"Having long been possessed with an ardent desire to see the Distilleries of Scotland...", Alfred Barnard, 1885

"O Thou, my muse! guid auld Scotch drink", from Scotch Drink, by Robert Burns

Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy Hogmanay

Barnard, bless him, seems to have missed out on Hogmanay in Scotland during his tour.  He doesn’t mention it in any report and the occasional vague clue we get as to the timings of his journeys suggest that he was in London for Christmas and New Year at the end of 1885 and he completed his wanderings before the end of 1886.  It is a shame not to have the thoughts of this ‘fun-loving Victorian waster’ on the traditions held dear in Scotland, or on whichever whiskies may have accompanied his celebrations.

Still, I shall raise a glass to his memory this New Year.  His writings inspired me to embark on a wonderful journey in 2010 and the trail continues into 2011.  I should soon complete the Islay stories and with the days now lengthening again I hope to be back on the road before long (further snow permitting).

Thank you for following both Barnard’s and my own journey this far; I hope you will continue reading and see where the compass takes us next.

A very happy New Year to you and my best wishes for a wonderful, and whisky full, 2011 for you all.  Slàinte!

Dougie