18th of March

by susie on March 18th, 2013

Had a really nice show last Friday just over the border at Carlisle Folk Club which is held in a hospitality suite at the Carlisle United football ground.
As my next gig was outside Ayr I spent a rainy Saturday in and around Dumfries. Here Robert Burns spent the last few years of his life. This is a model of the town in Rabbies day at the Burns Museum.
The Cottage at Ellisland Farm a Few Miles North of Dumfries. Burns was offered the tenancy of three different farms in the vicinity by a rich patron. He chose the most scenic spot but the worst farmland and spent three years struggling to grow crops in the exhausted soil. This is the back of the property as you enter  and not seen by the general public (hence the need of a lick or two of paint) but i wanted to show the window where Burns sat to write…
He was working hard on the farm and holding down a very labourious job as an exiseman travelling around ten local parishes collecting monies and checking on smuggling activities. Yet quite amazingly he still found time to write profusely here at his desk, churning out masterpieces such as Tam o Shanter and Auld Lang syne…
The holy grail of an angling daft Burns geek like me.. Rabbies fishing rod..
The beautiful river Nith that flows just yards from the farm cottage, where Burns would stroll of an evening. It is an absolutely idyllic spot..
The great age of agricultural improvement was yet to unfold in Rabbie’s time and these once tired fields engulfed his blood, sweat and finally tears..
A feature from the Tam o Shanter walk along the Nith. Rabbie returned to his desk one evening in a state of high excitement to disgorge this amazing poem almost in its entirety.
The church graveyard in Dumfries with Rabbie’s mausoleum in the background. The stone in the foreground marks the positions within the graveyard where his friends were later buried. There are a great number of them, who were obviously keen to be interred close to the great man. It would seem that with so many people who claimed an attatchment to Burns that some these claims may have been somewhat exaggerated…
His Mausoleum which has recently been restored, was erected years after his death..
His original grave was considerably more humble and tucked away in a corner of the crowded yard. He died penniless..
A monument to his long suffering wife who outlived him by another 38 years. She was by all accounts a very loving and forgiving partner who even took in and raised several of his illegitimate children…
The house where Burns died which is very well preserved and contains many of his possessions and Burns’ family memorabilia..
Dumfries boasts many wonderful Burns related murals and inscriptions.. this one is across from the house above..
The opening scene from Tam o Shanter..
.. from Red red rose..
Rabbies favourite howff or inn was the Globe..
The room at the Globe he would sleep in is kept in his memory and contains his favourite chair..
And bed.. on the windows he scratched poems with a diamond stylus..
Outside the Globe a scene from perhaps The Rigs o Barley..
Burne was involved in apprehending a band of smugglers on the nearby Solway Coast..
The climax of Tam o Shanter with gray mare Meg losing her tale to the comely witch Nanny…
After abandoning the ‘ruinous affair’ of the idyllic yet exhausted Ellisland Farm the Burns family moved first to this house in Dumfries,
Trouble and strife seemed to follow Burns everywhere but only seemed to inspire him to greater feats of composition as this plaque testifies…
The handsome statue in the centre of Dumfries. I used a moolit painting of this in the artwork for my Aquaintance CD..

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