No more haggis

You can have haggis.  Like the pig intestines in Taiwan, everyone urges me to try it, each assuring me that this recipe or that restaurant transcends the bad reputation to achieve edibility, while each one actually manages to approximate a different kind of cat food.  I will somehow survive without delving further into this line of nutrition.  I don’t expect you to try raw oysters or urchin roe or clam chowder when you come to my house either.

I walked up on Costorphine Hill this dawn, ahead of my presentation for 100 or so therapists.  It was colder and windier than it looked, ruffling my shirt so I buttoned my cuffs and sought out a pathway up through the woods. After a sleepless night (there was a wedding at the hotel, and the DJ had the whole building thumping until well after midnight), it felt good to let the muscles loose and the mind coordinate to the rhythm of feet on the ground.  At the top was a beautiful view east over the zoo to Edinburgh, certainly one of the most comely cities on this planet.

Walking along the ridge among the mossy trees and lichen-covered rocks, I scared up a bunch of rabbits, small like Quan’s, and similarly poised between curious and scared.  The wild rabbits at home – used to hunters and beagles – are seldom seen and disappear like a shot if discovered, but these fat and happy little beings were clearly protected, as they loped calmly out of my sight in the ferns and rocks of the glen.

God knows if I used the word ‘glen’ right.  It means ‘shallow’, as in glenoid fossa, the shallow shoulder joint, but these Scots are as fiercely protective of their language as they are of haggis, so my natural tendency to imitate is not received kindly, but rather with severe looks, declarations, and dismissals.  It is with joy, not ridicule, that I affect assimilation, but they have had enough of English dominance, and American attempts at badly-accented chumminess are about as welcome as ‘MacDonalds’ – a perfectly good Scots name that is known the world around for the bland reliability of its mediocrity. .

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