Friday night - travelling and getting lost
For the first time (well, not counting 'home' IVFDFs) I wasn't on the New Scotland bus going down to IVFDF - they had decided to leave in the early afternoon, and I didn't feel like taking a half day off when it was so close that I could leave after work and still get down more or less for the start of the Scottish dance at 8. This would have been a perfectly reasonable plan, although a little lonely, if I had remembered to check where I was going at the other end.
I got to Durham. I got to the student's union, by a reasonably sensible route, and found no IVFDF there. I asked the man on duty if he knew where IVFDF was, and he gave me what turned out to be perfectly accurate directions, but phrased for locals (Take the right fork, go over the lights, up the bank, past Grey, past Collingwood (that cheered me, at least), come to some white houses and turned right. I went outside, found I was facing a row of shops, looked around for a plausible right fork, took it, and then didn't find any bank, or any lights, or any Collingwood. I did find a pub, so I went in and asked again, and they reassured me that I was going the right way, just not far enough, and gave me new directions involving a car park.)
I got there. I found no reception desk. I found no river_of_ with my ticket. They told me that to get to reception I had to go a mile back again. I got lost again, and tried to go down something which said it was a footpath but was mostly a muddy field. I found reception. There was still no river_of_ and no ticket. Rececption didn't really want anything to do with me, but I wasn't going away until I knew where I was going, so eventually someone from committee phoned the Scottish dance to find out if he was there, and he was, so I went most of that mile back again.
Friday night - the Scottish dance and the disco ceilidh
When I finally got there, I discovered that the Scottish dance was also running late and had only made it to half time, which was better than I'd hoped, so I still got to do a lot of good dances. It was a really good crowd, with a lot of people from the festival, and a lot of people down from Newcastle and other places in the area, and a lot of people I wanted to dance with.
IVFDF scottish dances can be very hit and miss - treated almost as an afterthough, tucked away in an obscure corner, or run on the assumption that this is something strange and difficult - but when they work, on whatever scale, they really work. And although I've been told it's parochial, it is nice to spend at least part of the evening doing the dancing I love best with people I don't often dance with - there's a lot more weekend for doing different things in.
After the dance I wandered off to the end of the disco ceilidh, which was quite a clever idea, and good fun for the one dance I did, and then decided that I was just heading for my bed. Our sleeping hall was a long way away, and a few of us started wandering up the road in a crowd which split with some people heading for the late night dancing, and some people heading on towards the hall, and getting distracted by chips on the way. And so to bed.