Great Burns Supper last night. Food yummy, speeches great, music fabulous, good friendly atmosphere and nice programme – oh and the hall looked beautiful too.   Peter and his committee are due a lot of well earned plaudits.


The next Ceilidh Dance is on this 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.

It is time to register for the “Love to Dance” workshop on the morning of Saturday, February 15.   You can register online at or pick up a form at any of the classes.   This is a super workshop for all levels and the teaching and musician staff are some of the best.   Don’t put it off – REGISTER NOW!!   The workshop was sold out last year.

Then there is the Dance in the afternoon following the workshop with music by the Tartan Players and a great programme for all levels.

There are other workshops coming up around the Province with one in Victoria on March 29, White Rock/Surrey on March 30 and another in Vernon on April 26.  Check out the information listed under Upcoming Events

Tickets are available now for all the Celtic Fest Events –

There is another interesting concert at the Rogue Folk Club on February 14 featuring Carlos Nunez a world-renowned piper from Spain.  Information is on the Events list.

The Celtic Treasure Chest sent out a warning that Health Canada might be banning the sale of some Scottish products in Canada including Irn Bru and Jaffa Cakes!!

A series of 3 Ladies (Men too!) step dance classes are planned for February 22. March 1 & 8 – see Coming Events page on the website for more details.

If you want to suggest a dance(s) for the Puget Sound Crossroads programme next June please contact Elinor  at


Winter - sunset over Glenrothes
Sunset over Glenrothes

SFU’s School of Scottish Studies Burns Day Event broke the Guinness Book of Records for the longest recitation of Burns works.   They set the new record at 6 hours and 16 seconds.   Congratulations to all involved and especially to Leith and Tricia.

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

Lady Aberdeen 27 Lady Aberdeen 29 Lady Aberdeen 28

 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’m reading a book about anti-gravity . I can’t put it down .

I did a theatrical performance about puns . It was a play on words .


Winter - Tarves


An article in a recent edition of the National Post is applicable to the Ball and to Scottish Country Dancing in general. Check out Thanks Gill for the tip.


   fiddle bug



Winter - sunset over North Berwick

Sunset over North Berwick




Phil:   What’s 11  squared?

Contestant:   I don’t  know.

Phil:   I’ll give you a clue. It’s  two ones with a two in the  middle.

Contestant:   Is it  five?


The Highland Games Committee are planning a meeting of all interested in helping at the Games on June 21, 2014.   The meeting is scheduled for 7 pm in the Scottish Cultural centre on Monday, February 17.

They 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 – Joan – or myself. Glenna Urbshadt –


fiddle cat

§§§§§§ §§§§§§ §§§§§§ §§§§§§ §§§§§§ §§§§§§ §§§§§§ §§§§§§ §§§§§§ §§§§§§ §§§§§§ §§

Winter - Tay Bridge

Tay Bridge

Another busy week of dancing but the Burns Season is finally over!!   This coming week I will get two nights off from dancing but that is only because I have a meeting to attend on one of them.   Next Friday is the monthly Ceilidh Dance so I hope you are all planning to attend.

We had a nice, although short, visit from our daughter who came up from LA to attend a meeting.   She arrived here about 11:30 pm on Friday and left this afternoon at 3 and, of course we were out at the Burns Supper while she had her meeting on Saturday during the day so you can gather we did not have much time together.  We did get all the family together today and celebrated the year of the horse at a Chinese restaurant for Dim Sum.

snowdrop picture

The snowdrops have been out for nearly two weeks and we have a daffodil in bloom while the primulas are nearly out which must mean winter will soon be over again.   I really need to get out in the garden and do some pruning before the clematis and Wisteria start shoots.   The fuchsias I am wintering over in the garage are sprouting too so I think I have to pinch these off for now as it is a bit too early for them.


