Friday, July 10, 2009


Attended our first ceilidh last night, to which we were invited by our caretaker and his wife. Great fun. It was held in a women's club in Stanley Bridge, and was made up mostly of story telling, Irish and Scottish music. But the standout was Kate the fiddler. In her 20's, I'd say, and a spectacular musician. That's one of the things that strikes me most -- the island is brimming with music, and out in a tiny hall on a country road you can find a virtuosic musician and for $10 (Canadian) spend an entire evening listening to music that touches you to the core. The jokes and stories were long in the tooth, but contributed to a lovely evening. Intermission consisted of ice cream and berries (no, of course I didn't have any ice cream, and yes of course Nick did.)

I think we've caught the ceilidh bug. They're held all over the island nearly every night of the week, and we both plan to attend as many as we can. Nick overflows with the wonder of it all -- it shows on his face, particularly in his eyes. It's a never-ending adventure, and there's much to experience and almost too much to learn.

There were a few NY jokes sprinkled through the night, but Tom -- the ceilidh lead -- clearly stopped paying attention to the city after the 70's, and his jokes are all about the infestation of crime that plagued the town. The kids at the hall -- there were many of them -- laughed along. We tried to smile without cynicism.


  1. Reminds me of our visit to a local Irish pub in central irelan (county leitrim?) where a half dozen local musicians (young & old) sat down on a line of chairs and played all night.

    By the way, youtube snippets of ceilidh, look like what we midwesterners would call square dancing....

  2. hello, Richard! I thought (from what I'd read) that ceilidhs were a lot of dancing; this one and others I've heard about were more performance (though interactive, with much sing-along) than dancing.


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