Lassie's Reply

“A Toast to the Laddies” by Silke Janssen

My dear lords, ladies, gentlemen, distinguished guests, Scots to whom this ritual is more than familiar and everybody else who is still trying to work out what was in the haggies. Although I am awfully nervous as I am not a native speaker my deep passion for Scotland`s culture and history and a wee sip of whisky might help me to overcome this barrier of shyness . So it is my pleasure to take up the challenge of replying to Alan`s toast. And what a great speech it was: poetic, humorous , ironic and even in rhymes - there must be Robbie Burn`s blood in his veins. I'd like to thank him very much for being so lovely to us Lassies. But as women are said to have many more words available than men allow me to reply in a complete text as women usually have so much to say, especially when it comes to men.

It was very nice of Alan to emphasize that "behind every great man there is a woman" and let me add: not only one. Think of Rabbie Burns having definitely more than one woman - which would have been rather expensive organising fur coats for all of them . - Anyway he probably couldn't get enough of us which still seems to be common practice for some Lads until today. Robbie obvoiusly loved the company of lassies and we can't deny the fact that he was an impressive womanizer. So we do understand that he could only unfold his extraordinary talents with as much female support as he could get and to be honest: we like men being famous as Alan has proved with Melanie.

But Good for Rabbie - luckily there wasn't any social media at his time. Imagine Jane Armour finding out about Clarinda on facebook! Or Rabbie on Twitter after having made two women pregnant at the same time: Sorry I am off to Jamaica! - believe me ,he had enough trouble without the media, but whatever he did to his Lassies he was always excused for doing soething wrong as he was a brilliant wordsmith . We all know about the power of romantic words - women always fall victim to. I wonder what Melanie was impressed by. It must have been something else.

As Alan mentioned, sometimes men reach for the stars to satisfy the wishes of their beloved ones - the White House is an impressive example, and it is a quality we appreciate very much, but some men should be careful when they are not properly equipped for this challenge.

But why bother looking for great men at the other end of the world when it is much quicker, more convienient and definitely more effective to focus on Scotland and her sons: William Wallace fighting and dying for his great love: a woman and Scotland . - Alexander Fleming having invented the basics of penicillin - so men do care about our health, Ian Fleming - inventing James Bond - how kind of him to entertain us with a smart, attractive, brave and intelligent agent.Charles Rennie Macintosh, master of craft and design, who knew very well that we do love extraordinary jewellery and stylish furniture.

And let us not forget Sir Sean Connery who used to be the sexiest man alive for a long time.

And Lassies - be honest: Haven't we got the wildest dreams about Jamie Fraser ? The incarnation of a Scottish man who - if you allow me this remark - doesn`t need any blue pills neither for his wife nor from his wife.

And aren`t we all attracted by a well- dressed man? So, I do apology Alan, but it is not the tie that makes a man, a kilt will win our hearts as we can see every Friday evening at the Droste School.

So the list of great Scottish men is actually much longer, which teaches us: if you are looking for Mr. Right - head north to Scotland where you will find the descendants of Robert Burns.

A man we celebrate tonight and who not only left 13 children by four women to the world but also everlasting, inspiring poems.

I'd like to share a small snippet to you which would be delivered far better if i was capable of a Scottish accent. I am afraid there is not enough whisky to teach me.

Had we never loved sae kindly
had we never loved sae blindly
never met- or never parted-
we had ne' er been broken hearted.

I invite you to raise your glasses to those gentlemen in the room without whom we would never be broken hearted, without whom we wouldn`t have so much to talk about, but without whom we would also never love or be loved so kindly.

Slainte mhath ! To the Laddies!

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