Well I have had a hectic, busy week and I did not have time to get all I had hoped to do accomplished.   Nor did I get out to the garden once to help my wonderful wife who slaved away out there for 3 or was it 4 days.   She managed to clear a lot but of course the wind and the rain yesterday and today have brought down most of the rest of the deciduous leaves but there still seem to be a fair amount of cedar still to drop!!

 Fall - near Gairloch, Wester Ross


So what did I do to make the week so busy?   My brother, who lives in Tasmania and whom I have seen once in the 53+ years we have been in Canada & that was in 1982 at our parents Golden Wedding Anniversary, sent me an e-mail recently and started of with:
“There ought to be a lot of time to write letters and emails now but somehow the time disappears!”   So true and I have been meaning to reply but have not found the time which is a really sorry and sad state of affairs.   I will move that up to the next item on my agenda.

As you know we got home late on Monday evening and the first things I did was to go through my e-mails and complete the newsletter so that it was not too late.   Still this is the first newsletter for ages that has not managed to be opened by more than 200 subscribers.   What are you all doing!!!

Tuesday morning I finished responding to the e-mails that I had received and needed action then it was off to a meeting at the Scottish Cultural Centre.   After that I went to my office to look after a few clients and prepare the payroll for the staff at the Scottish Centre.  I had my class in the West End in the evening so back down to the Centre to drop off the payroll, get changed and rush down to the class.   Fortunately it was our night for live music as I did not have a lot of time to prepare for the class.  It was a fun night with two new dancers joining in so we had 16 and we were able to do quite a few of the dances on the Lady A programme.   Home for a late supper and bed!

On Wednesday I should have been out helping Margaret in the garden but I was stuck behind the computer getting my notes put together for the Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra concert and deal with some Demonstration Team matters.  Another class at night this time for the St. Andrew’s Ball which was held in the SCC.   The day flew by yet I was busy all day and did not stop until I got home to watch some tennis on the TV

Thursday was another day I should have worked in the garden.   Luckily I have a wonderful wife who was out there working hard all day while I studied some dances for the Tam o’Shanters and the Branch Team; prepared some introductions for the Branch Team performance on Friday, did some accounting work for the USCS; tried to follow up e-mails and phone calls re requests for Demonstration performances; prepared a poster for the Tam O’Shanter Burns Supper and sent out a raft of e-mails reminding people about this event, attended the Branch Team class where we danced through the programmes for the Friday and Saturday nights – I ended up having to dance too – and completed the day with some tennis on the TV.

Friday was a similar sort of morning with Demonstration Team work then getting ready to join the Tam O’Shanter Dancers for their Demonstration in a seniors Home in the Newton area of Surrey.   I had to leave after my last dance (there were still 2 dances to go) in order to get to New Westminster in time to meet the sound people etc. for the Demonstration Team’s performance later in the evening.  No time to get home so I had brought some dinner with me and had time to eat that, get changed again ready to hand out parking passes for everyone else then we had the walk through, got myself wired up with a wireless microphone and the Team was on with the first dance led by our own piper so that got the audience’s attention!   It was a fund-raiser for a College Foundation with about 200 in attendance.   We had 3 slots to fill but used the last of the 2nd one and all of the 3rd one for audience participation and we had 6 sets up so it was good.   I was still hungry when I got home so scoffed off the last of the chicken plus a banana sandwich while watching TV.

Yesterday was very wet so we slept in a bit longer, I did a bit of work with e-mails, printing things out, going to Staples to guillotine the Burns posters to be used as handouts to prospective ticket buyers, review my notes for the evening  then I left at 5 to get to Highland United Church.   It took me 75 minutes to get there so had a bit of a rush to get to meet the new minister, find our where the fire alarms, first aid etc. were located, get the CD player and my wireless microphone hooked up, dance the dance we were doing with the VFO, walk through the other dancers, meet the other guest artists, arrange all for the Grand March and get the show on the road.

I think, from the comments I heard, that it was another great success.  Certainly there were no seats left and there was good response from all for the performances and we had a goodly number of folk up for the 2 sessions of Ceilidh Dancing.   We started bang on time and may have run about 15 minutes longer than planned but all seemed to have good fun.   Many thanks to all the performers, Kim Reid, Rosie Carver & Michael Veins; Shot of Scotch, the Branch Demonstration Team and, of course, the Branch Demonstration Team which was under the direction of Dorothy Hargreaves.   Thanks also to the many volunteers who helped in the kitchen, at the door, bar, etc, and who set up and cleared up.   Well done one and all.

Many of the Team went back to Alison’s for a bite and to wind down.   I very much appreciated this time before my drive back to South Surrey.

