January has always seemed a more Scottish month than most. I started to analyse why... It starts I guess with all those singing-shortbread-tin programmes on hogmanay on the telly. Right up to bells you get nothing but a whole load of twee Scottish twaddle and folk singing songs their granny used to sing. A week into January the haggises (is that really the plural of haggis?) are already appearing on the supermarket shelves saying 'Burns Supper' to us. Already I had to laugh last week when my dad, that most Scottish Nationalist of Scots announced - 'I don't know why we have a Burns supper down at the golf club, I mean first we have to listen to Robert Burns' poetry and let's face it, that's shite and as for haggis, neeps and tatties, well that's ok as a side dish along with a good steak but on it's own it is pretty crap!'
Then of course this year all we are hearing about is tomorrow's big anniversary of the day the rich Scottish aristocrats sold our souls. I don't see many people out celebrating that one somehow.
Today was interesting though, back on the topic of Scots poetry. With 10 days to go till the school's Burns supper, both kids came home from school today with a poem in old Scots to learn off by heart. Their reactions were so typical of their characters. Whereas Marcel pranced around the room trying to recite Burns' own Robert Bruce's march to Bannockburn, already almost word perfect complete with exaggerated accent and pronunciation, Charlotte squirmed in a corner at the mere thought of reciting anything in this weird tongue and couldn't even bring herself to utter the title of her teacher's chosen poem, Macrae's Three Craws, which of course she insisted on calling 'Three Crows'. And as always, when I asked Charlotte if she could translate it, she had no trouble doing so, but was really, really uncomfortable at the thought of speaking that foreign language!