Monday, December 01, 2008
Well, it has been an entire year since last I gathered in all the yummy bits and pieces for the Christmas pudding. Stir Up Sunday 2008 was hotly debated on the web I can tell you. When was it this year? The 30Th? The 23? Back and forth and back and forth..so I settled for yesterday, the 30Th, since on the 23rd I had not gone shopping for Yuletide baking supplies.
Now I realise that it was the start of Advent, and not reeeeeally the last Sunday before, but it was now or never. I chopped, I minced, I grated suet..We each took a turn stirring in some wishes and love for the coming year. We asked that the powers that be spread that love and goodness around, so dear friends this means you! Now the pudding lies in wait out there in the kitchen..Ready to be steamed and put away to wait for Christmas day.
Before all this mixing and stirring could ensue, we went off to shop for the ingredients.So off we went, to get dried fruit, good English stout(Sam Smith's) and Barley wine(Mad River's John Barleycorn..)
We had a good day gathering all the bits. Downtown is getting all lit up, the big tree in the square is lovely.
All the shops are bright with color, and festive cheer.
I hardly ever go downtown for anything, but the Yuletide season makes it way more fun and magical..We wandered around downtown, window shopping mostly. But it isn't all Christmas shopping...
(the above was not taken yesterday. It's from summer a long time ago...)
Yesterday was also St. Andrew's day, the patron Saint of Scotland. The below is from the Scottish Government's site, so they should know..
For the Hubbinator, who is proudly half Scottish, it's a day to wear his kilt, show some Scottish pride. For him it's notso much about a St. Andrew , or anything remotely religious. It's more about celebrating his heritage..
"It was once more popular than St. Patrick's day here in America.
-Until Thanksgiving took over." Grumbled the Hubbinator, "Now hardly anyone knows what it is, much less celebrates it."
Well we here at White Hart Forge celebrate it! SO on with his kilt!- Royal Stewart FYI...
We decided to have lunch somewhere nice, which turned out to be a Sushi place. The restaurant staff were entertained by a big, bearded, kilted Scotsman waltzing in for a bento box.
Wearing a kilt has a mystique all it's own. It's interesting the reactions He gets from strangers. Tourists take his picture. In the swanky shopping districts the well dressed "Ladies of means over 40"( for the record I am a lady over 40, but poor as a church mouse) go all swoony over him. They flash him brilliant, perfect Hollywood smiles, make comments like " Oh, it's so niiice to see a man in a kilt.." Flutter, flutter... like he's Sean Connery, or something ......I just smile and melt into the background.
Bikers give him a nod of respect(I'm talking real bikers here, not lawyers with expensive weekend bikes). Military types and policemen salute him.. No, it's true. The kilt for American males is a manly, manly- man thing to wear. You don't put it on unless you mean it. It carries a warrior mystique with it, I do not know if this is true in Scotland, but here it does. Add to that all those films about Rob Roy, and William Wallace..
Of course not everyone knows what to make of a man in a kilt.
Teenagers giggle or point like he's a three headed monster, but it is their job to be embarrassed by adults in general. As well as to be horrified by anything "uncool".... Hipsters look down their trendy noses, but so what.....The Hubbinator, to his credit, knows he's a big tartan rooster walking about grey old Portland. He is gracious about the attention, and I think secretly...he likes it. Okay not so secretly..!