Christmas Ceilidh

We finished our paid work early today, so from noon onwards did nothing but quilt. Flying Goose after Flying Goose after Flying Goose. Tomorrow we’re dragooning a cousin and her machine into finishing them off so that we can finally start piecing.

From noon until six, that was all we did. We took a break, and we stopped for pots of Golden Nepal Typ Maloom (this is today’s German tea), but otherwise it was all quilting all day.

Having done that, we have no idea how the professionals survive. Our shoulders were not happy, and we had tried to be good about not hunching. Also, our right arm was underwhelmed by the experience and all it did was hold the fabric steady!

It was a relief to get to our evening dance class. It was the Christmas ceilidh, so we swapped out some of the more traditional music with appropriately Scottishized carols. You know, We Three Kings with Scotch snaps and Let It Snow in a strathspey setting. Honestly, you haven’t lived until you’ve danced the Scotch take on We Three Kings. It’s the jauntiest version of the song ever to go out into the world.

Now we’re sipping Organic Nine Berries from David’s Tea while trying to source suitable poems about ceilidhs. There’s not a lot out there. This seems like an omission. Apparently our society has one poet and we’ve given you quite a lot of her in bygone years.

(Actually, that’s not true. One of the social group members wrote a poem for the occasion but we don’t have it here.)

Anyway, about the tea. Golden Nepal was a lovely black tea. It’s another nice, uncomplicated one, and we quite like that because it makes a break from, say, residue-heavy Candy Cane Crush. Also, we love a good black tea. This was the perfect thing to get us through the quilting marathon.

Organic Nine Berry lives up to its name. The fruits don’t quite balance. It’s heavier on hibiscus and blueberry than strawberry, for instance. But part of that is the steeping time.

We quite like it, because the hibiscus keeps it the right side of the sharp-sweet divide. And even now more strawberry is coming through, so we’re doubling down on the importance of steeping times. You have to mix it thoroughly, too. When we poured out the berry flavour wanted to sink to the bottom. So, keep a spoon handy.

And now, here’s that ceilidh poem for you. It’s talking about an oldy-worldy, properly traditional ceilidh. The kind where dances, stories and music jumble together. They still do them, and we have fond memories of one out on the Isle of Mull, but these days the word is more synonymous with dancin. Enjoy!

The Time Traviveller’s Convention
Sheena Blackhall

Bring a pairtner tae the Ceilidh
Dress informal
, the invite stated
At the time traivellers’ convention.

Mary Queen o Scots arrived hersel
Signed up fur speed-datin.
Said she wis a romantic,
Cud lose her heid ower the richt chiel.

The sheik in the tartan troosers
Turned oot tae be Rabbie Burns
Wi a bevy o beauties he’d gaithered
On his traivels.

John Knox tuik charge o the raffle
The kirk being eesed tae collectin
Naebody socht him fur a lady’s choice.

Lord Byron niver missed a single dance
In the Gay Gordons. He wis last tae leave.

The Loch Ness Monster, playin watter music
Last seen wis reelin roon bi Ailsa Crag
Wi thirteen kelpies and a Shetlan silkie.

Feedback suggests they’ll aa be back neist year.


Fun fact: when we started the search for ‘poems about ceilidhs,’ Google tried to complete the query with ‘poems about ceiling fans.’ We have several follow up questions. One, is there ceiling fan poetry out there? Two, would that have been the easier search? And finally, what convinced poets this was a gap in the universal body of poetry that needed filling?

We may have to look for you for tomorrow. But no promises.

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