Happy New Year

Thank you for your company over the past year…no one could wish for kinder, better informed, more interesting visitors.

So…a toast, ladies, gentlemen and others (you know who you are):

Here’s tae us

Wha’s like us?

Damn few

And they’re all deid.

There will be no first footing here….men walking about at night with lumps of coal and bottles of whisky being a rarity….but there is Black Bun and as the New Year arrives I wish you and your families all that you could wish for yourselves.




46 thoughts on “Happy New Year”

  1. Whit? Black bun?
    Min it’s nae fair, I hae nane here at a!

    Happy New Year ad all the best to you young lass & Leo (and dogs, cats, lambs etc….)

  2. Sorry, don’t speak Scottish, despite having a Scottish grandfather. Less said about him the better.

    I suppose Leo has had you making haggis for the last week?

    Wishing you both, and the furred and feathered multitudes, an excellent 2016. May you all be happy and healthy.

    Bonne annee.

    1. Haggis made under supervision….but I managed the Black Bun on my own…
      Have a wonderful year….and I hope that you can finally have the door shut…for a moment or two…

  3. My dad used to go first footing in Berkshire where I was brought up. There were always tears before bedtime when he reappeared very much the worse for wear after supping scotch at all the houses down the road. My mother was entirely mealy mouthed about it all but my brothers and I found it hilarious …. in fact the brothers joined in from about 15 onwards though I was never allowed to my absolute chagrin. I raise a glass to you from here, I thank you for your good works, your good humour and your spikey sparky wit. I wish you all good things in 2016 and mostly I wish you laughs aplenty. Happy New Year great lady πŸ™‚

    1. My father had fair hair so was never a first footer…but very welcoming to the dark gentlemen who would appear with alarming regularity on the doorstep…I used to think that the door opening and closing resembled a Whitehall farce – though those wearing trousers on arrival did manage to retain them.
      I’m looking forward to hearing how you made that house habitable…and seeing more of your photographs in the year to come

  4. May many laughs, few sorrows and lovely adventures brighten your lives in the coming year…Best to you and Leo and all the furry creatures.

  5. . . reading that and some of the comments I’m left wondering how we ever subjugated the buggers! Peace and happiness to you and yours, all those e-wanderers and especially those poor, benighted souls who are the victims of greed and exploitation and violence around the world.

    1. Subjugate! The English just misunderstood ‘Aye…weel…’ (term of reflection) for ‘I will’ when it came to the Act of Union…..

      Yes,let us hope for and work for justice for the helpless.

  6. Happy New Year to you both Helen. I’m afraid that I never stay up to see in the New Year but we are having a home made steak pie today so at least some Scottish tradition on the day!

    1. We hadn’t intended to sit up but we weren’t asleep when the fireworks went off all around at midnight..
      A steak pie! That’s Sunday lunch settled!
      Happy New Year to you both and to your mother..I hope she is becoming more mobile.

  7. I’d never heard of a Black Bun. Cue, hurried peek at Wikipedia. “A fruit cake completely covered in pastry”. I love fruit cake and would have thought the pastry would ruin it rather than improve it, but what do I know?

    A very happy 2016 to you, hopefully with fewer bureaucratic wranglings and less political corruption (and pigs will fly).

    1. Black Bun…It’s a fly’s graveyard (according to my Mother)… always put me off it. It’s an acquired taste – though we always have it in the house at Hogmanay. You’re right – you’d have thought the pastry would’ve ruined it. But then again you’d have thought piling oats and spiced offal into a sheep’s stomach might have ruined the offal…or drinking whisky wi’ Irn Bru or deep-frying Mars Bars (largely urban myth but still…) Yip. We Scots are a contrary breed – revelling (and taking incongruous pride) in self-deprecation πŸ˜€
      Happy New Year!

      1. Thanks,Nick….I’m just hoping that the flying pigs are wearing nappies…
        Here’s wishing you a happy and peaceful year ahead.
        And yes,theBlackBun…my recipe for the crust uses yeast so it isn’t too heavy.

  8. Happy New Year. Do Costa Rican’s do the beany thing for New Year? ie something like hoppin’ John, where the beans are equated with money? Or is there another tradition?

    1. As far as I’ve discovered here,it’s just beer, more beer, chicharrones and fireworks….after that lot no one is capable of bean counting which may account for the nation’s financial deficit.

  9. Raised a toast to you last night Helen. We had the bells in the Village Square – village numbers vastly inflated by the influx of visitors desperate to spend an ‘authentic Scottish New Year’ in New Lanark πŸ˜€ If they were really interested in authentic they’d have been at my hoose… black bun, bottle of whisky and a lump of coal brought in by our first footer. That said, it was a quieter night than any Hogmanay past. The kids are now going mad wi’ it – mostly in Glasgow in front of DJs who are performing sets in front of techno-hungry ravers. Ah well. I am feeling old.
    Lang may yer lum reek, Helen – wi’ ither folk’s coal… πŸ˜‰
    All the best. x

    1. ‘Wi’ ither folks’ coal’ made me laugh…I had not heard that in years!

      I reckon the Costa Rican tourist board is missing out on giving visitors an authentic taste oft he New Year here….forget the sit down dinners in hotels: persuade locals to open their doors.
      Nothing like sitting on a log eating chicharrones, plantain and spuds straight from the cauldron of boiling lard accompanied by beer while at least three televisions are blasting, the boys are playing a video football game and someone’s grandad is telling you how to make illicit alcohol from sugar cane while fireworks go off around you and everyone sings the national anthem at midnight…

      Best wishes to you and your family.

  10. Same to you Helen! Have lots of fun in 2016 pointing out injustices and iniquities because when you do, we all have a gloriously articulate and irreverent read!

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