summer - Argyll hills from ButeArgyll hills from Bute

St Andrews flag

What an important day it will be in Scotland this Thursday, September 18 when the vote to decide whether Scotland should be an independent country or remain part of the UK takes place.   Apart from the lecture mentioned below I am not aware of any gathering of Scots in Vancouver on Thursday but maybe someone can let me know although it is a bit late now.

Please note the following lecture tomorrow (Monday September 15) evening:

7:30-9:00 pm, 3210 West Mall Centre (WMC), SFU Burnaby campus – This talk is free and all are welcome.On September 18, Scots will go to the polls to indicate their choice in a referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country.  In this talk, Dr. Leith Davis goes back in time to explore the circumstances surrounding the 1707 Act that united Scotland and England in the first place.  Focusing on the propaganda of the time — printed pamphlets and political poetry — she examines how the Union was debated by Scots (and English) in the early eighteenth century and considers connections with contemporary debates over the referendum. At the end of the talk, members of the audience will have a chance to do a mock vote on the issue of independence for Scotland.  (Bring your mobile device to participate in the vote!)


FLAGSI don’t thing you were able to open this one last week so here it is again – you have 30 seconds to answer the question.

HONg Kong

There is a reason why the question shown below, from a Hong Kong elementary school test, is making the rounds on the internet. Most adults can’t solve it – not for want of math skills, but because most of them have lost the child’s ability of unconventional thinking.    Instead, they have acquired the debilitating unwillingness to try a different perspective.  Look closely.
The answer to the problem is provided at the bottom, but before you give up, here are some clues.   This problem is not mathematical, but rather philosophical.   It proves that, in spite of what the modern “progressive” philosophers tell us, not all viewpoints are equally valid; in most cases, there is only one point of view that leads to the right answer.
Golfers – it’s how you make more putts.

Even with all these hints (except the one I added for golfers) I still didn’t get it. Glory Be!     If you’re still unsure about the answer, see below.


It is after 11 p.m. and I am going to stay up until I get this week’s letter completed.   I have shut the door and will stay as quiet as possible as Ken, Kirsten and my wife have all gone to bed (not all together!)   I have had a busy day as we were dancing at Campbell Valley Days just after lunch time.  It was very well attended though I did not go round all the booths only visiting the one that sold vanilla fudge!!   It was about 3:00 by the time I got home, got changed, had a bite to eat and went out to get gas and look for some sod.   It took 4 stops – Ronco; Art Knapps, Canada Tire and Home Depot – before I found a few rolls left at the last place.  I bought, as it turned out, too many (5 rolls) and drove home.

I had removed the dirt etc from the area where I wished to put the new sod but had to get some fresh soil to put on the bottom before laying the sod which, of course had to be cut to fit leaving me with 2.5 rolls.   I had to level and soak the area then left the sprinkler running for some time.   The raccoons had been having fun digging up my lawn on Saturday night so I went round all the holes they had left and filled them with fresh soil then placed the left over sod I an area that was rather thin and hope it will take.   I was rather dirty having had to get down on all fours to cut the sod so when I was called in for dinner I had to sit on an old towel.   After dinner I had a shower then got dressed in my pj’s with some clothes on top in case ken & Kirsten came back before I got to bed.   Just as I was about to start the newsletter the phone rang.   The caller asked where I was and why I was not where she was.

I had completely forgotten I had agreed to run a Ceilidh dance at a church near Bear Creek in Surrey!!   A rapid change into kilt etc. and off up the road.   I was only an hour late.  To say I was very embarrassed is an understatement.   They did have a good time when I got there and were very forgiving.   Naturally, I refused any payment but there were a few who sounded keen to come to the next Ceilidh Dance.   Obviously I am getting too old and forgetful.   Somehow I appear to have missed a week.   Maybe it was because we were away last weekend.

Here is the answer to the  Hong Kong Elementary School admission question:

Hong Kong answer


Joke 5


The next regular Ceilidh Dance is one week on Friday –  September 26, 2014 – in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.  Start to make plans to come along as we really need all of you. 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. Think of the great exercise you get as well.   See below for more information.


  Train Engine


 Summer - Glencoe!!!

The picture was entitled “Glencoe” but I am sure that is not right.  Any guesses?


