Arisaig rainbow

Well we survived looking after the grandchildren but only just!  It was fun but lots of work.  On the day of the hand back we met a cousin’s daughter who now resides in Australia.  We hadn’t seen her in about 35 years.  She was here to attend the “sleep” conference.  We met in the Vancouver Aquatic Centre where the kids had swim training.  We took the water taxi to Granville Island where we met up with our son and his son (25) who had been at the Whitecaps game.  They were on their bikes & Ian cycled home to change and join us for dinner at Ferguson Point in Stanley Park.  After a lovely meal our son took our guest back to her AirB&B in Gastown.  Rain was just starting to fall.  Our car would not start!  We called BCAA who had to go halfway round the park to reach us.  The technician could not start the car so he arranged for a tow.  The tow truck (Drake’s) towed the car and drove us all the was to King George Boulevard where he left us and the car at the dealership.  Fortunately we were able to flag a taxi down as the phone line was busy, busy, busy.  It was well after 12 before we got home.  We slept in the next morning!!

Puffins can fly

We had a great start to the Ceilidh dance season on September 27.  It was the same night as the AGM of the Vancouver Branch which was over very quickly and many members came to join in the fun.  Alison taught many dances and Calanais were up to the challenge of some new dances as well as 2 for the experienced dancers.  There were quite a few new faces in the Ceilidh dancers and we hope they enjoyed themselves and will come back again.

The hall has been booked for another season of Ceilidh Dances.  The dates are:
October 25; November 29; January 10; February 28; March 27 & April 24 that is the last Friday of the month except for December and January.

You can help by coming along, by bringing friends (and enemies!) by telling people about the Ceilidh Dances, by bringing a group of 8 or more so that you all qualify for a discount of $1 each.  No partner or experience required and remember if you claim to have two left feet we’ll show you how to use the right one!

The back road to Loch Ness

The next Ceilidh Dance is not until the last Friday of October (25th).  The dances will follow the usual format with the “class” from 7 – 8 pm and the dance, with Calanais providing the music, from 8 – 11 pm.  Mark your calendars NOW!   Even if you can’t make it in time for the class; come to the dance, it is lots of fun.

If you have a group of 8 or more, then everyone in your group qualifies for $1 discount off the amazingly low admission price of $15 ($10 for students).  You have to let everyone in your group know the password you have chosen which you then relay to me ( before midnight on the Wednesday preceding the class that way you do not all have to arrive together.

There are refreshments/drinks (including beer, cider, juice, etc.) available for a donation   So apart from the fun, exercise and great music of Scottish Ceilidh dancing there is all the ingredients for a great evening.

No need to be scared if you don’t know how – we will teach you and you won’t be the only newbie.  You will be a star before the night is out.  Make it a date – it will be a night you won’t forget.

Balloch, Loch Lomond

For those new to ceilidh dancing the class is a great introduction to Scottish Country dancing and you will soon find out you are not the only one who does not know their left from right or back from front!!  We teach everything and the dance follows the same format.  Everything is very relaxed so you don’t have to worry about anything.  If you can walk; you can dance.  Wear flat comfy shoes and loose, layered clothing as it is warm work reeling and spinning.

What is a Ceilidh dance? It is informal, easy Scottish Country dancing in a relaxed style for all ages. We teach everything, no experience or partner required just a desire to have fun an ability to move to the wonderful beat of the lively music and to enjoy the company of other like-minded folk.

View from the top of Liathach

The next Ceilidh dance is on Friday, October 25, 2019 at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver with the usual class at 7 pm and the dance following from 8 – 11 pm. Pay at the door – $15 ($10 for students). Tell your friends etc. about the dances, they are lots of fun.

  • The other dates are
  • October 25
  • November 29
  • 2020
  • January 10
  • February 28
  • March 27
  • April 24

The dances are all held at the Scottish Cultural Centre,  8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver (73rd and Hudson which is between Granville and Oak Streets). They are all held on Friday evenings and where possible the last Friday of each month – the exceptions are December (as we never schedule one but we have one in early January) and January (because of Burns.)


