Well 2 years ago at the German Christmas market it was -14C and we were frozen stiff.   Yesterday it was close to a monsoon all day and we were soaked but the Dem Team showed great spirit and lasted all 4 hours huddled under shelters but smiling as they danced, piped and yodeled to the understandably sparse crowd.   We were joined by the Little Mountain Step’n Clog and also by Cranachan the new Step Dance group.  We must have numbered about 2 dozen entertainers including 3 (5 counting our piper and yodeler) musicians.  The Teams all deserve our thanks for spreading the word about dancing and the Festive spirit.   A big thanks also to those brave souls who came especially to watch us.

Next Saturday the Dem Team are dancing at the Dundarave Festival of Lights which is also outdoors so we are praying for a dry afternoon.  We dance at 5 p.m. and will be doing audience participation so if you are in the area drop by for some fun exercise and to enjoy the Lights etc.   It is at the foot of 25th in West Vancouver – right on the waterfront.

Winter floods in Clackmananshire

floods in Clackmananshire as seen from the Ochils.

This was a party week with parties at the end of our West End class on Tuesday, and on Wednesday at White Rock where Maureen chose a fun seasonal programme of dances.  Then we had another party at the end of the Dem Team class on Thursday and on Friday the Tam O’Shanters had a dinner party followed by some very simple – I may get some comments on that – but fun dances that were a bit different and not on many programmes.

Tonight we are going to a turkey dinner at our church although it is being hosted by a church that shares our building.   We are getting in the mood.   Our tree is up early as Margaret hosted a book club here and we have even managed to get all our overseas cards mailed.   We have cut down on cards drastically due to the cost of postage.   It is unfortunate we have to look to alternate methods of getting our greetings and news delivered and most of that this year will be using e-mail.


Winter floods - Linn Park, Glasgow

Floods – Linn Park, Glasgow




Atheism is a non-prophet organization.





The next regular Ceilidh Dance is not until next year!!! Friday, January 8, 2016 (this is so we avoid the Festive Season when you are all busy, the hall is more expensive, etc.) I look forward to seeing you there. Remember if you have a group of 8 or more and you contact me no later than January 6 then everyone in your group will get a $1 discount.


max 5


Winter in Rochiemurchus forest, Aviemore



Jean Wagstaff has asked if I would advertise the following


Mans Heavy Weight Kilt
42″-44″ waist   Length suitable for man over 6′ tall.
Muted Red MacFarlane tartan.

Prince Charlie Jacket & Vest, Black
Chest Size 48 / Long.

Kilt Jacket, Green Tweed
Chest Size 44 / Long.

Kilt Jacket, Tweed Mixed Colours
Chest Size 36 / Small.

Ladies Royal Stewart Kilted skirt
Size 12.

For further information contact:
Jean Wagstaff    604-371-1939


A painter by the name of Murphy, while not a brilliant scholar, was a gifted portrait artist. Over a short number of years, his fame grew and soon people from all over Ireland were coming to the town of Doolin in County Clare, to get him to paint their likenesses.
One day, a beautiful young English woman arrived at his house in a stretch limo and asked if he would paint her in the nude.   This being the first time anyone had made such a request he was a bit perturbed, particularly when the woman told him that money was no object; in fact she was willing to pay up to £10,000.
Not wanting to get into any marital strife, he asked her to wait while  he went into the house to confer with Mary, his wife.  In a few minutes he returned   “T’would be me pleasure to paint yer portrait, missus,” he said “The wife says it’s okay. “I’ll paint you in the nude all right; but I have to at least leave me socks on, so I have a place to wipe me brushes.”
Got to love the Irish!!



The year is flying past and it will be 2016 before I know it. That means Burns Suppers!! Tickets are already available for some of these events including the one run by the Vancouver Branch on January or 604-224-6751 or online at www.rscdsvancouver.orgor the one run by the Tam O’Shanter Dancers on January 23 – or 604-536-7660. Get your tickets early and don’t be disappointed.


Interested in Robert Burns? Please check out this free online course offered by the University of Glasgow starting January 25. Information and registration to be found in this link: 

Centre for Scottish Studies Simon Fraser University



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 store on Dunbar & 41st. Check them out at Christmas stock has now arrived.

