A Ceilidh at the Snow Farm

I’ve come close but this weekend past I realised I’ve never been to a true dinkum Ceilidh before [pronounced “Kayleigh”]. It all began as a fund raiser at the Snow Farm for the kids in the NZ Nordic Sports Development Assoc. This is an organisation I’ve had a lot to do with – one I believe in as it teaches children in a way that boosts self esteem; caring, life and mountain skills. World wide Cross Country or Nordic skiing consistently achieves these goals, along with international cooperation and tolerance between nations post WWII. e.g World Loppet series races

Dancers take part in a “set” in a dance, the name of which I forget in this traditional Gaelic social gathering, comprised of folk music and dancing…

Graeme “pipes in the haggis” carried by Ray behind him…

After a speech which I must admit I did not understand – a mix of concentrating at being in the right place for a photo, and was it Gaelic language Ray was using before he cut into it. His son did ask later “dad, why were you shouting at the haggis?”…

Local folk singing legend Martin Curtis is “calling” on the left – he’s an old friend whose music I’ve loved for over 20 years [By the dry Cardrona, and Gin and Raspberry, both of which he wrote and sings so well]. I’ve been fortunate too, to have been in Jock’s [center] company before at various “dos” and folk festivals, and that’s Sheena on the right…


In the back room there was a TV and as the World Cup Rugby match Ireland v. Australia was screening people drifted there as the match became really exciting. That left these kids, who simply had a great time doing their own rendition, including cartwheels, to the band’s music. To see such free spirited souls at work was touching to all concerned…

The band officially finished after midnight, but then came the magic bit of yarning and in between time they’d “jam”. Jock as well as being a great musician, is quite the bard and recantour with a great projecting deep voice. During these very relaxed moments post performing, he also simply speaks from his soul via the accordion, in between or during conversations…

Sheena, with Will listening on and looking tired…

Two thirty am as I made my way over an inch of fresh snow to my camper truck…

And next day [Sunday] there was some skiing on fresh snow for all tired souls!

About this Like Minds Blog Donald Lousley

  4 comments for “A Ceilidh at the Snow Farm

  1. September 18, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    The poem “shouted at the haggis” would be Burns’ “Address to the haggis”.

    “Address To A Haggis

    Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
    Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
    Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
    Painch, tripe, or thairm:
    Weel are ye wordy of a grace
    As lang’s my arm.

    The groaning trencher there ye fill,
    Your hurdies like a distant hill,
    Your pin wad help to mend a mill
    In time o’ need,
    While thro’ your pores the dews distil
    Like amber bead.

    His knife see rustic Labour dight,
    An’ cut ye up wi’ ready slight,
    Trenching your gushing entrails bright
    Like onie ditch;
    And then, O what a glorious sight,
    Warm-reekin, rich!

    Then, horn for horn, they strech an’ strive:
    Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
    Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve,
    Are bent like drums;
    Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
    ‘Bethankit!’ hums.

    Is there that owre his French ragout
    Or olio that wad staw a sow,
    Or fricassee wad mak her spew
    Wi’ perfect sconner,
    Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
    On sic a dinner?

    Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
    As feckless as a wither’d rash,
    His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
    His nieve a nit;
    Thro’ bluidy flood or field to dash,
    O how unfit!

    But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
    The trembling earth resounds his tread.
    Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
    He’ll make it whissle;
    An’ legs, an’ arms, an’ heads will sned,
    Like taps o’ thrissle.

    Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care,
    And dish them out their bill o ‘fare,
    Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
    That jaups in luggies;
    But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer,
    Gie her a Haggis!”

    Tis great when said by a true Scot. The vast number of kiwis who take it on a just plain sad, rather than bad, at it. Me? I would be terrible!

    • Donald Lousley
      September 18, 2011 at 11:47 pm

      Great poem thanks – I think that was it, or very similar. I’ll take it in later as I’m more Kiwi than Scot, but I’m learning!



  2. September 20, 2011 at 4:04 am

    Kia ora Donald,
    Looks as if it was a fine evening indeed. No doubt the level of spirit upped a bit as well when the Irish tipped over Aussie. Great to see the young ones enjoying themselves. It is a fragile life and time goes by so quickly. Hope all is well e hoa.

    • Donald Lousley
      September 20, 2011 at 4:22 am

      Hi Robb

      Yes the “level of spirit upped a bit” for sure!

      I think when we see young ones being free spirits at an adults [presumably] event, it means things are in a good balance. And maybe it takes kids doing this to remind us of the fragility you write of.

      … and the haggis came to a sticky end as a further reminder, as they say!



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