Well, I should really hang my head in shame... I logged on to update this blether and saw that the last time I updated the website was the end of April. That is really hard to believe, where on earth has the time gone? For me at least, this period of lock-down and gradual re-emergence has flown past and it was with slight reluctance that I suggested we all meet up for a 'bit of a picnic' to get re-acquainted with each other since it signals, hopefully, a gradual new beginning but a break from the immediate past.
I've definitely enjoyed the 'time-out' and I hope everyone has had a similarly calm but productive few months. We are very lucky to be here in Cyprus which(rather surprisingly) seems to be one of the safest places to be in Europe, at least so far.
Anyway, now the rules are relaxing, and while we haven't too many tourists to increase the risks again, it seems a good idea to grab the chance for a get together.
If you haven't received a formal invitation don't worry, just turn up, the Groups contact list is brand new and although we've tried hard to include everyone we've already discovered a few who have slipped through the net.
We are meeting from 3 pm on Thursday 30th July at the Pikni Forest picnic area above Peyia. If anyone isn't sure where Pikni Forest is, click HERE, for directions and a map.
The picnic area itself is large, well laid out and equipped with tables and benches etc. There are BBQ pits for public use, but in case we are not be permitted to use them (fire risk) it may be best to bring something like sandwiches rather than steak! This is a purely social get together, in the safety of the open air bring your own food and drink and lets enjoy the coolness of the forest with space for as much social distancing as we feel comfortable with. I look forward to seeing whoever turns up and hopefully it will get me back my into 'Scottish' gear again. I doubt if we'll be dancing soon but at least now we can enjoy a bit of each other's company. Keep cool. Jx
Happy Easter. Not an Easter egg in sight, but never mind, there's greater tragedies in this world at the moment, but hopefully not for you and yours. It's unbelievable that it's 2 weeks since I last had a blether. Days are slower but fuller - and seem to be flying past even quicker than normal. Freesia are in full bloom all over the garden. They smell lovely now I've got time to pick them. Home grown lettuce and rocket are now gracing my salads as well as my vegetable patch. Tomatoes are planted and beans and cucumbers are shooting up - lots going on, how did I ever have time for anything else?
On the 'dancing front' I'm including links to two more RSCDS 'Dance Scottish At Home' newsletters. The RSCDS are running on-line classes every Wednesday morning - see the link below for more information in their latest newsletter.
And the link below should take you to last weeks newsletter.
Finally I've included a button, below, to allow you to download the latest 'International Branch' newsletter - just in case you want to play 'spot the teacher'.
Keep safe and well. Jx
So far, so good. It's a surprise to realise that I've not been on the computer for over a week - I've just been so busy that time has flown by. It's definitely an 'ill wind' as they say and I feel a little guilty that wherever I look people are saying what a difficult time it is... but I have to confess to enjoying the 'down-time' because I'm basically a solitary person. That's not to say that I'm not missing the dancing, or seeing friend's or that we've not been having our own little crises - but at this time of year I'm always a bit frustrated by having to spend so much time inside when all I really want to do is get into the garden to drag out the weeds and plant a few seedlings so to actually get the chance to do that, and read a book, and do a jigsaw, and get out my cross-stitch (no time to do that yet but it's there) and not feel guilty that there's updates to do or events to prepare for, or attend, and no urgent need to learn new things or think ahead ... is bliss.
