In which we reflect on themes introduced in these pages

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Rachel adorns a sea of wildflowers in the Highland town of Alness on the shores of Cromarty Firth, population 6,000. The Easter Ross community was proclaimed Champion of Champions in the Royal Horticultural Society’s 2006 Britain in Bloom competition.[/caption]

Last Orders, Please!

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang’s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!
Robert Burns
“Address to a Haggis”

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
Robert Burns
“Auld Lang Syne”

I must go down to the seas again, to the
lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer
her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and
the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey
dawn breaking.
John Masefield
“Sea Fever”

Being thus arrived in a good harbor, and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed God of Heaven who had brought them over the fast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable earth, their proper element.
William Bradford
Of Plymouth Plantation

Life ain’t all beer and skittles, and more’s the pity;
but what’s the odds, so long as you’re happy?
George du Maurier

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.
It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate
leading to the drive and for a while I could
not enter, for the way was barred to me.
Daphne du Maurier