I have given up on all of you with the mystery pictures as there have been no guesses for many weeks.


fiddle man


The next Ceilidh Dance is the on this week – on 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:

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 The link for the pictures is:


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: It is well worth a visit.


Winter - Tay Rail bridge sunset

Sunset over the Tay

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

This was sent to me with the thought that it might give some ideas for those in charge of catering for the Ball or next year’s Burns Supper:

A teacher wondered why we can’t get our classes to line up like this:


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

Q.. Who is the greatest babysitter mentioned in the Bible?

A. David. He rocked Goliath to a very deep sleep.


Auld Country Tours are a big supporter of our Ceilidh Dances James Johnson []


fiddle motzart

These guys should have been playing for the Dem Team’s version of Cock-a-Bendie!


Winter - Teviothead with 1961 Morris Minor 1000


The next Ceilidh Dance will be held this 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 - The Cobler Loch Long

The Cobler


 To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of  Spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.   


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


Subscriptions have been fairly stable with a few new additions but some also unsubscribing.   This newsletter will go out to 378 people in many cities, provinces & countries. Now my current goal is to get back to 400!! Please pass along the website to your friends and maybe they will subscribe –

You set a new record last week – at least percentage wise.   Some 64.4% of the 376 subscribers opened last week’s newsletter and number wise it was well up too being the best since Newsletter #10. I know some of you prefer to go to the website and open the newsletter from there so the number is even higher.   It does my heart good to see the numbers rise so please keep opening the newsletter!!   Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome.


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


fiddle orchestraThe Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra will be playing at the Ceilidh for Cancer on February 22.   Plan to come along to support this worthy cause and have fun too. See Coming Events.

Events happening in the immediate future include the Ceilidh Dance on the 7th and the Love to Dance workshop and dance on the 15th..  Please see “Coming Events” below for all information.

Winter - The Tay next to Logierait

The Tay at Logierait


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

fiddle playing

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

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
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.
 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 14 Carlos   Nunez — concert at the Rogue Folk Club, St James Hall, 3214 West 10th   Vancouver at 8 p.m. All info about this concert by world renowned piper at
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 — .     Info 604-922-6842
Feb 22 Ceilidh to Conquer Cancer with the Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra in   St. James Hall, 3214 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver at 7 p.m.   Tickets at the door or from 778-990-4620 —   Adults $25; Students $15; Children under 16 $10
Feb 22 1st Ladies (Men welcome too!) Beginner Step Dance   class – 1pm – 3pm   Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street,    Vancouver.   TEACHER:  Kay Sutherland; COST: $10   Drop In ($7.50 for students) per class.    Open to all interested in soft shoe Step Dance (Men too!) A follow up to the very popular Ladies Step Dance Mini- Workshops.   This  will be a Beginner class – just the basics.  For more info email me or phone  604 929 2745
Feb 23 – 28 RSCDS Winter School, 2014 in Atholl Palace Hotel, Pitlochry,   Scotland with teachers Duncan Brown, Eric Findley, Pat Houghton & Anne   Smyth with musicians Muriel Johnstone, George Meikle, Iain Robertson &   Peter Shand.  The Ball will be held in   the spectacular ballroom of Blair Castle.     Info & online booking at
Feb 28 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
Mar   1 2nd Ladies (Men welcome too!) Beginner Step Dance   class – 1pm – 3pm   Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street,        Vancouver.   TEACHER:  Kay   Sutherland; COST: $10 Drop In ($7.50 for students) per class.  Open to all interested in soft shoe Step   Dance (Men too!) A follow up to the very popular Ladies Step Dance Mini-   Workshops.   This will be a Beginner class – just the   basics.  For more info email me or phone      604 929 2745
Mar   8 3rd Ladies (Men welcome too!) Beginner Step Dance   class – 1pm – 3pm   Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street,        Vancouver.   TEACHER:  Kay   Sutherland; COST: $10 Drop In ($7.50 for students) per class.  Open to all interested in soft shoe Step   Dance (Men too!) A follow up to the very popular Ladies Step Dance Mini-   Workshops.  This will be a Beginner   class – just the basics.  For more info email me or phone      604 929 2745
Mar  8 Burnaby Dance in the Confederation Centre, 4584 Albert Street,   Burnaby at 7:30 p.m. with music by the Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra- admission   $20
Mar  8 Bellingham monthly Dance
Mar 8 — 16 CelticFest Vancouver — more information to come —
Tickets go on sale January 22 — register now to get preferential booking
Mar 16 CelticFest Vancouver annual parade