We are very lucky of course to be in such a nice place to be isolated ;-) and that everyone we are close to seems to be staying healthy and motivated. The dreaded lurgy will have changed quite a few things by the time we come out of all this but not all of them will be bad - and although the weather today has been bracing, over the last few days it's been lovely enough to get the swing seat out and eat our lunch outside, so spring is definitely here and if we can't walk in it at least we have time to sit and enjoy the sunshine when it's available. Exercise is of course important and not everyone has a garden to weed and bask in, so here's a link to the RSCDS's 'Dance Scottish at Home' newsletter which includes some good music and dancing and here is also a link to a newly created dance 'The Toilet Roll Reel' which was published on the RSCDS Facebook page and shows you don't need a partner to get a work out (I hope the link works). Keep well Jx
Hi everyone, we are thinking hard about the dreaded lurgy..... please look out for notices from us regarding next week's dancing Jx
Physical exercise is good for you, mental exercise is necessary too... last week demonstrated that Scottish country dancing is all you need to stay healthy (though perhaps not quite sane ;-)) - by the end of the session I wasn't the only one whose brain hurt! Well done to everyone who attempted Monica's Way, not by any means the most complicated dance in the SCD repertoire but still a considerable challenge - not least for the teacher! It contains several formations unfamiliar to most of the class, as well as being a 'non-stop' dance for everyone in the set. Despite my shaky instructions the dance was close to working by the end of a brief 'teach-in' - next week I'll get the ending sorted out and we can iron out the wrinkles and feel super pleased with ourselves++! Numbers are fairly low at the moment but we still managed 2 sets for most of the dances and, as usual, we had great fun with Staircase in Styria as well as getting slightly further on with Gang the Same Gate - it was pointed out that I'd designated this tricky dance as a 'green' level... my excuse is that since it is a Strathspey there is time for people to sort themselves out - or at least get it wrong more slowly - everyone managed that pretty well :-)- but still enjoyed the challenge. I am looking forward to seeing how well we can do next week, keep washing your hands to keep the bugs at bay and we'll see you soon. Jx
We will all be familiar with the strange feeling of being away for a short but intensely different break and then returning to a 'normal' life that feels anything but normal for the first few days. It's also strange that despite not adding to these blethers for nearly 3 weeks. (You poor deprived things ;-)) the Tuesday dance session 2 weeks ago was excellent enough to stick in my mind despite all that I've done since; we had great fun with 'The Staircase in Styria' and I got the chance to join in with 'Christmas at the Heath' as well as dancing 'The Dream Catcher'.
Last week, while I was away, I left Pete with a programme of easy or very familiar dances as it's always enjoyable (both for dancer and teacher) to have a relaxing night of familiar stuff from time to time.... but hee, hee, hee.... I'm back... and though I enjoy going back to the simple stuff too, if you don't stretch yourself occasionally you loose the ability to stretch at all! ( And I've just had a good stretch so I think you should too!).
Winter School was FAB -U-LUS!! Although I attended by myself this year I would really like to take a group to it next year, not because I need the company, but because it is such a great experience that would be wonderful to share. As far as the dance classes are concerned the teaching is so good and the pace non-demanding (compared to the sessions here) so that most of our regular dancers could cope easily with a little preparation. Pitlochry and The Atholl Palace Hotel itself are lovely places and an experience in themselves - the classes for all levels are based both in the town and at the hotel so over the week you get a chance to try both.
All the evening dances are based at the hotel (except for the final night Ball at Blair Castle) and the policy was to make them accessible to every level of dancer - during the week we danced Postie's Jig; Culla Bay; Cherrybank Gardens; Mairi's Wedding and Highland Rambler amongst many more that we are familiar with - even though I was amongst many other 'singles' no-one was ever without a partner, because being sociable is what this type of dancing is all about - I danced every dance my feet would allow! The pleasure to be had from dancing with, literally, 100 or more other people, to the music of amazing musicians is something that cannot be replicated here in Cyprus - as is the fascination of meeting people from all over the world with a common interest. It's very hard to convey the joy of it all roll on next year...
But then having said all that... it's good to be back!
I hope to see you tonight. Jx
It's already that time of year... while we are busy welcoming back more of our spring 'Swallows' we start to say more goodbyes to Winter visitors... In this instance 2 of our regulars are planning a more prolonged departure than usual, like all our regular dancers they will be very much missed but we are sure to see them again whenever they are visiting. The night started early with a little mini meet of the committee but it was constructive enough to over fairly quickly and it was followed by a really good night of dancing. The super 7 couple Christmas at the Heath wasn't attempted because the break was later than usual and numbers dropped quite quickly but we'll give it another try next week because it's well worth keeping in the repertoire but needs revision fairly often. Other dances that were particularly enjoyed were Dream Catcher and Trip to Bavaria - both of which were very well done, even by newcomers to the dances.
