The week ahead has some significant dates for anyone interested in the role that drink has had in world history:
You are probably aware that this Thursday 25th January is Burns Night when the Scots celebrate the life of their great poet. The first official Burns Night was held on the 29th January 1802 but the merchants of Ayr then discovered that they had got the wrong date since Rabbie was actually born on the 25th! Much whisky is drunk on the night – mostly to make the haggis more appetising….
The Convivial Rabbit in Dorchester is holding an English take on this with their ‘Barnes Night’ and they are serving our Turnstone Rye alongside quails egg scotch eggs and oat covered sausage-meat bonbons.
The 25th January is also the Welsh equivalent of Valentines Day. Saint Dwynwen was not a happy soul – her Father wouldn’t let her marry the man of her dreams so she turned her lover into ice and then ran off to be a hermit on Anglesey.
Finally…..Friday 26th is Australia Day down under…..but it is also Rum Rebellion Day in honour of the 1808 uprising in New South Wales by the local militia who locked William Bligh (yes the very same man who endured the mutiny on The Bounty) up in Government House. One of the causes of the unrest appears to have been Bligh’s desire to stamp out the local black market where rum was the main form of currency.
Bligh was eventually shipped back to England where he was promoted to Rear Admiral with a job firmly behind a desk at the Admiralty for the rest of his career!