The AGM of the Vancouver Branch RSCDS is to be held on Friday, September 19 in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver at 8:00 p.m. – All members are urged to attend.   For Minutes, Reports, Financial Statements etc. see


Anyone looking for new dance shoes? Direct Liquidation in Burnaby has lots of split sole and ballet shoes, all sizes from children up, Leo’s Dancewear and Capezzio, all 70% off. —


Train Caboose


The Scottish Cultural Centre is a pretty unique and wonderful asset and space is available for rent to anyone or any group. The Centre does not run itself but is actually run by the United Scottish Cultural Society (USCS). Memberships in this Society are for individuals only and presently cost $10 annually. Membership Application Forms may be obtained either at the Centre or on the USCS website – .

Any person may join USCS and Scottish Ceilidh Dancers are encouraged to show their support by doing so. If any USCS member would like to be more involved, then, Darryl Carracher, the Manager at the Centre, will be pleased to give you further information. We have just finished replacing the roof which was a major expense.  We also plan to paint and spruce up the main hall but that will not take place until September at the earliest.

Upgrades to the Centre are also being considered so it is particularly appropriate that dancers join USCS. No final decisions on these upgrades will be made before Members of USCS are fully informed.


Golly are we not truly blessed in this little corner of the world.   The weather here in SW BC has been fabulous with lots of warm sunshine, and so far while it cools down at night it is not cold.   Certainly no need to turn on the heat.   The weather folk tell us this will end in a few more days but we cannot complain.   This must have been a record summer for sunshine.   We do know it is fall though as it gets dark earlier and the trees are turning.





The next Ceilidh Dance is not until Friday, September 26th, 2014.   I have tried an experiment and registered with Meetup and 15 people have “joined” and most say they will come.  I will have to post some further notice nearer the time and maybe gather a few more interested folk.

Canada Day maple leaf line


summer - Road in the Pentland Hills

Road in the Pentland Hills

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!!


You can join the e-mail list of the SFU Scottish and Celtic Society; the club connecting you to all things Scottish and Celtic at SFU and the community. As members of this mailing list, you will receive updates on events and learning opportunities. All are welcome to participate and enjoy. Facebook Group: As of today, our new Facebook Group is launched and available to join. It is an ‘Open’ group. Anyone can join and invite their friends. We will create Facebook ‘Events’ for all our occasions. Join today at this link:


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

Aerial view on the new Glasgow:

on Pender in mid July – some transient Whales came by. They devoured a seal right in front of the camera. Check out the video:


The next Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, September 26, 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.


Subscriptions are up by two more so this newsletter will go out to 396 people in many cities, provinces & countries. I did not make my goal of 400 and I will shortly do a purge of those who have not opened the last few editions of the newsletter.  This normally means quite a few deletions so I will need your help to get the subscriptions back up again.   Thanks for all your support.

Please pass along the website to your friends and ask them to subscribe – it is free!!   At time of writing this last week’s newsletter was opened by 214 subscribers or 54.2% of the total list.   I know some of you prefer to go to the website and open the newsletter from there so the number is probably much higher. Please keep opening the newsletter!!

Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome.


Events happening in the immediate future include all classes starting up (See www.rscdsvancouver for details of locations, start times etc.)  and the lecture re the Vote in Scotland on Monday 15th.   
Please see “Coming Events” below for all information. 


Summer - Aurora from



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.

