Happy Birthday Robbie Burns!
Forsters took two tables at The Society of Scottish Lawyers in London's Burns Night Supper last Thursday. Hosted at The Brewery on Chiswell Street, a tartan clad throng gathered to celebrate the 257th anniversary of the birth of the Bard of Ayrshire.
The Forsters tables included some old hands as well as a few guests and hosts alike who were experiencing the event for the first time. As an annual (but only very remotely and partially Scottish) devotee of Burns Night, I hope I speak for all when I say it certainly did not disappoint.
From the ceremonial entry of the haggis (preceded, as always, by some well tuned bagpipes and a hearty pair of lungs), to the excellent food, delicious wines and interesting speeches, the evening went with a swing.
I am pleased to report that my comprehension of the Address to the Haggis is coming on in leaps and bounds; at current rates I estimate that I should be able to understand every word in slightly less than a decade. My favourite speech of the evening however, was the Reply from the Lassies given by Caroline Docherty, Deputy Keeper of the Society of Writers to Her Majesty’s Signet. I suspect I was not alone in this view, unless I wildly misinterpreted the enthusiastic cheers and laughs that frequently erupted from the 400 strong audience.
Speeches concluded, we moved on to a fantastic ceilidh; sporrans flying wildly and skirts whirling around the dance floor. As always the Forsters tables contributed couples aplenty to the throng and I am pleased to report that collisions were avoided and no shoes lost in the melee (which is not always the case). Finally, and fittingly, it was time for Auld Lang Syne before we dispersed into the night, very contentedly in my case (albeit with a slight limp), having done our best to celebrate the great man's birthday in a manner that he would have appreciated.