Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Sweet Afton"

I’m sorry, but I can’t avoid talking about the weather. That is what we are all about in Canada. Extremes. The summers are hot and humid and in winter we freeze. Today, being January it is freezing.But everything is relative as there are many places in Canada that would be laughing at my description of cold weather.

I am sitting in my small office that is in a cut-off section in our bedroom. My desk is placed so that I can look out the bay window into woods and a pond. It is cold...(-17 with the wind chill of -20) When the pond freezes it is nice to watch the kids skate and play hockey. But like the birds and squirrels they have sense to stay home today and cosy up somewhere warm. However, the sun is shining and the sky blue, but it still does not tempt me to don snowshoes or skis.

Liz and I had a most enjoyable day yesterday revising three more chapters of Body Perfect. Cutting and adding but mostly cutting. We both feel that this is the real writing. Following the voices of the book’s characters they take on a life of their own once we read them out loud. We also made lots of notes for a new novel that we will start when BP is finished. After numerous pots of tea and a stop for lunch we finished the third chapter before Liz left for a snowy journey home to Guelph.

As you know I am on a nostalgia trip at the moment and when I was looking up some info on Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) Scotland’s national poet, known throughout the world as the person who wrote “Auld Lang Syne” and A Red, Red Rose.

O my Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

This is just a few among many poems and songs that he wrote. My favourite was “Sweet Afton” When I was eight or nine I won an award for singing Sweet Afton from the Robert Burns Society and I still like to sing the words to this day.

Flow gently, sweet Afton! amang thy green braes,
Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise;
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.
This was written in 1791.

So on Tuesday, Jan the 25th around the world, there will be Burns suppers as they are called, where they eat Haggis and (neeps) turnip and mashed potatoes and of course have a dram or two of good Scots whiskey to toast the bard. Oh, and of course the bagpipes. What Scottish event can you have without the bagpipes?

So,from a dead poet to a lunch of Thai food. How the world has changed. Son #2 has arrived to take his Mum for a birthday lunch. Yeah! Who needs to dust anyway!!
Talk soon

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