Sep 15 Branch classes at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver commence the 2014/15 season – see
Sep 15 7:30-9:00 pm, 3210 West Mall Centre (WMC), SFU Burnaby campus – This talk is free and all are welcome. On September 18, Scots will go to the polls to indicate their choice in a referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country.  In this talk, Dr. Leith Davis goes back in time to explore the circumstances surrounding the 1707 Act that united Scotland and England in the first place.  Focusing on the propaganda of the time — printed pamphlets and political poetry — she examines how the Union was debated by Scots (and English) in the early eighteenth century and considers connections with contemporary debates over the referendum. At the end of the talk, members of the audience will have a chance to do a mock vote on the issue of independence for Scotland.  (Bring your mobile device to participate in the vote!)
Sep 16 Forth Langley classes start in Fort Langley Community Hall, 9167 Glover Road, Fort Langley
Sep 17 Children’s Class starts at Sullivan Hall, 64th & 152nd In Surrey – Call Laurie 604-944-6678 or e-mail for information.
Sep 17 Wednesday Night Programme Class commences at the Scottish Cultural Centre – Drop in $6
Sep 18 Delta Borderers class starts at Tomsett School. 9671 Odlin Road, Richmond at 7:30 p.m.
Sep 19 Seniors’ Class at West Vancouver Seniors’ Centre, 21st & Marine, West Vancouver starts at 10:35 a.m.
Sep 19 Vancouver Branch RSCDS Annual General Meeting in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver
Sep 19 Carlos Núñez is the undisputed master of Galicia’s signature musical instrument, the gaita, or Galician bagpipes. From northern Spain’s Celtic coast, Núñez connects the musical tradition of his native Galicia with that of Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, and beyond. The Guardian UK quotes “Pipe music as if played by a Coltrane or a Hendrix.”8:00pm   Location: Centennial Theatre North Vancouver
Sep 20 2014 TAC Island Workshop with Mary Murray as the Teacher.   New location is in the Bowen Centre, 5  Bowen Road, Nanaimo.   Workshop at 10:30 a.m. —  more details to follow.
Sep 22/23 Deep Cove classes start at Maplewood School, 420 Seymour River Place, North Vancouver – Advanced on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. Beginner/Intermediate on Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m.
Sep 26 Ceilidh Dance at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver – no partner or experience required – live music with Calanais – refreshments available – class from 7 – 8 p.m. followed by dance from 8 – 11 p.m. – all dances walked, talked and called – admission at the door $10 (students $8)
Sep 27 North Vancouver Children’s Classes commence at Mickey MacDougal Recreation Centre, 123 East 23rd Street, North Vancouver,   Call 604-922-4406 or e-mail for information
Oct 3 – 5 The Saskatchewan Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society announces that Ruth Jappy will be the guest instructor at this year`s annual workshop, along with Ron Krug and Ken Nattrass, our musicians extraordinaire. As more details are finalized, they will be posted on our website:
Oct  4 Soft shoe Ladies Step dance classes Open House in Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson St., Vancouver – 1 – 3 p.m.    Contact Kay Sutherland <> if you have any questions.
Oct  4 SCD Baal and workshop in Redmond, Oregon with teacher Monica Pollard and music by A Scottish Heart – info by e-mail to or try website
Oct 14 Gleneagles Fall dance 7:30 p.m. in Christ the Redeemer Church, 595 Keith Road (just east of Taylor Way) West Vancouver.   The Dance is Titled “Vancouver Tribute to John Drewry” and all the dances on the programme were devised by him.
Oct 18 Ladies Step Workshop in Seattle taught by Ron Wallace. Some of you have already received a notice about this if you attended the last Seattle Workshop. Info from Kay at

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

The Washington Post’s Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

 Here are a few of this year’s winners:

 Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.  

Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.



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.

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

Highland dancer 2

The next Ceilidh Dance is not until Friday, September 26, 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.

They are all held at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.  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.


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

This is a really good time to come along and join in one of many Scottish Country Dance (SCD) classes as you will be starting at the same time as other “beginners.”    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.

flag with teddy

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 –



What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? The saurus.

England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.


For upcoming events see and

Other announcements etc: Seattle Branch – info at


The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, September 26, 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!!!


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.

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 —

September 26
October 24
November 28
January 9
February 6
February 27
March 27
April 24

Come along and get some great exercise while also having lots of fun. We hope to have lots of new Ceilidh dancers and I might even try out one or two “new” dances.   Remember to bring your smiles and wear flat shoes.    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.

Summer - West Lomond

  West Lomond

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 396 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.


Windows vs. Ford………..

For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on.

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated,
“If Ford had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.”

In response to Bill’s comments, Ford issued a press release stating:
If Ford had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash ……… twice a day.
2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason.  You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you
would simply accept this.
4. Occasionally, executing a manoeuvre such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart,  in which case you would have to re-install the engine.
5. Macintosh would make a reliable car that was powered by the sun, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive – but would run on only five percent of the roads.
6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single “This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation” warning light.
7. The airbag system would ask, “Are you sure?” before deploying.
8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of
the radio antenna.
9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the
controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
10. You’d have to press the “Start” button to turn the engine off.




Joke 4 


Summer - Stob Binnein from Ben More

Stob Binnein from Ben More


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 –

Summer - top of Liathach

top of Liathach

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