Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Is Outrage!

So yesterday I was walking through the New Town to get to Mass for the Feast of the Transfiguration... What's that you say? Old calendar, my dears. Old calendar.

Anyway, I was walking through the New Town with two charming Young Fogeys, co-religionists, of course, and we were rather snappily dressed although I say so myself. But nothing special, you understand.

The Englishman was wearing a perfectly normal tweed jacket, a Fair Isle jumper, tie, dark blue corduroy trousers, argyle socks and brown shoes.

The Continental was perhaps slightly more daring with his bright cherry red corduroy trousers, waistcoat, dark jacket, tie, brown shoes, dark hat, and, of course, his beautiful nineteenth century moustache.

And I was wearing some old thing: a dark green frock with a rather 1930s air although with a modified Empire waist--sort of between Empire and real waist--because I simply cannot wear a sack, my dears. So aptly named a garment, the sack dress, and so rrrruinous to curvy ladies like myself. I will have none of it. Anyway, let me see, I was wearing this dark green frock, large dark green button earrings, a green crystal necklace, lime green tights, green paisley shawl and little brown boots. Standard day wear, darlings.

The Englishman was holding a missal. I, of course, had mine wrapped in my mantilla in my green velvet handbag.

Well! We had turned the corner on Belford Road when who should approach us but two tall denim-clad people with guitars. And we would not have taken any notice of them had one not suddenly said, in Australian, with a hit of irony:

"Nice costumes, guys."

Well. You can imagine what we said.

"Thank you," said the Englishman with kneejerk polite hypocrisy.

"Thank you," said Canadian me with kneejerk polite hypocrisy.

The Continental uttered no word and made no gesture to acknowledge that such creatures as the speaker might exist although I suspect his upper lip curled ever so slightly under his beautiful moustache.

The musicians passed us, continuing in the direction opposite to our own, and I puzzled over the greeting. The Edinburgh Festival is in full swing, so the Australian may have made an honest error. But on the other hand, there was that hint of irony. Had the cherry corduroy trousers awakened dormant class hatreds?

"Unfair," I said suddenly. "I'm not even wearing a hat. Oh, wait. Yes I am."

But the chap was Australian, and surely not party to the seething hostilities and envies lurking underneath what we locals laughingly call democracy.

So what was with the Aussie's personal tone? Why had hats + tweed + frock + ties + jumper + pipes (for of course my companions were smoking pipes) elicited such disapproval?

Would he have made such a remark to punkers? No. To goths? Unlikely. So why us? Why us?

"OOOOOOOO!" I gasped, as a hypothesis dawned. "They could be a folk music group on their way to the Cathedral!"

We pondered this.

"Let's get 'em!" I cried.

Update: Dear folk Mass loving readers, I was kidding! :-D


Eowyn said...

I am horribly disappointed to find that this post is not accompanied by a photo.

(p.s. have you by any chance noticed a slight spike in via-Facebook Canadian traffic lately? I noticed you got a little shout-out yesterday in Catholic Facebook land)

Seraphic said...

I have, but I don't know from whom!

Seraphic said...

Hmm...photograph... Really, just ordinary day clothes. Don't know if I have a photo of that dress...

Nzie (theRosyGardener) said...

hahaha! love it! A couple people I know from college both have shows running at the Fringe now so if you do go to anything you'll have to let us know. I love that classy clothes in the context of a major theatre festival = costume. :) Wouldn't it be lovely if they were all going to Mass?


Eowyn said...

Speaking of being sartorial beacons...how many of you are not yet familiar with these wonderful dresses? I've never ordered any...I mostly just like to look and dream:


Seraphic said...

I went to "Angels" by Ronan O'Donnell at the Traverse Theatre today. It was great!

Anna said...

@Eowyn: I have a couple. They are very nice, always get complimented when I wear them.

Jam said...

*puts on academic hat*

Is not all clothing a form of costume in fact?

*strokes chin in thought*


Tommie Gold said...

How cold is it in August in Scotland?

Sorry, that's all I could think. Corduroy is hot.

Seraphic said...

So true. And if any of our Young Fogeys were ever so rude as to suggest what the women of our parish ought to wear, e.g. ankle-length tweed skirts, they would at least have some moral high ground because they themselves are covered in layers and layers of cloth.

I am not sure, but I think they could squeeze through holes in fences like cats and squirrels. You know how cats look all furry and fat when they are dry but strangely tiny when they are soaking wet? I suspect our Young Fogeys are like this.

Nzie (theRosyGardener) said...

