Friday, 28 June 2013


Crivens! Jings and help ma boab! Last night was Ceilidh night in Dufftown. A Ceilidh is a traditional Scottish social gathering, with music and dancing. They can be formal or wild, the more so the latter, the better. In fact the mark of a good ceilidh can be measured by the bruises on your upper arms the next morning.

In Dufftown the entertainment is provided by local musicians and singers who perform two or three numbers in turns as well as providing the backing for the dancing. Over the years the ceilidhs held over the summer months have proved to be popular with the resident artists and a good way to unwind after a hard day creating masterpieces.
Now there are good ceilidhs and not so good ceilidhs, and last night was shaping up to be a good one with a number of guides from our visitor centre at Glenfiddich in attendance to lead the dancing. Erick was enthusiastically introducted to the Dashing White Sargent and is currently recovering and showing signs of improvement in traction. However Daniel declined all offers even claiming not to know the Canadian barn dance and so remains a ceilidh dance virgin......but there is another one in two weeks time so we will get him up for a Strip the Willow yet! 

For myself the fun had to be cut short so I could collect Zhang Yunyao from Aberdeen airport at 10.30pm after his long flight in from Shanghai.

For the next three months Yunyao will be able to call the wonderfully named Gallowview his home. Quite why the house has such a macabre name could be down to the proximity of what is reputed to be an old hanging or gallows tree, which is situated some distance behind the property. In fact it is only really possible to see this tree from the bathroom window upstairs. Given that the view is obscured by the Dufftown to Keith railway station and that William Grant's second distillery The Balvenie lies directly to the front you might have though there were better candidates for the view? But still, what's in a name? With its open aspect and large windows it is one of the best houses we can offer to painters such as Yunyao for natural light.

The house was home to 2010 resident Mao Yan who was able to meet up with Yunyao prior to his departure to pass on some tips about Dufftown life. Of course there is always so much lost in translation and so this morning some time was spent explaining that we normally just order canvas stretcher frames from an on line art supplier and not as Mao Yan had told him from a little old cripple man who lives behind a church in Dufftown.....

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