"Fair fa' your honest, silken skin
Great chieftan o' the canopy clan"
The above are of course lines from the lesser known Robbie Burns poem, Address to an Umbrella.
Now as far as I know there are no Scottish connections in the Bogg family, though I suppose there may be a group of McBoggs skulking around the glens somewhere. However, I always enjoy haggis and a wee nip of something warming, such as a ten year old Brawbrichtnicht, on Burns night. Sunday was no exception. This year I raised a specially poignant glass to the great poet in honour of the campaign led by the National Trust for Scotland inviting online sponsorship to preserve some of his artefacts, including the great man's umbrella! Stirring news indeed.
Therefore, it is especially galling that Tuesday should have been taken up trying to smooth ruffled feathers among members drawing up battlelines not seen since Culloden.
BUBB is a British body, we acccept membership from all British umbrellas. However, as with all large affiliations sometimes more regional concerns rear their head and since devolution there has been a growing body of Scottish nationalistic umbrella fervour. There are similar problems in Wales where a Plaid Cymru umbrella splinter group representing umbrellas made of a patterned, woollen cloth is growing increasingly vocal and burning English umbrellas on holiday.
Anyway, a group purporting to speak on behalf of McBrollies has launhed a campaign condemning the use of English umbrellas in Scotland saying in less than jockular terms that it is disgraceful that they are sometimes providing shelter to Scottish people and infringing on the rights of their own umbrellas. This sort of silly teritorial dispute does nothing to further the cause of umbrellas generally and I spend a lot of time on the phone to various parties trying to calm everybody down. But that is all part of the job I suppose and I think by the end of the day everyone has agreed to disagree. I wonder what Burns would have made of it all?