"Inspiring bold John Barleycorn! What dangers thou canst make us scorn! Wi’ tippeny, we fear nae evil; Wi’ usquabae, we’ll face the devil!"

If you’re going to read anything on the flight from Cape Town to Edinburgh it may as well be Tam o’ Shanter, the epic poem by Robert Burns. Not least because Scotland’s beloved national bard is surely the world’s only poet with a boozy dinner named after him. Saturday January 25 is Burns Night, when proud Scots at home and abroad will don their kilts, make a speech to a haggis, and enjoy no shortage of Burns’ usquabae...

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