Ceilidh Dance newsletter – 2012/13 #19

My compliments of the Season to You and to Yours.   I was taught it was unlucky to wish anyone “H.N.Y.” before it arrived so I will wait until next week to send out that hope.

The next Ceilidh Dance is not until next year and that happens THIS WEEK!!  Yes the Ceilidh Dance is THIS Friday, January 4, 2013 –  what better way to begin the New Year than with a Ceilidh Dance.    We hope everyone will be trying their best to come along on Friday 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 quite a few responses and all in agreement which, I think, is a first.   The picture is of Lochranza on the Isle of Arran taken, I think from the pier.  You can look back at last week’s and most prior newsletters by going to our website at www.vancouverceilidh.org.

There was not the overwhelming number of guesses though so maybe Arran isn’t as popular as I thought.   I was never an Arranite or whatever they call themselves.  When young my family only had one holiday on the Isle and, of course it rained for the whole two weeks plus it was cold though not so cold as to discourage the midges!!  My wife on the other hand loves the place and has taken me there on a few occasions so I could admire the huge beach at Corrie where she spent hours as a child (it is hardly bigger than the room I am in now maybe 12 x 12).   I do admit it is a pretty place but she has not managed to hook me – yet.

This week there is no road sign to make it easy but maybe one of you has stayed at one of these fine looking homes.


Well winter has retreated again and long may it remain so.  It is wet and cool but no shovelling – snow anyway.   I did some shovelling yesterday but that was leaves and cedar droppings.   I have to try and put something in our new green garbage cans every week if for no other reason than to keep the kitchen waste from breaking out of the bag and spreading all over the can which would mean I would have to hose it out!!

Well we had a wonderful Christmas Eve at a house party after which we went to the midnight service at St. Andrew’s Wesley Church near the Vancouver city centre.   We used to go there when Mary Wattum was alive.   It was a very enjoyable service with lots of lovely well known carols and some great music from Mary’s organ, a trumpeter, two soloists and the choir.   The church was packed and we felt lucky to have found a space near the bottom of the parking lot beside the church.  We knew we would be held up by all the cars leaving above us but we did not reckon on the gate closing before we had all got out.   I think it must have taken about 40 minutes or so to find someone who could open it again!!   We then did a tour of the city and got home about 1:30 when we would normally have got busy filling stockings etc.  Of course we had done all that last weekend so instead – I have no idea why – Margaret did some research on the web while I read and we finally got to bed after 3!!

It must have been the quietest Christmas Day we have ever had in our lives.  No children, no family, no guests, just the two of us so we stayed in bed until nearly noon!   Our daughter phone us as well as one son and we had skyped the other two families shortly beforehand.  We ate left over turkey etc. and had a very peaceful day.

The annual Betwixt and Between Dance last Friday was reasonably well attended with about 90 dancers.  We all enjoyed the music of Mary Ross from Victoria and the host of others who accompanied her through her equipment.   Thanks to a wonderful legacy from Mary Wattum the dance is FREE to all RSCDS Members!!   It was a good programme with a mix of easy and challenging dances.   There was masses of food and so much leftover.   I thing some was taken down to the Salvation Army hostel.   Many thanks to all who helped but in particular (alphabetically) Frances Caruth, Patricia Hollingdale and Jean Wagstaff.

I have been trying to get the readership of, or at least the number of subscribers to, this newsletter above the 400 mark by the end of the year?   I had hoped you all might have helped find the 11 more that were needed but it looks as if I will fall short of my goal.  About 6 people promised me this past week they would sign up but they haven’t so far.  I should be more optimistic there are still a day or so left!!  Please pass along the website to your friends and maybe they will subscribe – www.vancouverceilidh.org

Has anyone heard the phrase “sliddery winter?”   I could not find anything on the web though must try again.   My mother used to say that was what they called the last person in a household to get up on Hogmanay – I was often the sleepy head!!

 Note: the Celtic Treasure Chest has some Christmas specials. – For the exact hours and more info see www.celtictreasurechest.ca.     Just say you read about it in this newsletter.

It is coming so set your alarms!!

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

This is not a joke, click on the link below and put in your address and it will show you snow falling outside your house!!

This is quite astonishing. How “they” do it is mind boggling. Makes you wonder what is happening that we don’t know about.    The picture of your house may not be it’s best aspect, but how “they” are able to get it up so quickly is astonishing..

PS. The originators of this is a group called Pusher. Pusher is a digital creative agency with offices in Sydney and Brisbane.



