"Marty", a relative of mine on my mother's side, enjoyed my account here of my recent Burns night. He sent a copy to an old friend of his of Scottish heritage. His friend reminisces as follows:
"When I was a member of the pipe band in Cairns we used to celebrate Burns Night in the upstairs ballroom of the RSL on the esplanade.
Staying true to custom the haggis was piped in cut and distributed, toasts were given, we all got pissed and had a bloody good time.
I was never and still am not keen on haggis I likened the taste to damp sawdust but to stay true to the cause managed to eat a wee bit.
I remember reading about some bloke taking a haggis through customs in Spain, I think it was, and the Spanish customs listed it as fertilizer and they wouldn't have been far wrong.
We never turned out in full Highland dress even on Burns night, it was too bl**dy hot.
The pipe band used to be invited to just about everything that was going in Cairns and surprisingly even in summer the kilt, being made of wool, was pretty cool to wear. I still get the gear on in November when Linda and I go to the Highland gathering in Nambour.
That Andy Stewart clip bought back memories, Linda and I went and saw him at the civic center in Cairns and there was a bloke called John McDonald playing a piano accordion, I could have sat and listened to him all night. My old man used to play accordion and he was pretty bl**dy good but he was not in this bloke's class."
I think it does take talent to cook haggis well. The haggis I get is cooked by a local Scots cook and is excellent.