Country dancing holiday
Saturday, 25 June --
I had reserved space at
l'Escandille, Autrans, in the Vercors, at 1000m above
and it turned out to be the ideal venue with great views and fresh air.
Everyone seemed to be satisfied with the choice and urged me to book again next summer.
Ken Martlew and Christine Moos provided wonderful music, together for the evening dances, or solo for morning classes.
Malcolm Brown and Shirley Butterfield introduces us to a number of interesting new dances. Our thanks to all four, without whom the holiday would not have been so memorable.
Since nothing went seriously wrong this year, there is not much to report. Feeling cold in a cave at 7°c is hardly surprising.
A few visitors from the distant north were somewhat put out at finding 34°c an hour later, when we descended from the plateau of the Vercors into the Drome Valley,
and not many ventured to
explore the old town of
Tasting sparkling Clairette in the local winery put us all in a brighter frame of mind.
Guide & interpreter, St Antoine
The gardens and
though we found the guide at St Antoine's Abbey rather too verbose (her interpreter was more concise!), and as we returned exhausted to Autrans, I felt there would not be much dancing that evening. I was wrong; after a good meal, everyone was on their feet again – including our octogenarians.
Could this be the energizing effect of Scottish music beautifully played?
Ken & Christine.
For a break from dancing, we had a song or two, mouth organ music and watched highland dance.
Not everything was Scottish: 4 Japanese fishermen mimed the traditional gestures to accompany Noko's song.
Martin, Ken from GB, Ken
from Japan, Malcolm, after losing their kilts.
Martin, Ken from GB, Ken from Japan, Malcolm, after losing their kilts.
Not until the last day of the holiday did we hear any real grumbles.
The weather changed, and we
froze looking round the shops and narrow streets of Villard de Lans, and had to
cancel entirely the hike up on the ridges overlooking
This was replaced by an easy afternoon in the spacious lounge, Ken giving a recital of piano music, while we relaxed, listened, danced or played cards.
All in all, a very dull holiday!
Let's hope next year's holiday will be just as dull – rendez-vous 24 June 2006, all being well.
Photos with thanks to Mike Wiston
Scottish Country dancing is a wonderful pastime
that gives you an excuse to travel the world
and meet so many nice friendly people.
. . . but replace (AT) by @
A selection of my modern country dances in the Scottish tradition
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