It was a freezing cold night in January. What better way to warm up a cold, dark, dank night at the end of January than in the company of a Dutchman playing bagpipes and various part-time Scotsmen wearing kilts, and no undies, stabbing a haggis with a lethal sword? Then imitating a rabid dog reciting poetry, drunk, through gritted, snarling teeth?

Britsoc Burns Night Ceilidh. It is of course the annual Britsoc Burns Night Ceilidh (as in Kylie Minogue…if you’re an American). It celebrates the life of Scotland’s most famous poet, Rabbie Burns, on his birthday. This includes a traditional Burns night dinner of haggis, neeps and tatties (haggis, turnips and potatoes!).

So that’s what a Haggis tastes like. Rather than the colostomy bag filled with offal entrails that I thought it would taste like, the haggis turned out to be quite edible.

Brave hearts on the dance floor. This was followed by an evening of Scottish country dancing. No dancing experience was necessary as Margaret Lambourne guided the inexperienced through all the fast and furious dance moves.

Bagpiping Dutchman in a kilt. I was met at the the door of the British School by a Dutchman wearing a kilt and playing the bagpipes. Full of hot air and howling at the cold night’s full moon, I wondered what the neighbours must have thought. “Sounds like that Great Dane is mating with the chiwawa again, darling.”

The CADS were there. This year’s event was very well attended I must say by various CADS members. They included current chairman Mike Waters and his wife, ex chairman Mike Carn and his wife, Alison Smith and her sister,  British Consul and British Society president John Cameron-Webb and his wife (who also provided the entertainment), Monty Kraayeveld (who walked there despite the freezing night air), and myself, John Richardson, who arrived in chauffeur driven public transport. Also in attendance at our infants school dinner table were the Reverend John Cowie and his wife.

Ode to the Lassies. The honour of providing the Ode to the Lassies this year, followed by a Toast to the Lassies, went to CADS chairman Mike Waters, who was nothing short of brilliant.

Lassie’s Reply. The Riposte to the Boast (the Lassie’s Reply) came from non other than the inimitable CADS Jokathon and cricket superstar herself, Alison Smith. She was as equally subtle as a cold haggis down the kilt and her performance easily matched Mike’s for its effortless use of brazen innuendo and whisky-fueled bravado. All lovingly wrapped and sealed with a sheep’s stomach and tied with a bow of effortless charm and highland humour.

Being half Scottish myself, the evening stirred in me a distant longing to wear a sporran and recite the poetry hidden deep in my kilted DNA.

After a couple of whiskies I knocked this one together.

The Naggis Poem.

The Naggis is part nag, part wet kiss
It’s hard to imagine such an object of desire and bliss 
Though not immediately appealing boiling away in brine 
Robert Burns loved a Naggis and wrote this fine rhyme: 

Great Queen o’ the pudding-face! 

Leader of the Naggis race

An oil painting you are neet

But unlike revenge, you are best served heet.

Like a grumpy bald hedgehog waking from a deep sleep

You look a lot better decorated with a tattie and a neep 

Part nag, part wet kiss. 
Let me introduce you to the Naggis.
She looks like death only slightly more pale.
As wrinkled as a dangling scrotum on a killer whale. 
Hers is a mystery, inside an enigma 
wrapped in a sheep’s magma. 
Like something dragged up from an old ship wreck.
Minus the gills, arms, legs and neck.
She look like us, but she’s a bit peculiar
Her ingredients quite unfamiliar 
But you hope you’ll enjoy the results
Then before you can speak, out come the insults
You never clean your room, do the dishes, mow the lawn
All you do all day is lay on the settee and yawn. 
You never take out the trash, or pick up your dirty sock 
and you’re always pork scratching your tiny c….
You pick your nose, you scratch your bum,
what on earth do we see in thee

Worst of all… you stand when you pee.