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Category: Kilts & Scotland

Scotland Trip: Postponed

Under normal circumstances, at this exact moment, I would have been on a Eurostar leaving Brussels, and after dinner at the Great Nepalese Restaurant, I would board the Caledonian Sleeper in London later this evening, which would take me to Scotland overnight…

As we all know, circumstances are far from normal right now, and I had to cancel or change all the arrangements I made, some already a year ago! I must say though, even if it was quite a bit of work, I can’t complain how all affected companies handled my requests! Everything has either been rebooked—Travelodge, easyHotel Glasgow, hub by Premier Inn, and even the BrewDog brewery tour—or refunded—Caledonian Sleeper and ScotRail. The odd one out here was Eurostar, where the only option was a voucher… Luckily I can use that for the postponed trip anyway, but I feel sorry for the people who had to cancel their trip altogether.

The only thing I couldn’t cancel, were the days off I had requested… I held up hope for so long, the work planning for May was already final by the time it was clear no international travels would be allowed this month. Luckily I still have some days off later this year, but I’ll be using those for a trip I had already planned to a completely different destination.

So, sadly no Scotland for me this year, but early 2021, I’ll be heading for the—then probably slightly colder—Highlands again!

Clans’ Remembrance, Ypres

Participated in the Scottish clans’ remembrance ceremony in Ypres again this year (7/10/2017), proudly showing my scouting connection to the clan MacLaren. Didn’t find any good shots of the ceremony itself, unfortunately, but at least we have a nice Belgian MacLaren group photo.
(Photos by Clan Hay Pipe Band )

Saint Patrick’s Day Cut

My barber — Bayer & Bayer — celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day as well: come in a kilt, and get a free haircut, beer and a whiskey. If that isn’t an offer I can’t refuse, I don’t know what is!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

kiltedguy:

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Saint Patrick’s Day, the only day each year I wear my saffron kilt. Although sometimes I get the question wether I’m Irish even if I’m wearing a kilt in a — to me clearly — Scottish tartan, most people associate any kilt with Scotland, and rightly so. 

But there certainly is such a thing as an Irish kilt, and saffron kilts have been around as an expression of Irish nationality for over a hundred years!

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The ancient Irish actually wore the léine, a linen tunic with voluminous sleeves and a hemline reaching the knees or higher, often dyed with saffron, which turned out quite yellow on linen. When there was a revival of Gaelic nationalism in the nineteenth century, the Gaelic League and the Gaelic Athletic Association — two major nationalist organisations, both concerned with Irish identity — wanted a ‘costume’ or national form of dress. The léine was considered to be too difficult to be updated to the fashions of the day, so they adopted the garment of their Gaelic cousins in Scotland: the kilt, dyed either green or saffron. Used on wool, the saffron dye gave it a bit more of an orange-brownish colour, the one we associate today with saffron kilts.

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The school uniform of St. Enda’s School for Boys (1908) included the saffron kilt.

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Nowadays the saffron kilt is mainly worn by pipers of Irish regiments, often without a sporran.

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Another year, another Saint Patrick’s Day, so enjoy it! 🙂 

I might share an updated photo later.

Back to Glasgow

Starting with a last breakfast at Molmeg Cottage, we spent most of Sunday in DRT’s, buses and trains — and an hour in Perth — travelling back from Balquhidder to Glasgow.
After an early arrival and checkin in our hotel for the last night, we had dinner at one of the newest smoke and barbecue places of Glasgow: Smoak. We can’t wait until this food trend reaches Brussels!
Since our last visit to the city, some more new places opened, so we quickly visited the Hippo Taproom and Shilling Brewing Co. as well, before saying our goodbyes — and drink a couple of great beers — at BrewDog Glasgow.

On Monday, we had breakfast at Where the Monkey Sleeps and a quick round of geocaching, before boarding our train to London.
There we went to the Basement Bar of BottleDog Kings X, but they seem to have misplaced their taps… Not a problem though, plenty of choice in their fridges!
The Eurostar was on time this time, which means we were in our Brussels home again before midnight.

Lochearnhead Highland Games

Saturday was the day of the Lochearnhead Highland Games, including the Clan MacLaren AGM, Stone of Strength, Tug o’War and lots of other (heavy) events. In the evening we celebrated Donald MacLaren of MacLaren’s fiftieth year as our chief with a supper and ceilidh in the Balquhidder Village Hall.