Well the Burns Season is nearly upon us.   I hope you have got your tickets to the events you want to attend.   The one in White Rock on January 25 is sold out and has a waiting list.    You better get online or on the phone and get yourselves organised.   The Branch Burns Supper on February 1 still has tickets for sale and I am sure there are many other places you can go but don’t leave it too late!!

The Winter Olympics are coming up and while they are not in Vancouver this time we should still be giving our support to all the Canadian athletes who will be representing our Country in Sochi.   We actually have a closer connection to one as Dave Duncan, who is a Cross Skier, in the grandson of the late Jim & Marion Duncan who were very active members of the Glenayre club as well as the Vancouver Branch.

There is a concert this Thursday at the Rogue Folk Club featuring Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas.   Alasdair is one of Scotland’s premier fiddlers and while he does not play too often now for Scottish Country Dances he has done in the past.   Alasdair is now mainly on the concert circuit but he also runs Fiddle Camps in San Francisco (Valley of the Moon), Nevada, Skye and in Spain.   This is a “must” concert for any fiddle lover.  Information is on the Events list and at https://www.roguefolk.bc.ca/concerts/

The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, February 7, 2014 – in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.   This would be a fun and inexpensive way to have an early celebration of St. Valentine’s Day or maybe a great way to celebrate the Year of the Wooden Horse – Chinese New Year.  Tell at least 2 friends to join you, forward this e-mail to more friends and encourage them to sign up for the newsletter and to come to the Ceilidh Dance.  What a great way to have a fun, inexpensive night out and think of the great exercise you get as well which we all will need after these yummy goodies we have indulged in.

I have already told you that the Tam O’Shanter’s Burns Supper to be held on Saturday, January 25 in the Star of the Sea Hall in White Rock is sold out.   So why not try the one a week later on Saturday, February 1 and is hosted by the Vancouver Branch and held in the Scottish Cultural Centre.   Tickets are $55   via PayPal at www.rscdsvancouver.org or from club rep or even patcavers@shaw.ca .   The dance programme is mostly easy dances for everyone and it is always a fun evening.

Winter - loch_lomond Luss
Loch Lomond at Luss

The SFU Centre for Scottish Studies will be holding its 3rd Annual Robbie Burns Day Marathon Reading on Saturday, January 25th, 2014. They are attempting to set another World Record for the “Longest Continual Recitation of Burns’s Poetry and Song,” and you are invited.

Last year they logged in a time of 5 hours, 41 minutes and 57 seconds, and this year they plan to beat that record! Tricia Barker from the Centre for Scottish Studies commented, “So many people came along last year to join in the fun.  We also had a full audience watching the proceedings.  There were the recitations, but also songs and the occasional Skypes from all over! Last year included a singer from the UK singing “Auld Lang Syne” to a man sitting in his car on the side of the highway in Langley!  For 2014 we are adding a Burns Symposium alongside the Marathon and are encouraging people to bring their Robbie Burns treasures to show off.  It will be a place to learn more about Burns with some interesting talks by the local experts. And of course we will be serving some haggis and shortbread.”

Part of the charm of this event is the wide range of people taking part. Yes, there are the well-known faces that will add their voices, but there are also many people who are speaking for the first time in public. The audience appreciates of all the entrants, and it’s heartwarming to see the wide range of people share their love of Scotland’s national bard.

The event starts at 9am on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at the Teck Gallery,  SFU Harbour Centre Campus, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver.

To see what happened last year visit: https://www.scottish.sfu.ca/sfus_robert_burns_marathon

For more information or to register contact: Tricia Barker, tbarker@sfu.ca

Here are link another three Canadian regiments which were part of the decorations at the Lady Aberdeen Tea Dance on November 11, 2013.

 Lady Aberdeen 18 Lady Aberdeen 19 Lady Aberdeen 20     

Alison commented “The information was gathered off websites etc. It is only the basics of the wealth of historical and current information available. I included only the older ‘regiments’ – there are many other corps and units, plus naval ships and Air Force squadrons – and Engagement or Battle Honour information up to World War II. There is much more about each regiment’s more recent activities in Korea, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and many Peace-keeping duties.”



