Ceilidh Dance newsletter – 2012/13 #18

The next Ceilidh Dance is not until next year!!  Here we are nearing the end of December and my calendar is well marked up.   So what better way to begin the New Year than with a Ceilidh Dance on Friday, January 4, 2013.    We hope everyone will be trying their best to come along and to bring all their friends as well. The timing is great as the dance will let you work off all those goodies that you have already started to enjoy over the Festive Season!


I am continuing to include these pictures of Scotland that I have been sent without any note as to where they are. Last week’s picture brought only two responses but I am sure on investigation that it was correct in saying it is Kinloch Castle on the island of Rhum and so have labelled it as such. You can look back at last week’s and most prior newsletters by going to our website at www.vancouverceilidh.org.

A number of years ago my late brother-in-law and my wife’s sister treated us to a trip to Rhum and an overnight stay in the castle which, back then, was run as a guest house.  There were only a few other guests so we really had the castle with all its antiques to ourselves.   We dined in the grand dining room, played snooker and admired all the rooms.  The plumbing had not been updated but it gave us lots of surprises.   There were so many taps etc. in the shower that allowed you to have water coming from all angles – even from below which was quite a shock!!   Looking back it was amazing how little security there was but I suppose we had to take the wee ferry boat to get off the island.   The castle was one of the first places in Scotland to have electricity and even the kennels were heated but not the staff quarters!!

This week may be the another easy one and if I do not hear from all the Arran aficionados then I can only assume they are all away and are having too much sun!

Loch Carron from Lochcarron

Well winter has arrived and there was snow, briefly, all over the ground and trees last Tuesday.   It was so bad that it took me nearly 2 hours to get to work and I did not leave until after 9 a.m.   Luckily it had mostly melted by the time I came home although some areas were hit worse than we were out here in the banana belt.   The new Port Mann bridge had to be closed due to ice bombs falling from the wire supports and there were jack knifed trucks all over the place.   All clear now and we are looking forward to another beautiful green Christmas.

We had dinner down in Gastown on Friday night and then walked along to the Firehall Arts Theatre to see “Hotel Bethlehem” which was most enjoyable and if you get the chance try and see it.   The play may be continuing at the Shadbolt Theatre but you can check that out.   It is written by a local playwright whose comments in the programme included – “I am currently living in Thailand, struggling daily with the 31C weather, constant blue skies, palm trees, beaches, and cheap and delicious Thai food.   So you can imagine how thrilling it is to get a break from that to come back to Vancouver: the moist sunshine, the sky that comforting grey colour like your grandmother’s skin, that preserving temperature that gets right down into your bones!”   

The show is a delightful romp and very well acted and performed by the eleven performers plus one which included two called Mary but not the one you think it would be.   I had not been to the Firehall before and it is a small intimate theatre seating about 150 and it looked as if it was almost sold out.   Well worth the price of admission.

Yesterday we celebrated Christmas – we belong to a very small sect “Grandparents without grandchildren.”   Yes the only two of our grandchildren who live nearby are off today to spend the holidays with their other Grandparents in Atlanta then Florida.   We can’t compete with that but we did enjoy a family turkey dinner, gift giving, etc. and feel well into the season now.

The annual Betwixt and Between Dance is on Friday, December 28 at 7:30 in the Scottish Cultural Centre with music by Mary Ross from Victoria (well Mary is from Victoria but she will be here in person on the 28th with her accordion.)   The dance, which starts at 7:30 p.m., costs $15 but it is FREE to all RSCDS Members!!

The readership of, or at least the number of subscribers to, this newsletter has gone down by three and up by four to at total of 389.   Can you all help me to get it above the 400 mark by the end of the year?   You just have to get 11 friends to sign up!!   There used to be many more but, I am sure, those now on the list are the creme de la creme. Please pass along the website to your friends and maybe they will subscribe – www.vancouverceilidh.org

             Proof that men DO remember:

A woman awakes during the night to find that her husband is not in bed. She puts on her robe and goes downstairs to look for him.   She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a hot cup of coffee in front of him.

He appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall.

She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of his coffee.   ‘What’s the matter, dear?’ she whispers as she steps in to the room, ‘Why are you down here at this time of night?

The husband looks up from his coffee, ‘It’s the 20th Anniversary of the day we met’.

She can’t believe he has remembered and starts to tear up.

The husband continues, ‘Do you remember 20 years ago when we started dating? I was 18 and you were only 16,’ he says solemnly.

 Once again, the wife is touched to tears thinking that her husband is so caring and sensitive.   ‘Yes, I do’ she replies.

The husband pauses. The words were not coming easily. ‘Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?’

‘Yes, I remember’ said the wife, lowering herself in to a chair beside him.

The husband continued. ‘Do you remember when he shoved the shotgun in my face and said, ‘Either you marry my daughter or I will send you to prison for 20 years?’

‘I remember that, too’ she replied softly.

He wiped another tear from his cheek and said ‘I would have gotten out today.’

Note: the Celtic Treasure Chest has some Christmas specials and a note that until Christmas the Dunbar store will be open 7 days a week. – for the exact hours and more info see www.celtictreasurechest.ca.     Just say you read about it in this newsletter.

If you missed the concert a few weeks featuring Sir Paul here is a link for “Mull of Kintyre” with Paul and the Delta Police Pipe Band:

If anyone has any suggestions or complaints regarding the newsletter please let me know – ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org ==============================================================

I enjoyed this  – thanks Jim:


Then click on “Best Christmas Lights Display”


Men Are Just Happier People

· A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.

· A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.

· Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.

· Women somehow deteriorate during the night.



We have received many lovely Christmas cards both through the airwaves and by mail for which many, many thanks.   I have had greetings from John Ellis, John Carmichael and Marian Anderson (all band leaders in Scotland) who asked to be remembered to everyone in Vancouver.

Events happening in 2012 – well there is only one locally:

The Betwixt and Between Dance on Friday, December 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Scottish Cultural Centre – details below.

See “Coming Events” below for all information

Note that there are still a few spaces available for the RSCDS Winter School:



One Mayan guy says to the other “want a beer?”

Other Mayan guy says “ I’m working on this calendar but I guess if I don’t finish it, it won’t be the end of the world.”

(Thanks to Jim S)


Dec 28 Betwixt and Between dance at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver at 7:30 p.m. with music by Mary Ross — Admission free to RSCDS Members – $15 for non members.   A seasonal tradition sponsored in part by the Mary Wattum Fund.   Please bring a small offering of seasonal fare to share at the supper table.
Jan  4 Ceilidh Dance at the Scottish Cultural Centre — class at 7 dance 8 — 11 Admission $10 (students $8)
Jan 4/6 Twelfth Night Masked Ball & Retreat in Galveston Texas — www.twelfthnight-maskedball.org   The event co-chair is Judi Hallenbeck who used to dance & teach in WA.   She suggests a cruise to follow!!
Jan 7 – 10 All classes will be starting up — see www.rscdsvancouver.org for a list of locations and times — everyone including beginners welcome.   Do come along it is fun and great exercise for mind and body.
Jan 12 Bellingham monthly dance
Jan 14 Vancouver Branch class re-starts
Jan 19 Vancouver Branch Burns Supper in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver — Bar 6:00 p.m. Dinner 7:00 p.m. — music by the Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra — tickets $55 can be bought through club reps., pcavers@shaw.ca or through Paypal on the Branch website — www.rscdsvancouver.org
Jan 26 Tam O’Shanter Dancers 19th Annual Burns Supper, “Burns: A National Symbol.”    Star of the Sea Hall, 15262 Pacific Avenue, White Rock – tickets $52 from any member or phone 604-536-9481 e-mail duncanmackenzie@telus.net   Doors/Bar 5:30; Supper 6:30; Dress informal
Feb  1 Ceilidh Dance at the Scottish Cultural Centre — class at 7 dance 8 — 11 Admission $10 (students $8)


Seattle Branch announces the start of their Challenge Class which are held on the 2nd Friday each month (next one on January 11) in the upper building, Room 7, Phinney Neighbourhood Association, 4532 Phinney Avenue, North Seattle at 7:30 p.m.

