In early January I answered my phone to an enthusiastic Crazy Uncle John, asking if I’d like to attend a Burns Evening at the Rosslea Hall Hotel. My ticket would be free on the condition that I could give the Address to the Haggis on the night.
Thinking it would be a private little party, I tentatively agreed. The fact of the matter is that although I’d obviously heard it being recited at various Burns nights, I did not know Address to the Haggis myself. Possibly confusing it with The Selkirk Grace, I took comfort in the notion that it was probably only a couple of verses that I’d be able to learn in no time.
Looking it up online a couple of days later I discovered, to my dismay, that it had eight verses. With my sense of panic rising only slightly, I printed off a copy of the poem and casually set about learning it by way of reading it on the train to and from work when the mood took me.
It would be later that week, whilst talking over a beer with my mate Adrian, he told me that the Rosslea Hall Hotel Burns Evening could be quite a sizeable event. By coincidence, Crazy Uncle called as we sat in Blackfriars to tell me that tickets were on sale at £20 per head and it was being advertised in the local paper. All of a sudden I found a new sense of urgency with regard to learning Address to the Haggis.