Communique straight from Haggis Land (from Alexander Hutchinson)

Communique straight from Haggis Land
(from Alexander Hutchinson)

The fame of Gung Haggis Fat Choy is consistently growing.  Here is
an example of appreciation from an ex-Scots, ex-Canadian – who really
appreciates the intercultural directions of Gung Haggis Fat Choy –
which celebrates the Chinese and Scottish heritage of Canada +
everything in between & everything beyond!

Please welcome Alexander Hutchinson as a guest on
Mr. Hutchinson has written a poem about Haggis titled “Surprise Surprise”  (see attachment).
He has also sent me a cover from his book, and a picture of a haggis
wearing a kilt.  (I will have to send the picture to my kilted
mates on

It seems a fitting time for Mr. Hutchinson to discover Gung Haggis Fat
Choy and to contact me 40 years after his first arrival in Victoria BC,
Canada – back on August 31, 1966.  Victoria is a wonderful city
that plays up its British heritage with high tea at the Empress Hotel,
double decker buses, and all that stuff.  However, Victoria is
also the city that at one point had the largest Chinatown in North
America, where my father's father once ran the largest Chinese merchant
store, and where both my father and my mother's mother were botn in
1925, and 1910.

British Columbia is indeed a place where Scots and Chinese have met,
collided, and colluded.  I hope to soon be hosting a Gung Haggis
Fat Choy dinner in Victoria sometime soon.  And maybe if Mr.
Hutchinson makes the trip to Victoria for his anniversary…  we
will have a special little dinner.  In the mean time, please enjoy
his letter and his poem.

Yo — Hullo, and Greetings to the Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2006 sponsors
from the Land of Haggis, cradle of Burns.  This is a concept dear to my
heart.  As you will see from the attached piece, my poem “Surprise,
has been in circulation now for more than 21 years (and a
published version came out in 1990  – I'll attach some images if I can
scan them
It can be updated of course – so I
don't see why I couldn't add gung haggis fat choy – though there is
already a reference to ancient Chinese practice. – “100 year -old Kung
Po haggis”!
I returned to Scotland from
Canada in 1984 – had been living on Vancouver Island since 1966.  The
haggis poem was the first piece I wrote on return – and it got a hot
reception.. There is a story about the “invention” of the vegetarian
haggis – but I'll save that for later.
God, I
would love to be back on the west coast.  Shouldn't be long – I'm due a
visit.  I am a Canadian citizen as well as Scottish – my kids are
too. The 40th anniversary of my first arrival is August 31st (Labour
Day 1966).  “Good Vibrations” was on the radio all the time..
I walked in to teach my first class at UVIC a few months later – just 22 years old.
The illustrations are by a man called Charles Hynes.
Amazon still lists the wee book – but I will send you a copy.
As the old folks used to say: Here's tae us –
wha's like us? (“Damn few:and they're aa deid”  is the usual answer..)
alll the best,  Sandy H.
Alexander Hutchison


MacSween the corner butcher with confidence displays

for denizens of the city – 'of toons the a per se'-

a vegetarian haggis, rank specimen of his craft.

Just what the creature might contain defeats surmise:

pinmeal and onions, nuts or beans, some dribs and drabs.

No gristle, no suet, no organ meats: no liver, no tripes

no lights, no heart. Instead of a sheep's paunch

potato skins with a saddle-stitch fly. Up the Mound

down Candlemakers Row the fix is in. The makars jump

the peddlers stump, the market splits wide open.

First from a purely culinary point of view – corned, curried

devilled, smoked and kosher haggis; haggis à la king; wee cocktail

haggis; haggis in a basket; haggis on the half-shell; instant haggis;

English haggis; haggis eclairs; Crimean campaign haggis, conceived

in Sebastopol, consumed in Balaclava; hot-cross haggis; haggis in

plum sauce; desiccated haggis; baked haggis alaska; chocolate mint-

chip haggis; non-stick convenient haggis; cucumber and haggis

sandwiches; junk haggis; whole-hog haggis.

Next by haggis of a special bent – weight-watcher haggis;

haggis for the moonstruck; haggis nouveau; haggis grand cru; 12 year

old vintage haggis matured in oak casks; 100 year old Kung Po haggis

drawn from the well without obstruction; “Bomber” Haggis; haggis for

lovers; lite, lo-tar, lo-nicotine haggis; Campdown haggis; drive-in

haggis; hand-raised, house-trained haggis, with pedigree attached;

haggis by special appointment; reconstituted haggis; nuclear-free

haggis; ancient Dynastic haggis sealed in canopic jars; haggis

quickstep; haggis high in fibre; haggis low in the opinion of several

discerning people; a haggis of the Queen's flight; Nepalese temple

haggis (rich, dark and mildew-free); hard-porn haggis;

haggis built to last.

Finally, objects tending to the metaphysical – desolation

haggis; the canny man's haggis; haggis not so good or bad as

one imagines; haggis made much of caught young; unsung haggis;

haggis not of this fold; haggis dimm'd by superstition;

perfectly intuited haggis; haggis beyond the shadow of a doubt;

bantering haggis; haggis given up for Lent; haggis given up for

lost; haggis so good you think you died and went to heaven;

haggis supreme; haggis unchained.

© Alexander Hutchison    1984, 1990

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