Virginia Barton

26 January 2015: Burns Night


26 January 2015



It was Burns Night yesterday; crisp, sunny and BH’s 86th birthday. A monstrous amount of haggis was eaten, liberally drenched with usquebae. This unusual habit was adopted as a prophylactic by BH in Hong Kong where the haggis had “travelled”.

I was proud of him: not because of the whiskey but because he looked so well. Mobbed with phone calls, texts, e-mails, cards and presents; he is not only well, but much loved.


Just possibly the best present was a letter from the “Public Lending Right” people, telling BH that his book had been borrowed 321 times last year. These loans from Public Libraries yielded £21 and 38 pence — a sum that has gratifyingly increased year on year since the book was published four years ago.

Okay, it’s not in JK Rowling’s league, but it will pay for a decent bottle of malt.






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