Men Are Just Happier People

· Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
· A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.THOUGHT FOR THE DAY A married man should forget his mistakes. There’s no use in two people remembering the same thing!

Pirnmill Beach

Many thanks for the many e-mailed cards, congratulations and greetings

Events happening early in 2013 include the Ceilidh Dance this coming Friday (January 4); the Branch Burns Supper on January 19 and the Tam O’Shanter’s Burns Supper on January 26.   Please see “Coming Events” below for all information.

On Friday, January 25, 2013, the Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Scottish Studies is again organizing a Marathon Recitation of Burns’s Poetry and Song.  Our goal is to break our 2012 record of 4 hours, 9 minutes and 24 seconds!!  We know it can be done and we know we will have a fun and inspiration time doing it!     The event will happen at the SFU Harbour Centre (515 West Hastings St., Vancouver) from 9am until 4pm.  We are encouraging dignitaries, media personal, SFU students, faculty and staff as well as the numerous members of our vast Scottish community throughout the Lower Mainland to come out and read or sing their favourite works by Burns. (Or if you don’t have a favourite, we can supply you with one).  The reading will be supplemented by piping and maybe even some haggis eating as well as other forms of entertainment.  People from all over the world are ready to help us with our goal and we will have readers and singers joining us through Skype.  This will certainly be a global event!

It would be wonderful if you’d like to participate and join us. Bring along your favourite Burns piece or we can help you find something to read (and even explain what it means).  Please contact Tricia Barker tbarker@sfu.ca if you want to be a part of setting this new world record!  If you’re not comfortable with reading please come and watch and join us for the celebration.  There will be refreshments and entertainment for all!


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


A kind-hearted Scot……..

My wife and I walked past a swanky new restaurant last night.   “Did you smell that food?” she asked. “Incredible!”
Being the kind hearted Scot that I am, I thought, “What the heck, I’ll treat her.”

So we walked past it again.

(Thanks to Jim M)


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 Most 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 25 SFU Burns Marathon SFU Harbour Centre (515 West Hastings St., Vancouver) from 9am until 4pmSee newsletter.  Please contact Tricia Barker tbarker@sfu.ca if you want to be a part of setting this new world record! 
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 semi-formal
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.

After a long night of making love, the guy notices a photo of another man, on the woman’s nightstand by the bed.  He begins to worry.   ‘Is this your husband?’ he nervously asks.

‘No, silly,’ she replies, snuggling up to him.

‘Your boyfriend, then?’ he continues.

‘No, not at all,’ she says, nibbling away at his ear.

‘Is it your dad or your brother?’ he inquires, hoping to be reassured.

‘No, no, no! You are so hot when you’re jealous!’ she answers.

‘Well, who in the hell is he, then?’ he demands.

She whispers in his ear

‘That’s me before the surgery.’ … 




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

“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” – William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).


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

God’s Pharmacy! Amazing!

Oranges , Grapefruits, and other  Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female  and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement  of lymph in and out of the breasts.

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

Stonehaven Harbour
The sea looks angry in a recent storm – you can maybe make out a face at the very top.

The next Ceilidh Dance is THIS Friday, January 4, 2013.   You still 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.

St. Monan’s

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


Sunset at Hopeman

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

Sunset over Glenrothes

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:

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

Answer:   A fart!

This week:

Lighter than what
I am made of,
More of me is hidden
Than is seen.



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 this 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.

Tay Bridge

1. In California, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?

2. What was the President’s Name in 1975?

3. If you were running a race, and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in no



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 (no change from last week!) 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


Manure… An interesting, albeit, slightly distasteful fact.

Manure : In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship and it was also before the invention of commercial fertilizers, so large shipments of manure were quite common.

It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, not only did it become heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by-product is methane gas of course. As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen.  Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern, BOOOOM!

Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening.
After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the instruction “Stow High In Transit” on them, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.

Thus evolved the term ‘ S.H.I.T ‘, (Stow High In Transit) which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.

You probably did not know the true history of this word.

Neither did I.

I had always thought it was a golf term.

Thanks,  I send my compliments of the season to You and Yours.    I hope you have a pleasant Hogmanay and that I will see you at the Ceilidh Dance on Friday,  or somewhere nice.

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

The Cobler

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

Trying to learn how to make the letters work but still needs lots of work!!

Duncan ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org

Thought this was very good – all I need now is to find out how to change the year.   I feel it is unlucky to wish you a Happy New Year until it has arrived but as this is for 2 years ago I think I am safe!!