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Tag: Belgium

Camping Misery

On the first day of August, Misery Beer Co. opened. It’s a bit hard to get to by public transport, as a lot of places in the Ardennes tend to be, so it was very convenient there was a special bus going from Brussels to the manor of Misery.

Due to the ever changing COVID-19 regulations, the opening party was a bit smaller than envisioned, and spread over two days. Once there, all necessary measures were taken to let us see the brewery and enjoy their beers in safety. And enjoy them, I did!

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.

Clans’ Days Ypres & Ooidonk

It was the third time I attended the Clans’ Days in Ypres, and the second time in combination with the Schotse Dagen (Scottish Days) at castle Ooidonk near Deinze. But this time was quite special: it was the first time our clan chief, Donald MacLaren of MacLaren and Achleskine, attended as wel!

The Schotse Dagen started on Friday evening with a charity dinner on the castle grounds, with speeches, toasts, an auction, live music and lots of whisky. An unscheduled piece of music was performed by our own chief. He has no need for a ‘personal piper’, since he is a talented bagpipe player himself, specifically in the pibroch genre.

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In Ypres there was a nice addition to the usual clans’ march to the Menin Gate on Saturday: to give the chief an appropriate welcome, we invited the MacLaren Pipe Band Venlo.

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After the wreath laying at the Menin Gate and lunch, we went back to castle Ooidonck to man the clans’ tent and enjoy the Schotse Dagen.

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It was great to finally meet the chief, and I hope to see him again at some clan event in Scotland. Or maybe he liked the Belgian part of his clan so much he will visit Belgium again to attend one of the next Clans’ Days?

(photos by h–na, Liliane Hye and myself)

Brewdog Brussels

thebelgianbeergeek:

Is @brewdogofficial coming to a place near you?? Well it will be coming to a place close to me soon. If all things go according to plan Brewdog Brussels will be opening in September. Close to the Central Station so all you tourists, citytrippers, beer geeks and commuters will walk straight from the station to the bar. How convenient is that? 👍🍻 Big plans for a big bar that will certainly shake the craft beer scene in Brussels! #beer #brewdog #beerporn #beergeek #belgianbeergeek #craftbeer #instabeer

Off to Glasgow again!

After all this preparation and anticipation, I’m finally on my way to Glasgow again! This time I’m travelling with my girlfriend, which will make the trip even more enjoyable.
Our Megabus arrived quite on time, is not too full, the power plug is working—unlike the USB plug—and it’s only a little bit too warm. I’ve had worse. 😉

Scottish Weekend Alden Biesen

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This Saturday my girlfriend and I visited the Scottish Weekend at the Alden Biesen castle in Bilzen (Belgian Limburg). Although there are more Scottish festivals and games in Belgium, this is one of my favourites. This is mainly because there are some interesting competitions being held, like the Highland Dancing Championship and the Belgian Championship for Pipe Bands.

One of the pipe bands competing (in fourth grade) was the MacLaren Pipe Band Venlo, so that was an excellent opportunity to meet up with a clan member that couldn’t make it to the Clans’ Days.

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Apart from the competition, there were lots of other music performances, like a concert from the Jarlath Henderson & Ross Ainslie Band pictured here. I would have loved to see Bags of Rock, but their gig was just too late to be able to get home afterwards, and since I had to work the next day… Next year I might just take a tent and stay the whole weekend, to be able to see everything!

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Homeward

After a speedy night ride to London — we arrived half an hour early — I managed to grab the front row seats again in the bus to Brussels, and this time nobody insisted on joining me there.
Eurotunnel went as planned as well, France was a breeze, but Belgium slowed us down with a traffic jam before Ghent. Welcome to Belgium?
So, I guess that was the end of this trip again already…

Start the countdown to September! 🙂

Ready for Take-off

And we’re ready for take-off, or whatever it is called when a bus leaves. Luckily the power sockets in this MegaBus are working, so I don’t have to worry about running out of power before even reaching the UK.
The coach is only half full, but for whatever reason, some passengers insisted on occupying the the seats next to me on the front row. Oh well, they’re quite tiny, so I don’t mind much, as long as they don’t want to take over the power socket.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

image

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!

image

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.

image

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

image

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

image