Steenie Steenson, well-kent grumpy old piper, sends us his ramblings and rattlings

Greetings from Primrose Knowe, where the season is already heralded by the sound of the lads mumbling their parts for the galoshins. Now, I have my doubts about whether that will mean very much to many of you who bother to read my bletherings, so maybe I should take a moment to explain.
But before I do I wanted to say something about the sword dance. Now I never saw such a thing, not in all my days. But my grandsire, now that’s going way back, I gather he once saw it done. It was in Perth, I was told, but what he was doing up there I was never told and so I canna tell you, but there were thirteen of them, so we young ‘uns were told, all with green caps, silver strings, red ribbons, white shoes  and bells to their knees, sharing rapiers in their hands, making all sorts of knots and allapallajesses with them. And some on the others shoulders like a kind of castle, and three of them down between the legs. And the whole thing floating on a raft in the river.
Well, you might well have had reason to call me a teller of tall tales in the past, but, believe me, you never heard the like of the stories I’ve had passed onto me that my grandsire told in his day. And you’re as welcome to believe them as anyone who hears them. But I’ve let that little memory run away with this piece that was going to be about the Galoshins, was it not?
Well, let me see, where was I? Ah yes, galoshins. There was a time, when I was a youth, when you could barely hope to visit a house during the Daft Days without coming across a performance, some better than others, I might add. But these days there’s many a one knows nothing of it, and a performance is a rarity. And there’s even fewer who knows who it is that puts down the first sticks, to say that the New Year bonfire will be there again this year, as it always has been.
A room, a room, a gallant room stir up your fire and make a light, for in this room there’ll be a fight. And a fight there was, Galoshins and the Black Knight; down he goes and in comes the doctor with his bag and his bottle and it’s ‘A little to his nose and a little to his toes; now rise up John and sing a song.’ And what else is there then? Well there’s wee Johnny Funny, the best wee man to take the money Twa lang pouches down to his knees one for pennies and one for bawbies. And then there’s the song, and I might as well leave you with that as anything:
 'A Guid New Year to Ane an A'