Burns Night
Burns Night

Burns Night

25/01/2024 (Staff Post - Alan McNiven )

Happy New…No, I won’t say it. But I hope all is going well for everybody now that we’ve entered 2024.

The festive period is lovely of course but I sometimes feel a bit down when it’s over – I’m guessing this is quite normal for some of us. The dark nights and the cold weather can feel like they’re going on forever, and so when the longer periods of daylight start to creep back towards the end of January I can feel my mood begin to improve.

And of course today is Burns’ Night - which also helps because I like the poetry, the celebrations of the Bard and I like a veggie haggis! I always think when we get to Burns’ Night that we’re sort of getting to the end of winter and a wee party always heartens the heart. 

Burns championed the Scots language – and from what I’ve read this was not always readily accepted by literary world at the time. But by doing this he perhaps helped subsequent writers from all parts of the world to embrace their local voice. Sometimes it’s hard to speak from the heart in your own voice and to be yourself, right? I would suggest that in some of Burns’ work – ‘A Man’s a Man for a’ That’ being perhaps the most obvious example – we become aware that while we may not have all the answers, if we at least speak up honestly from a position of our own experience, we’ll probably help others to do so too.

Burns’ best work for me is life affirming – especially those bits of his prose which recognise both the light & shade of human existence. And in the case of ‘My Bonie Bell’ he suggests that while we can’t stop time, because the cycle always continues, we can be happy by celebrating the fact that the darkness will always, in time, be exorcised by the light:


          The flowery Spring leads sunny Summer,

          And yellow Autumn presses near,

          Then in his turn comes gloomy Winter,

          Till smiling Spring again appear.


So when you’re still having to get the big lights on at 4pm don’t forget that spring is just around the corner…

And if you’re cooking a haggis on a slow heat today perhaps you could use your local ‘voice’ to compete the following consultation for Fair Food Renfrewshire


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