I do not enjoy computer jokes . Not one bit .

I changed my i Pod name to Titanic . It’s syncing now .

When chemists die, they barium .

Jokes about German sausage are the wurst .


Winter - Lochcarron


An article in a recent edition of the National Post is applicable to the Ball and to Scottish Country Dancing in general. Check out https://life.nationalpost.com/2013/11/02/jane-macdougall-it-battle-of-fun-vs-the-gym-scottish-dancing-wins-every-time/ Thanks Gill for the tip.



The dance competition has now closed and a winning dance has been chosen and submitted to RSCDS HQ in Scotland.   I don’t know any details other than it was a very hard decision as there were a lot of super dances submitted.


Winter - lochleventoglencoe

Loch Leven looking towards Glencoe



DJ  Mark:
For 10, what is the  nationality of the Pope?

Ruth from Rowley  Regis:
I think I know that one. Is it Jewish?


The Highland Games Committee still needs volunteers for next year. They need to fill these positions: Children’s Events Co-ordinator – organizing the line-up of events which is pretty easy to do, and day of just making sure everything runs smoothly Programs – this job takes more work in the last couple of months prior to the games, making sure all copy is submitted, having it put into a program and submitted to a printer. Sponsorship/Advertising and promotion – Cher is going to do the social media aspect, Mary Jane may be around to help out again for sponsorship and advertising, but we need extra help. Someone to develop an advertising plan, to find new advertisers and sponsorships, and to be responsible for writing requests for grants and sponsorships from a list that the City of Coquitlam has provided.

Any volunteers can contact Jim – james.e.bain@gmail.com Joan – jdrabyk@shaw.ca or myself. Glenna Urbshadt – gurbshadt@shaw.ca



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Winter - Lochluichart


Not a bad turn out for my class last Tuesday and 3 new dancers as well.   I hope they keep coming back.  It wasn’t too bad at the first Ceilidh Dance of the year either with over 55 in attendance to enjoy the good music of Calanais, a few yummy morsels, a drink or two and some fun dances.   I came down with a cold after practice on Monday night so maybe wasn’t at my best at the Ceilidh but folks seemed to enjoy themselves.   The next dance is on February 7, 2014.

“Burns Season” has started for many of us especially those in Demonstration Teams.   There will be many events around town as well some local ones that may be advertised in your local paper, while others arrange private ones in their homes.   Many churches, Legions, Social Clubs, etc. run Burns Suppers so make sure you support them in your area.  One I can recommend is listed in the calendar below and that is the Branch Burns Supper on Saturday, February 1.   Tickets $55 via PayPal at www.rscdsvancouver.org or from club rep or even patcavers@shaw.ca



4 -

Yet another of these pictures of Scotland that I have been sent without any note as to where they are.  Send your guesses to ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org  You can look back at prior newsletters and see previous mystery pictures etc.by going to our website www.vancouverceilidh.org.



The next Ceilidh Dance is the on this Friday February 7th, 2014.   Just after Chinese New Year and the Burns Season.   A great way to work off all those goodies you have eaten as well as to have a great evening of fun, exercise and laughter.  Please call all your friends and arrange to bring them along to the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver to the class from 7 – 8 p.m. and the dance following from 8 – 11 p.m. with the live music of Calanais.  Admission at the door is only $10 (students etc. $8).  No partner or experience necessary – just bring your smiles and I would suggest flat, comfy shoes.

Michelle has very kindly made up a Facebook event page for the Ceilidh which you can forward to your friends.   The link is:  https://www.facebook.com/events/597360563665264/597360566998597/

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!!


There were 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: www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.316825198419573.56421.149674745134620&type=3


SFU’s Tartan Day celebrations featured the launch of the long-awaited “Scots in BC” website with information on how you can add your family history to the site. The website can be accessed at: https://www.scottish.sfu.ca/scots_in_bc_project It is well worth a visit.


Winter - Longformacus near Duns


Some fun and interesting sites:  – note if you have a link to something you think others would enjoy please forward them to me.

45 minutes but nice to view

Click here: ? Cheap Flights with subtitles – YouTube …this is an oldie, but worth watching again


It doesn’t hurt to have a little Biblical humor to start the day….