Celtic Fashions on E-Bay – go to


Winter Kilsyth


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.




winter kippford beach

Kippford Beach


The next Ceilidh Dance is not until Friday, January 8th, 2016. I am hoping Louise (and friends) will be there to help me again. Lots of time for you all to get yourselves and your friends organized to come along for another fun filled evening. Come and dance of all your Festive goodies.

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!!


Just to keep you informed:- The Branch Demonstration Team will be performing at  the Dundarave Festival of Lights on Saturday, December 19 at 5 p.m.


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.

A not too bright Squirrel Trying To Hide Nut In Dog.   Just in case you haven’t had your laugh today.   It is only a 15 second video, but it keeps repeating if you want to watch more than once.   Click here

Squirrel Trying To Hide Nut In Dog

*School lunch with a difference at a primary school in Great Missenden,Buckinghamshire.*

If this does not make your day, nothing will! For sure it will put a smile on your face!

Even if you don’t particularly like cats, this is funny….  English ad….


The next Ceilidh Dance will be on Friday, January 8th, 2016. 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 gained one more so we are at 346 subscribers. I really need your help to get the subscriptions back up again. Thanks for all your support. Out of 344 last week’s newsletter was opened by 205 of 59.4% – a bit of a drop, I guess everyone is too busy shopping online!!

Now there is an idea – what a great gift this newsletter would make (and it is free!!)  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.


husband 5


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

Note that the Nanaimo Tea Dance schedule for April 9 has been cancelled.

Dec 28 Betwixt & Between Dance in the Scottish Cultural Centre at 7:30 with music by Mary Ross.   FREE for RSCDS Members.  Non Members $15
Dec 31 Vancouver Island SCDS New Year’s Eve Social
Jan  8 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)
Jan  9 Bellingham social
Jan 16 Vancouver Branch Burns Supper in the Scottish Cultural Centre with bar open at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.   Music for dancing by the Tartan Players.  Tickets $55 from Gilli at or by Paypal at
Jan 16 Vancouver Island SCDS Burns Supper
Jan 23 Tam O’Shanter Dancers Burns Supper in the Star of the Sea Hall, 15262 Pacific Avenue, White Rock.   Bar service 5:30; supper 6:30; dress semi-formal.   Tickets $55
Jan 23 Seattle RSCDS Burns Supper
Jan 27 White Rock Burns party
Feb  5 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)
Feb  6 Bellingham social
Feb 12 – 14 Annual Aloha Winter Weekend with Linda Henderson, guest instructor and the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a & Strathspey Society Band.   Info – email Melissa at:  webpage
Feb 13 Love to Dance workshop and Tea Dance in the Scottish Cultural Centre

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
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The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, January 8, 2016 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.



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

January, 2016 would be a wonderful 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).


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 –


dancing tree 2


winter Loch a'Chroisg

Loch aChroisg


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 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, January 8, 2016 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.



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 —

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.

Winter Loch Doon

Loch Doon

We would like to attract more young adults and students from Universities and all the colleges. Somehow we have to get word out to these students etc. 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.

Snow scene

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 Loch Lomond view

Loch 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.


A Canadian Christmas…

A man in Newfoundland calls his son in Calgary two days before Christmas and says, ‘I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough.

‘Pop, what are you talking about?’ the son screams.   

‘We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer,’ the father says.   ‘We’re sick of each other, and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Vancouver and tell her.’

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone.   ‘No way they’re getting divorced!’ she shouts, ‘I’ll take care of this.

She calls Newfoundland immediately and screams at her father, ‘You are not getting divorced. Don’t do a single thing until I get there.   I’m calling my brother back, and we’ll both be there by tomorrow.   Until then, don’t do a thing. DO YOU HEAR ME?” and hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. ‘Okay,’ he says, ‘they’re coming for Christmas and paying their own way.’


This newsletter reaches out to some 346 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.



Winter Loch Loyne

Loch Loyne


Enjoy yourselves – come Scottish Country Dancing – for it is good for your health and you never know you just might …..!

See Coming Events on the website for info –

Winter Loch Morlich (2)

Loch Morlich

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