Today it was up a bit earlier than usual on a Sunday as many men had been co-opted into the choir for the Remembrance Day service and there was a rehearsal 30 minutes beforehand.   No time for breakfast so I took my wife to the local café for brunch on the way home and that brings us up to date.   Tonight I am joining my son and two grandsons at the soccer match where we hope to cheer on our local team, Vancouver Whitecaps, to victory in the 1/4 finals of the MLS Cup.   It is a sell out with 27,000 fans expected.   My grandson & I will catch the bus and Skytrain into town.


 kids 15  


The Burnaby club, who are hosting the Lady Aberdeen Tea Dance this Wednesday afternoon want all those that are coming to know that   “Donations of a plate of food will be gratefully received”.



Ian Rankin will be in Vancouver on November 16 as a pre-festival event for the CUFFED Vancouver Crime Fiction Festival. Tickets are available for the Ian Rankin pre-festival event through Tickets Tonight 

Check for more information

A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.


Dear Scottish community,

Please join us for a film screening of the BBC documentary “Pipers of the Trenches” on Wednesday November 25th at 7 p.m. West Mall Complex 3210, SFU Burnaby Campus. This event is free and open to the public.

“Without glorifying war, this British Broadcasting Corporation film shows the outstanding bravery of the British and Commonwealth regimental pipers who led soldiers across no-man’s land during World War One. The pipes have been played in battle for hundreds of years, but trench warfare was new as was the accompanying ear-shattering artillery barrages. Of the 2500 pipers deployed at the front, 500 died and 600 were wounded. The film ends with Delta Pipe-Major Garth Newlands playing his grandfather’s pipes at the Vimy Memorial.” 

Following the film there will be discussion and viewing of artefacts from the collection of the Regimental Museum of the RHQ Seaforth Highlanders, including pipes that were played in the trenches, with Ray Eagle and curator of the museum Robert John MacDonald.

Parking instructions here:

Centre for Scottish Studies, Simon Fraser University


The next regular Ceilidh Dance is Friday, November 27, 2015 (the last Friday of  the month) which is just before St. Andrew’s Day so lets all wear blue.   I look forward to seeing you there.   Remember if you have a group of 8 or more and you contact me no later than November 25 then everyone in your group will get a $1 discount.


Flying Truths  (including a few repeats)

  • A good simulator check ride is like successful surgery on a corpse.
  • Asking what a pilot thinks about the FAA is like asking a tree what it thinks about dogs.
  • Trust your captain but keep your seat belt securely fastened.


max 15



Fall - Mull of Kintyre

Mull of Kintyre



 32 Strange Things You Likely Didn’t Know  

28. An old law in Bellingham, Washington, made it illegal for a woman to take more than three steps backwards while dancing!  
29. The glue on Israeli postage is certified kosher.
30. The Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from public libraries.

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     Note:   The Delta Store will close at the end of October – specials on now.

Celtic Fashions on E-Bay – go to


Fall - New Lanark

New Lanark

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.  


 kids 16


 Fall - Oban harbour

Oban Harbour


The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, November 27th, 2015.   I am hoping Louise (and friends) will be there to help me again.   Time for you all to get yourselves and your friends organized to come along for another fun filled evening. 

 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.

Interesting article just arrived – thanks MM

A must have for every home

If you like water, ice, wildlife and beautiful scenes,

Richard Sidey | Expedition Photography from Richard Sidey on Vimeo


Fall - Poppies in New Lanark

The next Ceilidh Dance will be on Friday, November 27th, 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 subscriber list is growing but ever so slowly.  We now have 343 subscribers.  I really need your help to get the subscriptions back up again.   Thanks for all your support.   Despite the increase this is the first time many weeks that the newsletter has been opened by less than 200 – 199 or 58.2% at time of writing.   Come on at least open it!! 

Please pass along the website to your friends and ask them to subscribe – it is free!!

Please keep opening the newsletter!!  Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome.

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 Please see “Coming Events” below for all information.

