Skip to main content

Highland Dancing & Scotch Mints



Like every little Canadian girl of Scottish dissent, at a young age I was enrolled in Highland Dance classes. Imagine tidy little girls all in row with their tartan skirts, crisp white blouses, knee-hi's and black dance shoes. Then there was me. My unruly cropped hair wouldn't cooperate in being contained into the traditional dancer bun. My shirt may have started out tucked in but one side inevitably untucked itself and my skirt zipper would end on the side or front instead of in the back. Even my sun kissed freckled face seemed defiant in comparison to other little girls who resembled Scottish dolls that stood perfectly still and quiet on the shelf at the store. I still find it difficult to be still and quiet at the same time. 

On the first day we sat in a circle with our legs stretch out in front of us and our toes touching in the middle. I was the only one with multiple bruises and scraps down my legs. I recall one curious dancer sweetly whispering "What happened?" in reference to my embattled limbs. Surely she thought I'd been in car accident. The truth was I didn't really know what happened. Sure some wounds were badges of honor from my epic tree climbing adventures but there were simply too many marks on me to keep track of.

Although I didn't practice outside of class and stomped through a few of the feather light steps, I was good enough to advance to the SWORD dance. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular dance, the dancer's steps take place within the four quadrants of two crossed swords precisely placed on the ground. Of course, the swords had my full attention and I was much more interested in playing pirate than placing them gently on the ground. Despite my lack of ability to conform, my dance instructor encouraged me to keep dancing and my parents cheered me on like I had the talent to be a world famous dancer.

My Scottish Grandad in particular seemed pleased with me when I danced. I remember Grandad  being quite gruff but pleasing him had an upside. He was never without Scotch Mints candies and would hand them out when you "did well". These white candies had a hard candied shell but were soft and sweet in middle. Kind of like Grandad. I was convinced these distinct candies were rare and that he must have brought them with him from Scotland. I recall being rather concerned he'd run out and never quite clear about how to earn one. My Grandad would tell me with a slight smirk that I was a "good girl...seldom" as he rationed out a single mint. Not knowing what the word seldom meant, I'd thank him, pop the candy in my mouth and be on my way. 


I only participated in Highland dance for a few years and soon enough was back to full time tree climbing and strategizing about how to be blessed with the elusive Scotch Mint.

Photo credit: Scotland Dance Festival, Edinburgh 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Marys & Mimosas - Booze for Breakfast

Bringing Back The Breakfast Drink                  Marys and Mimosas

Both the Bloody Mary and Mimosa make it socially acceptable to drink before noon.  While this can be a problem if the drinking continues all day, on its own, a Mary or a Mimosa is a beautiful thing.
The Bloody Mary can be a meal in itself - a healthy sounding one at that with a slightly morbid name. Bloody Marys traditionally are made with vodka and tomato juice which is then heavily spiced and garnished. Some say this drink was conceived in Paris in the roaring 20's.  Others trace it back to the 30's as a cure to the dreaded hangover. Either way, this breakfast cocktail has evolved with many twists being added along the way.
The Mimosa, on the other hand, is a mainstay of the classy champagne brunch with a straightforward recipe: champagne or sparkling wine and orange juice. Yes, this is a drink you can make yourself. It was supposedly invented in back in 1925 at a Parisian Hotel. As with most cocktails, there a…

Urban Living - Spokane Style 

This was fun! Our story and loft was featured in the Inlander Health & Home magazine. Thank you to Blythe Thimsen, writer and Young Kwak, photographer. We are also very grateful to Heather Hanley of the Tin Roof for helping us design our space. Our ensuite coffee lounge even made the cover. Additionally, the other featured urban space was one of my downtown listings. ♥️

Laurie and James Allen’s new home in Kendall Yards offers lots of light and quick access to all that downtown Spokane has to offer.

A Vibrant Downtown Lifestyle is Luring Residents Back to Spokane's City Center.
"A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage!" Used in the 1928 presidential campaign, and attributed to President Herbert Hoover, the idea of a car in every garage planted a seed that took root. Over the years, along with it came the idea of the spacious house with a yard, the white picket fence and the happy, quiet life in suburban America.
Fast forward to 2018, and nowadays trading in th…

Art Matters...

Collecting ART is addictive but never regrettable. With ART, the regret I do have is from the pieces I talked myself out of. I have a few sad stories of inexpensive ART I passed on and now the artist's work is spendy. Buying ART is not extravagant or reserved for the wealthy. For me, it's just I have my priorities straight. Think about how much ART you could own if you didn't have cable, that unused landline and you limited the times a barista made your coffee.

When embarking on collecting art - start small. Buying student art is an inexpensive way to get original art. Its like listening to a talented yet unsigned musician in a dive bar prior to making it it big. You very well could be investing in and therefore encouraging the ART world's next big thing. Buying local art enriches your community and supports the local ART scene. Incorporating original ART in your home adds an unmatched warmth, texture and depth to your space.

ART MATTERS. I know my life is richer bec…