Thursday, 8 March 2012

Scots Wha Haen't

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Scots Wha Haen't ~

Scots Wha Haen't, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

Points of note regarding this singular character:

Scots flag lapel badge, catching my eye immediately, having been born to Scottish parents in Edinburgh, despite their rapid defection to north London followed by my own exodus to Paris.

Tattered ginger mohican witness to a life less than idyllic if no doubt somewhat anarchic.

Kilt and white socks.

A face which reminds me of this old poem of mine - boy it took me a while to find this one in the archives - I haven't been down there for a while!

It's surprising how many Scots you come across in Paris, or maybe it's just that they tend to be such strong characters that they stand out more than your average expat.

There used to be this, characterful - let's say - English (err, Scottish) teacher. Hmm, just remembered he might read this, so I'd better be careful what I say! Well, suffice it to... that he would often arrive for his lessons in full gaelic battle regalia, and other times just in a pair of... well, that's where my reality filter has to cut in I'm afraid..!

He also had this, err, splendid Scottish beard of the sort I've never had the guts or gumption to attempt to grow myself, much less consider going out it.

There are the Scots who regularly invade the Champs Elysées, of course, and who I'm convinced 'forget' to put their skeggies on just so that they can let it all hang out to scare the hoards of giggling French girls who inevitably pluck up the courage to ask the timeless question: "Is it really true that Scots..?" You know what I'm talking about.

The relationship between the Scots and the French has always been very good, probably helped in large part by a mutual (alleged) hate for all things English, and is witnessed by the regular opening of new Scottish pubs in the capital. The Thistle, The Highlander, The Pure Malt and the telling Auld Alliance all bear admirable witness to this.

That might not seem like a huge tally, especially when compared to Irish pubs in Paris, of which there are now 1725, I believe, which is also, coincidentally, the birth year of Arthur Guinness, the patron saint of drinkers, and I say that without a hint of eire or bitterness, I mean, someone had to do it, right? But the thing is, Scotland's a tiny 'country', only 5 million, but with 4,999,998 very regular drinkers (my parents are tee-total), the market is still there...

'Scots Wha Hae', by the way, means 'Scots who have', the complete phrase ending '...wi(th) Wallace bled', and is a patriotic song about heading into battle against, hmm, now let me think, who could it have been again..? (Clue: it wasn't the French)

P.S. I've never worn a kilt. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially on windy days like today...

And why not...
© 2012 
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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