News ... Naidheachd
17 May 2013Another disappointment - but we soon recovered!
In April we were looking forward to our first visit of the season to Auchindrain, but sadly some of us were struck down by illness, so we had to cancel.
However we were delighted to be able to take part in the Auchindrain Woolly Connections event in May. A group of Icelandic and Slovakian visitors were descending on the Township for a programme of activities connected with wool and sheep. Frances was invited to give them a wee talk on the languages of Scotland. (The talk was for the Icelanders and Slovaks, not the sheep.) There was a sumptuous supper, hosted by the Slovakian contingent, but first they treated us to a traditional welcoming ceremony, when each person present was offered a piece of bread dipped in salt, and a (large) dram of slivovitz, while some of the Slovakian girls sang.
Click here for some pics. Remember to bookmark this page so that you can return easily.
Half a dozen of Sgioba Luaidh headed up on the Saturday and waulked all day, cosy with the peat fire in Martin’s House, sheltering from the rain. There was a ceilidh in the evening in Stoner’s barn, where we enjoyed some interesting Slovakian piping, and fantastic box playing.
Sunday was our big day – waulking our new tweed, in the pouring rain! Three more of us joined the Saturday team, so there were nine of us altogether at the board. We were amazed at how quickly we managed to shrink the cloth, from 36 inches wide to 31 inches in around 40 minutes. We were a bit disappointed – we only got to sing six songs!
Here you can see pics of the whole process, from the warping of the yarn in the Weaver’s Cottage, Kilbarchan, to the final waulking. Remember to bookmark this page so that you can return easily.
We were very pleased to welcome Stacey who came all the way from Salt Lake City to waulk with us!
The cloth has dried out really nicely, looks and feels lovely. This was our third “real” waulking, and we are well pleased with ourselves!
Only three days later we had a full day in the oldest house in Greenock (the Back House), as our contribution to the new Inverclyde Festival of Heritage. We were kept busy with visitors, including interested locals and some passengers off Queen Mary 2, the first cruise ship of the season to visit Greenock.
12 April 2013A disappointment ... but good things in prospect.
Sgioba Luaidh were looking forward to taking part in a ceilidh in Skelmorlie on 22 March in honour of the late, much loved Neil Nicholson, who for many years was president of Skelmorlie Highlanders. However, on the day Skelmorlie was whited out by a sudden blizzard. Sunny Greenock had only a few flakes of snow, but Upper Skelmorlie was inaccessible, so the ceilidh had to be cancelled. We hope that the event will take place later in the year.
We have a slight lull now before our next engagement, which is the Paisley Abbey Friendly Hour next Thursday. We were there in January last year, and as we sang we could see through the window the snow falling thicker and thicker. And on the way home we were diverted away up the back roads because of an accident. It took us two hours to get from Paisley to Greenock, in quite hair-raising conditions. So this year they booked us for March when the weather would be better! (That remains to be seen!)
A couple of days later, Saturday 20th, we’ll be paying our first visit of the season to our beloved Auchindrain. A lot of work has been going on over the winter, and we can’t wait to see the Township all spruced up.
Meantime we have been busy making arrangements for our summer in the Islands: Skye, Benderloch (Ok, we know Benderloch isn’t an island, but it feels like one!), Lismore, Mull and Ulva. All we have to do now is pray for good weather!
25 March 2013We cater for all ages!
On a cold and frosty morning in mid-February six of Sgioba Luaidh enjoyed a drive down the Ayrshire coast in brilliant sunshine, heading for Lawthorn Primary School in Irvine. One of our drivers got lost – and it wasn’t Frances this time!
Lawthorn is a lovely school, with a nice, friendly atmosphere, and polite, well-behaved (and very cute) children. We had five sessions with the wee ones of P1-3, and told the stories of The Wee Bannock and The New Trousers. There were a few anxious moments getting the technology sorted out for our slides, but all was well, and the children waulked and sang with gusto. So did some visiting parents. (Well, perhaps not with quite the same gusto!) A tiring, but very enjoyable visit. And the lunch was sumptuous! School dinners have improved since our day!
The following evening we were with Greenock Writers’ Club – an enthusiastic, but more sedate audience! Except for Digby!
We were performing in the Ardgowan Club, which has the most magnificent big table. Digby, the Big Friendly Dug, took a great interest in the proceedings. Suddenly he stood on his hind legs with his front paws on the table, obviously wanting to waulk. Next thing he was right up on the table, and careered right across and off the other side, with his claws slipping and sliding. Hilarious! There's a pic of Digby here. (Not very clear - he was a fast mover!)
This was followed in early March by an evening with the cheery ladies of Howwood Parish Guild.
Later in the month four of Sgioba Luaidh had a fun morning with P2 children from St Ninian’s Primary in Gourock. We met them at the Dutch Gable House, where Innes demonstrated carding and spinning. She provided each child with a drop spindle, ingeniously made out of a stick, CDs and elastic bands. All the children were able to take away a length of yarn which they had spun.
In the Back House Frances, Eleanor and Susie were telling the story of The Wee Bannock, which incorporates various working songs. Thank to Archie, who baked a special Wee Bannock for our story! The children helped to work the puppets, had a go at churning and waulking, and learned three Gaelic choruses. Not a bad morning’s work! And they gave us two boxes of chocs as a thank-you gift! Click here for some pics.