Essay: Homage to Caledonia: Scots Abroad

With Scotland and all things Scottish very much in the air, acclaimed writer, comedian and now ex-pat, AL Kennedy, reflects on what Scottishness means to her in this new series of The Essay. Today: tartan, the kilt and a sense of identity.

A L Kennedy was born in Dundee, and now lives in London. She is the award-winning author of 6 novels, 6 short story collections and 3 works of non-fiction. Her latest short story collection, ‘All the Rage’, was published in Spring 2014.

Written and performed by A L Kennedy Published on July 14, 2014.

Den-making is a particular kind of play, not with dolls or toy guns but with place. It’s a form of play that is particularly private and vulnerable. Any adult or teenage presence can destroy it at once: a looming face would reduce Paul’s and my dens to a dull clutter of sticks. For adults it’s hard to recapture this ephemeral, playful approach to place-making because, as we grow up, we get used again to the idea that the meaning of places is fixed and not ours to command.

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