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This Friday is my 26th birthday, and I am having some friends over for dinner. The usual tradition for my birthday has become that I will make my own birthday dinner and everyone else is responsible only for helping to celebrate. This year, with the enthusiastic encouragement of friends Cara and Megan, with whom I recently attended a brilliant concert by Scotch-Canadian fiddler Natalie Macmaster (six months pregnant and still step dancing!) and her band, I am hosting a very amateur Ceilidh (Scottish Dance Party), at which I have promised to demonstrate what I remember of Scottish folk dancing. On the menu is Beef Guinness Stew, Oatcakes, Neeps & Tatties, and pudding.

This has put me in a socializing frame of mind, and I decided to search out what Scottish dance societies exist in the Boston area. I am in luck! The Boston Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society does indeed exist, and offers social events and lessons. If I manage to remember what “leisure time” is as a graduate student, it may have to include a few Gay Gordons, Reels, and Waltzes.

Meanwhile, my Uncle Lynn is visiting this week from Kentucky and rhapsodizing about Boston, his former (and still, at heart) home. He earnestly assures me that the people there are not at all cold–as some accuse New Englanders of being–and that I am certain to “find my tribe” there. I am expecting no miracles on that front, but enjoyed his enthusiasm nonetheless. He owes me a visit once I get my feet under me, and perhaps once I have acquired and air mattress.

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