Blog 395: True Scotsman

It would be rude not to report on the proceedings of the 1st of May, since arrangements for said event have dominated dinner-time conversation for the last year or so. I speak of my sister’s marriage to a Canadian. She is gone now; she lived her life like a candle in the wind, etc etc etc. There was a massive dinner and then ceilidh where a neighbour to whom I had never actually been introduced kept conspiring to add me to the dance floor… Okay, everyone was pretty well oiled by this point (despite hotel drinks prices).

But you, dear reader, are probably more interested in the fact that they had me wearing a kilt.

Rewind five years and I wouldn’t have been seen dead in a kilt, sister’s wedding or not. As it stands, I am one quarter Irish and one quarter Italian, with only the final half being of actual Scottish stock; and even then, I’m a saft southern jessie city-boy that’s only left the central belt for the very occasional day trip or holiday. If wannabe Americans have no claim on the ability to wear a kilt, then I’d have said I have little more. And that’s not going into any of the it’s-a-skirt arguments.

Alas, as an usher (it’s great directing people when you have no idea what’s going on yourself), I was almost a part of the bridal party and thus had to match everybody else that was important… All the men were decked out in a tartan called “Spirit of Bannockburn” chosen not for its historical significance (I think our bloodline is all up in the Murray and the Cameron, if anything) but for its colour scheme matching everything else — purple.

As I came to terms with the fact that I would be wearing a kilt (there was absolutely no room to manoeuvre out of it), I kind of warmed to the idea. A little part of me thought, “hmm, chicks dig kilts, maybe it won’t be so bad”…

Unfortunately a kilt is possibly the most impractical device I’ve ever worn. It didn’t help that I am very slim of hip and had to tighten the thing to the max to get it to sit right (let alone have to knot the chains on the sporran to make it sit at the right height); there are belts at each side and the one on the right has two buckles. Then there’s the layers of finery that go with it — the waistcoat and the jacket on top of a thick dress shirt, plus the massive socks with flashes and a fake knife (apparently it’s spelt “sgian’dubh”, but I’m damned if I’ll trust the Internet on that one) and the funny shoes with the tassly laces that have to be tied up your ankle… And don’t get me started on proper bow-ties; what the fuck is that shit on? (I got my brother to do mine for me, in case you’re wondering.)

So it took a wee while to get dressed.

While I somewhat warmed to the fact of the kilt itself, all the finery that went with it rubbed me the wrong way (and the shirt’s collar was a bit too tight, so any longer in it and I would have had a big red smear of raw skin around my neck), so a little after all the official proceedings were complete I decided to change into a marauding football fan by swapping the entire top half for a white t-shirt (long-sleeved, naturally).

But now it’s the moment you’ve all skipped over the rest of the entry for… The photographic evidence.

On a related note, congratulations Eilidh and Dave. GL & HF.

2 thoughts on “Blog 395: True Scotsman”

  1. I love the editing on the first picture. Because you’ve removed either side and my jacket is the same colour as the background you appear to have a hand on your shoulder from absolutely nowhere.


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