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Manly Life Saving Club

Wednesday 25th January - Burns night (day) - Oidhche na Taigeise, and fundraising for MND

Wednesday 25th January - and its Burns night (day) when Scottish all over the world celebrate Scotland's much loved Poet, Robert ("Rabbie") Burns.  Not to be confused with our very own manmaid Rob Burns!

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Burns wrote about nature, and the sea is a key theme in many of his poems so its fitting that we celebrate him today with a swim.  On my part, i didn't appreciate poetry of any sort when forced to study it at school ( I loathed it and didnt see the point), however I have since found a new appreciation and one of my favourites from Mr Burns is "My Bonnie Bel".

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Today we were fortunate to have Barry Gray from "Pipers of Distinction" (https://www.pipersofdistinction.com/ if you are interested in a piper at your next function!) piping the swimmers into the water.    Thank you Barry for supporting the Bold & Beautiful and for your beautiful piping!

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We also had Alan Mitchell bravely swim with us today in Scottish Flag speedo's and a tartan bonnet raising money to support those suffering from and research into a treatment for the debilitating Motor Neurone Disease, which progressively damages the nervous system, eventually leading to paralysis.    Awareness has improved over the years, however, as yet, no cure.  MND has touched our community so any funds raised are welcome. 

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Alan has joined a global fitness challenge, "Doddie aid" named after a Scottish Rugby international Doddie Weir, diagnosed in 2017 and recently passed away.  Alan's fundraising page, as part of a "Scots in Australia" team should you wish to support to find a cure, is

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alan-mitchell22?fbclid=IwAR1xCzgNYXgDzeXBcVwnvIfXJXUCV0M9elVbrITzgYukgGICm_BFGj-e35g

https://www.justgiving.com/team/scotsinoz

 

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You might have seen Mike Tindall in the UK taking a dunk in his Australian Budget Smugglers in an English pond, all in the name of finding a cure for MND! - https://www.hellomagazine.com/royalty/20230103160838/mike-tindall-braves-dip-budgy-smugglers-doddie-aid/

And we were privileged to receive a message of support from none other than the Scottish Rugby team captain and Doodie aid founder Rob Wainwright!   A shout out from the Isle of Coll in Scotland, where the water temperature hovers around 7 degrees - winter without wetsuit would indeed be a challenge (by comparison, todays water temp a balmy 22.7 degrees!)! 

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Management getting into the Scottish spirit!

Traditional celebrations for Burns night should you wish to take note today or for the future, include:

  • Piping guests into your celebration (today, our swim)
  • Addressing the Haggis whilst reciting Robert Burns poem of the same name (for those not in the know, haggis is a type of black pudding - because I am squeamish I shall not recite the ingredients, suggest you consult good old Google for that one!) - as a child of Scottish heritage, I was exposed - so to speak - to Haggis; suffice to say I will not be partaking.   
  • supper of Scotch broth, cock-a-leekie soup or Cullen skink, haggis & Cranachan for dessert (kind of like an Eton Mess - so I would definitely love it)
  • singing (including Auld Lang Syne), dancing and poetry
  • The ‘toast to the lassies’ - not really PC these days; men make fun of the women, and women reply similarly making fun of the men. 
  • a whisky toast (some of us may have partaken this morning!) Slàinte Mhath!  whilst our own Rob Burns recited his namesakes poem "scotch drink"

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A few other fun things perhaps you may not have known about Robert "Rabbie" Burns:

  • he inspired American writer John Steinbeck (through his poem "To a mouse") and singer-songwriter Bob Dylan (through his song "A red, red rose"
  • he was fond of supernatural stories, and wanted to move to Jamaica! 
  • he was known as a "ladies’ man" - at 15 he wrote his first song, ‘O Once I Lov’d (A Bonnie Lass)’ to impress a girl called Nellie. Three years later he took dance classes to impress another lass. He fathered 12 children with four different lasses during his lifetime, including nine to his wife Jean.   He died at 37 a few days before his last child was born :(

and as for our own Rob Burns?   common traits shared with his namesake are limited to a love of whisky & the ocean, and here are a few more fun facts!:

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  • Fave Burns poem ‘Macphersons farewell'
  • Have been swimming since I was 8 years old…. I broke my shoulder and my orthopaedic surgeon recommended swimming as a remedial exercise until I finished growing…. My father interpreted that as being Full Time Training which lead to 9 times per week (edit: and it shows with his constant quest to "win" the race back to the point every day!)
  • Most interesting place I have swam is the Nanda Blue Hole in Vanuatu - the water was so clear and the viability limitless…. It was like swimming in lead crystal
  • I never thought I could live in Sydney but I think I could spend the rest of my life in Manly

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Apparently there is a Scottish swim group, the "Scottish turtles" who are fans of Burns' poetry, especially "up in the morning early" so its fitting that the Turtle was spotted today between the point and the Shed!

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I hope you all enjoyed being piped into the water and reciting a few poems & celebrating Burns day!

Have a wonderful Wednesday - stay safe, stay kind, look out for one another!

Jocelyn

PS - remember 7am Australia day swim tomorrow and the 2022 Swimmer of the year will be announced! And, importantly the cake stall to raise money for lifeline!  

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Bold and Beautiful is owned and operated by Bold and Beautiful Swim Squad Pty Ltd.

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