Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Get bashing those neeps and tatties (

MissPrism Jan 25th, 2007 07:12 AM

Get bashing those neeps and tatties
We will be enjoying a Marks and Sparks haggis in what is rather coyly described as a "traditional casing".
Happy Burns Night to Sheila and all the other Scots.

Gardyloo Jan 25th, 2007 07:30 AM

Because of family and other commitments, we had to cancel our Burns Supper this year, and will proceed directly to the whisky course instead.

Slainte to all, and to the immortal memory!

hdm Jan 25th, 2007 07:32 AM

Geez, when I saw the title I thought this might be a dirty post. How disappointing!

Dukey Jan 25th, 2007 07:40 AM

I guess I'm whining but now I know how all these people in the US who are having trouble with English phrases feel.

BettyB Jan 25th, 2007 07:44 AM

Thank you very much MissPrism - tatties and neeps will be bashed as soon as I get home - as will the whisky...

sheila Jan 25th, 2007 08:15 AM

Not at ome, but have a Burn's Supper tomorrow night.

Thanks for your good wishes.

Cimbrone Jan 25th, 2007 08:20 AM

I thought this would have something to do with nipple rings and tattoos!

Someone please provide some background on Burns Night.

Gardyloo Jan 25th, 2007 08:23 AM

alanRow Jan 25th, 2007 08:25 AM

It involves hunting haggis, talking in a funny voice & forcibly having to listen to bagpipes in a small room

Dukey Jan 25th, 2007 08:30 AM

Ignorance turns out to be bliss after all.

Scarlett Jan 25th, 2007 08:33 AM

Maybe I am masochistic but while I would skip the haggis, I would love to be stuck in a small room with bagpipes ( and perhaps a wee dram of whiskey)..

Happy Burns Night ((F))

hanl Jan 25th, 2007 08:40 AM

First time in years I haven't celebrated Burns night. Just didn't have the energy this year so am going to the pub instead ;)

carioca4ed Jan 25th, 2007 09:00 AM

Because I think that haggis-hunting is a cruel sport,I am opting for vegetarian haggis....Only kidding !!!But here is a curious fact.I tended to eat haggis years ago fairly regularly because it used to be on the hospital canteen a lot...But since my eighteen year stint in hospitals,(I mainly worked in the Southern General Hospital,Glasgow,also known as the "sufferin'general",by the patients),it tends to be very kind of Scottish things like Burns nights that I get a portion of haggis and neeps....But I do remember Ronnie Reagan staring at a dish of it being brought in the room,with great ceremony, at a banquet,and him staring at it,and asking someone what it was....Then you could see that he did not understand this word,or did not hear properly as he asked the person to repeat.....

flanneruk Jan 25th, 2007 09:17 AM

'Neeps and tatties' is most definitely NOT an English phrase.

Lallans if you like. Doric if you're pompous. Scots, I believe is the current politically correct term (see ) for the incomprehensible stuff about sconsie faces they were reciting over Mc Sween's finest at our Burns Supper the other night.

But English? That's one way to piss off both sides of the border.

sheila Jan 29th, 2007 11:31 AM

Apologies to those who've seen this elsewhere.

It's really difficult to explain how Burn's Night sits in Scots culture. It's not a holiday or a national celebration or anything. I suspect that apart from a few die-hard Burns Society people, it's really just another excuse for a hoolie.

And they're very often not held on Burn's Night, if it's a school night.

So, I got a last minute invitation to the Udny Green (local village) Burn's Supper on Friday past. And very good it was too. It was freezing but the hall was warm- possibly too warm- see below.

It was set up with a bar in one corner, and 6 long tables running the length of the hall. Everyone was given a drammie or a sherry to do the toasts with. The top table was on the stage, and comprised the local doctor, who was to toast the haggis, someone's wife- I never yet found out whose, a national broadcaster who lives locally who was to toast the immortal memory, another wife, the Chairman, who is local and is a consultant urological surgeon, the wife of the guy toasting the Lasses, Willy Rennie, a local lorry driver who was to toast the Lasses, and the head teacher of a nearby school- she's from Orkney- who was to reply for the Lasses.

So, the top table was piped in then we had our very nice vegetable broth; then the haggis was piped in- it's traditional for the music to be the tune of "A Man's a Man for a' That". The haggis is carried by someone in a chef's outfit called Poosie Nancy. The piper and Poosie Nancy are both given a dram.

Then Dr Bell toasted the haggis "Fair fa' yer honest sonsie face" and all that. Lost the plot a couple of times, but none the waur o' that.

Then we ate, and drank a bit, then Mark Stepehn toasted the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns. It was without a doubt, the best I've ever heard. It's usually a bit about Burn's life, his poetry and his womanising, and can be very maudlin. This guy got it spot on.

Then Willie Rennie got up, bleezin' fu', to Toast the Lasses. He was very funny, even when he didn't mean to be

I could see a guy down the table, the husband of an old friend, leaning his head on the table. And as Alison Spence got up to speak, this chap's wife and folk round about him were looking very concerned. Dr Bell was keeping a weather eye, and the guy did not look good. Just as Alison Bell got up to reply, Dr Bell got up and came down from the stage, and the guy fell unconscious. What you need to know is that 7 years ago, the chap toasting the Immortal Memory at the same Burn's Supper, got up to speak, and fell down dead of a heart attack. So a heap of folk on Fridaywere terrified. Tears everywhere, some people left, lots of concern.

But the bloke woke up (I actually think Dr Bell resusciatated him- the local nurse said when she got there the bloke had no pulse), and we waited for an ambulance- 30 minutes- we're in the sticks here- and they made him comfortable, strapped him on- his face was as gray as an old fish- and wheeled him away.

Then we finished the speeches!! Actually, the Chairman was excellent. He cracked some awful jokes, warmed the audience up again- and I guess the drink helped- and off Alison went.

There was dancing till 1pm, but I bailed when the speeches were over.

The good news is the guy's home. They have no idea what happened to him

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:29 AM.