February, 2016

This page is written monthly
by Harumi Okochi.
Sometimes Harumi's friends join.
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our previous issues.


The proud flag of Scotland
St. Andrew's Cross

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

Meeting Scotland's favorite son- Robert Burns

  Hello, everyone.
This month I will tell you about my joyous experience of meeting Robert Burns.
In September last year, my husband and I went to Scotland.
It is always my pleasure to prepare myself before visiting a country. If I know histories, cultures, customs or literature of the country even a little bit, I will be able to enjoy myself more.
I will watch ordinary people passing by, and I talk to myself, "Look, this handsome young man. Bonnie Prince Charlie must look like him!" "This lady, elegant and arrogant, is the Queen Mary Stuart!"
My imagination makes me fly back to the time of history. How thrilling! Especially, the life of Queen Mary! I could not leave Edinburgh Castle, and stayed there many hours, awed, thrilled, amazed, terrified......

In Scotland, everywhere, I saw statues of Robert Burns. I could feel the strong pride of Scottish people. Here and there, I also saw the blue and white Scotland's flag, the St. Andrew's Cross.
Here too, I could feel how proud the people are who strongly stick to their identity.

One day, we visited Alloway, Ayrshire, and saw Robert Burns' birthplace.
Here are some photos which my husband took. I hope you will enjoy.

   The house of Robert Burns family
   Inside, on the plaster walls, words of explanations and also poems.
So fascinating.
   Robert Burns was called "Ploughman Poet", since he was a son of a poor farmer and he himself did a lot of agriculture. But this father did his best to let his son receive education.
His father made his son a poet.
Father planted the seed!
   Robert was inspired by working close to the land.
   Butter and cheese making space
   Dining room
   Not big for a family of many children.
   Windows are small in the house of this district.
   These clothes symbolize the brothers and sisters of Robert.
   Inspired by superstition and song.

Robert made many songs later.
   Seen from the back side of the house
   Passway to go to the house
   Map of the birthplace
   Robert Burns Birthplace Museum
   Inside the museum, I met Robert Burns.
1759–1796 Robert Burns
   An interesting display of poems
   This place is not Alloway, but this is the Dundee Museum. Here. also Robert Burns was the main featuring.
   This is The Writers Museum in Edinburgh.
Here, I also met Robert Burns.
I read the stories about his many lovers and many children .
   This small museum is quite attractive.
It was difficult to go up and down on a steep and narrow staircase.
   The sign of this museum.
Isn't this nice?
 Japanese people imported the song of Auld Lang Syne and put a completely different lyrics.
It is sung at school graduation ceremonies. Also sung when a ship leaves the port. And of course when we say good bye to a year.There is no Japanese who does not know this song. But most Japanese people think it is a Japanese song. "Comin Thro' the Rye" is also thought to be a Japanese song.
This journey to Scotland, I will never forget.

I hope you enjoyed these pictures.
I will see you next month again.


A Red, Red Rose
by Robert Burns

O my Luve is like a red, red rose
   That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
   That’s sweetly played in tune.

So fair art thou, my bonnie 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;
I will love thee still, my dear,
   While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
   And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
   Though it were ten thousand mile.


Thank you very much for joining me.
I hope you will visit us again next month.

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