Troon beach

Scottish Country dance classes have started up again for a new season.  Now would be a good time to come to one and see what all the fuss is about.  Why not give us a try – you never know it just might be the fun exercise class that you have been looking for.  Music, movement, memory, camaraderie, laughter and a sense of achievement are all things you will experience.  Come on – what have you got to lose, most first classes are free.  Look under the “classes” tab for a class near you.



Mental Hospital Release Exam

Answer the 4 questions below.

Do you want to review your answers.

Are they your final answers?

Scroll down.


You hang in there, Sunshine.

I didn’t pass either!


The next regular Ceilidh Dance is the Last FRIDAY of the October – October 25, 2019
I sure hope you can come and bring lots of friends.


The mother-in-law stopped by her daughter’s house after shopping to find her son-in-law boiling angry and hurriedly packing his suitcase.

“What happened?” she asked anxiously.

“What happened?  I’ll tell you what happened.  I sent an email to my wife — your daughter — telling her I was coming home a day early from my fishing trip.  I got home… and guess what I found?  Your daughter in bed with a naked guy!  This is unforgivable, the end of our marriage.  I’m done. I’m leaving forever!”

“Calm down, calm down!” said his mother-in-law. “There’s something very odd about that. She would never do such a thing. There must be a simple explanation. I’ll go speak to her and find out what happened.”

A few minutes later, the mother-in-law came back with a big smile and said, “I told you there must be a simple explanation — she didn’t get your email.”





A nice, calm and respectable lady went into the pharmacy, walked up to the pharmacist, looked straight into his eyes, and said, “I’d like to buy some cyanide.

The pharmacist asked, “Why in the world do you need cyanide?

The lady replied, “I need it to poison my husband.

The pharmacist’s eyes got big and he explained, “Lord have mercy!   I can’t give you cyanide to kill your husband, that’s against the law.   I’ll lose my licence!   They’ll throw both of us in jail!   All kinds of bad things will happen.   Absolutely not!   You CANNOT have any cyanide.   Just get a divorce!”

The lady reached into her purse and pulled out a picture of her husband in bed with the pharmacist’s wife.

The pharmacist looked at the picture and said, “You didn’t tell me you had a prescription!!”.


Thanks to the Celtic Treasure Chest there is now an online list of all the Celtic societies as well as a calendar of events:


The Celtic Treasure Chest on Dunbar is open 7 days a week and stock includes haggis imported from Scotland and many of your favourite foods.

Celtic Fashions on E-Bay – go to


The Scottish Cultural Centre is a pretty unique and wonderful asset and space is available for rent to anyone or any group. The Centre does not run itself but is actually run by the  Scottish Cultural Centre Society (SCCS) which is a charitable society.  Donations, bequests are welcome and a tax deductible receipt will be issued for gifts of more than $25.


a murmuration of starlings at Prestwick


The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, October 25, 2019. That will be the second one of  the season and the sixth of 2019. There is lots of time for you all to get yourselves and your friends organized to come along for another fun, filled evening. Come and dance, it is lots of fun and really easy. Everything is taught from scratch – you won’t be the only newbie!




Michelle has very kindly made up a Facebook event page for the Ceilidh but you need to “Search for Vancouver Ceilidh on Facebook and “Like” us to receive updates on upcoming Ceilidhs and other events”. Then, if you “Like” the Vancouver Ceilidh FB page (do as described above), you too will receive updates AND be able to share those updates and events on your personal Facebook page to your friends and ask that they “Like” and “Share”, etc. Ceilidh Dances are great ways to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries etc. Invite all your friends to come and join you at the Ceilidh. You are welcome to bring your own cake and we’ll even sing for you!!




What’s in a name?

Do you remember the famous Olympic skier Picabo Street (pronounced Pee-Ka-Boo).

Well, Picabo is not just an athlete.   She is now a nurse currently working at an Intensive Care Unit of a large metropolitan hospital.

She is not permitted to answer the hospital telephones any longer.

It caused too much confusion when she would answer the phone and say, Picabo, I.C.U.


Some fun and interesting sites: – note if you have a link to something you think others will enjoy send me the link. Sound on, full screen:

Words of wisdom……………………………….

If you are a “boogie-woogie” fan……………………………………..|

I SURELY got a KICK out of this… VERY AMUSING!

A  daughter is visiting her father and is helping in the  kitchen.  She asks: “Tell me dad, how are you managing with the new iPad we gave you for your birthday?

