Category Archives: fun

Epic Dog Walk

From last Sunday’s EPIC, and very snowy, dog walk at Snyder’s Flats with @commonthreadnat @Paddy_Mack @benjaminbach @Mindseyestudio @ScienceSteph @kirstiepaterson @those2girls @kwsarah plus doggies.

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Filed under cherries, cool whip, fun

Robbie’s Big Day

pipe band

If you’ve never experienced a proper Robbie Burns Day party – haggis, scotch whisky, pipes, bad Scottish accent imitations and of course the recitation of the Address – you really should. Besides presenting an opportunity to wear a kilt, when else do you get to recite a pithy ode written in 1787 and then stab a haggis with a sgain dubh (skeen do), your trusty sock dagger?

I grew up in a  Scottish family. Dad played the pipes, my brother competed in the Highland Games and I learned my Scottish Fling and Sword Dance. I’ve been to more than one Highland Games and admit that I have a thing for kilts – especially the modern urban type (check out the Skilt). Men do look very manly decked out in a kilt and sporran. I even tried to convince my hubby to wear one to our wedding, but with his Portuguese background he just didn’t see the appeal of standing bare legged and breezy in front of our closest friends and family. I’m still trying though. Of course, there always is the question of what is worn underneath it all. Perhaps the scene in Brave Heart best answers that.

When I was younger Robbie Burns Day was always marked with a large house party, our guests decked out in bits of tartan, and Dad often did double duty piping in the haggis and reciting the Address. When we lived in Europe, I really enjoyed explaining the whole thing to our new friends who probably were too polite to question my assurances that it was a blast. In Denmark, being Scottish generally meant that you were cheap. In Spain, it meant that you liked to holiday on their beaches pink and peeling. So the fun was lost there. Moving to Kitchener  has meant reintegration with my Scottish immigrant brethren and I eagerly await the discovery of my new Robbie Burns Day traditions. (Know of a good party? Let me know!)

For you non Scots, here is a primer to get you through today and everyday in true Scottish Ceilidh style. Pour yourself a dram and have a great time. May your socks be warm and your sporran full!

The Address to the Haggis, is a poem by Scotland’s most famous poet Robert Burns.  Burns either had a wicked sense of humor or really, really loved haggis. I’d go with the humor. The World Burns Club webpage has both the original and translation for you non Scots. My favorite part is (in translation):

The groaning platter there you fill
Your buttocks like a distant hill
Your skewer would help to repair a mill
In time of need
While through your pores the juices emerge
Like amber beads

Haggis, if you’ve never had it, is the color and consistency of a grey paste. It is made by taking the heart, lungs and liver of a sheep, mixing them with oatmeal and then inserting the concoction into the sheep’s stomach.  Sounds good right? I do think that haggis is an acquired taste, and I’m very sure that it is far more palatable when preceded by several glasses of scotch. Check out the new way to serve haggis – Haggis Sliders!

Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games happens August 12-14, 2011. Well worth the trip, you can sample haggis, see a variety of kilts, hear the pipe bands and watch the dance and sport competitions.

On the Day: The Story of the Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band plays at Cinepex Odeon Feb 9 & 13. Think battle of the bands with pipes and drums.


Filed under cherries, cool whip, fun

Weekend Clues

big crossword puzzle

I love knowing truly creative people. Jennifer Gough, aka Minds Eye Studio is definitely one (see our Box 10 interview), pair her with two of my other favorites THEMUSEUM and TEDxWaterloo and I don’t know what to do with myself. Luckily, they do.

This Saturday Jennifer’s massive TEDxWaterloo Speaker Smarts Crossword Puzzle will be revealed at THEMUSEUM. From 1-5pm we are all invited to check out the clues and paint in our answers. If painting isn’t your thing, tease the crowd by tweeting incorrect hints – they will  show up on the tweet wall if you use #TEDxWaterloo.

Aside from just being really fun, (who doesn’t like giant puzzles?), the crossword will introduce newbies to the TEDx world.  More than just a speaker’s series, audience members must apply for a spot (applications are due February 1st) and be prepared to be a part of the conversations that happen in between each presentation. It’s a truly unique, interactive experience. The actual TEDxWaterloo event takes place on March 3rd at the Centre in the Square from 1-8p m with an afterparty to follow.

Of course, this is all taking place in the midst of THEMUSEUM’s 36 hours of Titanic, a crazy undertaking which brings the exhibit to you for – you guessed it – 36 hours straight- 10 am on Friday to 10 pm on Saturday. Night owls are rewarded with $10 Titanic admission from 10 pm to 10 am.

It is going to be a busy weekend. Thursday night is the talk with artist in residence Michelle Allard at KW|AG followed by Friday night’s Opening Reception, also at KW|AG (both are free and open to all). Saturday you’ll find me puzzling out the clues for Jennifer’s TEDxWaterloo crossword puzzle at THEMUSEUM and Sunday I am going to take in the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery‘s newest exhibition – most likely with some sushi thrown in.

So, to sum up my feelings about this weekend:

#6 across: What’s a seven letter word for really excited – starts with a “p” ?
Hint: Rhymes with biked


p.s – If you haven’t checked out Jennifer Gough’s new blog find it here>

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