canadian flag & map

To all the Olympic Athletes from every country but especially to those from Canada

Congratulations and very well done

We are proud of you all

Now if only the rest of us could all get on so well together.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a’ that,)
That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s coming yet for a’ that,
That Man to Man, the world o’er,
Shall brothers be for a’ that.



The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, February 28, 2014 (that is next Friday)  in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.   This is a fun and inexpensive way to have an enjoyable evening out with family and friends.  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 chocolates we got from our Valentine(s)!!

We really need to get a better attendance as numbers have been low and that means we are not covering our costs so that either we get the numbers up again or we will have to bump up the cost of admission.   It is your hands.


Well that was a surprise this morning and I don’t mean Canada winning gold in the Men’s Ice Hockey final at the Olympics but the 2 – 3 inches of snow that had fallen overnight.   It all looked very beautiful.   We did have some “snow” during the day on Saturday and when I got into Vancouver and over the hill at 41st there was snow on the ground but not on the roads.   By the time I got home the roads were still clear but there was a little on the side roads however the temperature must have dropped a degree or two as everything was white this morning.   No, I did not get up at 4 a.m. to watch the hockey game as I did not get to bed until after 1 a.m. and we were going to church and then on to a meeting.   I did quickly scan through the recording and watched the three goals.   We will watch the closing ceremonies this evening before our usual Sunday evening shows.   It is still snowing at 5 p.m.  but the forecast is for rising temperatures so that by Thursday we will be in double digits and the snow will be long gone.


The Heather Ball is on March 22 in the wonderful Gizeh Temple.   Tickets are available either online at or at your class etc.  Make sure you get yours soon.

There is the annual request for heather.  If you have any it should be brought to the Cultural Center for the Wednesday night class March 19 or the Thursday dem night March 20.  Hopefully, we’ll be as lucky as past years and be able to add to the hall’s look with real heather.

There are Scottish Country Dance workshops coming up around the Province with one in Victoria on March 29, White Rock/Surrey on March 30, Nanaimo on April 12 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 –

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

Winter Edinburgh roofs

Edinburgh rooftops


 An American tourist asks a Russian
“Why do Scuba divers always fall backwards off their boats?”
To which the Russian replies:
Yesli, anny oopali vperied, anny visyo yeshyo billy bee va chetorvskoye lodkye

 He then asked a Spaniard, to which the Spaniard replied
‘Pues si cayeron hacia delante estarian todavia en el jodido barco’

 He then asked a Frenchman

To which the Frenchman replies:
“Well if they fell forwards, they’d still be in the bloody boat.”

(Spoken in English please note)

Considerate people the French, don’t you think?

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 38 Lady Aberdeen 37 Lady Aberdeen 36  

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.”



Class trip to the Coca-Cola factory . I hope there’s no pop quiz .

Energizer Bunny arrested . Charged with battery .


Winter Elgin cathedral

Elgin Cathedral

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.



My son Ian is, once again, planning to join the Ride to Conquer Cancer.   This will be his fifth year and many have helped him in previous years for which my personal thanks.   In the 4 years he has raised a total of $44,280 – how good is that?   He would like to get that total over the $60,000 mark this year so if you can spare a few dollars for this excellent cause please go to his web page at



Winter Elie Harbour

Elie Harbour



Name a film starring Bob  Hoskins that is also the name of a famous painting by Leonardo da  Vinci.

Who Framed Roger  Rabbit?


The Highland Games still needs volunteers for next year. They need to fill many positions:  Any volunteers can contact Jim – Joan – or myself. Glenna Urbshadt –


birds hopping

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

Winter Foinaven & Loch Inchard

Foinaven & Loch Inchard

We have really enjoyed watching the Olympics though they have been keeping us up late.  We record the programmes then, when we have time, eating dinner or more often after we come home from dancing or whatever, we start watching them.  As there are many hours recorded we have to pick and choose which events to watch though we do try to watch the Canadian competitors in all the different sports.   We have enjoyed CBC’s My Town as well as My Russia series as well.


Boy Fiddler

A good Ceilidh Dance last night with the Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra in fine form.   The old church – St. James’ Hall – is a great acoustic hall and the music sounded energetic and compelled you to get up to dance – well it compelled most in attendance the others were compelled by yours truly!!   This was the Ceilidh for Cancer fund-raiser and I was told they had sold out at 220 tickets.   Fortunately half of the ticket buyers must have bought tickets as a donation as there was no more room on the floor than the 100 or so who came along.

Everyone seemed to have a good time and hopefully there were some converts who will come along to next Fridays Ceilidh Dance in the Cultural Centre and might even subscribe to the newsletter.   The organizers have promised they will let me know how much they raised which I will report in a future newsletter.   They all worked hard to make it a very successful and enjoyable event.   There was a short performance of Irish dancing by three young girls and then 4 members of “Shot of Scotch” gave a wonderful display of Highland Dancing.

