~ Experiences, Projects & Jottings of Painter Jan Clizer, Specialist Painter of Scottish & Celtic Music Subject Matter ~

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Loch Duich - Did Robert Burns Stay There Too??

An additional bright spot in this very gray, frosty winter week: my recent painting “Loch Duich from Kintail Hotel” (discussed in an earlier post) ,was voted by members in attendance at the monthly Coeur d’Alene Art Association meeting to hang for a month in a strategic spot at North Idaho College. Not being an enthusiastic “joiner” of anything, I bit the bullet, becoming a member over a year ago to have an activity to share with my 87-year-old mother, who (I’m jealous!) paints a minimum of 30 hours a week! Joining has benefitted us both in many unexpected ways, and I for one actually look forward to attending meetings!

Another ‘meeting,’ Scots oriented of course, that should be experienced at least once in one’s lifetime, is the Burns Supper, held (normally) on or around January 25, Rabbie Burns’ birthday, 250 years ago. Here in Idaho though, we do get a bit creative. The Scottish contingent in Kellogg 40 miles away held it’s Burns Supper in May a couple years ago – a hilarious event offering haggis and pepperoni pizza, scratchy recorded Burns poetry in an accent so thick no one understood and soon gave off trying, and some rather individualistic attendees, shall we say, who ate, drank, and interrupted the poor organizer endlessly. A priceless experience.

Having limited knowledge of one R. Burns, except for a fascinating visit to the Writer’s Museum in Lady Stair's Close off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and observing of a good number of “Rabbie Burns Slept Here” brass plaques” scattered throughout the north of Scotland on my own wanderings, it must be said that I’m heartily intrigued. His life and works have been elevated to such a degree, while he exhibited such human frailties. All in a time when church reigned supreme and would hardly condone his activities and behavior. An entire country which chooses to honour a fascinating albeit dubious character such as Burns…..well…..just one more reason why I love Scotland!

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