A Ceilidh

This is pronounced Kaelie, or something thereabouts, and is a party , sort of like a barn dance, where a master of ceremonies leads the party in various Gaelic reels to a band of fiddles and squash boxes. (Apparently we have something in South Africa called a skotse opskop.). Anyway the event was truly multinational in that we had a braai, it was actually warm and clear (very UnBritish..but a tent was provide “just in case”), and after the Caelidh, we had African music!

The whole thing was situated in a field of buttercups, with a compost toilet and bucket for washing hands.

The music was powered by a bicycle! yes a bicycle, which turned a turbine that charged the very modern amps and disco equipment..including disco lights. However, someone had to cycle all the time, otherwise the music stopped. How Hippy is that!

Here are some kind people taking turns on the bicycle.

Kwan, a volunteer from the East, was the most tireless and rode right through the dancing.20160528_200947

And yes, it was very hippy, with the scent of  weed subtly blending with the smell of sausages braaing, and a bonfire, when the air became much cooler. The sky doesnt get dark until after 10pm! so It was light for much of the time. This was taken after 8pm20160528_195200

It was also peopled by all ages, from the newly born, to the elders like myself and a few others. it was to celebrate 4 birthdays, whose combined ages was 175, where the youngest was 25, and the eldest 71. There were lots of things going on from hoola hooping, to riding a go cart down he hill.

Usually, in SA, when we have a braai, everyone brings something to share..from salads to meat and most of the booze. Here it was all laid on, from a barrel of organic beer from the local Stroud brewery to the sausages and hamburgers..but there was a collection box to help pay for the tent, booze and musicians. So slightly unusual, as I brought some contributions to the booze and food. But hey, anything goes here, it seems.


There was a little subplot beneath everone’s legs, as these boys were riding down the hill on their go-cart, while stealing chips and beer from peoples stash. Later on, however, the girls ran away with the go-cart while they were intent on their task

I did not take any of the actual dancing because I myself was being whirled around by various enthusiastic dancers. it was pretty energetic, and together with the beer, I got hiccups afterwards…also from laughing. these are some of my favourite people I have met while at Ruskin Mill: Maria, from Chile, the miniature horse woman, who manages the huge horses, Nils, the tea drinking, sour dough bread and sauerkraut making Swedish apprentice, and Pablo, the ever smiling, Spanish husband of Maria. I will miss you all.20160528_192520


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