10 Jan Highland Fling
Firstly Happy New Year….
So the year is underway, the world is waking up and there is optimism in the air – 2017 is going to be a great year.
With that I have had a number of phone calls from clients who have been losing weight due to personal challenges such as training for the Marathon, and needing alterations. Having trained for the race, I was so lucky to have tremendous support from family, clients and friends and having had to pull out was simply gutting – I know how much time was invested in getting to running fifteen miles, the effort that goes in is ginormous, I truly felt like Forrest Gump. Being told I could not run or even walk to take part in the race was very hard to take in.
For many, the New Year means resolutions, and we hope they keep them – I guess its what we want for ourselves thats important not the often imposed ideals from others, perhaps that’s why people often lose sight of their goal.
Having enjoy the most wonderful Yuletide, topped off with a trip to Edinburgh for Hogmanay, we were spoilt with the most incredible torch parade, buzzing atmosphere and stunning firework display on New Years Eve. It really is the most incredible spot to spend the holidays. We had glorious sunshine every day but my was it chilly!!
Reports suggested the crowd topped over 80k on NYE with over £4m in revenue is generated by the many events hosted by this incredible city. Suffice to say Edinburgh was busy and as such many kilts were adorned by brave men in the bitter cold days whilst we were there.
Men in skirts, what do we think about that?
The kilt stretches back to at least the end of the 16th century, it first appeared as the belted plaid; a full length garment whose upper half could be worn as a cloak or hood. When we think of Scotland, the images conjured for me are tartan, hills and kilts.
And of course this man….
Highland dress and the tartan are among the most powerful, symbols of Scotland. It has been claimed that ‘a man in a kilt is a man and a half’; It is absolutely no coincidence that the kilted 51st Highland Division was rated by the Germans as the most formidable of all the formations they came across during the First World War. Certainly the British government had no doubts on the matter when, after the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie, they banned the use of Highland dress and the tartan, which they clearly saw as an incitement to further subversion. Offenders were killed or sent to the colonies. The form of Highland dress has always owed much to the army and it was the Highland regiments which kept the kilt and the tartan alive until at last, in 1782, their use was once more permitted. Before that time, Scots were only permitted to wear any Scottish wear if they joined the British Armed Services. Pipers were permitted to wear their kilt, but usually in a Regimental colour. Other service men – most were permitted to wear the balmoral with their clan badge on it. A high price to pay to wear highland clothes, laying their life on the line to do it.
The kilt had many advantages in the Highland climate and terrain. It allowed freedom of movement, it was warm, the upper half could provide a voluminous cloak against the weather, it dried out quickly and with much less discomfort than trousers and if required it could, by the mere undoing of the belt, provide a very adequate overnight blanketing. The sporran, or purse, was generally made of leather for day wear; the head and skin of the badger, seal, ermine for evening.
Today, tartans abound and it is an unfortunate person indeed who will not be told by the tartan shops that he or she indeed can buy ‘their’ tartan. The ascribing of a vast plethora of names to membership of various clans has long been an industry in itself. The element of fantasy is still with us today now that Highland dress is popular as never before. There is something that is very special indeed about the kilt and the tartan.
The kilt has now become, beyond any doubt the national dress of Scotland; I hope it is kept that way and not just mere fancy dress.
Conclusion – we love men in kilts…