““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““` “


Happiness comes through doors you didn’t even know you left open. 

Ever notice that the people who are late are often much jollier than the people who
have to wait for them? 


  Winter - Turnberry Lighthouse & Isle of Arran

Turnberry Lighthouse & the Isle of Arran

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

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.

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

Winter - Union Canal

Union Canal

The next Ceilidh Dance is THIS Friday, i.e. February 7, 2014 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: and here is a link to the Facebook advert:

The format for all of the regular monthly Ceilidh Dances will be the same with the class from 7 — 8 p.m. and the dance from 8 — 11 p.m. and all dances will be walked and talked through. 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 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


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

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 or www, for a list of class locations and times.

fiddle raccoon

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 or Note that the latter website has the latest updates to temporary changes to times and locations as well there are classes all up and down Vancouver Island, a number of the Gulf Islands, the Cariboo, Okanagan, 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 –




For upcoming events see and

Winter - Valley of Moffat Water

Valley of Moffat Water

Other announcements etc: Seattle Branch – info at 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   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 fifth 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 or the Face-book page

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

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 Universities and all colleges. 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 – – from time to time as you can find various pages listing “Ceilidhs and Events;” Classes:” Duncan’s List;” etc. On these pages you can check all the upcoming events, where all the classes are located, times, etc. and some places to find Scottish things or some local trades, etc. I will continue to highlight the more current events in each week’s newsletter but, as stated, the calendar of all events will be available on the website. You should also have a look at the Vancouver Branch website from time to time – – as there is always useful information on it and it is a very good-looking site. If you have any questions regarding the Ceilidh Dances send them to me at Please check the website – for updates, pictures and news. Dance — it is good for your health.


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

If anyone has good pictures from the Ceilidh Dances please send them to me so I can put them on the web page.

If you have any announcements please send them to me preferably in Word; Times New Roman 12pt format with a layout similar to the one used in this newsletter. I occasionally hear of an event somewhere in our beautiful Province, on the Island or in the Interior, but don’t know all the details. This newsletter reaches out to some 378 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.

Why Italian fathers and grandfathers pass their handguns down through the family.

An old Italian man is dying. He calls his grandson to his bedside, Guido, I wan’ you lissina me. I wan’ you to take-a my chrome plated .38 revolver so you will always remember me.”

“But grandpa, I really don’t like guns.. How about you leave me your Rolex watch instead?”

“You lissina me, boy. Somma day you gonna be runna da business, you gonna have a beautiful wife, lotsa money, abig-a home and maybe a couple of bambinos. “

“Somma day you gonna come-a home and maybe finda you wife inna bed with another man. “Whatta you gonna do then? Pointa to you watch and say, ‘times up’ “?

 The Jewish Elbow

A Jewish grandmother is giving directions to her grown grandson who is coming to visit with his wife.

“You come to the front door of the apartment. I am in apartment 301. There is a big panel at the front door. With your elbow, push button 301. I will buzz you in. Come inside, the elevator is on the right. Get in, and with your elbow, push 3. When you get out, I’m on the left. With your elbow, hit my doorbell.”

“Grandma that sounds easy, but, why am I hitting all these buttons with my elbow? ………

“What . . . .. .. You coming empty handed?”


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 –

Winter - view from Chapel of Garioch

View from chapel of Garioch


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