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15 December 2016
New sat-nav needed?

We have had an interesting "autumn term", beginning with a gala day at the Scotcon event at Edinburgh Corn Exchange in early September. Scotcon was an extravaganza of all things Scottish, based loosely around the "Outlander" films /books. For weeks beforehand our seamstresses, Innes and Irene, worked indefatigably to kit us out in new costumes with an 18th century look. What a day we had! The place was fair jumping, with stalls with all kinds of crafts, re-enactors (Border Reivers, Robert the Bruce's Men ...), not forgetting the amazing Clanadonia with their "tribal" pipes and drums! We waulked busily in our cosy corner, with loads of volunteers joining us at the table, including some of the "Outlander" cast. At one point during the afternoon a piper started playing full blast for dancers at the other end of the hall where we were singing. Not ideal from our point of view! But we persevered! It takes more than bagpipes to put Sgioba Luaidh off our stot! It was a long, busy, tiring day, but good fun! You can see some pics of the event here, and decide if you like our new costumes!

Later in September we gaily set off for a place we had never heard of - the village of Ravenstruther, a few miles from Lanark. (Pronounced Renstrie - life with Sgioba Luaidh is one long learning experience!) We left really early in the evening to avoid Glasgow traffic, planning to stop in Lanark for our tea. But lo, the road into Lanark was closed. By the time we went to get directions from a nearby house, a whole tail of cars had lined up behind us. So we passed on the instructions to them all, made an about-turn, and set off at the head of a procession to drive through the village of Nemphlar (great name!) on an alternative road to Lanark. All except Margaret, driving the second of our cars! She stopped to give directions to someone else, and lost us! All was well eventually. What did we ever do before mobile phones? We had our tea, had a great night with the ladies of Ravenstruther (pronounced Renstrie!) WRI. But on our way home we got totally wandered at the awful roadworks, and ended up outside Shotts Prison on the road to Edinburgh! We made it home eventually!

Our annual Caravan Ceilidh was late this year, having to be postponed till the beginning of October. We had a good blether, a wee singsong, and a great supper. Then the eejits got lost on the way put of the caravan park! In fairness, they are not used to being there in the dark, so they missed the turn onto the main driveway. By the time they found their way out, they had missed the last ferry from Hunter's Quay. Luckily they were able to get the 11.10 passenger ferry from Dunoon, in a complicated manoeuvre involving a taxi on the other side to retrieve a car parked at McInroy's Point. Fortunately Eleanor has a handy daughter living in Dunoon, so she was able to find a bed for the night. So they didn't all have to cram in and sleep in the caravan after all! Click here for a few pics.

We managed to find our way without incident to perform for Guilds at Cathcart Old Parish Church and Stow Brae in Paisley.

As usual, we spent a day at Auchindrain on the last Saturday of each month. On our August visit we were delighted to be joined by Morag, who is a member of Clò nan Nighean, the Barra waulking group. It's great to share songs with a fellow-fanatic! Some pics here.

The last Saturday in September was a day of gales and pelting rain. We survived a bumpy ferry crossing with waves breaking over the cars. Auchindrain was quiet, with few visitors, but Cat Liath (Grey Cat), who oversees things at the Township, joined us for most of the day. He is not allowed in the Visitor Centre, and sensibly realised that Martin's House with its peat fire was the cosiest place to be. He duly inspected our tweed, and pronounced it suitable for a nice comfy cat bed! Click here for some pics of our handsome Cat Liath.

On our final visit of the year we had no visitors at all, but we put the time to good use, practising our songs. We took some very nice (we think) photos of a spooky, misty Loch Eck, and magical raindrop jewels on the grass. Click here to see.

We are now on our Christmas break, and will resume practices after our New Year ceilidh on 9 January.

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