Jack is a late as usual – – –
The best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley –
But sometimes they gloriously surpass your hopes!
Wendy said to me a couple of weeks ago – “we’ve always held a Burns Night every year around January 25th but we can’t do it in person because of the Covid 19 lock-down. Let’s do it on-line on Zoom”. I’ve experienced a few Zoom meetings and know what can go wrong, so I was dubious.
But nothing ventured, nothing gained, so she started an event page on Facebook for Monday the 25th and sent out invitations. To my horror forty eight folk signed up and another thirty said they might!
So we set out to make a program and invited some friends to deliver the toasts and the ‘Immortal Memory’, and perform songs, stories and music. Even when we did socially un-distanced versions in previous years, we never quite knew how our invited presenters would ‘step up to the plate’. But this time was a real step into the void.
Then Wendy experienced a series of issues on FaceBook, probably based on their inability to translate her latest book on conspiracy theories being commented on so often – the book is doing very well these days– and decided to remove herself. Yikes! That meant all her instructions to people on how to log into the event disappeared!
I stepped in and posted the words of songs and traditional menus, inviting folk to prepare food for the evening and to join in the songs (muted of course) and the day got nearer. And Wendy went back to Facebook, just for the night, and had no trouble from Qadherents bombing her.
We had people joining us from the West to the East of the US, from Newfoundland, from Ireland and from Scotland. For us it started at 7pm, while for Aileen in Scotland and Liz in Ireland it was Midnight. As we approached the start my heart was in my mouth – so many things could go wrong. But our friend Liz in Ireland had been doing a similar event for months every Saturday and she agreed to help with the technicalities and Wendy was used to Zoom meetings – so –
The allotted time arrived and – – –
It was brilliant!
Very few glitches and all the invited performers were wonderful. Scot and Amy did the toast and response to the lasses, and it was ribald and raunchy and just what everyone needed, culminating in Amy’s toast “here’s to the men that we love, and here’s to the men that we—“ Ehm, we might need to draw the veil there.
John Bodner, Wendys co-author on the conspiracy theories book, gave a brilliantly sarcastic Immortal Memory, dissing the Bard “Rabbie who?” with wit and cynicism. His take on folksingers (if I had a hammer, there would be none) had people rolling in their Zoom room seats.
We had multiple appreciative notes from people the next day, saying what we all felt: It was just the stress buster we needed.
Stay tuned; we will be holding a DREADFUL DATE event in February: stories of love gone horribly wrong….. heh heh heh.