It was so cold this morning, I knew we were going to have a bright day. In January, any year, brightness for the shorter daylight hours we have, is very welcome.


With a number of warm layers on, yet not really feeling cosy at my core, Madame M felt the desire for comfort food for breakfast. Not so good. I treated myself to a complete half pint pack of a hot spooning ‘drink’ in a glass called Salep.

Tonight we are digging into a haggis with clapshot. (More comfort food, if it grabs your fancy).  It will be accompanied  by some carrots from the garden.

Tomorrow is another day…one where M must gain the upper hand on foodie temptations and offset what will have been digested today!


Burns night celebration suppers to venerate The Bard will be happening tomorrow and Saturday in Scotland’s communities. Haggis’s (or is it Haggi) are flying off the shops shelves. There’ll have to be some extra haggis shoots organised. It has been difficult to find the size of haggis I want in our stores. I found one haggis, 30% extra offer, not a company name I have ever used, wrapped in plastic shaped like a huge sausage, the image of one of those meat rolls you buy for dogs. I’m sure Rabbie Burns would lose his gift of the gab if he saw it. No self-respecting haggis would admit to being one, in that guise. Now, really, how can I present such a travesty of a haggis at my table on the 25th January, (the birthday) as The Great Chieftain of The Puddin’ Race?


At an interview in Glasgow that my daughter had to attend for a language scholarship, she was asked what Scottish tradition she might like to introduce to the French (this is the ambassadorial facet). Guess what she wants to do – she wants to create a Burns supper. Following the interview I received a phone call.

“Mum” followed by a question mark inflection in her voice;
“can I take a haggis or two into France?”

Me – “No you can’t because it’s meat and meat, cooked or raw, is no longer allowed to travel with visitors.”

Daughter – “Oh.”

Me – “You can get tinned Haggis you know.”

Daughter – “Can you?” great excitement and relief palpable.

Me – ” Oh yes, I can assure you, Haggis comes in tins. Your grandmother bought one as a gift for someone about 30 plus years ago and sent it to her in East London. It moved in to Essex with her and your father ate it about two years ago.”

Daughter – “You can send me some tins to France then” (note the plural).

Me – “Tins are very heavy, the parcels will cost a fortune.”

Daughter – “It doesn’t matter.” You could sense the shrug of the shoulders, after all who will pay the postage, us of course.

Me – ” You do realize don’t you, your main problem dear, will be finding a genuine Scotsman with a proper dress kilt, in Southern France, who will be able to give the traditional address to the Haggis?”

We’re definitely not sending over one of those.



Who can say with any authority, is it haggis’s or haggi

Not being content with having slain the wee slechit beasties with clapshot the addressee to the haggis’s/haggi ‘spears’ a huge carving knife into the wee things. The symbolic slayin’ is happening up and down the land to all these haggis’s/haggi in a celebration of Scotland’s Bard.