Friday, June 25th, 2010
So you want to look manly in traditional Scottish garb? Well, now that you’ve found that perfect kilt or tartan, you should learn how to wear it properly. Here are some tips:
- The pleated section of your kilt belongs in the rear, as it is primarily used to provide a nice bit of cushion for sitting on, and a kilt with pleats in the front is a telltale sign of someone who failed to put it on correctly.
- After laying the pleats in the back, pull the under apron from right to left, passing its strap through the hole, and buckle it. The top apron should be loose now, ready for you to wrap it over your right hip from left to right, buckle and line up the top edges together.
- Kilts are worn just under the rib cage and they are designed to hang to the top or middle of the knees, depending on where you want them. The straps allow for easy side-to-side adjustments, and again, remember that the double apron section should always be in front. (more…)
Thursday, June 17th, 2010
Most people, when you ask them what do they know about Scotsmen, would answer that they imagine a tall, strong man with fiery red hair, dressed in kilt, standing on a cliff on a misty morning, playing his bagpipes, possibly with some sheep in the background. To be honest, the truth is not as romantic and in many cases completely different from what the world thinks of them. Here are some myths and stereotypes about Scottish people that are not entirely true:
Scotsmen are miserly and reserved because of the hardship their nation went through.
Nothing less true. What many consider avarice is actually being practical. Even though it is often said that expenses are being cut in various fields, in all actuality the nation is developing at least as well as the rest of Great Britain, in some areas even better. Aside from that, on a more personal level, Scotsmen are very open and don’t hesitate to help others in need. Many immigrants praise the way they were welcomed by the natives when they arrived to Scotland.
Scottish dishes are inedible.
This is probably a myth that origins from the famous haggis, which, for many can be a bit overwhelming. But many well known, delicious dishes come from Scotland. Tattie scones, Dundee cake – which is known for its rich flavour – they all come from Scottish cuisine.
Scottish economy stands on… sheep.
Yes, Scotland is known for its sheep. But in recent years sheep breeding business is shrinking rapidly – it is seven hundred thousand pieces smaller than it was seven years ago. Aside from that Scotland has a good coal mining base, oil extraction on the North Sea shelf, well developed metallurgical, mechanical, chemical and electrical industries.
Men that wear kilts are always cold.
It is actually really difficult to feel cold in a kilt. For one, it is almost 23 feet of thick wool covering the area from waist to knees – that in itself is plenty to keep one warm. Aside from that, there are the woollen socks covering the lower legs – if anything, it can only be too warm. And that actually ties with another stereotype – that Scottish men don’t wear anything under their kilts. It probably depends on a person but sometimes, adding another layer could really be a bit much.
Saturday, May 22nd, 2010
Scottish literature dates back to well before the medieval ages, and there have been plenty of prolific writers throughout the centuries.
Image via Wikipedia
Many Scottish writers produced works in English in addition to the native languages such as Scottish Gaelic and Scots.
Each era was defined by different writing styles that were influenced by a few talented authors. Overall, Scotland’s most famous writers are from the 18th and 19th century periods. Robert Burns and Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson are some of the most recognizable names in Scottish literature.
Born in the small village of Alloway, Robert Burns has risen to iconic status in Scotland and beyond. You may
be surprised to learn that one of Scotland’s most famous writers actually wrote poems rather than novels. Burns also had musical creativity, and he integrated traditional folk songs into his poems. For example, his poem “Auld Lang Syne” has been carefully written to match the musical notes of an old folk song. Written in 1788 in the Scots language, this melodic poem has become part of a New Year’s tradition in Scotland, the United Kingdom, and other countries where English is spoken. (more…)
Saturday, May 8th, 2010
Image via Wikipedia
Although Scotland lays claim to numerous scientists and inventors, perhaps the most memorable is (1) Alexander Graham Bell (1847 – 1922). In addition to receiving the first US patent for the telephone, he is also credited with more than 30 inventions and discoveries across a wide variety of fields. Additionally, he was one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society.
Everyone who studies chemistry will be familiar with the contributions of (2) Joseph Black (1728 – 1799). This Scottish physicist developed the analytical balance and discovered latent heat, specific heat, and carbon dioxide. His work with latent heat and specific heat paved the way for the invention of the steam engine. (more…)
Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
Caledonistas rocked the world of fashion in 2009 at Sterling Castle, Scotland with the ‘Catwalk Caledonia’. The fourth annual Scottish Fashion Awards presented a cortege of designs from Louise Gray, Holly Fulton, Graeme Black, Pringle of Scotland, Jonathan Saunders, Henry Holland, Graeme Armour, Laura Lees, Pam Hogg and many others.
[photo by: EraPhernalia Vintage]
Scottish Fashion Awards Hall of Fame inductee was Pam Hogg, a young Scottish lass with a very unique flair for punk couture design. Pam Hogg attended Fine Art and Printed Textiles at Glasgow School of Art then the Royal College of Art in London where she obtained her MA. First shown as part of the Hyper Hyper collective from 1985-89, her collection is now the Hogg-Couture and consists of her trademark catsuits and colourful skintight dresses. (more…)
Thursday, February 4th, 2010
Well, I’ve narrowed it down to the three things that Scotland is most famous for, and we’ll see if you agree…
#3 is the Loch Ness Monster. That slimy, lovable sea dinosaur is one of the first things people associate with Scotland. Nicknamed “Nessie”, she first popped up in 1933 and has been wreaking havoc all over Scotland ever since… actually she is quite tame, and has only been seen on photograph with her infamous giraffe-like neck peering out of the water. Unfortunately, she hasn’t popped up for decades. Come on, Nessie! Show yourself!
#2 is the Kilt. The Kilt is a mysterious and exciting piece of clothing. It has been around since the 16th century and is essentially a skirt for a man. Scottish men have no problem wearing a skirt because, well, they’re Scottish, and you better not have a problem with it either. Made of twill woven worsted wool, the kilt is very durable and can withstand long days and nights of singing, dancing and bagpipe playing… which brings us to our number one item Scotland is famous for… (more…)