Late Spring - Ardnamurchan Penninsula

Ardnamurchan Peninsula

Well it has been an exciting and busy week.   The tax deadline has come and gone (even though they have extended it) and I managed to get all but one client’s (including our own) filed.   The one outstanding I forgot all about the fact he was coming in to the office and I had to arrange for someone else to go over the return with him so it did get filed but there is another instance of me forgetting something – I really have to write everything down.

Lindsay and Colin, the two band members here from Scotland to play for the White Rock Tea Dance etc. arrived on Tuesday evening – plane delayed 2 hours so they had been on the go for almost 24 hours – and as they are staying with us I was at the airport to greet and meet them.   They are a very nice young couple and we have had the added privilege of hearing them practise.   The rented sound system arrived here on Wednesday morning and we set it all up to make sure it was all here and all working and then they practised for about 2 hours.   We opened the doors so that our neighbours good enjoy the music too!!

We had a good walk down to the beach then it was time to load all the speakers, cables, board, piano, accordion, stands, etc. etc. into the car which left enough room for three of us to take it to Sullivan Hall.  Enroute we were caught up in some traffic jams so we were a bit late but we still got everything set up in time for the class.   Attendance was a bit disappointing but we danced over 50% of the Tea Dance programme and we all enjoyed the music.   There was a wee bit of confusion when Maureen asked the band to play the jigs and reels a bit faster and they thought she had said to play slower but that all got sorted out.

Thursday the White Rock club hosted a lunch at Morgan Creek Golf Club after which we took Lindsay and Colin across to Grouse Mountain but the clouds were too low and it was starting to rain so after a walk around we carried on to Horseshoe Bay where we had a good walk and a wee shop!!   Back via Whytecliff and Lighthouse parks, St. Francis in the Woods so it was rush hour when we got to Park Royal and it took quite some time to navigate onto the Lions Gate Bridge.   Into Stanley Park stopping for dinner at Fergusson Point and then we got two tired folk back and they fell into their bed!!

Friday our guests were taken out to Fort Langley by Paul & Janice and then in the evening it was Ceilidh Time at the Elks Hall.   The attendance was better than most expected and all had a fun time with some super music.   It was not a late night but it was after 12 before they got to their bed.   Saturday was another day of touring with Paul and Janice as they were able to enjoy the sights in Vancouver including QE park, The Convention Centre, Granville Island, and much more and at night we were all invited for dinner at Maureen’s where we had a very enjoyable evening and a super meal.

Sunday morning was sandwich making time, loading the car with dishes, cups, etc. and off to set up for the Tea Dance.   We only had access to the Star of the Sea hall at 1:30 so it was a rush to get everything ready but we made it although a few early comers got to watch as we hurriedly finished up decorating etc.   It was a great dance with an interesting programme of unfamiliar but relatively easy dances along with some favourite oldies and goodies and the 80 or so attendees kept the floor full all afternoon – in fact they formed sets long before each dance was announced!!   The music was the highlight with Lindsay and Colin providing some great tunes that fit the dances – again some familiar along with some new ones.

The ladies (and gentlemen) of the White Rock club excelled themselves yet again and produced a marvellous selection of sandwiches, fruit, veggie and goodies and they all pitched in to clear up afterwards so that, as usual, the hall was left cleaner than we had got it.   Off to the after party at Paul & Janice’s which was close by where drinks flowed and there was more food.   After a bit of relaxation Lindsay strapped on the accordion and Colin took over the piano and we were treated to some lovely airs and other tunes and eventually there was a set for Trip to Bavaria.

It was not too late when we got home but then there was some planning for today as, of course it is now Monday morning.   Colin and Lindsay are going off on their own using a day pass on our public transit.   They might go to check out Grouse Mountain or whatever and we will meet them about 6:45 at the airport with their luggage.   The weather looks OK at the moment so we hope they get a nice one for their last day and that they have a safe journey home.   A BIG Thanks to them both for sharing their wonderful talents, some great music and for being such charming and easy guests.

Congratulations to the White Rock club and especially to our teacher, Maureen, for another great event.   You all worked hard and “you done good” – did yourselves proud.


late spring - Ardvreck Castle

Ardvreck Castle



 Gentle Thoughts for Today –


                   EATING AN ENDANGERED PLANT?



 Late spring - Beinn Liath Mhor across Glen Torridon

Beinn Liath Mhor across Glen Torridon

The Teacher Candidates had their exams this weekend and I am certain they all did very well.  Hopefully this will be the start of a long, successful and fun time of teaching SCD.


There’s always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it.  For example, I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don’t hurt.

Did you ever notice: When you put the 2 words ‘The’ and ‘IRS’ together it spells ‘Theirs.’

Aging: Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.



