Sunday, September 05, 2004

There are certain activities which persons should most definitely take out personal injury/damage insurance on before pursuing. Sure, sure, there are those so-called 'extreme sports' and 'adventure' acitivities such as white water rafting, bungee jumping and rock climbing that one would take part in with a certain expectation that they MAY get a few bump, bruises, maybe even a broken limb, but it would be just as wise to consider the risks involved in a night out at a Scottish Ceilidh. I, for one, did not realise that dancing with men in kilts could be so hazardous to the health. I suspected it could be tempting in a multitude of ways, but never imagined it could be so bloody paiunful.

Right, so Saturday evening, Keri, Jen & I showed up at the Caledonian Brewery (same one we'd visited for the beer festival in our early Edinburgh days). Inisde the large ware-house style pub, there were long bench style tables lined up against the walls, adorned with tartan linens & candles (seriously, I never cease to be amazed by the numerous fire hazards at the public buildings and bars over here - Where's a Scott Mintie when you need him?). There was a huge dancing area in the middle of the massive bar (picture the school gym at junior high prom) It was really quite lovely and atmospheric. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

We joined Brandon and his mates from the softball league he was in. There were men in kilts sitting within a metre of me. Actually, I was sitting on the kilt of the bloke beside me, who, incidentally, was from Canada. Yep, so the band started playing a traditional Scottish song and a load of lads & lassies just hopped up on the dance floor and started twirling and whirling around. I was shocked - they all knew exactly what to moves to do. Where did they learn this? Where Scottish dancing classes part of the mandatory class curriculm for elementary students in Scotland?

Well, soon enough I was getting the itch to dance myself. Some of the moves reminded were similar to those I'd learned in Irish set dancing classes waaaaayyyyyy back when I was a wee 18-year old. ANyway some lovely older gent in a kilt came up and asked Keri to dance in a Set Dance. Next thing you know, I caught Jen's eye and she was like 'Do you want to go up?' Oh what the heck! So, of course, I ended up being the lead (i.e. guy) to Jen and when it came our turn to lead the set dance we were so ghastly I almost collapsed in fits of laughter. The only thing that kept me from keeling over was the assistance of other dancing couples in our set. It didn;t take too long to catch on though, especially when we realised that the whole 'blind leading the blind' thing wasn't the best way to go about learning a jig or reel. We made sure, after that, to pair up with someone who had at least a vague idea what they were doing.

All was going along well with regards to my physical well-being (save for the fact that I was absolutely dripping in sweat and my face melting off) until weJen & I got up with Brandon & another lad (in a kilt) for a set dance. The lad in the kilt knew all the dances, and before we'd even recieved our instructions he informed us that in this particular dance the gents had to lift the ladies. Ha ja. Poor Brandon got stuck with me. AS it turned out the whole lifting thing invoved two getns and two lads coming together in a tight huddle, with the girls putting one arm around the shoulder of each lad, adn the lads lifiting each girl around the waist then spinning around and aroud for a 16 count. At first I felt sorry for Barndon, but after just one spin I felt sorry for myself. My upper arms were in excruciating pain and my head was spinning. But we had to keep on dancing, and dancing and dancing, I don't know how many times we did that spinny thing, but by the end of it I thought my arms were going to fall off. As it turned out, a rather large and unattracive (as opposed to the attractive ones) bruise was forming under my left arm. Oh the pain.

The rest of the dances were great fun and less painful. The topper was a line-style dance, where the lads lined up facing the gals, all the way down the dance floor (there must ahve ben forty couples at least), and the couple at the top of the line did a spin for 16 counts, then started of twirling their way down the line. I can't really explain it, but it was quite a spectacle and I've never had so many people's sweat on me. There was one guy who was absolutely soaked in sweat, I nearly slipped off him (ew!).

Sigh. I want to go there again SOON! BUt we need to find us some male dancing partners and learn some dance moves. I have probably bored you with this detailed account of our ceilidh night but it was SO MUCH FUN!!!

As for the rest of the weekend - Friday night was leaving dos galore and cheap shots (completly unplanned), with finale of the night taking place at WalkAout where I came up with brilliant oidea to bid Brandon adieu via a song request. In absence of any ability to think (And I can't believe I did this to a Canadian), I requested Summer of '69. Don't get me wrong, I do like the song and I knew the DJ had it, so was a reasonable choice, but it is just too cliche Canadian. Next time I will request something less cheese, more true Canadian like Bob & Doug or Stan Rogers.

Today marks the last day of the Edinburgh Festivals and the city's farewell comes in the shape of a massive fireworks display with orchestra accompainment. I'm not sure the weather will hold out, its overcast at the moment, but am certain it will be a spectacular sight in any case.

So, now I must wander on to the mall in hopes that the hair salon where I cut my do done last Thursday is open. YOu see, she didn't cut enough off and today, in moment of frustration I took the scissors to my fringe (ie bangs) Jen said she couldn't notice any difference, but I fear that if I leave it alone for any more time, I will not be able to resist more snipping. This would be disastrous, as anyone who has seen me hold a pair of scissors, knows.

K..not sure when I'll be posting again, as must do research on London during my lnch break s at work, and am off to Dublin on Thursday for long weekend! I wil try my best to post mid-week and let you know if I still have hair on my head.


Anonymous said...

Hey, not a bit boring. Very entertaining reading. Sounds like a real work-out. Maybe there's a reality show in there somewhere. "Extreme Dance Moves?"


Anonymous said...

Got your postcard today, thanks! YOushould find out if there is any of that dancing stuff on a weekday while I'm there!