For the Bard

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.

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Code Comments

Notepad++ launcher batch file

The otherwise excellent Notepad++ application has an issue that sporadically causes its langs.xml file to become corrupt upon shutdown. This means that the next time you launch the application it will tell you just that, and none of your code will have syntax highlighting. I got so annoyed with it happening I knocked up the following little batch file to automatically replace the previous langs.xml file with the back-up copy, before launching Notepad++;

@echo off
cd "c:\Program Files\Notepad++"
del langs.xml
copy "langs.model - Copy.xml" langs.xml

To use it, just create a new text file on the desktop and rename it “Notepad++ Launcher.bat”, or whatever takes your fancy – so long as it ends in “.bat”. If necessary, alter the paths to suit your chosen install directory, then save it, close it, and click on it whenever you want to launch Notepad++ with a fresh langs.xml file.

Eagle eyed viewers will note that you don’t actually have to change directory in the batch script – you could use an absolute path each time, but I like doing it the way it does it.

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