Q.. What excuse did Adam give to his children as to why he no longer lived in Eden ?

A. Your mother ate us out of house and home. 


Auld Country Tours are a big supporter of our Ceilidh Dances James Johnson [auldcountrytours@gmail.com]




Winter - Mary Luke Garden & Culross Palace

Mary Luke garden, Culross

The next Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, February 7, 2014. Same time, same place, same price, 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. We need to improve the attendance to make the dances financially viable. Please do your best to spread the word. Let me know if you would like a poster to put up.

Winter - Milton



Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold! 


A new website for kilts and accessories. Prices seem excellent, no idea of quality or trustworthiness though: www.aglowmusichouse.com


Now, after the purge, subscriptions are back under the 400 mark. This newsletter will go out to 375 people in many cities, provinces & countries. Now my goal is still to get to 500!! Please pass along the website to your friends and maybe they will subscribe – www.vancouverceilidh.org

I thought that at least the % of people opening the newsletter should be higher after removing over 50 “subscribers” who were inactive but despite that only 223 people (51.2%) opened last weeks newsletter!!   That is a lot lower than some previous weeks.   I know some of you prefer to go to the website and open the newsletter from there but I can’t believe about 45% of you do that.   Would you all make a resolution to at least open the newsletter even if you don’t have time to read it all you could maybe enjoy one of the jokes!


An online contact for dance and marching shoes (ghillies, pumps, brogues, etc.) is Bruce Griffith at www.avriel.com




Events happening in the immediate future include the Alasdair Fraser concert on Thursday, January 16 and various Burns Suppers.  Please see “Coming Events” below for all information – and Burns Suppers .

Note:  Please order your tickets for the Branch Burns Suppers soon – all information is shown below.

Winter - Monikie Country Park

Monikie Country Park


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


COMING EVENTS IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS: Note: Please check list of classes for all start times and locations.

Jan 16 Alasdair   Fraser & Natalie Haas in concert at the Rogue Folk Clu, St. James Hall.   3214 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver at 8 p.m.   Tickets $32 ($28 members).  https://www.roguefolk.bc.ca/concerts/   Note that the Vancouver   Branch Demonstration Team will perform at the strat of the concert.
Jan 25 The SFU Centre for Scottish   Studies will be holding its 3rd Annual Robbie Burns Day   Marathon Reading.    The event   starts at 9am at the Teck Gallery,  SFU Harbour Centre Campus, 515 West   Hastings Street, Vancouver
Jan 25 20th Annual Tam O’Shanter Dancers Burns Supper in   Star of the Sea Hall.  Tickets $55 —   contact duncanmackenzie@telus.net to order yours.   Note tickets will sell out fast!!
Feb  1 Vancouver Branch Burns Supper — Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886   Hudson Street, Vancouver.   Tickets $55   via PayPal at www.rscdsvancouver.org or from club rep or even patcavers@shaw.ca
Bar 6 p.m. Dinner at 7 p.m.    A great   evening of entertainment and dance.
Feb  7 Monthly Ceilidh Dance of the season at the Scottish Cultural   Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.     Class at 7 p.m. and dance following from 8 — 11 p.m. and all for the   fantastic price of $10 (students $8) — info 604-536-9481
Feb  7 San Francisco Branch – 8:00   pm Dance Party at Christ Church, 2138 Cedar St., Berkeley, CA, Music by   Muriel Johnstone and Keith Smith Info: Dwayne McQuilliams 510-374-6124
Feb  8 Note:   This workshop is already Sold Out!!  I only received the info on Tuesday.   A waiting list is being started.
Ladies Step Dance mini workshop “The Basics & Beyond” with Mary Murray   and musicians Janet Wright & Alma MacDonald.   1 — 4 p.m. in the Scottish Cultural   centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.    Cost $15 includes tea! 
More soft shoe Ladies Step open to dancers   interested in an energetic afternoon with a focus on different steps and   different musical tempo. Previous Step Dance experience NOT required but must   have some proficiency in another dance form.     RSVP Fran 604-922-6842 or   Kay kay_sutherland@hotmail.com
Feb  8 Bellingham monthly Dance
Feb  8  Hold the Date for the   San Francisco Branch RSCDS Annual Valentine’s Ball.   We are looking forward to this year’s Musicians:  Muriel Johnstone and Keith Smith.  The Oakland Scottish Rite Center.   Registration Forms are available.  Info: Dwayne McQuilliams   510-374-6124.  https://www.rscds-sf.org/valentine/pdf/ValentinesBallFlyer.11.pdf
 We anticipate a large turn out so sign up early this year to avoid   disappointment!
Feb  9 2:30 pm CLASSIC CONCERT of SCOTTISH MUSIC by Muriel Johnstone and   Keith Smith, Arlington Community Church, 52 Arlington Ave, Kensington, CA,   Info: Dwayne McQuilliams 510-374-6124
Feb 15 Love to Dance Scottish Workshop and Tea Dance.   Teachers Mary Murray and Simon Scott with   music by the Tartan Players.     Registration forms are now on website — www.rscdsvancouver.org .     Info 604-922-6842






