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Almost immediately from his death in 1796 onwards, Scots have met on, or around, the 25th of January to pay tribute to, and to remember, a farmer turned gauger (excise officer). But this was no ordinary farmer or gauger but a major poet and songwriter, Scotland's National Bard, Robert Burns. In the run-up to this Burns' season, some Scots have enjoyed the first showing for 65 years of the 'lost' film "Auld Lang Syne" which starred Andrew Cruikshank as Robert Burns. Plans are afoot for a modern film on the life of Robert Burns, based on a script by Alan Sharp. Although now based in the United States, Scottish born Alan Sharp has written a string of successful screenplays including the recent film "Rob Roy", so our National Bard should be in safe hands! The film will cover some six years of the Bard's life - roughly 1785 to 1791 - focussing on the period of his life when he rose to fame as a poet while falling in love with Jean Armour, Highland Mary and Agnes McLehose (Clarinda). Vadim Jean, who is to produce the film with Scots actor James Cosmo, is keen to have a public debate regarding the actor to play Robert Burns. Towards this end, his company, Mob Film, is to have a website, built by a company in Ayr, to let the public cast its vote. The Flag will try to keep you informed of any development in this move. Burns Suppers and Haggis go together and the traditional accompaniment to 'The Chieftain o the Puddin Race' is neeps an tatties (turnip and potatoes) but this weeks recipe suggests a tasty alternative - Kailkenny - to go with your Haggis.
Ingredients : 1 lb cabbage, cooked; 1 lb potatoes, cooked; 2 tbsp cream; salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mash cabbage and potatoes together. Stir in cream, season with pepper and salt. Mix together and serve piping hot.

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