This clip is spoken in German but it’s totally understandable in any language.

You can’t fix stupid.  Here is a very non-technical way to check for methane gas in cow manure:

< dans-bouse-de-vache%22>

Puttin’ on the Ritz … in Moscow

What a crazy, delightful ever changing world!

Who could have thought that in 2012 young people in Moscow would put on a “flash mob” happening, dancing to an *83 year old* *American song* written by a Russian born American-Jew (Irving Berlin) whose last name is the capital of Germany…

Put your speakers on and Enjoy including the snow!!! KgoapkOo4vg?rel=0

COMING EVENTS IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS: Note – please check the Branch website for and last-minute changes.

Oct 12 Introduction to Step Dancing with live music led by Janet Wright – class teacher Kay Sutherland 1 – 3 pm Scottish Cultural Centre cost $15 – info; call 604-929-2745 or
Oct 19 CEILIDH/TWMPATH/BARN DANCE! 7:30 – 10:30pm at The Cambrian Hall, 215 East 17th Avenue, Vancouver with The RATTLEBONE BAND, featuring JD Erskine (caller), Graham Baldwin (melodeon), Brian Chisholm (banjo/guitar), Bill MachLachlan (whistle/mandolin), Innis Pencarrick (fiddle)
Tickets: $10 adults, $5 kids, available from Pat Morris (604 536 9556 –
Oct 25 Ceilidh Dance at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver – no partner or experience required – live music with Calanais – refreshments available – class from 7 – 8 p.m. followed by dance from 8 – 11 p.m. – all dances walked, talked and called – admission at the door $15 (students $10)
Oct 26 Lecture featuring Douglas Gibson (Order of Canada), former president and publisher at McClelland and Stewart, for his literary stage show: “GREAT SCOTS: Canadian Fiction Writers With Links To Scotland, From 1867 To Today.” 2p.m  SFU Harbour Centre Labbatt Hall (room 1700)
Oct 26 Gleneagles Fall Afternoon Tea Dance in Christ the Redeemer Church, 599 Keith Road (just east of Taylor Way). West Vancouver at 2 pm $15  Raffle tickets $10 Simon – 604-306-8031
Oct 27 White Rock workshop for intermediate and advanced dancers –  Sullivan Hall, 6306 152nd Street, Surrey 9:30 – 1:30  Teacher Maureen Lyon Cost $15 Info 604-944-6678
Nov  9 Soft Shoe Step dance class – with live music led by Janet Wright.  Teacher Kay Sutherland – a series of 3 classes at a cost of $45 (Nov 9, 16 & 30)  Scottish Cultural Centre 1-3 pm for info: 604-929-2745 or email
Nov 11 Lady Aberdeen Tea Dance hosted by Glenayre club – 1:15 pm at the Scottish Cultural Centre, admission $10 (Children $5).  A donation of a plate of food would be gratefully received.  Net revenue in aid of Honour House and Kidney Foundation.
Nov 16 Soft Shoe Step dance class with live music led by Janet Wright.  Teacher Kay Sutherland – a series of 3 classes at a cost of $45 (Nov 9, 16 & 30)  Scottish Cultural Centre 1-3 pm for info: 604-929-2745 or email
Nov 26 Fort Langley St. Andrew’s Dance, 9167 Glover Road, Fort Langley at 7:30 pm with music by Mary Ross
Nov 29 Ceilidh Dance at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver – no partner or experience required – live music with Calanais – refreshments available – class from 7 – 8 p.m. followed by dance from 8 – 11 p.m. – all dances walked, talked and called – admission at the door $15 (students $10)
Nov 30 Soft Shoe Step dance class – with live music led by Janet Wright.  Teacher Kay Sutherland – a series of 3 classes at a cost of $45 (Nov 9, 16 & 30)  Scottish Cultural Centre 1-3 pm for info: 604-929-2745 or email
Dec  8 56th annual Gleneagles ball at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver at 1:30 pm – $135 Music by Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra
Dec 10 Glenayre Christmas party
Dec 28 Betwixt & Between Dance
Jan 10 Ceilidh Dance at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver – no partner or experience required – live music with Calanais – refreshments available – class from 7 – 8 p.m. followed by dance from 8 – 11 p.m. – all dances walked, talked and called – admission at the door $15 (students $10)



I pulled into the crowded parking lot at  the local shopping centre and  rolled down the car windows to make sure my Labrador Retriever pup  had fresh air.