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

Nov 10 5th class for the St. Andrew’s Ball in Wescot School, 760 Wescot Road, West Vancouver from 8 – 10 pm.   Come for a fun evening and learn the dances for the Ball which will make the Ball even more enjoyable.
Nov 11 Lady Aberdeen Tea Dance 1:15 p.m. in the Scottish Cultural Centre hosted by the Burnaby SCDC – $10   A plate of food would be gratefully appreciated.
Nov 13 – 15 The San Francisco RSCDS Branch is gearing up to launch our upcoming 2015 Asilomar Weekend registration. We, of course, would love to invite your members to come dance down & at Asilomar this Fall! Join us for a magical weekend of Scottish Country Dancing on the spectacular Monterey Peninsula with world class teachers and outstanding musicians. Workshops and Ball at Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA, USA Teachers – Jimmie Hill, Ruth Jappy, Elaine Brunken, Jeff Corrigan, Alan Twhigg – Musicians – Fiddlesticks & Ivory, Judi Nicolson & Andy Imbrie  The Asilomar Conference Grounds and State Beach are renowned as the Monterey Peninsula’s ‘Refuge by the Sea’. If you are travelling from afar or nearby, there is no better time to start planning a memorable and unique autumn trip & come enjoy the magic that is Asilomar! Follow us on Pinterest for trip ideas More details & registration information available at Questions? Please contact:  Asilomar Weekend Chairman: Patti Cobb Registrar Julee Montes
Nov 14 Vancouver Soft Shoe Step Dance class
Nov 18 LAST class for the St. Andrew’s Ball in Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver from 8 – 10 pm.   Come for a fun evening and learn the dances for the Ball which will make the Ball even more enjoyable.
Nov 21 St. Andrew’s Ball with the Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra to be held in the Hellenic Centre, 4500 Arbutus Street, Vancouver.   Reception at 6 pm; Grand March at 6:45 pm followed by Banquet with Scottish fare, Scottish Country dancing, entertainment, etc.   Highland, formal or business attire; tickets $110 ($85 for 30 and under) at class or online You can also order drinks.   Come join one of the classes and learn the dances to make the evening even more enjoyable – 8 – 10 pm in Scottish Cultural Centre on October 21, 28; November 4 & 18 or in Wescot School, 760 Wescot Road, West Vancouver (NW corner of Upper Levels and Taylor Way) on October 13 and November 10
Nov 21 Vancouver Soft Shoe Step Dance class
Nov 21 Vancouver Island SCDS St. Andrew’s Social
Nov 21 Seattle RSCDS Dance Party & pot luck
Nov 24 Fort Langley St. Andrew’s Dance in Fort Langley Hall, 9167 Glover Road, Fort Langley at 7:30 with music by Mary Ross – $15
Nov 25 White Rock St. Andrew’s Social
Nov 25 BBC documentary “Pipers of the Trenches” on Wednesday November 25th at 7 p.m. West Mall Complex 3210, SFU Burnaby Campus. This event is free and open to the public.   – see newsletter for more details
Nov 27 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 $12 (students $10)
Nov 28 Vancouver Soft Shoe Step Dance class
Nov 28 Delta Borderer’s Dance – Kinsmen Centre, 5410 – 10th Avenue, Tsawwassen at 7:30 p.m. with music by Don Bartlett – $25 – info Mairi 604-946-2448
Dec  5 Children & Family Christmas Party
Dec  5 Come celebrate a Celtic Chrsitams with the Vancouver Gaelic Choir, along with gusts Ed MacIlwaine, piper; The Kaleyarders; Bob Collins and the Jocelyn Petit Band and folksinger Tom Hawkins.   All Saints Anglican Church, 7405 Royal Oak, Burnaby at 2 p.m.  $15 (seniors/children $10) — Call Roberta for info 604-433-3326
Dec  7 Branch Christmas ceilidh night 7:30 – 10:00 $6.50 drop-in – info from Gill 604-224-6751
Dec  8 Glenayre Christmas party
Dec  9 Glenayre SCDC Christmas dance
Dec  9 White Rock Christmas social
Dec 12 Inverglen Scottish Dancers present their Celtic Christmas Concert in the Seniors Centre of the Kerrisdale Community Centre at 2:00 p.m.  Free Admission.  Tickets for the Red & White Wine Raffle may be purchased.  Proceeds towards the dancer’s costume fund and dancer’s activities.
Dec 12 Vancouver Island SCDS Christmas Social
Dec 12 Seattle RSCDS Ceilidh/Silent auction/Dance Party
Dec 13 Gleneagles 52nd Ball in the Fairmont Hotel, Vancouver with the Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra
Dec 28 Betwixt & Between Dance in the Scottish Cultural Centre
Dec 31 Vancouver Island SCDS New Year’s Eve Social


Dance - blue



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.

 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.   This is the first year in quite some time that there were no cancellations of Dancing in the Park
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, November 27, 2015 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 – $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.

poppies - field


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

November is still a really good time to come along and join in one of many Scottish Country Dance (SCD) classes as they will be 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

Dance - green

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.


Classes will have started up again at various locations throughout the Lower Mainland and beyond but it is never too late to come along and join in the fun.   Check for location, start date and time at

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).

Remembrance poem Flanders Fields

There are a great many classes and the ones in the Vancouver area are listed on the website. 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 –




Fall - Pettycur Harbour

Pettycur Harbour


For upcoming events see and

Other announcements etc:
Seattle Branch
New Challenge Class season

1st Sunday of the month from 1 – 3 p.m. at University Heights, 5031 University Way N.E., Seattle, 98105 – Room 109

– info at ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

remembrance poem

The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, November 27, 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.

 Fall - Rothesay Harbour

Rothesay 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 —

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.

 Fall - Sanna, Ardnamurchan

Sanna, Ardnamurchan

We would like to attract more 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.

Fall - Soldier's Rock, Islay

Soldier`s Rock, Islay

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.


  I love this Doctor Dingum

QWill sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?    A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger.   You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.


This newsletter reaches out to some 343 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.



Fall - Strathaven



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 –

Fall - Sunrise Kessock_bridge



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

Fall - sunset at Barassie