Scottish Ramble

After skipping it Saturday I spent most of Sunday with colgaffneyis at the St. Paul Scottish Ramble. This was a good time.

This was an indoor, non-camping, event. So I forgot to bring my dishes for eating in period style, which are packed with our camping gear. To deal with this I bought a mug from Patty’s Pottery, which will be quite useful at home in any case. For food we had hard-boiled eggs, sandwiches, and baby carrots, so I did not really need a plate or bowl anyway.

I wore the hand spun & dyed & knitted & felted highland bonnet mia_mcdavid made for me. This is a fine example of her fiber arts, but not the most comfortable choice under the circumstances. It is perfectly suited for wearing outside in a Minnesota winter. However, the weekend’s event was indoors, and like most public buildings in the state, considerably more than adequately heated.

One of the patrons complemented me on how well I had draped my belted plaid (great kilt). She said it look much neater than most of the others at the event. Looking at the conventional view of how a highlander dressed himself in the plaid (see any of the first four links here, you can see that doing it neatly is a very fussy business. So with this particular plaid I have been cheating. Years ago I carefully placed all the pleats exactly where I wanted them and sewed them in place. I also added belt loops, and ties so I can tie the inner apron at exactly the right place on my left side. So when I put it on I can be sure everything will fall into place at once.

Of course, this destroys the usefulness of the plaid as a blanket, so it is unlikely to be period for colgaffneyis. However, the alterations are well hidden when I am dressed. Only mia_mcdavid gets close enough to me to notice :-)>

BTW, I believe the highlanders of old must have some mechanism to simply the process. The conventional view seems just too fussy to be plausible for fast-moving Highlanders. I am not alone in this: See the last two links here. Possibilities include belt loops and drawstrings. However, there is no clear evidence and so I will not dispute the conventional view when I hear it presented at colgaffneyis events.

Ramble is an annual event. There is a book dealer I see there, and only there. I look forward to seeing him every year, and by now he remembers me: “You are looking for Gaelic books.” Both last year and in 2006 I bought collections of 17th Gaelic poetry from him. No Gaelic this year, but I did buy The Silver Bough, Vol. 2 at considerably less than Amazon’s price.

I saw Historical Maps of Ireland at the Clan MacDonald table (Historically the MacDonalds held lands in both Scotland and in Ireland). It was not for sale, but afterwards I found it can be purchased for a reasonable price.

colgaffneyis big official role on Sunday, as every year, was to be the honor guard at the Kirkin’ of the Tartans. This is a completely bogus invented tradition. I grit my teeth through it every year.

We had a hall behind our presentation area for storing our coats and stuff. It was also convenient for cell phone calls, checking Blackberry’s, and similar non 17th century tasks. At one point I was so engaged there when smuzikant walked in. She saw me and grinned. I looked up and said “Welcome to the Den of Anachronism!”

The local woodturners’ association has an exhibit next to our space at the event. There is a fine foot operated treadle lathe there, far more sophisticated and better built than mine. I examined it quite closely, and saw some features I could add to my current lathe, and others that will have to wait
for the next major release.

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