21st January 09, 09:09 AM
Norfolk - U K
I have been lurking here for the last few weeks to try and get a feel of the community before committing. So having read many of the threads, I now think it is time to come out of the closet and announce myself.
I am Chas Charles-Dunne, 56, married to the beautiful and long suffering Margaret and have one son Craig, 24, who is an ambulance technician. I live and work in the Royal County of Norfolk in the UK.
Strictly speaking I should be Chas Dunne, but my great grandfather (born in Aberdeen) was orphaned at two months old and was raised by an aunt and uncle called ‘Charles’. He went through life as either John Charles or John Dunne till the British Army gave him a medal in Northern India, engraved with the name ‘Charles-Dunne’. We have been Charles-Dunne ever since.
Elderly relatives told me that my grandfather spoke with that neutral ‘no-accent’ as they do in Aberdeen. Except when he got excited and he would then lapse into broad Scots – so broad if fact that most people could not understand him. So, on my father’s side I am ¼ Scots. On my mother’s side I am 1/8th Scots (I am also 1/8th Belgian – it’s not my fault, don’t blame me).
For many years I believed that whatever the social occasion, I had the right attire for it. So morning dress, black tie, white tie (with or without medals) were all no problem. Then one day, out of the blue, I won a full highland/Celtic/Scots rig out – kilt, hose, flashes, brogues, sporran, kilt pin, belt, buckle, ghillie shirt, skean dhu. All I had to do was provide sizes and the goods would be shipped to me. The problem then arose – to which clan do I belong? I did some very swift searching and found – NOTHING. Many sources directed me to Clan Dunbar. When I approached them, they said hello and good bye all in one breath. I have recently been pointed towards Clan Donnachaidh (Clan Robertson) – they are not sure, as we have always been ‘Dunne’ and not ‘Donn’. I had to make a decision at the time and of the available tartans it came down to Royal Stewart or Black Watch. I chose the Royal Stewart.
My current problem is – where can I wear my kilt? Not as easy as one might think. I can’t wear it at work (Health & Safety Regulations) and I don’t have an occasion to wear it otherwise. I am desperately searching for a Highland/Scots/Caledonian event so I can be seen in public amongst others and not look like a fool on my own. As it stands at the moment, I come home in the evening and get changed and do whatever I have to do in the secret hope that some emergency will arise and I will have to dash out in my kilt. So far this village of mine has been a haven of peace and tranquillity.
So there you have it. My wife and I are planning to go to The Gathering in July, but I had hoped to have a little more practice before hand! I look forward to taking part in this group and welcome all comments, especially those from UK kilties.
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