Ceilidh Dance newsletter – 2012/13 #20

My very best wishes to everyone for a wonderful year with lots of dancing.

The first Ceilidh Dance of 2013 was very well attended with well over 80 dancers of which 70 had red noses (some flashing) for the Red Nose Jig which was taught by Katherine (I stole the idea from her).   It took me quite some time to find 70 red flashing noses and I guess some may have flashed themselves dead in my garage.   It looked very good and everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.   I meant to introduce another new dance but completely forgot about it so “OXO” will be on for the next Ceilidh Dance on February 1.

Many, many thanks to all who help make these dances so much fun for the dancers and for me too.  Francis who helped me set up and stayed to clean up too, Bonnie, Richard and Gillian on the door etc., many dancers who come along to help the new dancers, Katherine who teaches some dances – I should let her teach more as she is much more gentle with you all! – and of course the members of Calanais our house band

We had three birthdays to celebrate and there was some birthday cake(s) too though I missed out on them.   Brendan & Clare came along – I ran some Ceilidh dancing at their wedding and two young couples were there to ask about their weddings later this year.

There are some very good pictures taken at the January 4, 2013 Ceilidh Dance which have been posted on the RSCDS Vancouver Branch Facebook page.   If you do not want your picture on that page please contact web@rscdsvancouver.org.   The link for the pictures is:


The next Ceilidh Dance will be on Friday, February 1, 2013.   Yes, I know it is not the last Friday of the month but there are so many Burns Suppers that I am involved in at the end of January and, of course, Mr. Burns birthday is on the 25th so, as in prior years, we put the Ceilidh Dance off for 1 week.

That means there are two Ceilidh Dances in February so you get a bonus!

On a sad note – Dub Fortenberry, 95, who had been a staunch supporter of both the Seattle and Vancouver Branches passed away early in 2013.


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 absolutely no responses.   Either everyone was flummoxed or you were into the New Year spirits!!    I may have to try it again in a future newsletter.   You can look back at last week’s and most prior newsletters by going to our website at www.vancouverceilidh.org.

This week’s photo is quite a distinctive bay with a very narrow opening.   To my eye it looks more West than East coast but I may be completely wrong.   Hopefully at least one reader will recognize it and send me an e-mail – ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org

Union Canal

It is twelfth night and just a few hours to get your Christmas decorations and tree down before you run into bad luck!!   We managed to get our house all cleared up this afternoon.  The tree is back in its box but I need help from my grandson to get it back up on the high shelf in the garage.  Other than that we are done for another year.   We spent a quiet but happy hogmanay by taking our older neighbour to see Les Miserables at the local White Rock Cinema.  We both enjoyed the film but our neighbour was surprised that it was a musical.  Sometimes when you are expecting something and it turns out to be something else it makes it less enjoyable than it should be and this was the case, I think, for our dear elderly neighbour.   We came back to the house and brought the New Year in with very little ceremony then to her home but we did not go in so we did not “first foot” her but, I guess, we did “first foot” ourselves.

There are many Burns events coming up this and next month and they can’t all be on January 25th.   So far the Branch Demonstration Team are dancing at 12 events so they are really busy.   Their first event will be our own Branch Burns Supper on Saturday, January 19.   Tickets  ($55 ) are still available and can be bought online at www.rscdsvancouver.org  The dance programme includes a few easy dances so this event will be fun for all.

There is also another Burns Supper on Saturday, January 26 in White Rock where the Tam O’Shanter Dancers will be performing.   This is another fun event and there will be Ceilidh dancing after the entertainment.   Tickets for this ($52) – and there are only a few left – can be reserved by contacting me at ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org

Did you know that Scotland has been voted as THE place to visit in 2013.

As you know 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 2012.   Well we nearly made it falling just 6 subscribers short.   This newsletter will go out to 392 plus there are 2 more who are sitting waiting for them to accept the confirmation e-mail.   Please pass along the website to your friends and maybe they will subscribe – www.vancouverceilidh.org

 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.

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

I sent this link out to many friends last week as I laughed when I saw the U-Tube and I think many of you will enjoy it as well —



WHY PEOPLE MARRY AND OTHERS DON’THere are some quotes to inspire you….)I recently read that love is entirely a matter of chemistry.  That must be why my wife treats me like toxic waste.David Bissonette

When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.
Sacha Guitry


Valley of the Moffat Water

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

Events happening early in 2013 include 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:

This year’s TAC Summer School of Scottish Country Dancing will be held in Mount Allison University, New Brunswick.   Registration for all levels from beginner to advanced is now open and information can be found at www.tac-rscds.org


Wallace Monument near Stirling



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 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)
Feb 8 – 10 Edmonton Caledonian Branch Annual Workshop and Ball with teachers Pat Coyle, Canada; Janet Johnston, Scotland and Alan Twhigg, USA and music by Scottish Accent.   Information and registration forms at www.rscdsedmonton.com/content/2013-43rd-annual-workshop-and-ball
Feb  9 Bellingham monthly dance
Feb  9 RSCDS San Francisco Branch Valentine’s Ball with music by Andy Imbrie and The Reel of Seven.  All info from  sharon.stewart@comcast.net

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



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

On January 11 they are delighted to have Brian Crisafulli and Bill Boyd playing for the class.


A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.   Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.

He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you.” The young executives were Shocked, but the boss continued. “I am going to give each one of you a SEED today – one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you.   I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO.”

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed.He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.   Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.   By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by — still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however, he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil – He so wanted the seed to grow.   A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection.

Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at
the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful — in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives.   Jim just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO. “Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!”   All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!”

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed – Jim told him the story.   The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, “Behold your next Chief Executive Officer!   His name is Jim!” Jim couldn’t believe it. Jim couldn’t even grow his seed.

“How could he be the new CEO?” the others said.

Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow.   All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!”


Wick Bay

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

“Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.” – Moses Hadas

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God’s Pharmacy! Amazing!

Onions  look like the body’s cells.  Today’s research shows onions help clear waste materials from  all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the  epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also  helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from  the body.


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The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, February 1, 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.  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.

Kirkhill sunrise

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


Aberdeen beach

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

Alness Point

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:

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

Answer:   Iceberg

This week:

Each morning I appear
To lie at your feet,
All day I will follow
No matter how fast you run,
Yet I nearly perish
In the midday sun.


Altnacealgach Motel

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, February 1, 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!!

New Year Dip!!

The schedule for the 2012/13 season shapes up as follows:
All on Fridays of course —
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.

Arrochar Alps and Loch Katrine

1. Which is correct to say, “The yolk of the egg are white” or “The yolk of the egg is white”?

2. If a farmer has 5 haystacks in one field and 4 haystacks in the other field, how many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in another field?


 New Year bonfire in Biggar

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 394 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

1. Which is correct to say, “The yolk of the egg are white” or “The yolk of the egg is white”?

Answer: Neither, the yolk of the egg is yellow [Duh]

2. If a farmer has 5 haystacks in one field and 4 haystacks in the other field, how many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in another field?

Answer: One. If he combines all of his haystacks, they all become one big stack.



Girlie Wisdom! 
The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight because by then, your body and your fat are really good friends.
Amazing! You hang something in your closet for a while and it shrinks 2 sizes!



Thanks,  I send my compliments of the season to You and Yours.    I hope 2013 will be a year full of joy, peace, good health and lots of Scottish Country Dancing.

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

New Year fireworks – Carlton Hill, Edinburgh

Fireball procession in Stonehaven

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