Rowan Derryth's Virtual Adventures
Tonight is officially Burns Night in Scotland – a holiday celebrating the life and work of the great Scottish bard (it’s his birthday). I’ve participated in these before, and they are good fun – and yes, haggis is delicious! In fact, a few of us foodies have started a new blog, Virtual Victualists, and you can learn a bit more about this delicious dish at this post.
But this past weekend I got to celebrate in a different way, at a Burns Supper in world which the fabulous Miss Eva Bellambi, Lady of Skye, invited me to cohost. Now, I’m a longtime roleplayer, but I actually just dip my toe in occasionally in SL, usually for the costumes. But this was a fun opportunity to celebrate in style, and I got to happily join her clan! She organized a full programme of events, and even asked me to read Burns’ famous “Address to a Haggis”. Although I’ve done this before, I knew someone better to do the deed – so the lovely Mr Victor1st Mornington recorded it for us, and you can listen to it at Eva’s blog.
However, she did ask the dashing Mr PJ Trenton and me to do the toasts to the lasses and the lads. It’s a bit of fun where a gent makes a playful (but heartfelt!) toast to the ladies, humorous but not mean, and a lady responds in kind. As always we had fun working on them, especially with the chance to bring a little SL into the mix. Read PJ’s toast at his blog. Somehow prim baby jokes never get old!
Here is my response:
Toast to the Lads
Well, you must give me a moment to calm my heart after so charming a toast from such a dashing lad! And indeed we lasses are lucky to be surrounded by such elegant lads tonight, and in kilts too! I know many women are complete fools for a man in a kilt, and I certainly count myself among them, so there may be many a lucky fellow here as well tonight – or many a fellow about to get lucky!
But of course, we lasses might find our luck has run out, if, after a few too many wee drams, we were to try and discover if what they say about what is UNDER your kilts is true. It being Second Life, the notion of wearing ‘nothing’ under your kilts gets taken to a whole new unfortunate level!
Ah, but perhaps a few of you clever lads are hiding a wee sgain-dhu under your kilts, concealed by a well-placed sporran. And the beauty of Second Life – we lasses don’t even have to leave our seats to check! Call it retribution for all the times you’ve cammed up our skirts!
And of course, all this bawdiness is in the true spirit of Burns, who would have heartily approved! He was both a great collector and writer of naughty prose and poems, and would have been the first amongst us to use the SL camera to his advantage! However, the pose balls would have to be in pink and blue tartan.
And as Lord Trenton informed us, he was as prolific in his paternity as he was in his poetry! In fact, he confesses this in the very first verse of his rarest – and most shocking – of texts, the Merry Muses of Caledonia. It opens with a bawdy song he wrote in 1784 simply called ‘The Fornicator’, and I’ll give you just a tidbit here:
Ye jovial boys who love the joys.
The blissful joys of Lovers;
Yet dare avow with dauntless brow,
When th’ bony lass discovers;
Pray draw near and lend an ear,
And welcome in a Prater,
For I’ve lately been on quarantine,
A proven Fornicator.
And this, in my opinion, is the real reason the Scots love him so! I’ll not go on for the sake of polite company, but the whole text is easily found in your virtual libraries. But yes, he was, and is, the great Scottish Bard. The bawdy verse is fun, but it is the rest of his work that has truly captured our hearts and minds. And so, for the dear lads here who have captured our own hearts and minds, I would like to read perhaps his most famous verse now, and hope that my poor accent will not butcher it too harshly:
O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie,
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.
And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ ’twere ten thousand mile!
And with that I ask that you raise your glasses to the lads, for where would we be without them? To the lads! Slainte!
The evening was rounded our by more poems read by myself, Lady Riel, and others… toasts, and of course a Ceilidh! That’s fancy gaelic for a dance – with music provided by the fabulous Otenth Paderborn in the guise of chicken-footed bagpipes! And LOTS of whisky, of course (see pic below). Thanks so much to all who made it such a fun evening!!