Origins: Weekly Discover

What came first? The chicken or the egg? This philosophical question has been pondered by young children and adults alike and is often the first debate we enter when it comes to querying our origins. Everything we see, touch, smell, feel  and hear has an origin somewhere, sometimes obvious, other times hidden beneath a depth of layers (no pun intended).So when this week’s prompt was set I had the hard task of picking something, anything to discuss where it originated from.

I originate with virtually everyone in the world from Africa. I originated from Mitochondrial Eve 192,400 years ago.  From there, Ulfa (U5a1a1) took us to Scotland around 12,000 years ago. If you want a feel for how long ago that was make each sheet of toilet paper worth 1000 ( or 10,000 years) and unroll it until you reach 12,000  and you have a good visual idea of just how long ago that was. But this is not the origin I was going to talk about. Rather it is originating from Scotland bereft of a kilt which is now seen as the emblem of Scotland.

The kilt originated in the 1600s and remain a powerful symbol of Scotland, literally, the claim being that a man in a kilt is a man and a half and considered far more serious an opononent than one in trousers. So much so that the kilt was banned by Britain who remained in fear of the Scots. Eventually this law was relaxed to allow those in the forces to wear the kilt and the Germans in WWI found the kilt wearing regiments the most formidable of any they faced.

My family however, despite originating from Scotland, did not lay claim to a kilt. This upset me as my Scots heritage was a prominent feature of my childhood. Coming from the lowlands our forebears saw the highlanders in their kilts as a barbarous lot of hooligans in their kilts. They called them “redshankes” due to exposing their bare legs summer and winter despite the wearer probably being “blue with cold.”


© irene waters 2016

This did not stop my parents from buying my brother a kilt when we visited Scotland in the 1950s. I was jealous as. I eventually inherited his sporran and regret that no-one knows what eventually happened to it. Eventually I did inherit a kilt from my aunt whose husband had rightful claim to one as he came from the highlands.

1958.94 Colin from Scotland

© irene waters 2016

Follow the links within the post for the other origin stories I allude to and to the weekly discover site for other responses to the challenge. 


About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
This entry was posted in family, Historical Perspective, Memoir, photography, Weekly Discover Challenge and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Origins: Weekly Discover

  1. quarksire says:

    guess dat depends upon which chicken ya be lewkin at lol…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great story. Your brother is adorable in his kilt – sweet smile he has.
    I wonder what kilt the chicken clan wears?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maggie says:

    A great origin.. My Grandmother was from Scotland, but I never owned a kilt.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s