The next regular Ceilidh Dance is not until Friday, September 25, 2015 (the last Friday of  September) but there is a Ceilidh coming up in White Rock.   In St, John’s Presbyterian Church, 1480 George Street, White Rock on Friday, May 8.   This event will include performances by the Tam O’Shanter Dancers and some other performers as well as Ceilidh Dancing and a sing-a-long.   Cost $15 – see more details under Upcoming Events below 

Unfortunately, mainly due to rising costs but also because of some lower attendances, I have been forced to increase the admission price next season to $12 ($10 for students) so I really hope this does not stop people from attending.   Remember that if you have a group of 8 or more you can all qualify for a discount but you have to contact me beforehand.



BC Highland Games & Scottish Festival

Saturday, June 20, 2015 in Percy Perry Stadium, Coquitlam


The Humanities Department at SFU is offering a Celtic Mythology course this summer, taught by Dr. Antone Minard. It will be meeting on Saturday afternoons. The course outline can be obtained and questions about the course can be directed to Dr. Minard at

If you are interested in trying to stop wind farms spoiling your views in Scotland try this website:

Subject: Italian Boy’s Confession  

“Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose woman.”
The priest asks, “Is that you, little Johnny Parisi?”
“Yes, Father, it is.”
“And who was the woman you were with?”
“I can’t tell you, Father, I don’t want to ruin her reputation.”
“Well, Johnny, I’m sure to find out her name sooner or later, so you may as well tell me now.    Was it Tina Minetti?”
“I cannot say.”
“Was it Teresa Volpe?”
“I’ll never tell.”
“Was it Nina Capelli?”
“I’m sorry, but I cannot name her.”
“Was it Cathy Piriano?”
“My lips are sealed.”
“Was it Rosa Di Angelo, then?”
“Please, Father, I cannot tell you.”
The priest sighs in frustration. “You’re very tight lipped, Johnny  Parisi, and I admire that. But you’ve sinned and have to atone. You cannot be an altar boy now for 4 months. Now you go and behave yourself.
Johnny walks back to his pew, and his friend Nino slides over and whispers, “What’d you get?”
“Four months vacation and five good leads.”

late Spring - Caledonian Canal at Dochgarroch

Caledonian Canal at Dochgarroch




His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog.

 There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman’s sparse surroundings An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.

“I want to repay you,” said the nobleman. “You saved my son’s life.”

“No, I can’t accept payment for what I did,” the Scottish farmer replied waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door of the family hovel.

“Is that your son?” the nobleman asked.

“Yes,” the farmer replied proudly.

“I’ll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my own son will enjoy. If the lad is anything like his father, he’ll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of.” And that he did.

Farmer Fleming’s son attended the very best schools and in time, graduated from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

Years afterward, the same nobleman’s son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia.

What saved his life this time? Penicillin.

The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son’s name?

Sir Winston Churchill.


Thanks to Steve at the Celtic Treasure Chest there is now an online list of all the Celtic societies as well as a calendar of events:


There are always some specials at The Celtic Treasure Chest’s stores.  Check them out at

Celtic Fashions on E-Bay – go to


As You Slide Down the Banister of Life, Remember 

1. Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggert have written an impressive new book.  It’s called …….     ‘Ministers Do More than Lay People’ 
2. Transvestite: A guy who likes to eat, drink and be Mary. 
3. The difference between the Pope and  your boss, the Pope only expects you to kiss his ring. 
4. My mind works like lightning, One brilliant Flash and it is gone. 
5. The only time the world beats a path to your door is if you’re in the bathroom. 
6. I hate sex in the movies. Tried it once.  The seat folded up, the drink spilled and that ice, well, it really chilled the mood. 
7. It used to be only death and taxes  Now, of course, there’s shipping and handling, too.     
8.. A husband is someone who, after taking the trash out, gives the impression that he just cleaned the whole house. 
9 My next house will have no kitchen – just Vending machines and a large trash can. 
10. A blonde said, ‘I was worried that my Mechanic might try to rip me off.        I was relieved when he told me all I needed was turn signal fluid.’  11. Definition of a teenager?   God’s punishment…for enjoying sex.   
12. As you slide down the banister of life, may
 the splinters never point the wrong way.


monkey see

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 – .   The cost is only $10.

Any person may join USCS and Scottish Country & 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.  





Late spring - Greeness snow in April

Greeness – snow this past week!


The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, September 25th, 2015. 

Canada Day maple leaf line



 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.


“HMS Queen Elizabeth” ~ 65,000-Tonne Aircraft Carrier WOW!!

Wait for it, it only gets more absurd as time goes on…


The next Ceilidh Dance will be on Friday, September 25th, 2015.    Same time, same place, small increase in 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.


The slowly growing list has stayed at the same lofty height of  361.   I should be more grateful that it has not decreased but it will take forever at this rate to get it back to 400 so I really 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 the last newsletter was opened by only 230 subscribers.  Because the list is growing that was just 63.5% 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 the Burnaby Spring session Monday May 4 & 11 and the Ceilidh in White Rock on May 8 

Please see “Coming Events” below for all information.