My thanks to Janet and the members of the VFO who make my job so much easier and enjoyable and of course to Jim, the sound engineer, who despite not feeling well and mourning for the loss of a close family member made us all sound so good.   Thanks too, to everyone who came and were so willing to get up to dance.   We only did 9 dances however all but one were encored and they rose to the challenge to end with the Piper and the Penguin.


The next Ceilidh Dance is this Friday, February 28th, 2014.   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) but unless we get a big increase in attendance the price will have to go up.  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 but you need to “Search for Vancouver Ceilidh on Facebook and “Like” us to receive updates on upcoming Ceilidhs and other events”.   Then,  if you “Like” the Vancouver Ceilidh FB page (do as described above), you too will receive updates AND be able to share those updates and events on your personal Facebook page to your friends and ask that they “Like” and “Share”, etc.

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!!


A new link has been added to the contacts page – Scottish Canadian Business Association of British Columbia.   ScotCanBC seeks to expand trade and investment between Scotland and B.C.   The website is where you can find details about the organization, membership etc.


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 Forth Bridge

Forth Bridge

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

Note that this boy is blind…….   
This 10-year-old boy from Romania makes the judges cry. Now you have to
remember he doesn’t speak English. What a talent.

and for animal lovers everywhere:


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

PS… Did you know it’s a sin for a woman to make coffee?

Yup, it’s in the Bible. It says . ‘He-brews’


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

There are some St. Patrick’s specials at this Vancouver store:

Celtic Fashions []





winter frozen river peebles

Frozen River near Peebles

The next Ceilidh Dance will be held this Friday, February 28, 2014.  Same time, same place, same price (so long as there is a big attendance), 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 Galashiels War Memorial



Leftover snickers bars from Halloween or whenever make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!!  Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!


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


Subscriptions are still fairly stable with a few new additions but some also unsubscribing.   This newsletter will again go out to 379 people in many cities, provinces & countries. Now my current goal is still to get back to 400!!  Please pass along the website to your friends and maybe they will subscribe – A few less opened the newsletter last week.   Some 57.5% of the 379 subscribers opened last week’s newsletter.  I know some of you prefer to go to the website and open the newsletter from there so the number is even higher.   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 lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll]]]]]]]]


Events happening in the immediate future include the regular monthly Ceilidh dance on the 28th. then there are the Step Dance classes on March 1 & 8, the Vancouver Celtic Fest from the 8th to the 16th (parade day) and the Burnaby Dance on the evening of March 8.  Please see “Coming Events” below for all information.

Winter Gleniffer Braes

Gleniffer Braes


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.


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

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 – we need dancers/marchers to show off our pride in Scottish Country Dancing.   Contact Cathrine at or (604) 299-6447
Mar 22 Heather Ball in the Gizeh Temple, 3550 Wayburne Drive, Burnaby   with the fantastic sprung floor and the great music of the Scottish Accent   Band.   Reception 6:00; Dance 7:00   followed by a light supper.   Tickets   $85 (30 & under $65) through PayPal at  Info   604-925-9333 or
Mar 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 29 Van Isle workshop & dance to celebrate VanIsle’s 40th   anniversary.   Teacher Mary Murray and   musician Julie Smith.  Colwood   Community Hall, 2219 Sooke Road, Victoria.  Morning session 10 — 12 for experienced   dancers & afternoon session 1:30 — 3:30 for beginners & intermediate   dancers.   Dance at night to the music   of the Tartan Players.   Information at or e-mail to
Mar 30 White Rock spring workshop, Sullivan Hall, 6303 152nd   Street, Surrey.  Advanced class 9:30 —   noon; Intermediate/Beginner class 1:00 — 3:30.   $10 — bring your own lunch.   Tea/coffee/juice provided info or 604-531-4595
Mar 30 Free concert by the NW Scottish Fiddlers at 2 p.m. Everett   Public Library, 2702 Hoyt Avenue, Everett.

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


Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened. 

We could learn a lot from crayons: 
some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, 
and all are different colors….but they all exist very nicely in the same box. 


  Winter glenshee


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

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 gourock


The next Ceilidh Dance is on this Friday, February 28, 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.


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 –


penguin dancing


For upcoming events see and

Winter GruinardNightbed


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:  March 14, 2014


The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held this Friday, February 28, 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 sixth regular Ceilidh Dance of the 2013/14 season and it would be great if we could double the attendance of the last dance on February 7.

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.  But low attendance this season might mean we have to look at increasing the admission in future.  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!

penguin fish

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 —


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.

winter hawick


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 379 subscribers 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.


They’re back! Those wonderful Church Bulletins! Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences (with all the BLOOPERS) actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services:

The Fasting and Prayer Conference includes meals.

The sermon this morning: ‘Jesus Walks on the Water.’ The sermon tonight: ‘Searching for Jesus.’


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 –

penguin drive


winter kippford beach

Kippford Beach


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