She was stretched  full-out on the back seat and I wanted to impress upon her that she  must remain there. I walked to the kerb backward, pointing my finger  at the car and saying emphatically, “Now you stay. Do you hear  me?”

“Stay!  Stay!”

The  driver  of a nearby car, a pretty young blonde, gave me a strange look  and said,
“Why don’t you just put the hand brake  on’?”


 The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, October 25, 2019. Same time, same place, same amount of fun and entertainment. Now it is up to you all to help by planning on coming along and bringing loads of friends, family, acquaintances, etc. Please do your best to spread the word. Let me know if you would like a poster to put up.

Allan Water, Dunblane


What a great gift this newsletter would make (and it is free!!) Please pass along the website to your friends and ask them to subscribe.

Please keep opening the newsletter!! Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome.



If anyone has any suggestions or complaints regarding the newsletter, please let me know – Please do not complain to your server that this is junk mail. There is a link on the e-mail should you wish to unsubscribe.

 Arbroath signal tower


Come Scottish Country Dancing – it is lots of fun. Just ask anyone who came along to the Dancing in the Park. We had great audience participation so I hope you will all come along and join one of our great classes or at least come to one of the Ceilidh Dances.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = =

A blonde chick gets a job as a physical education teacher of 16 year olds.   She notices a boy in the field standing alone, while all the other kids are running around having fun.

She takes pity on him and decides to speak to him.
‘You ok?’ she says.

‘Yes.’ he says.

‘You can go and play with the other kids you know’ she says.

‘It’s best I stay here.’ he says.

‘Why’s that sweetie?’ says the blonde.

The boy says: “Because I’m the bloomin’ goal keeper!!!”
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, October 25, 2019 (i.e. the last Friday of the month) with live music by Calanais. This is the second dance of the season. We would like another good attendance with everyone coming along for a really fun evening

Ardrossan south beach

You still have time to spread the word about all the Ceilidh Dances as that is the best (and cheapest) form of advertising. It is great exercise and fun, for all ages, too. Here is a link where you can watch a short video of a Ceilidh Dance: and here is a link to the Facebook advert:
The format for all of the regular monthly Ceilidh Dances will be the same with the class from 7 – 8 p.m. and the dance from 8 – 11 p.m. and all dances will be walked and talked through.

They are all held at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver. The price is only – $15 or $10 for students which, for what you get is a super bargain – everyone is welcome. No partner is required and you should wear FLAT, comfy shoes and loose clothing. Children are also welcome but should be prepared to dance with other people as some of the dances require a change of partner. Don’t forget to bring a few extra $$$$ to help defray the cost of the refreshments which are otherwise free.


The Branch has opened a Facebook Page at “RSCDS-Vancouver” – check it out there are some good pictures etc. There is a link on both our website and the Branch website



Scottish Country Dance (SCD) classes are a place where you will be made very welcome.  Try the link to “classes” or go to and check for a class near you or one that has a convenient time and try it out.

Dance - blue

Come to a class soon – You will be made very welcome. Many classes have a policy that the first night is FREE! Plan to come along to try out a class. There are classes all around and on different nights so GIVE IT A GO! Go to either or www, for a list of class locations and times.

For those who don’t know SCD is a fabulous pastime (much better and lots more fun than golf!!) and is super exercise for body and mind. SCD is, naturally, rooted in Scotland but there are groups in almost every country so you can learn here and then dance with other groups when you vacation or travel. SCD is not to be confused with Highland Dancing which is more solo dancing. SCD is usually done with a partner in groups or sets however you do not need to come with a partner. It is more akin to Square Dancing.

It takes a year or two of classes, workshops, etc. to learn the basics then you can hone your skills in advanced classes. You start by learning the steps and formations. Dances (of which there are over 13,000) are made up of these formations so a good grounding will give you the ability to learn a new dance fairly quickly. SCD has its HQ in Scotland and is known as the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) and there is a Vancouver Branch of the RSCDS under which there are many clubs throughout the Province (there is also a Branch in Seattle).

