Friday, January 11, 2008

Cailidh entertainment

On this fine Saturday evening of this past January 5 our Scottish Country Dancing group gathered in the town of Bisbee, in the mountains just north of the Mexican border for a Twelfth Night Ball. The town is accessible by highway. We didn’t have to take a mule train or anything like that. Going there is just something our group does just to get out of Tucson for a while.

We danced, ate, danced some more. We also had cailidh (kay.lee) entertainment. Cailidh is a Gaelic word meaning entertainment where everyone gets up and does their own thing. (And people want spelling reform in English. Compared to the Welsh, Scots and Irish, we’re doing great.)

A husband and wife team conducted a do-it-yourself Twelve Days of Christmas with Scottish foods improvised as a substitute for the traditional gifts. They reminded me of Victor Borge conducting an orchestra. One woman read a Scottish poem in such a great Scottish brogue I couldn’t understand a word she said. Several people performed on instruments and sang. A woman read a wonderfully dreadful poem by a McGonigal, the “worst poet in Scotland.”

Although I hadn’t planned anything, I thought I might enlighten the evening by telling a story. I chose the story that I posted on this blog in January 1. As I got really involved with telling how Joanne and her brother, Fritz, killed these rattlesnakes and put them in a bag to bring home to mother, I could tell by the way some mouths dropped and some eyes bugged, that I was not offering up standard cailidh entertainment. Some of the people were shocked.

I loved it. I teetotally LOVED it. I proceeded onward with gestures and expressions.

I received a nice round of applause. Because I was through, I believe. Afterwards, several people came up to Joanne to offer stories of their own, but by and large the rest of the people at the dance were content without our company.

Joanne and I grew up in non-traditional circumstances and we’re a bit rough around the edges. I'm sure we'd disgrace ourselves at Buckingham Palace, but I doubt if that will ever be a problem.

1 comment:

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Great post, a cailidh isn't authentic without some shenanigans of one kind and another, and a few shocking tales told to give the hard of thinking something to tut over.
best wishes