American in Kemnay

In the context of my relatively new job I am now accustomed to working with colleagues who live and are based in other parts of the world. We regularly use telephone and computer conferencing systems to meet virtually and collaborate on our work objectives. The 1st of December was an exception to this “modus operandi”.

It was a pleasure on this occasion to have my colleague and good friend JJ visit me in Kemnay where were are working together for a couple of days.

My family and I also tried to let him sample some of the culture and tradition of our great country since this was his first ever visit to its soil! He has some ancestors in Scotland too!

This commenced by playing some traditional bagpipe music on the car CD player as we travelled back to Kemnay from the airport. JJ now thinks that we scots always listen to this sort of music 😉 On arrival at Kemnay we then had a light breakfast of Rowies ( or butteries) which he seemed to enjoy 😉

We continued this theme by having a traditional meal of Haggis , Mince , Neeps and Tatties. Strange that JJ thought that the story of Haggis being a real food in Scotland was actually a joke with no firm basis in truth!!! He knows better now!

I also read him a few verses of Robert Burns poetry since this is usual when Haggis is consumed!! Here are the verses I chose for the occasion from his “Address to the Haggis”

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang’s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!……………..

and you can find the rest of the words by clicking here

We were quick to put his misconceptions about the Haggis right by explaining how it is a very special two legged breed which inhabits the the hilly terrain of Highland Scotland and consequently has evolved to have one leg longer than the other. This is due to the fact that these animals often have to run around the hillsides to escape their predators and having one shorter leg makes it much easier get up good speed. These facts are of course little known out with Scotland so I think that JJ was very pleased to increase his knowledge 😉

See below JJ as he enjoyed a traditional Scottish meal at our home in Kemnay. You can also see some more photos by clicking here.