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50,000 Smiles said it all ... The Clan Gathering was a Great Success

Life be in it!

The Times said that. It was certainly necessary to be there, to feel the buzz, and see the smiles, to realise just how wrong the 'cognitive' approach to the Clan Gathering in Edinburgh on July 25th and 26th 2009 was. It was quite simply an 'affective' occasion. Tens of thousands enjoying a march up the Royal Mile by 8,000 folk they had scarcely met before who shared a common surname. The same people swarming around in the inspired Clans Village area to be pictured with their three feathered Chief. Sportsmen tossing cabers or hammers and pipers and drummers working their magic old time or with chilli. Fine Scottish foods and the assiduous avoidance of litter. Ticket selling initiatives for the ever lengthening queues that showed leaders thinking outside the box.

And as a P.S. the 100 pages in the 5 programme 'Be Part of History' is one of the best value-for-money offerings you'll ever see.

All Hail the Chiefs!

What to criticise?

Well it's all a bit naff is it not? Tartanry and shortbread and even pipes for goodness sake. Surely today's Scotland can think of something better to say to the world. Well of course it can, and it does. But it's not instead of it's as well as. The diaspora [what an awe-less word] loves it all and so do more than a few Scots. The fact that the intelligensia cannot enjoy it all with its rose tinted views of Highland life and traditions and, let's not forget, our Prestonpans' tale of daring that we happily accord to Bonnie Prince Charlie, just shows how limited one's humanity can sometimes be.

Clans and tartanry don't obscure the realities for those who do wish to study and analyse more profoundly, they build on them just like the noble art of politicks always has. We're not deceived by circuses or magicians but that doesn't stop us enjoying them.

And as for stay-at-home bloggers, who's understanding of life is mainly derived from sitting at a keyboard, the counsel has to be: Get out into the fresh air [and the rain] more often and see people really smile and smile again!

Published Date: July 29th 2009

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