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Postcards from Scotland

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Carol Craig is the Centre's Chief Executive. She is author of The Scots' Crisis of Confidence, Creating Confidence: A Handbook for Professionals Working with Young People, The Tears that Made the Clyde: Well-being in Glasgow and The Great Takeover: How materialism, the media and markets now dominate our lives. Her latest book is Hiding in Plain Sight: Exploring Scotland's ill health. She is Commissioning editor for the Postcards from Scotland series. Carol blogs on confidence, well-being, inequality, every day life and some of the great challenges of our time. The views she expresses are her own unless she specifically states that they reflect the Centre's thinking.

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Posted 29/08/2005

The Vanguard Programme has just got better. We’ve now got a ceilidh organised for the first evening. And when I say ceilidh I don’t mean music performed by a low-key two-man band used to playing at fairly predictable wedding parties. No, I mean real Scottish session musicians who play that wonderful blend of traditional come Scottish rock. And they’ve all been hand-picked by the doyenne of the great ceilidh – Jean Urquhart – who runs the fabulous Ceilidh Place Hotel in Ullapool. The first time I ever heard music like this was when I was staying in the CP a few years ago and Croft Number 5 were playing. I was knocked out by the energy and vibrancy of their playing. There is an incredible energy about a lot of traditional Scottish music anyway and when it is infused by young people’s love of rock it positively takes off. They’ve got a website so you can sample it yourself if you’re not convinced. http://www.croftnofive.com/Frameset.htm Listening to Croft Number 5 really makes me believe that if we could just lift the dead hand of old outmoded attitudes in Scotland our culture would not just thrive, as it is at the moment, but soar – really start to take off.

OF course at our Vanguard ceilidh we’ll also have dancing as well as great music. And the dancing does have a serious point to it. A few years ago Channel 4 broadcast a series on happiness and quoted research which said that social dancing, particularly involving Scottish country type dancing, was about the best thing you could do to feel happy. It is the combination of being with others in a sociable, fun environment, together with the aerobic exercise which does it. I just can’t wait to see if the celebrated expert on happiness, but self-confessed groutch, Professor Seligman can be coaxed into the Gay Gordons.

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