See website www.vancouverceilidh.org for a more complete list.


I dreamt that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around.  We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels.  My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, “This is the Receiving Section.  Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are received.”    I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world.

Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.  The angel then said to me, “This is the Packaging and Delivery Section.  Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them.”  I noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth.

Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of a very small station.  To my great surprise, only one angel was seated there, idly doing nothing.  “This is the Acknowledgment Section,” my angel friend quietly admitted to me.  He seemed embarrassed.

“How is it that there is no work going on here?” I asked.

“So sad,” the angel sighed.  “After people receive the blessings that they asked for, very few send back acknowledgments.”

“How does one acknowledge God’s blessings? ” I asked.

“Simple,” the angel answered.  “Just say, Thank you, Lord.”

“What blessings should they acknowledge?”  I asked.

“If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.  If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.”

“And if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity.”

“If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day.”

“If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation… You are ahead of 700 million people in the world.”

“If you can attend a House of Worship without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people in the world.”

“If your parents are still alive and still married…you are very rare.”

“If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you’re unique to all those in doubt and despair…….”

OK, what now?  How can I start?

If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you as very special and you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

Have a good day, count your blessings, and if you care to, pass this along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are.

ATTN: Acknowledge Dept.

“Thank you, Lord, for giving me the ability to share this message and for giving me so many wonderful people with whom to share it.”

Frost on fence post

When Insults Had Class
These glorious insults are from an era before the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words.

“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” Clarence Darrow 

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

God’s Pharmacy! Amazing!

Olives assist the health and function  of the ovaries


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

Monikie Country Park

The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, January 4, 2013 – that is the NOT last Friday of the month! You have some time to spread the word about all the Ceilidh Dances as that is the best (and cheapest) form of advertising. What a great way to start the New Year – bring all your friends to the Ceilidh Dance. Classes won’t start until the following week. 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MvUwZnY9Ms

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. The price is only – $10 or $8 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.

Moon over Loch Awe

For those who enjoy listening to Scottish music, song, banter etc. try www.andysceilidh.co.uk/ this is a radio programme that you can get sent to you and listen any time you want. Andy is asking everyone to send in their requests so if you have a favourite Scottish tune, song, recitation, band, performer, choir or whatever send an e-mail to andyrossbw@aol.com


Near Scone

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

The perfect storm 2012 at Stonehaven

It really is never too late to come along and join in one of many Scottish Country Dance (SCD) classes and JANUARY is a great time to do it as all the classes will be starting up again. 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 next week. There are classes all around and on different nights so


Go to either www.rscdsvancouver.org or www,vancouverceilidh.org for a list of class locations and times.

For those who don’t know SCD is a fabulous pastime which 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 get the basics learnt 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 also are Branches in Victoria and Seattle). There are a great many classes and the ones in the Vancouver area are listed below. 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 www.vancouverceilidh.org or www.rscdsvancouver.org. 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, 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 – www.rscdsvancouver.org

Also the Inverary Step Dance class on Wednesdays in the French School, 1555 West 7th Ave., Vancouver- info b_campbell@dccnet.com


Riddles (answer next week)

Last week:

I drive men mad
For love of me,
Easily beaten,
Never free.

Answer:   Gold

This week:

When set loose
I fly away,
Never so cursed
As when I go astray.



After the storm – damage to 200 year old harbour at Portmahomack

For upcoming events see www.vancouverceilidh.org and www.rscdsvancouver.org.

