It’s unusual to have an afternoon ceilidh, but this 40th birthday party was just that. A proper tea dance, and we were well supplied with tea throughout (and scones, tayberry jam, cream ….).

We set up in front of the gear for the rock band playing after us. Here’s Hazel and her dulcimer with the rock panoply behind her. Maybe we do need a drummer ….

The dances went well – small sets but enthusiastic. They were rendered a little surreal by small children with large inflatable tigers, penguins and tortoises wandering lethally through the sets, and one tiny girl talking solemnly into a toy phone.

Here they are doing the Cumberland Square Eight.

We did a couple of dances we hadn’t done for a long time – Allelulu (with Greg gamely leading the line), and the Bridge of Athlone. 

The pipes had a bit of an outing too – one of the families had a Northumbrian connection, so David and Andrew played Air Moving, Because he was a Bonny Lad, and Holmes’ Fancy. And we did the Blaydon Races, with all the verses and the dancers joining in the chorus in good voice. Here’s Andrew calling it.

All over by 7, and home with the sun still shining. 

And – they appreciated it! 

“Hi Hazel,

I just wanted to thank you again for playing at our party on Saturday. Lots of the guests commented on how much they enjoyed the ceilidh and I really appreciated the way you catered for an audience that mixed adults, children and balloons! “


About Andrew Burn

University College London Gower Street London WC1E 6BT
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