Bag in hand to trip tartan fantastic
Margaret Younger is proof that learning never stops, no matter what your age.
Mrs Younger, who turns 73 next week, has just returned from summer school in St Andrews, Scotland where she spent a week studying Scottish country dancing.
With schoolbag on shoulder and attendance at a hall of residence booked, Mrs Younger put her feet on Scottish soil for the first time in her life.
"It felt very familiar, even though I'd never been before.
"I started Highland dancing when I was 5, and both my own and my husband's family have Scottish ancestry," she said.
Her husband Graham died nine years ago.
"We always planned to go to Scotland but it hadn't happened because he'd been sick," Mrs Younger said.
"When I saw the summer school advertised on the internet I clicked the button to confirm my attendance and I thought . . . what have I done?"
The final concert at the end of the summer school was held at Younger Hall, which was built and donated by distant relatives, Mrs Younger said.
Around 200 Scottish dance enthusiasts from around the world zeroed in on St Andrews for the school.
"There were tutors from Japan whose dancing was very precise, as you could imagine," said Mrs Younger. "You always knew where the Irish crowd were because they knew how to enjoy themselves."
The president of the Timaru Scottish Dancing group, she was presented with a handmade tartan schoolbag before she left.
In return she has first-hand Scottish dancing experience to share with her fellow dancers back home in Timaru.
- © Fairfax NZ News