Other announcements etc:

Seattle Branch – info at www.rscds-seattle.org


The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, January 4, 2013 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 12 or more and we can give them a discount!!!

We Really NEED YOUR HELP to advertise the Ceilidh Dances!!!! What a nice way to celebrate the New Year. It really is good exercise as the ladies from Children’s Hospital found out in September. They thought it was way better than Yoga and said they will tell all their colleagues at the hospital to come to the next dance AND to bring their other friends, spouses, partners, etc. It only costs $10 – 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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh2HV3OPBgw or the Face-book page https://www.facebook.com/p.php?i=116203315&k=Z5C5Y4TZPT6G6BD1PKZZTWQQQ6BAW26L34AV&oid=164741310207760 Suggestions to improve our advertising are always welcome. Don’t forget to tell them about the website www.vancouverceilidh.org and get them to “subscribe” to the newsletter.

The cost is still the amazingly low price of $10 or $8 for students and we provide refreshments although we do ask for your donations towards their cost. We always need your support both by coming along and by helping us to advertise these dances by whatever means you use to communicate with your friends be it e-mail, Face-Book, Twitter, Text or even telephone! 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 on 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 2012/13 season shapes up as follows:
All on Fridays of course —
January 4
February 1
February 22
March 22
April 26

Come along and get some great exercise while also having lots of fun. We are still working on improving the strength of the smile muscles as well as the bows and curtsies! 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 need to attract students from UBC, SFU and all the other colleges and universities. Somehow we have to get word out to these students. 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 ($10 or $8 for students.)
You should check the website – www.vancouverceilidh.org – 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 – www.rscdsvancouver.org – 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 ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org

Please check the website – www.rscdsvancouver.org for updates, pictures and news.
Dance — it is good for your health.

Neep harvest


1. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?

2. What word in the English Language is always spelled incorrectly?

3. Billy was born on December 28th, yet his birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible?



Keep sending jokes, pictures and info you wish to have included. Don’t forget to look at our web pages at www.vancouverceilidh.org

If you know of anyone who would like to be on the mailing list please send them the web address – www.vancouverceilidh.org 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 389 subscribers (up another 1!) 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. Note:- I normally compose the newsletters on Sundays.

Here are the Answers
1. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?

Answer: There is no dirt in a hole.

2. What word in the English Language is always spelled incorrectly?

Answer: Incorrectly

3. Billy was born on December 28th, yet her birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible?

Answer: Billy lives in the Southern Hemisphere

Aggie and Jock  went to the Highland Games every summer. Derek was often in attendance, offering to take folks up for a short ride in his helicopter. Tickets for the ride were twenty five pounds and Jock would dearly love to go, but Aggie wasn’t one to waste her funds. “Twenty five pound is twenty five pound”, she would say. Years went by, and finally Jock took a stand. “I am eighty years old. If I don’t go on a helicopter ride this year, I may never get another chance” but Aggie held firm to the purse strings. Derek, recognizing an opportunity, offered them a deal. “I will take you both up in the helicopter. If neither of you say a word, the ride will be free, but if either of you say even one word, you will owe me fifty pound for two tickets.” Now Derek thought that he was betting on a sure thing because Aggie was known for her wagging tongue.

So up they went. Up over the Games field, swooping out over the sea lock, down over Lock Lomond. Not a peep. So he tried more daring measures. Over the shoulder of Ben Nevis, out over Skye and the Cuillons. Still not a peep. Derek finally realized that all the petrol was costing him more than the lost fares, so he flew back to the Games field and landed. When they climbed out of the helicopter, it was only Derek and Jock. “What happened to Aggie?”

“Oh, she fell out over Skye, but fifty pound is fifty pound”

(Thanks to Donna)


Thanks I send you my very best wishes for a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever you celebrate at this time.  I hope to see you at the Betwixt & Between or somewhere nice.

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

River Etive & Buachaille Etive Mor

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

Duncan ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org