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 Skinny Dipping…

An elderly man in West Virginia had owned a large farm for several years. He had a large pond in the back.    It was properly shaped for swimming, so he fixed it up nice with picnic tables, horseshoe courts, and some apple, and peach trees

One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn’t been there for a while, and look it over. He grabbed a five-gallon bucket to bring back some fruit. As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer, he saw it was a bunch of young women Skinny-dipping in his pond. He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end.

One of the women shouted to him, ‘we’re not coming out until you leave!’
The old man frowned, ‘I didn’t come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond naked.’
Holding the bucket up he said, ‘I’m only here to feed the alligator.’

Some old men can still think quickly.


   Winter - moon over Loch Awe

Moon over Loch Awe

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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.

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winter - near Scone

Near Scone

The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, February 7, 2104 with live music by Calanaish. 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MvUwZnY9Ms and here is a link to the Facebook advert:   https://www.facebook.com/events/597360563665264/597360566998597/

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.


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


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

It really is never too late to come along and join in one of many Scottish Country Dance (SCD) classes and well any time is a great time to do it. 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 GIVE IT A GO! 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 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 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


mouse dance


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

Winter - near Smailholm Mains

Smailholm Mains

Other announcements etc: Seattle Branch – info at www.rscds-seattle.org A monthly Challenge Class is 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. Info at www.rscds-seattle.org   Next class:  February 14, 2014

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held this Friday – that is on Friday, February 7, 2014 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!!! This will be the ffth regular Ceilidh Dance of the 2013/14 season and it would be great if we could double the attendance of the dance last week.

We Really NEED YOUR HELP to advertise the Ceilidh Dances!!!! It only costs $10 ($8 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 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.


Thanks to good attendances last year the finances for the 2012/13 season will still allow the cost to be 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 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 2013/14 season shapes up as follows: All on Fridays of course — 2014

February 7
February 28
March 28
April 25

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.

Scottish snowman

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 375 subscribers (at long last we are over the 400 mark!) 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.

An Arab Sheik was admitted to St Vincents Hospital for heart surgery, but prior to the surgery, the doctors needed to store his blood in case the need arose.   As the gentleman had a rare type of blood, it couldn’t be found locally, so, the call went out to all the Cities.

Finally a Scot was located who had a similar blood type and the Scot willingly donated his blood for the Arab.

After the surgery, as appreciation for giving his blood the Arab sent the Scotsman  a new BMW, several flawless diamonds & 50,000 US dollars.

A couple of weeks later, once again, the Arab had to go through a corrective surgery.  His doctor telephoned the Scotsman who was more than happy to donate his blood again.

After the second surgery, the Arab sent the Scotsman a thank-you card & a jar of  candies.

The Scotsman was a little shocked that the Arab this time did not reward his kind gesture as he had anticipated.

He phoned the Arab & asked him: “I thought you would be generous again, that you would give me a BMW, diamonds & money… But you only gave me a thank-you card & a jar of candies”.

To this the Arab replied: “Aye, but I now have Scottish blood in my veins”.__


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 – www.vancouverceilidh.org

Winter - neep harvest



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