Farty's Fortunes

Sunday, 30 November 2008

A Brief History Of Scotchland - Part 6

Today is St Andrew's Day, but how much do we really know about the man himself? Quite a lot, as it turns out.

Saint Andrew, patron saint of Scotchland, was one of the busier saints. In between sainting and that, he single-handedly built the Scotch town of St Andrews in the kingdom of Fife.

St Andrews
St Andrews

A keen amateur chemist, he invented Andrews Liver Salts, a popular remedy for a hangover in the days before Irn Bru.


When he heard that St Patrick had outdone him by driving all the snakes out of Oireland, this made St Andrew cross.

St Andrew Cross
Scotch flag

So he went to Elgin, thirty miles from Inverness, for a game of marbles to help him relax.

Elgin Marbles
Elgin Marbles

But he decided that marbles were too small to play with, so he invented golf - well, we all make mistakes. And it was while out practising his swing that he accidentally sliced his shot (whatever that means, I wouldn't know, golf is a stupid game) and killed a haggis.

Wild Haggis

"Waste not, want not," thought the resourceful saint, so he peeled, cooked and ate the tasty little creature. Which is why we Scotch celebrate St Andrew's Day by eating haggis, QED. Om nom nom nom!

Not So Wild Haggis
Cooked haggis


Laurie said...

Mmmmmm. Haggis.... I ate it every day I was in Scotchland last year. All three days. They look a lot like hyraxes!

Middle Aged Woman said...

Ackroyd's Scottish Bakery is a few minutes from my house. Just. Can't. Do it. Blood pudding, I've tried. Haggis? Can. Not.

Mr Farty said...

Laurie - I wouldn't know about hyraxes, I've never been anywhere near Table Mountain. Oops. I mean...

The life cycle of the haggis is quite fascinating. When they've matured, the adults grow wings, eat a large bowl of porridge and then fly thousands of miles to South Africa to mate. Then they gorge themselves on rotting Marula fruit, get totally rat-arsed in the process and then fly all the way back to Scotchland, eventually, to nest and give birth to baby hagii.

MAW - WTF is blood pudding? Oh. We call it black pudding, it sounds a lot more innocuous. Just pretend haggis is a vegetable, but under no circumstances should you ever attempt to eat vegetarian haggis, it is f*cking disgusting.

Laurie said...

As a biologist, I'm always amazed anew at the amazing diversity of life on this planet. And the ability of humans to willingly take something that tastes like turpentine and turn it into a tasty alcoholic beverage.

My mum made the blackest black puddin'. Even the white bits were black. Oh, wait. That might be Michael Palin's mum. Mine wouldn't go near the stuff with a ten foot pole.

AtomicLaura said...

I thought Haggis was a drink (ya, I'm always clueless). They look like overgrown hamsters.
But I do so love this blog, always learning something new.

I've Been Mugged said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I've Been Mugged said...

Haggis - a dish at it's very best when eaten fresh. Preferably whilst till twitching.

Sewmouse said...

Aren't you just a bit concerned that P.E.T.H. might come and throw red paint all over your blog?

Mr Farty said...

Laurie - Most alcoholic beverages still taste like turps to me.

Laura - If just one Scotch schoolboy/girl fails their history test after reading this blog, I'll call that a success.

IBM - Au contraire, if it was any deader, I'd be wearing it.

Sew - They're all vegans, where are they going to find the strength to throw anything?

Jacki said...

I remember visiting St. Andrews several times while in Scotland. And you know what? I never had the desire to eat haggis. Yuck!

john.g. said...

Damn Hyraxes you Scotchish fibber you! Besides Haggii have two legs shorter than the others so they can race round the mountains! I should know, I've hunted a few!

Laurie said...

Wow! Your haggises must be related to our sidehill gougers! Do the ones who run around the hill clockwise ever mate with the ones that go widdershins?

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

What an English dope am I! I wished all my friends called Andrew a happy St Andrew's Day, but forgot all my Scots friends. Including the one who lives in my hoose.

I better go and buy him a tin of haggis to make up for it.

Mr Farty said...

Jacki - You don't know what you're missing, it is ace!

John - They're fast little buggers, aren't they?

Laurie - Sidehill gougers? Yup - that'll be migrating hagii that've been blown off course a bit.

Daffers - Poor McChé! I've sent tinned haggis before, to my sister in NZ, but thankfully never received one.

#Debi said...

mmm, haggis! I'd much rather eat one of them than a pudding made of blood! Can you get blood pudding in a Kosher version?

also, P.E.T.H.--is that the People Eating Tasty Haggis?

Mr Farty said...

Debi - Kosher Black Pudding? I don't see why not, but then I'm not Jewish.

Apparently 2009 is the 250th anniversary of a famous Jewish priest's* birth. I'll have to do a special post for that too.

* Rabbi Burns.

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