Summer Highlights

Most enjoyable night at Ellisland on 27th July when Les and May arranged a “Scots Night” on an Australian theme to entertain friends and relations from the Antipodes. Didn’t get to tell my joke. Attended past President Jim Irving’s funeral on Monday 29th in company with the junior vice, other office bearers and sundry past presidents at the Chapel of Rest. Although Jim was also a past president of Dumfries Burns Club, their members were conspicuous by their absence.
Out to the Birthplace Museum at Alloway with Les and Neil on the evening of Thursday 1st August for the launch of honorary member Professor David Purdie’s update of the “Burns Encyclopaedia. Godfrey, David Miller and Gordon travelled separately. David Purdie was as informative and entertaining as ever and signed our copies. Impressive publication but have found at least one glaring misteak. Excellent fish supper at New Cumnock on the way home.
Accompanied John Lauder, Gordon and Betty Johnston to Kirkcudbright to view the Goudie pictures from “Tam o’ Shanter” at the Town Hall, on Sunday 4th August and met up with Ian and Moira McIntyre. The exhibition was fascinating with many atmospheric paintings and the sound commentary via the hand held “wands” added greatly to the interest. Excellent lunch thereafter at the Selkirk Arms Hotel where Burns did not compose the “Selkirk Grace”. As designated driver I was obliged to forgo the cask ale from the bar.
Took the opportunity to visit the exhibition on “Enlightened Burns” on Friday 9th August at the Midsteeple organised by Dumfries Burns Club. This was well presented and featured the characters from the Scottish Enlightenment of the late 18th century and their connection with the poet. Spoiled a bit by the clutter at the foot of the staircase. I did not pick up a membership application form from Dumfries Burns Club.
Saturday 10th August and the annual outing, The destination this year was the Bladnoch Distillery near Wigtown. 13 members set out by luxury minibus at 9.00am and stopped for coffee and bacon butty’s at the cafe at Skyreburn. Much refreshed, we reached Bladnoch on schedule and were welcomed by Kate Galloway, the visitor guide, who took us round the ancient buildings dating back to 1817, explaining the whisky distilling process in an informative and entertaining manner. Kate was thanked by President Godfrey before the company repaired a few yards to the Bladnoch Inn where lunch was booked. Thereafter to Scotland’s Book Town where the company dispersed for a browse round the numerous book shops which abound. Some ancient and fascinating volumes to be seen including many on Burns and his contemporaries. Was almost persuaded to purchase a copy of the “Merry Muses” but some of the pages were stuck together. Surprised that most of the book shops had bars. Back home at a respectable time after a most enjoyable day in the best of company.