Burns Night is looming.
The grammar gurus can have fun with that statement, and decide whether it needs an apostrophe or not! Is it a night belonging to Burn, was his name actually in the plural, in either case an apostrophe is required either before or after the "s" unless of course the evening is not belonging to him at all - he being dead and everything and as far as we are aware not resuscitated in the zombie mode.
But with or without an apostrophe, it is coming.
Burns night for me means getting into my kilt and revising the Address to the Haggis in my best (false) Scottish accent. I say false accent as it is my best rendition and though I originate from Glasgow my Scottish accent really departed in the playground of Stanburn School, Stanmore in North west London. You quickly learn to speak the same as everyone else when you can't be understood in the playground.
But more important is the fortnight before, when it becomes necessary to become an expert upon the supply and quality of the Haggis itself.
Burns night comes once a year and therefore it also becomes the one time in the year when stores know that there will be demand - so the prices start to vary between stores.
Luckily, there appears to be little price fixing in the Haggis Standard - and each year the offers change, but for a Burns night with 80 people sitting down - a 454gm haggis will feed between 4 and five people. Dependent upon the "tattis and neeps" - the mashed potato and suede, you are still looking to buy about 20 haggis - or haggii I am not sure of the etymology!
And prices range from £2.99 as a standard. Tesco fail to have their normal haggis and have a new version at smaller size for £2, as though you won't notice!!. Morrisons are running at normal price, though ASDA are offering the same at two for £3 bringing the price down to £1.50 a piece. Though I may be using an excess of diesel travelling and sorting through the various stores in the area, I am also looking at the prices of Malt Whisky (yes .. without the "e" we are looking at Scotch not Irish) which also seems to have doubled in price following the Christmas Period.
LIDL, the German store becomes my saviour. "No" the nice lady in Lidl tells me - " We don't sell Haggis"
As I turn to go she adds "Of course we are getting a shipment in next Thursday for Burns Night!!" It does not appear to occurr to her that there may have been a connection with my request. "The leaflets are by the door" she advises me - and there on the leaflet of fresh fruit and vegetables is a picture of Haggis - Special Offer - 30p off at 99p each..
Well, I do not need to be that accurate with my mathematics to work out that it is worth my while waiting until Thursday to finalise my purchases for the evening ...
So, I will probably have a penny or two extra to buy the Malt.
" A Haggis is a Haggis for a that