On a formal note we are to be rechristened as the P3A St Andrew Group. There will be a bit of revision of the website, including the domain name since it is conveniently due for renewal and of course logos etc will be slightly revised - this will of course happen gradually since it takes a bit of time to get everything sorted - especially since I am heading to Scotland at the end of next week for the RSCDS Winter School - but don't worry Tuesday sessions will continue (though the Monday class may have to be postponed for a couple of weeks). This week both Monday and Tuesday will be on as normal, hopefully the dreadful weather that is expected over the weekend will be over by then- I hope to see you there.
This is a very belated blether because the amount of work both the committee and I have had to do 'behind the scenes' during this last week has eaten up all my free time and more, however it culminated in an excellent 'AGM' despite unexpected changes in the agenda and the fact that strictly speaking it wasn't an AGM but just a meeting of friends with a common interest in things Scottish.
After the euphoria of a truly excellent Burns' Night the week started with a certain amount of confusion and concern because of new laws which impact the legal existence of the Society. Our chairman, amongst others, got very busy and thanks have to go to Ros (in this instance, from the P3A - but she wears many hats which makes her a very busy lady) who has been incredibly generous with her time and knowledge to bring everyone up to speed with the situation - which allowed informed decisions to be made. These decisions were conveyed to the attendees of the meeting last Saturday and were well received - which led to very little delay before we got to the excellent lunch provided by Debby and her team at the UKCA and provided free to every attendee.
There are still plenty of details to be ironed out but the essential thing is a legal way forward is achieved. More information will be e-mailed to members/interested parties as and when they are confirmed/available - there will be inevitable changes in the structure of the society however from the members point of view it should be 'business as usual' - just a little cheaper (we hope) - not at all bad!
Dancing definitely continues unchanged, so I hope to see everyone either on Monday or Tuesday as normal and congratulations to the new members of the 'committee' - exactly what your future titles will be is still to be decided but welcome anyway, it's great to have more hands on deck :-)
This is a changing world, and it looks like even our little society may have to make changes in the near future- willy-nilly - though what the actual changes are is, of course, ultimately down to what the members wish to do - all the more important to come to the AGM next week! But all that is yet to come and the happenings of the last week is more than enough to fill a blether. Last week's class showed yet another increase in numbers both of old and brand new members- it was rather frantic with memberships, Burns' Night tickets and AGM business all going on at once, as well as welcoming brand new members and saying good bye to our lovely dancing visitors. 3 or even 4 sets up for some challenging dances were a bit much in some cases but even so we had a brilliant time and people really worked together to get the most out of the evening.
The main event of the week however was Burns' Night at the Elea on Saturday night, we had both regular attendees and the pleasure of new guests attending. Yet again we thank Blevins Franks and Campbells (shortbread) for some fabulous sponsorship and the Elea surpassed themselves with the presentation and quality of the food. Thanks of course also have to go the Doug, Don, Graham and Irene who all put themselves in the spotlight with excellent speeches and poems and Doris our Chairman not only 'ran' the proceedings but also accompanied the sing song. We are a multi talented lot to say the least. The pictures I took on the night are all now available via the Past Events link above or click HERE. I still have images from the St Andrew Society Ball to upload (because I had to fly home so soon after the event) but I will hopefully get round to uploading them soon. I hope to see you all soon. Jx
Class numbers are already into 20+ and we had 2 or 3 sets up for most dances. It was an excellent night. We were again delighted to be joined by class returnees and more dancing visitors - not least because they had heard of the class back home in Scotland rather than just finding us via this website, so our fame is spreading! Thankfully they seem to have enjoyed their night with us and hope to return again next week before their holiday end. This week we had our second excursion to Bavaria and enjoyed it so much we went there twice! Well done to everyone in the class who have worked to master this highly popular, but potentially confusing, little dance - it's been worth taking a few extra minutes to teach it thoroughly. Our other 'new' dances also worked well and although we didn't finish the programme we managed more dances than last week and had great fun. I'm looking forward to the next class already. Jx
Originated in Manchester, England: Worked almost 20 yrs in the Emirates: Lives in Cyprus, Teaches Scottish Country Dancing (RSCDS qualified 2015) -just the average life. Also loves Photography & Photoshop, Gardening, Music, Sewing, Design, Reading, Sudoku, God, my husband & my cats (not necessarily in that order). Hates - cooking, housework, TV, politicians, cruelty and greed of any kind.
All Images on this site are copyright Janine Scott unless otherwise stated.