We started our festive celebrations early in Clan Mackenzie South England on the 4th of December with a St Andrew’s Day dinner at the lovely Windsor England home of Jeff and Fiona Try.
We were met at the door with the welcome sight of fellow clan members all dressed up smartly in their kilt outfits, and a lovely glass of champagne. It was great to see Geoff and Fiona Try again, and to have them welcome eleven of us into their beautiful home.
After some general chat we all partook of three courses of traditional Scottish fare: smoked salmon to start, followed by haggis, neeps and tatties for the main course and for dessert raspberry cranachan. There were also haggis alternatives for the non-haggis eaters.
We were privileged to have folk singing from John Mackenzie who came all the way from Lancashire with his wife Katherine, to entertain us with Scottish and Irish folk songs. We started with the Skye boat song and we had various songs between courses: John had thoughtfully printed out some words so we were all able to join in the singsong, even those of us who can’t really sing!
Clive Mackenzie Richards also said this short poem, which those of you who don’t know it might be interested to see:
‘In vain, the bright course of thy talents to wrong,
Fate deadened thine ear and imprisoned thy tongue
For brighter o’er all her obstructions arose
The glow of thy genius they could not oppose;
And who in the land of the Saxon or Gael
Could match with Mackenzie, High Chief of Kintail.’
After dinner we retired to the living room for coffee and chocolates and chat, and we talked quite late into the evening about a wide range of subjects.
It was an unusual evening insofar as we do not usually have dinners where we sit and sing songs. It was a great combination of lovely food and excellent company. We plan to meet up again in the Spring of 2016 and I am sure we will all look forward to it.
Slainte Mhath 2016,
Clive & Heather Mackenzie Richards