mark Tanner, Mollie Gillies with Gil, and ended with Bill leading us in singing "Ae fond kiss”

At this point we retired to the Big Lounge for Raffle, with Wiston prizes – firewood, tokens for Adventure Activity, loaves of Bread with 2013 made marmalade, Willie Dunbar (92) won a hat crocheted by Eliza Banks (91) and Founding Friend of Wiston Lodge. The evening was completed with dancing led by Fiddle Force musicians Andrew Macintyre, Jenny Smith, Corinne Clarke, Gordon Wilson, joined by Matt Marks and Mark Tanner.

It was a great evening for Friends and neighbours of Wiston Lodge. The guests were a wide mixture of folks living in the area; people coming with groups through the year, old friends of staff and board members, all people who help Wiston Lodge with our mission. We were just sorry that the snowy state of the road and weather kept away friends from Crawfordjohn and Leadhills.