Pies, jigs and reels…

Friday’s outfit shot – it’s so nice to be
able to wear short sleeves again!

Well, the weekend passed in a flurry of activity for me! Friday night was an early night and a bedtime story (Dapper is reading me Flashman) in order that we might start Saturday bright and early with a trip into the village to buy ingredients. Dapper had schoolwork to do, and I had pastry to make! Having failed to bring my food mixer with me, I had to make my pastry by hand, always an interesting experience (I’m good at cakes, but my pastry needs practice) then leave it in the fridge to prove while I peeled and sliced my apples and prepared my pie dishes. I ended up making three pies, two of which I dolloped fudge sauce into to create a toffee apple  flavour!

The pies had been requested for the Scottish Country Dancing Spring Social and Supper, which we were attending on Saturday night. I have always enjoyed a good ceilidh – indeed, while studying for my masters up in Stirling I became quite converted to Saturday night jigging and reeling – but I never thought it would be something I’d take up on a weekly basis…

It turns out to be something I really look forward to on a Thursday night. It’s not too physically taxing (raises the heart-rate but doesn’t leave you gasping for breath!) but extraordinarily mentally energetic: remembering the dances in order, where you should be and when, reeling on the side, the diagonal or across the dance, and (most difficult of all for me) whether you should be passing or turning by your left or your right!! I can’t tell my left from my right at the best of times!

On Saturday we did a few of the dances I’m getting to be quite fond of – the slow and steady S-Locamotion, the pretty Bonnie Tree, the delightfully skippy-twirly Roaring Jelly and, of course, Mairi’s Wedding. I also got dragged into one I’ve not done before, A Trip to Bavaria, which I thought particularly lovely! The nice thing is that everyone dances with everyone at these socials, and you’re rarely the only one going wrong. You just have to learn to dance with couples who are there for the fun of dancing, and drown out the grumpy sorts who scowl and mutter too loudly that if you don’t know the dance you shouldn’t stand up! After all, everyone has to start somewhere!

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