I know that Burns Night has long gone but couldn’t rest until I had recorded our bizarre celebration this year.
We had a girl’s night out, myself and three friends, and decided to go to an advertised event at the Navigation Inn at Bugsworth Basin. The people of Bugsworth sound like an odd bunch because they decided several years ago that they were ashamed of the name Bugsworth and renamed it Buxworth. Hence the fact there are some road signs saying Bugsworth and some saying Buxworth – take your pick!!
Bugsworth Basin is a canal enthusiast’s heaven and the Navigation Inn, an old country pub that has been there since the canal was built, no doubt ( a ‘navigation’ being the old name for a canal).
The haggis was going to be brought in at 8.00pm so we were a bit concerned about being rather late. We had all made an effort and either dressed in kilts or something vaguely Scottish. As we pulled into the carpark we all had that sinking feeling as there were only 1 or 2 cars there. We walked into the pub and realised we were the only people there. As we sat down with a drink, the landlord and lady came over dressed in scruffy blue jeans and washed out sweaters welcoming us to the evening. I was rather miffed they hadn’t made the same effort that we had.
‘You are staying to eat, aren’t you?’, was the utterance said in a pleading tone.
‘Of course’, was our reply when we’d really been planning a quick getaway to another pub where we knew they were giving out free whiskies.
Duly the haggis was brought in by the larger than life Scottish chef and the knife was plunged in to the poem ‘To a Haggis’. Afterwards followed a cringeworthy modern take on the legacy of Burns delivered by the landlord, which nearly had me lobbing the haggis at him with the knife still in it. The landlady delivered her response, which was mildly funnier, and then the pair of them scuttled off to watch Man United beat Blackpool in the other room. Accompanying all this was a 6 foot piper endeavouring to stand upright in the low ceilinged room and failing miserably. He tried to walk down the room playing the pipes but was stooping and giving a very good impression of John Cleese. The droning stopped abruptly and the Scottish chef defined this in a way only a Scotsman could. The Chef then read several Burns poems, no-one, sadly, having a clue what he was talking about.
The food that followed was very good, especially the Typsy Laird, but the conversation with the chef tapered off until the financial disaster of the evening finally dawned on him and he reverted to discussing Lockerbie and friends who had committed suicide.
We all had another whisky and left like wee timorous beasties.