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Cultural Concubine Blog

Neither here nor there…

Swing and Swirl...

Last weekend I went to the Royal Caledonian Ball.

It truly was a lovely night. It is normal for Reeling Balls that you get invited into someones party. A party usually consists of between 10 and 16 people who have dinner together separately. And it is the custom that you dance at least once with all the men in your party.
So it is an excellent way to quickly meet a lot of people.

Reeling is a really excellent activity at a ball. For those who do not know it, it slightly resembles Square dancing or quadrille, where you dance in a couple as part of a larger group.
The figures are different per Reel, but once you get the general swing of it you usually survive.

There are several rules for ladies dresses when it comes to these (sometimes rowdy) Scottish dances:

– wear flat shoes, heels will make you fall over or break an ankle.
– do not wear a dress with a train… it will be ripped off by someone stepping on it while you twirl.
– do not wear a strap-less dress unless you have taped or stuck it to your skin with glue.
– do not wear a tight or fishtail skirt as you will almost certainly fall or be pulled over.
– do not have a high hairdo, as it might be ripped off in a twirl later in the evening…
– oh and do not fall for the free bottle of Scotch on the table, you will regret it after a few reels…

In return for all this trouble there are two added bonuses:
Firstly most of the men are excellently dressed in the most colourful uniforms and kilts, so there is plenty to look at…
Secondly there is the added bonus of kilts whipping up in the many quick turns in the reels… 🙂

So it is an excellent way to quickly meet a lot of people. Added bonus is the large amount of men in Uniform and the way that kilts elegantly whip up in the many spinning parts of reeling… Hmmm life could be worse. 🙂

Yum Kedgeree!

I agree reeling is a most athletic way to spend a ball. But still you will see all generations at it. (there is even a facility for children and nannies at this ball.)
It is truly the greatest fun to spend the night running and twirling around each other. The dancing just keeps everyone involved and included.

But the best thing for sure is the full cooked breakfast that arrives at midnight…
scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon and Kedgeree keeps the revellers going till the early hours…

In the end I made it home at 7.30 AM…

Luckily it was a Bank holiday weekend.


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