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Stu | all galleries >> An occasional Bowl of Stu >> January 2005 > Hearts a-bubble in the rubble
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Hearts a-bubble in the rubble
Pitempton Stu

Hearts a-bubble in the rubble

3 January 2005

Oh well. That's the holidays just about over: tomorrow it is back to the grind. All the build up to Christmas and Hogmanay, then it's all over in a flash. On Wednesday the decorations come down, and on Thursday Liam goes back to school. Linda and her Mum are off to Amsterdam on the 12th, and I will be off to Lisbon probably on the 19th. It is looking like I will be celebrating Burns' Night in Lisbon again, at the Cervejaria Erasmus da Graça (relocated to Alcântara). I have passed the last three Burns' Nights in Lisbon: three years ago at Carmen's flat near Graça, two years ago in Sílvia's flat in Intendente, and last year in my flat in Alcântara. I actually quite enjoy having Burns' Night in Portugal: it gives me an opportunity to share a little of my culture and my national traditions with my Portuguese and Spanish friends. It certainly makes a change from simply sharing theirs. Obviously, the ingredients for a Burns' Supper are impossible to obtain in Portugal. While the cock-a-leekie soup is easily made with Portuguese produce, the haggis and turnips are a different matter altogether. My January baggage, therefore, always contains at least two Macsween's (non-vegetarian) haggises, two decent sized Scottish turnips, a box of Orkney oatcakes, a tin of butter shortbread and a bottle of Macallan's 12 year-old finest Speyside malt whisky (both for flavouring the haggis and toasting the lassies, laddies, floor, curtains, plates, etc., etc.). Since we don't have a piper, we have to make do with a selection of Scottish music - both traditional and modern - on CD, following which we dim the lights, light the candles and read from assorted Burns' poems - beginning with my tortuous renditions of Address to a Haggis and Tam O'Shanter, followed by my Portuguese friends' favourite, Twa Dugs (don't ask me why - all of Burns' poems are written in 18th century Scots' vernacular, which many Scots find difficult to understand, so I suspect that my Portuguese friends don't understand a word). Isn't it amazing the things you think of when you are out walking? Take this for a for-instance: as I was walking through Pitempton, I was thinking about Robert Burns and Burns' Night when I happened across this fence post and gate wrapped in barbed wire. I thought about the new law that has come into force, opening up all of the Scottish countryside to walkers (there is no trespass law in Scotland - in fact, there is a right to roam the land - even private land - as long as it is done responsibly and with respect for the landowner's privacy). Well, I saw this barbed wire and thought about Burns, when all of a sudden I started singing (in my head) the Stiff Little Fingers' song, Barbed Wire Love. By coincidence, Stiff Little Fingers' lead singer's name was Burns... Jake Burns. Spooky or what :D

Still walking

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FujiFilm FinePix S7000Z
1/30s f/8.0 at 7.8mm iso200 full exif

other sizes: small medium original
Gayle P. Clement07-Jan-2005 00:35
Stu, I had to come back to this. Very nice perspective and I really like the clarity and tones. This works very well in B&W.
Autumn Sky04-Jan-2005 12:20
Haggis! Now there's dish I've not eaten in years. My wife is of Irish and Scottish decent, and her grandfather would make up an troop's supply of haggis for Christmas meal. I loved the stuff until I learned what was in it... oh, I still loved the stuff :)

Very nice perspective on this image. I like the DOF and the conversion to grayscale.
Carmen04-Jan-2005 02:11
I suppose you don't walk with wire cutters in your back pocket? ;^)
...toasting the lassies, laddies, floor, curtains, plates, etc., etc. OH! Too funny. I shall have to check this out.
Nice perspective shot.
Elaine (etfitz)04-Jan-2005 02:01
Great shot!
Coleen Perilloux Landry04-Jan-2005 01:44
Glad to read of Burns' night. A relative who teaches at Harvard went to Lisbon a few years ago and was asked to read something and she was thrilled to death. Keep walking and shooting and if PBase allows, I will view.
Guest 03-Jan-2005 22:43
Good to see you keeping up with the walking!! (Hmmm I'm sure I've said this before but Pbase server chose to make it disappear!!) And just to let you know, I'm now going to have a bacon buttie with HP sauce, my obsession with it is growing day by day and it's all your fault!! ;-)
Dougie Robertson03-Jan-2005 20:17
The holidays have been great for walking with the camera. Shame its back to work soon.
I start Wednesday.
Fourth time lucky posting this.
Zak03-Jan-2005 17:42
you'll soon be able to walk the length of the island ;-) heheh
(been trying to post for the last few hours!)
Adalberto Tiburzi03-Jan-2005 16:54
Living, palpable description of the Burns' Night!
PS #1
About the tune in your mind, Sigmund Freud's ghost is smiling from Heaven at you, Stu...
PS #2
Oh wait...what about my Scottish?
"Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some would eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit."