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Monday, 6 February 2017

Graemsay Burns Supper

Here we are in February and it's been a while since my last blog post.  I'm more or less over the virus but left with very low energy levels.  So I am basically focusing on working and resting!  Anyway, last weekend was yet another party weekend on Graemsay.  This time it was a Burns supper which celebrates the life of Robert Burns. Now I'm a Sassenach (of Welsh extraction) and I have to admit to not being a big fan of Burns, nor of haggis.... but .... well one can't say no to a party. Haha! Interestingly Orkney, not admitting to being "Scottish", doesn't celebrate Burns, however there are often parties around the County because, like Graemsay, folk love an excuse for a party!

Sue at Garson, on Graemsay, and her house guests from South, Mac & Carrie, organised the evening and a great night it was too.  As usual I steer well clear of anything to do with mass catering and did my bit by putting up visitors for the night.

Anyway, it was yet another successful party night on the island and everyone enjoyed themselves and here are a few photos from the evening.  Above, Mike Perkins of the Kirkwall City Pipe Band piping in the haggis carried by Sue.

The hall was full of the whole community (or those well enough to attend), and of course some visitors!

Mike, our aforementioned piper looked very dapper in his kilt.

John Budge, a good friend of the island, was making full mileage out of being sat at the table for the MC and dignitaries. All good fun!

And here is Mike again piping the haggis....

And Mac - addressing the haggis, and plunging a dagger into the heart of one of them.

After that there was the feasting of broth,  haggis, mince and clapshot (swede and potato mashed together). There was even vegetarian haggis for those of us that don't eat the proper stuff (ahem, me!). And it was followed by divine desserts such as Orkney Fudge Cheesecake and, my favourite, cranachan (a whisky trifle).  Of course there was also the whisky "gravy" to be poured over the haggis.

After all the feasting there are speeches and toasts.  Here is Andy Holinrake giving the "Address to the lassies".

And Carol giving the "Reply to the Laddies".

And onto the poems...... this one read by Mac's partner, Carrie.

And this one read by young Katie

Wee Euan also read a poem but he was very nervous and giggling to cover his nerves so I didn't want to add to that by pointing a camera at him!

Here is Krystal reading an Ode to Whisky!

And then it was onto the music, with John Budge on the accordion, Fran Holinrake on the ukulele (and fiddle), Mac on the bodhran, and Mike on the pipes.

And there was blethering (chatting)

And dancing (a bit blurry! They moved too quick!)

And here is Mike playing some tunes on the pipes

I headed home at 11.30 - I know, such a lightweight, but I gather the party went onto the wee small hours, with some folk not making it home till 9am.  Yup that's a Graemsay party night!


  1. Wow. Your Graemsay is quite lively, Sian.
    Who needs the Proms ? ;)

    1. Haha - we have quite an eclectic mix of events, that's for sure!

  2. Am very fond of Haggis with all of it's accompaniments such as neaps, tatties and etceteras ..
    Sassenach is the descriptive noun for the English only. Breatnach is the noun for the Welsh and Cornach for the Cornish.

    1. Not at all keen on haggis. But I did enjoy my veggie variety which contained lots of oatmeal, nuts etc. And you are correct, I'm not really a Sassenach.... I'm a kind of hybrid of English & Welsh :-)

  3. Not one for the haggis either, but I can hold my own with the tatties. A wee drappie and the pipes. Bliss.