Everything is a bit different this Games weekend, because i thought i could still be away in Russia I hadn’t booked a table to sell my wares at the games. I could have got one at the last moment, but since art sales are so flat, recent years have seen sales drop from £200 to £20 on the day, i usually figured it was still worth displaying for PR & to let folks see what i do, but since i haven’t painted any traditional looking art for a while… is that in fact what i do ? So i’m giving it a miss.
The local fire service hasn’t been asked to attend this year. Which means i’m off the hook, apart from helping out with the SNP stall. Being generally off the Hook meant I could go to the first games Dance for a decade or so! This is the busiest weekend of the year for the village, all the young people who left the area to work come ‘home’. It’s a bit odd, all these young folks who know each other, who i vaguely recognise which family they are from, but not sure which generation they are, young people who last i saw in primary school, young people who’s faces look like the photographs I’ve been scanning in from people here 100 years ago. In a village with 41% over retirement age, we’re not used to young faces ! The games dance seems to be different from the regular dances, folks dress up more, dressy dresses and of course the usual boys in their kilts. I was HOURS late due to a catalogue of chaos, my daughter who has also come up for the weekend missed a bus/ train, which given that our public transport is virtually non-existent here, meant i had to go to Inverness 65 miles away to collect her. I also had a Fire call out which made me a couple of hours late for that. So by the time i’d taxied, collected her pal, dropped my car off and walked back down it was very late and the village hall was already a lively and loud place. Not much dancing at this stage, lots of drinking and catching up, the bar was a mosh pit, the floor awash, and the laughter could be heard half a mile away.
Last Ceilidh I went to I ended up sitting by myself for a while which can be disconcertingly alienating, I guess people know me with lots of different hats on but no necessarily the socialising one in recent years. But this dance was different, it was such a mad melee that there was no room for isolation, visitors, locals and returning ‘locals’ all jostling, hugging, spilling drink down those nice dresses and shirts and having a great time!
I spectacularly failed to get photos of the antics or dancing, i really need a new camera, mine is so slow and cumbersome, yet takes rubbish photos of social situations. This is all i got!
By the end of the night there was a lot of jigging and dancing and acrobatics and skating on the wet floor and catching up chats and bizarre physical male bonding rituals … what is that all about ?! I suppose many would look upon the proceedings with judgment and disapproval, yet what goes on elsewhere across the UK on a friday night? clubbing? I love that occasions like a village dance stretch back into history as long as there were people here, in a community like this we are still connected to each other and to the traditions of the past, which in our homogenised superficial corporate monopoly consumer world is something special that needs hanging onto and celebrating.
Now for the day event the games, followed by another night of revelry and music in a local Hotel. ……. stay tuned for the next episode of Tueachter* time!
* Gaelic for northerner, pronounced Choochter, usually used in a slightly derogatory way to denote diddly dee backwards looking archaic cultural practice, ie choochy music, choochy dancing. S’toil leam rudegan tueachter, tha iad math!