30 May 2006

Pardon Me Sir, What's Under Your Skirt?

As was previously mentioned, the wedding was formal. This meant that boys were in tuxedos, formal military attire, and then there was Ross & Hamish....who were in kilts. [and looked mighty dashing I might add!!] Hamish--being the true Scottsman--was wearing his traditionally [i.e. nada underneath!]. Ross, proclaiming it was "bloody freezing," chose to be a bit more, uh, protected from the cold--which in hindsight was not a bad idea, as while we were celebrating on at the pub, a very inebriated lass kept peaking under Ross's kilt!!

While thought by many today to the national dress [no pun intended] of Scotland, that wasn't always the case. So here's a history of the kilt exposed [and we're not going to mention how I found out what Hamish & Ross were or weren't wearing underneath!]:

There are a lot of webistes out there on the history of the kilt--just google history of kilt and you'll come up with about 1,210,000 hits. For the interest of time, I only checked out a few. Basically, there is some discussion about a)when the kilt was first seen in Scotland and b)if it originally came from Ireland. Being NOT an aficiando of the kilt or Irish or Scottish history, I won't comment on either, except to tell you that insofar as Scottish history is concerned, the kilt was not originally seen everywhere, only in the highlands. Apparently the Lowlanders considered it barbaric. It was both easy [supposedly...I, personally think skirts aren't the way to go, but both Hamish & Ross commented that it was very liberating] and versitile as many used the material as not only a garment, but also a blanket.

To quote one website (
http://members.aol.com/sconemac/kilt.html): "The kilt itself in its original form was a very basic garment which required neither the trouble of tailoring nor the frequent replacement which a pair of breeches needed. The tartan cloth forming a piece of material some 2 yards in width by 4 or 6 yards in length. This was known variously as the Breacan, the Feileadh Bhreacain and the Feileadh Mor - the big kilt, usually referrred to in English as the belted plaid. The belted plaid 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 tightly woven wool proved almost completely waterproof...For ordinary wear the kilt may be made of tartan or tweed and may be box-pleated or knife-pleated (as are most); for dress wear it should be of the dress tartan of the Clan. If the Clan posses one. The kilt should be worn with the lower edges reaching not lower than the centre of the knee-cap."

Accessories [because whether they admit or not, men too have to accessorize!] for kilts include: sporrans [aka a purse, or if you're a Seinfield worshipper, man-bag]--with at least one for day and one for evening wear. Hose--white or oatmeal for day and tartan colored for evening--with garters and--this is very important--a sgian-dubh [small dagger] to be carried in the right hand stocking at all times. A dirk [another dagger] may also be worn, carried on the belt--but it's not necessary [yeah, like any man's going to turn down carrying another dagger!]. Buckled shoes complete the outfit.

NOTE: kilts are NOT to be worn by women. so, perhaps I should find me a Scot to marry--that way at least one of us will be wearing a skirt!!

ahem, anyway....so I hope this has shed some light on kilts and the manly men that wear them [as it is claimed that a man who wears a kilt is a man and a half]...so when you're out and about and see a kilted man, smile and remember, as dear Hamish says "real Scots" are liberated underneath!

cheers! :) shez

12 May 2006

Here Comes the Bride!

Where was I? Ahh yes, The Wedding....


It truly looked like a fairy tale wedding. First of all, Penny looked like a princess in her gown. It was a dark gold/bronze color and required 2 layers of petticoats and someone [or two or three someones] to dress her! It was stunning!! Michael, aka the groom, was dressed in military dress uniforms--as were the groomsmen--except for Michael's brother, who was in a tux. Being a fall wedding, the colors were brown and orange. The bridesmaids wore mocha colored dresses--all the same material, but varying on design. The ceremony was short and sweet and I think I had the longest part--reading The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde. We had to do some liberal editing to get it short enough not to encourage snoozing, but I think we [i.e. Penny] did a great job of keeping the basics and allowing it to still be very poignant. It's Penny's favorite story and I did my best not to cry [or look at Penny, which would have ensured crying] while reading. I found it interesting that the readings/sermon were given after Penny & Michael took their vows, exchanged rings, signed the marriage licence, kissed, and were announced. The only technical difficulty arose as the couple were walking back down the aisle and realized that with there was no room for Michael to walk beside Penny, as her skirt took up the entire aisle [now THAT'S what I call a dress!!]

As the couple exited the church they were greeted not only by the guests, but by the guard, who presented their swords for Penny & Michael to walk beneath. Of course, as they reached each set of swords, the swords were lowered until the newlyweds kissed and only then would they be allowed to pass! :)

A bus was graciously provided to take us to the reception, which was held about 10 miles outside of Yass....so we [being NOT the wedding party] headed to the local pub to wait for the bus. After a drink [or two] a very nice soldier offered Jen Craig [a friend from football] and I a lift to the bus, so as not to have to walk 4 blocks in heals. Who says chivarly is dead?!?!?

The reception was held at an art gallery [the Crisp Gallery--check it out at
www.petercrisp.com.au], which was beautifully decorated in fall colors and flowers galore [and I'm not just saying that because I helped!!]. Guests were invited to drinks and hors d'vors while waiting for the wedding party to finish with the photos. It was out in the gardens, which were lovely, but as the temperature was dropping, I was very thankful I brought my big coat!! Soon we were invited in and the cold [by now it was nearly 32F or 0C] was soon forgotten and dinner and more drinks flowed.....and flowed....and flowed.

Cake was cut--with a sword [too cool]! It was a chocolate cake, which for those of you not aware, in Australia "typical" wedding cake is fruit cake. bleh. I'm glad they went with chocolate!! The best, though, was the exact sugar replica of Oscar, the brown dog, who sat beside the cake. Even his nose was wet and shiny! It was a great topper--although a bit big to fit on the cake with the "traditional" bride and groom!! After the speeches, given by Mother of the Bride, Best Man, Bride & Groom, out came the band and the dancing commenced! Soon it was time for Bride & Groom to depart, so we bid them fare-thee-well and kept right on partying!!

After grabbing a few [okay like 7 or 8] beers for the road [I was willing to share!], we hopped on a bus and headed back into Yass and like moths to a flame found the ONLY pub still opened and, of course, continued drinking to Penny and Michael's happiness....

until some ungodly hour of the morning (4ish)....

to be continued.....
:) shez