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tartan design

My Highland Fling.

I was a prefect.

I never got a detention.

I played sport. I debated. I was in mock-trial.

I actually loved…. school.

And yes…I was not a loner, I did have plenty of friends.

I guess you could call me a nerd. A teachers pet. I just loved the rules. The routine. The familiar safe environment.

One of my greatest memories of school was being in the choir for 13 years.

Yes…for 13 years I was a high soprano.

We went on ‘Choir Tour’ singing in churches and streets all over Europe – UK, Austria, Hungary & Wales.  We sang for the Chinese President when he visited Sydney. We sang in Spanish, in Latin, in German. We sang on airplanes. We sang on the streets. We just sang.  A lot.

There was something magical about singing the choir. I loved the vibrations that were created by the voices surrounding me. I loved the feeling of belonging to something so special. Where every single person amounted to a beautiful collective sound.

This time of year I always  reminiscence about my years in the choir. Hearing Christmas carols  as I walk down the aisles of Woolworths…I can’t help myself…I quietly hum along. Growing up, every Christmas my Aaji (my grandmother) would make me sing ‘Amazing Grace’ to the whole family. I pretended to get embarrassed…but I loved it.

HOWEVER…I remember the Christmas of 2005 clearly, I was 19 years old and cleared my throat in preparation of my annual ‘Amazing Grace’ rendition…BUT…it sounded horrible. I honestly think my voice broke. I have never recovered. Ask anyone in my family…I now can’t sing for peanuts. I officially suck. Sometimes I get really sad about it. I try to sing ‘my best’ in the shower. In front of my mirror. In my car. But, I guess I really need to start accepting that my ‘golden singing days are over.

One of my favourite experiences of the choir was when our choir was part of the “Scotland the Brave” performance in Sydney Opera House. It was a night filled with bag pipes, drums, tartan and lots and lots of singing. We trained for weeks…working on our Scottish accents.

For some reason, on this past week I have was sucked down the ‘Youtube vortex’ of scottish songs. I just had this urge. I have literally listened to Scottish songs for hours this past week. At work. In the car. At the gym. I put on all the  Scottish songs that I had learnt during my years in the choir. The lyrics had obviously been lying dormant. As soon as I heard the first chord of the song, the lyrics just flowed….and so did my Scottish accent. It has genuinely made me so happy this week.

With reference to my  ‘Scottish themed’ week and to my school uniform (I wore for all my choir performances ), I have a new found fascination with tartan. Plaid patterns are not reserved for the kilts of old scottish men or for picnic rugs….instead they can subtly add warmth and richness to interior spaces. Upon my research, I actually learnt that “plaid” is actually derived from the Scottish Gaelic word plaide, which means blanket. Tartan can inject a sense of history and tradition. I believe plaid can look really good when combined with timber, leather or even raw concrete. It doesn’t need to be over-bearing but can be used in subtle, unexpected ways – wallpaper, blankets, upholstery,…

Don’t believe me? Check out the images below…

tartan interior
Love the bright colours against the raw backdrop.
(Image via The Rug Company)
tartan interior
(Image via Pinterest)
interior tartan
Can even be used as a wallpaper pattern…it works perfectly in this space…however, I would definitely be careful not ‘over do’ it.
tartan textile
The plaid pattern even works in an industrial or rustic design style. It can immediately inject some warmth.
tartan interior
(Image via Paloma 81)
tartan floor
(Image via Paloma 81)
tartan design
Strong. Textural. Masculine. Who said tartan was out-dated?
(Image via Pinterest)
tartan lighting

OK, I best be off…my ‘HIghland Fling’ playlist is awaiting…

Have a great weekend.