Glad it was good. Unfortunately I can't speak to the nature of the performances by folks I know, but I know that the production quality will be high. One friend of mine, an N(mostly)CB, is musical director for Company. Another, who was a real mentor to me in college, is taking his New Salisbury Players to perform a couple pays by Neil LaBute (Land of the Dead and Helter Skelter - LaBute is good but definitely does not shy away from difficult subjects, etc., so be forewarned). And, while I don't know anyone particularly well in the company, some dancers from my undergrad are performing as part of a Choreographer's Showcase.

I wish I could go- enjoy the festival and have fun!


Joan of Quark said...

Oh Seraphic, it's a cultural thing.

Australians enjoy nothing more than what we lovingly call 'taking the p***' out of the people we also lovingly call 'the Poms', which is anyone from the UK.

That's all it meant. He was just having a gentle dig at you.

(Of course, if they were folkies on the way to terrorise the Cathedral, I hope you beat them savagely with your vintage handbag.)

amlovesmusic said...

This post made me giggle!!! I am at once intrigued by your descriptions of the dress....which all sounds fine and dandy and pretty......except for the red corduroy pants....and the lime green stockings. I associate red corduroy on men with hipsters, and hipster fashion makes me giggle.

Seraphic, I love you as much as I can love a blogger i have never met halfway across the world....and I am sure that they looked fabulous with your dress....but I had to laugh. I only laugh because I have only worn green tights on 3 occasions.....all 3 as part of a costume. Hence my giggling at the description of that Aussie's reaction.

Yes, it is a tragedy to post something like this without a picture!! And do all people from Scotland dress like you and your friends??

Miss Doyle said...

Oh Seraphic, don't get me started on the Australian male dress etiquette. Oh wait, there's isn't one!

Australian men will constantly feel underdressed in Europe because they dress so damn casual over here.
I don't have many hard and fast rules, but one of them is that I can't see myself marrying an Australian man.

He probably looked at you all in your normal nicely put together Sunday best and thought, that's got to be a costume compared to what I've got on.

And if you do happen to see them play their guitars at Mass in Edinburgh, you've got this Melbourne girls' permission to whack him over the head with whatever is closest to hand.

Eve Mary said...

There are a few vintage fashion blogs I read frequently, and one thing that many of these bloggers do is 'outfit posts', with pictures of what they wear on any particular day, and details of what they're wearing etc. If you're interested in fashion, particularly of a 'vintage' sort, these posts are fun and can be really inspiring to readers.
Perhaps it is time for some Seraphic/Old Fogey outfit posts?

Jackie said...

I second (third? fourth?) the call for a Seraphic Style pic! :-)

SS, you all sound like a beautiful illustration from a storybook! One of the really nice ones, with plates of oil paintings.

Seraphic said...

I admit that the lime tights represent a bit of a risk. Still, there is a bit of the same colour in the boots. It works, I tell you.

Well, the problem with putting up photos is that it rather intrudes upon the privacy of our Young Fogeys, one of whom is on record as desiring the luxury "of being unknown." But there is one on my "Young Fogey" post.

Seraphic said...

But it wasn't Sunday best! It was Monday best.

kozz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kozz said...

Lime green tights sounds daring, though I would never try it, for fear of looking like a leprechaun.

Seraphic said...

Wait, the photo is on "Retire the Jumper." It should give you a good idea. http://seraphicsinglescummings.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/retire-jumper.html

sciencegirl said...

I vote next time, you say nothing and simply smile and wave in the manner of Queen Elizabeth.

Alisha said...

Eowyn - I am in love with Shabby Apple. If I become famous, I'm going to buy all of their clothes. And all of Stop Staring dresses. And Trashy Diva and Modcloth and...it's a good thing to be poor :)

Alisha said...

Might have been me on FB - I think I tagged your book and posted it on a Catholic singer's FB page because there was an article that featured her (she's single and talks about the single life)

R said...

Have to say I absolutely love your new profile photo- looks just like a painting! So jealous of your outfit...I think people would have a fit if I wore that here. Oddly I find the dress code HUGELY conservative (in a bad way) and deviation from the absolute 'this is in the high shop today' is greatly frowned upon.

Eve Mary said...

Sorry, I meant 'Young Fogeys'. Well, since they are men, we probably wouldn't be as interested in what they are wearing anyway, so their privacy can remain.
But Seraphic, please think about it! It wouldn't have to be often, you could do an outfit post whenever you feel like it...when you're feeling particularly glamourous, when you get compliments, a new dress etc
And I have a request for a Swashbuckling Protector: John Wayne pleeeease

Claire Christina said...

FWIW: The Feast of the Transfiguration was retained on the same day in the new calendar. It's just that it tends to be overlooked in parishes that are not extra-conscious of the liturgical year.

Great story, though! It is fun to be overdressed all the time. :)