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.

May  4 Burnaby Spring session – teacher TBA  Scandinavian Community Centre, 6540 Thomas Street, Burnaby 7:30 p.m. –$6 drop in
May  6 White Rock last class until September
May  8 Ceilidh with music, song and dance at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 1480 George Street, White Rock    Tickets $15 call 604-536-9481
May  9 Bellingham social
May 11 Burnaby Spring session – teacher TBA  Scandinavian Community Centre, 6540 Thomas Street, Burnaby 7:30 p.m. –$6 drop in
May 30 Fort Langley 15th Anniversary Gala at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver with dinner at 6:30 p.m. including the customary dessert of strawberries, cream & shortbread.   Music by The Torridon Scottish Dance Band.   Tickets $65 – book now at
May 31 All dancers are invited to Nannette’s 60th birthday Ball at 1:30 p.m. in St. Joseph Center, 215 N 15th Street, Mount Vernon, WA.   Lunch then dance to the music of Calum’s Ceilidh Band.   The entire event – luncheon & dance – is FREE!!   Please RSVP to Nannette Crowell & Rodney Brandt & include names, addresses, phone numbers & e-mail
Jun   3 Highland Games practice – 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. at the Scottish Cultural Centre – or call Jean at 604-464-8103 or just come along.   Mary Murray will devise an easy programme and all dancers are welcome to join in the fun.
Jun 10 Highland Games practice – 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. at the Scottish Cultural Centre – or call Jean at 604-464-8103 or just come along.   Mary Murray will devise an easy programme and all dancers are welcome to join in the fun.
Jun 13 Inverglen Scottish Dancers invite all to their Annual Recital to be held at 2 p.m. in the Freddy Wood Theatre, U.B.C. Tickets at the door – Adults $15; Children, students and seniors $12.   The School is celebrating 35 years of dance which is a wonderful accomplishment – Come join in the celebration.
Jun 15 Dancing in the Park – Ceperley Park near Second Beach in Stanley Park from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. weather permitting (if uncertain call after 5 p.m. 604-922-6842 or 604-224-6751)   There’ll always be some easy dances for new dancers.   Programmes will be on website –
Jun 17 Highland Games practice – 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. at the Scottish Cultural Centre – or call Jean at 604-464-8103 or just come along.   Mary Murray will devise an easy programme and all dancers are welcome to join in the fun.
Jun 20 BC Highland Games in Percy Perry Stadium, Coquitlam – all day long with lots of fun, entertainment, competitions, food, whisky tasting, beer tent, vendors tents, etc. etc.  – check out the website at
Jun 22 Dancing in the Park – Ceperley Park near Second Beach in Stanley Park from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. weather permitting (if uncertain call after 5 p.m. 604-922-6842 or 604-224-6751)   There’ll always be some easy dances for new dancers.   Programmes will be on website –
Jun 29 Dancing in the Park – Ceperley Park near Second Beach in Stanley Park from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. weather permitting (if uncertain call after 5 p.m. 604-922-6842 or 604-224-6751)   There’ll always be some easy dances for new dancers.   Programmes will be on website –



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

Late spring - Coffin bridge at Carrbridge

Coffin bridge at Carrbridge – built to get coffins across when the river was in spate.


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.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Late spring - Cove Harbour

Cove Harbour

The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, September 25, 2015 with live music by Calanaish.   

You have all summer 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 – $12 or $10 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 they are starting up again.    You will be made very welcome. Many classes have a policy that the first night is FREE! Plan to come along to try out a class next week. There are classes all around and on different nights so GIVE IT A GO! Go to either or www, for a list of class locations and times.

St patrick's Day Dancers

Mouse Laugh

For those who don’t know SCD is a fabulous pastime (much better and lots more fun than golf!!) and 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.

mouse setting

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 –



Come join us dancing in Stanley Park – Ceperley Park near Second Beach, on Monday evenings from 7 – 9 p.m. starting on Monday, June 15.   Always lots of fun and many dances for everyone.


For upcoming events see and Other announcements etc: Seattle Branch – info at ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, September 25, 2015 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 8 or more and we can give them a discount!!!


We Really NEED YOUR HELP to advertise the Ceilidh Dances!!!! It only costs $12 ($10 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.

Late spring - Crail Harbour

Crail Harbour

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 2015/16 season shapes up as follows:
All on Fridays of course —

September 25
October 23
November 27
January 8
February 5 & 26
March 25
April 29

Come along and get some great exercise while also having lots of fun. We hope to have lots of new Ceilidh dancers and we might even have Louise and maybe Daniel and/or Michelle to help with the calling.  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.

 Late spring - De'ils Cauldron

De’ils Cauldron

We would like 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 ($12 or $10 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.

Late spring - Duck Bay marina

Duck Bay marina

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 361 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.





Late spring - Dunnottar_castle

Dunnottar Castle

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 –

late spring - Durness Beach

Durness Beach


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