There are a great many classes and the ones in the Vancouver area are listed on the website. Come along – check us out – the first night is usually free and thereafter it will average about $6 a night and that’s for a 2 hour class!   You will find many friendly people who will be eager to help you and welcome you to their club. You never know you actually might like it!!  Check the list of classes at either at or Note that the latter website has the latest updates to temporary changes to times and locations.


as well there are classes all up and down Vancouver Island, a number of the Gulf Islands, the Cariboo, Okanagan, Sunshine Coast, etc. etc. and there are various groups all over this great Province, Country, World and who knows where else! Check the Branch website for all these details –


Ardvreck castle



For upcoming events see and

Other announcements etc:
Seattle Branch
– info at ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held Friday, October 25th, 2019 in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, (73rd & Hudson which is between Oak & Granville), Vancouver,

We need everyone to help us get as many new comers (as well as former Ceilidh Dancers) as possible to come and join us. The Ceilidh Dances are a great way to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Invite all your friends along. Contact me if you will have a group of 8 or more and we can give them a discount!!!

We Really NEED YOUR HELP to advertise the Ceilidh Dances!!!! It only costs $15 ($10 for students) – it is worth so much more in fun, exercise and camaraderie. Use any access to free adverts etc. You can also use things like the YouTube link or the Face-book page

Suggestions to improve our advertising are always welcome. Don’t forget to tell them about the website and get them to “subscribe” to the newsletter.

Most of you have been to at least one Ceilidh Dance so you know how it goes. You don’t need a partner; you don’t need any experience; you should wear FLAT soft soled shoes; we walk, talk, and call every dance and you should come to have fun and have a good evening of exercise and entertainment and maybe even to learn!

There is a FREE class from 7 – 8 p.m. and the dance from 8 – 11 p.m. with music by Calanais. Remember to bring some extra cash so you can make a donation towards the cost of the refreshments. Without these donations we will have to increase the price of admission again!!

The schedule for the 2018/19 season shapes up as follows:
All on Fridays of course and, except for January, it is the last Friday of the Month —

October 25
November 29
January 10
February 28
March 27
April 24

Come along and get some great exercise while also having lots of fun. We hope to have lots of new Ceilidh dancers. Remember to bring your smiles and wear flat shoes.
Please do your best to assist us in letting as many people know as possible. Use Face-book, e-mail, telephone or even word of mouth and tell everyone you know what a fun night it is.

We would like to attract more young adults and students from Universities and all the colleges. Somehow we have to get word out to these students etc. Please do all you can to help us. Come one, come all to the same place (Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver) and the same time (7 p.m. for the class and 8 – 11 p.m. for the dance) and the same amazing price ($15 or $10 for students.)


You should check the website – – from time to time as you can find various pages listing “Ceilidhs and Events;” Classes:” Duncan’s List;” etc. On these pages you can check all the upcoming events, where all the classes are located, times, etc. and some places to find Scottish things or some local trades, etc. I will continue to highlight the more current events in each week’s newsletter but, as stated, the calendar of all events will be available on the website.

You should also have a look at the Vancouver Branch website from time to time – – as there is always useful information on it and it is a very good-looking site.

If you have any questions regarding the Ceilidh Dances send them to me at Please check the website – for updates, pictures and news.

Dance – it is good for your health.

Keep sending jokes, pictures and info you wish to have included. Don’t forget to look at our web pages at If you know of anyone who would like to be on the mailing list please send them the web address – and ask them to subscribe.


If anyone has good pictures from the Ceilidh Dances please send them to me so I can put them on the web page. If you have any announcements please send them to me preferably in Word; Times New Roman 12pt format with a layout similar to the one used in this newsletter. I occasionally hear of an event somewhere in our beautiful Province, on the Island or in the Interior, but don’t know all the details.


This newsletter reaches out to some 392 subscribers from all over the Province, Country and to many other countries as well, so please send me the details of your event and I will only be too happy to include them.


Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh


Enjoy yourselves – come Scottish Country Dancing – for it is good for your health and you never know you just might …..!

See Coming Events on the website for info –

May your troubles be one, may your blessings be more,
and may nothing but happiness come through your door.

Duncan MacKenzie