A week to go and three gone by.

Well, by this time next week I will have finished my calendar month long task of wearing a kilt. Essentially, it will end with me changing into my badminton gear after getting home from work.

I must admit that it will be strange to go back to wearing trousers. Wearing the kilt has become very normal now. What I won’t miss will be the long socks (which are hot and itch in this weather) and the masses of pleats at the rear of the kilt which make sitting in the car very uncomfortable and actually painful after a while. Oh, and then there are the inconveniences of all the tackle such as the sporran and the belt.

Having said that, walking around (when the sporran is lightly loaded) is very comfortable. So, they do have their advantages.

The other thing I’ll have to get used to again is the anonymity in the street. But then again I’ve now got so used to the looks that I hardly notice them any more.

Anyway, there’s still a week to go, though I don’t see any major challenges to overcome during that time, other than warm weather.

The iPhone 4 and Bluetooth keyboard… It works!

Well, I’ve been testing out the usability of a ThinkOutside Bluetooth keyboard which I bought originally to go with my Nokia N800 with the Apple iPhone 4.

Well, as you can see, it does actually work and works well.

If you add a proper keyboard to the high resolution of the iPhone 4’s display then it actually makes for a decent “on the go” blog updating device.

Well, it would if the WYSIWYG editor plug-in for WordPress would actually work within Safari, which it doesn’t. This means that you are forced to revert to the WordPress application and its insistence on the document being prepared in plain HTML. Not (non-technical) user friendly at all. (And a bit of a pain even if you are technically minded.)

By the way, to prove that it’s possible to do it, this article has been written entirely on the iPhone 4 + ThinkOutside keyboard combination.

Oh, and one very useful thing is that the “web application” key on the keyboard emulates the big button at the bottom of the iPhone.

And now it’s half way…

I can’t believe that it’s been about a week since my last update. Then again it’s been pretty busy and I’ve hardly spent any time at home. Anyway, on with the post.

Well, it’s now been a little over two weeks since I started wearing the kilt and there’s approximately the same to go until the 3rd August, the last day of the challenge. So, how have things been going?

In general, there’s not a huge amount to report on the actual kilt wearing side other than all of a sudden it’s started feeling scarily normal. That is, since yesterday it’s not felt unusual at all to be wearing essentially a skirt with nothing underneath, to the point where I’m forgetting about it. Previously it’s been comfortable but unusual. I’m going to have to be more careful to remind myself how to sit etc.

The only real down side to wearing the kilt is that it’s a faff to get in and out of the car and the bunched up kilt is darned uncomfortable to sit on when driving. I s’pose it was never designed for car driving.

As for people’s reactions. I’m still seeing a very mixed bunch, though I’m noticing it a lot less. I was out around town on Friday evening and the reactions I got ranged from an old woman scowling and saying, “Why?! Why?! Why?!” under her breath to a student aged woman saying, “I like the kilt. I’ve been trying to get my boyfriend to wear one but he won’t. More men should wear kilts.” Admittedly, the great majority of people seemed to either not notice or mentally blank it out.

I have had even more positive reactions today, however. Firstly, when I was walking to buy lunch, a fellow came up to me and asked what sort of kilt it was. I explained that it was just a casual kilt and happened to be black. Anyway, the conversation continued and it turns out that he works in the Pitt Rivers Museum and had now had the idea that maybe it would be interesting to try wearing a kilt.. So, I may have a convert!

Secondly, someone who used to work in our accounts department came visiting the Department. She thought that my kilt looked really go and, once again, that it suited me and why didn’t I continue to wear it after the month s up? This was echoed again elsewhere by one of our Chinese academic visitors. She thought that too many people in the Department just wear the same old clothes and so why didn’t I keep wearing the kilt?

Is there a secret society out there trying to persuade me?! 🙂

As for my colleague’s reaction. Other than an initial, mild reaction at the IT support staff conference there’s been no problem, thankfully. So it’s all good.

Anyway, two and a bit weeks to go!

Passing the quarter mark.

Well, I’ve been wearing the kilt for a bit over a week now and I’ve passed the quarter mark for the challenge.

I must admit that on the whole, so far it’s been easier than I imagined to begin with. The reactions have been nowhere near as negative. I have found it surprising how many people continue to tell me that the kilt suits me and that I should carry on. I’m still not tempted to do so yet.

Over the weekend I did quite a long trip away from home, going to a party in Warrington, staying overnight in a hotel and coming back via Chester to meet up with some more old friends. Again, this was easier than expected. I had thought that being so far away from any items of underwear would make me more nervous. In the end it didn’t bother me at all. Maybe I am getting fully used to the whole thing.

This morning, due to the rain, for the first time in almost a week I had to wear clothing which encased my legs (waterproof trousers). I was surprised to find just how really uncomfortable it was. These trousers cannot be said to be at all tight. In fact they’re really baggy. However, they felt so very restrictive and the seams literally painful. I’m wondering now how the shorts I wear for badminton will feel tomorrow evening. Of course, it also makes me wonder how the transition back to wearing trousers on the 4th August will be as well.

Still, I have three weeks to go yet and I’ve got to get through the University IT support staff conference on Wednesday, including bowling in the evening. I’ve also got the return to work of my colleague on Thursday. She had a very poor reaction to my wearing of the kilt for the photoshoot and I’m just hoping that she can get over her aversion quickly.

I do hate causing some people to be uncomfortable but there’s not a great deal I can do about it.

 

Kilt wearing: Days three to five.

Well, there’s not a great deal new to report on the actual kilt wearing. I think I’ve worked out all the day-to-day problems. There’s still a surprising disparity between people’s reactions. Thankfully, most reactions are either that they ignore the kilt now or, when I’m walking outside of the Department, sometimes amusement and sometimes trying not to look as though they’re looking.

There was one item of note, however, and that was badminton on Tuesday evening. Now, during the day there’s a roll-call e-mail which goes around. Of course, there was the obligatory quip about me wearing the kilt to badminton in the evening, followed by a few more. So, I thought, I’d better make sure that this was not the general view. After all, if everyone wanted me to turn up wearing the kilt maybe I should. Anyway, thankfully sanity prevailed and I wore my normal t-shirt and shorts. What did surprise me was that after only about two and a half days of wearing the kilt the shorts felt so alien and uncomfortable. Goodness knows what it’s going to be like by the end of the month.

I think that at the beginning of next week I’m going to send out second general e-mail to both the departmental and the IT support staff lists reminding them of the kilt challenge and how to sponsor me.

As for the donations so far, the total is up to £428 so far. I wonder if I can make it £1000 by the end of the month. I somewhat doubt it.

First day at work… and an interesting ride on the bike.

It’s been an interesting day.

It began semi-normally, i.e. showered and got dressed. But of course, this morning I put on the kilt. This did start the ball rolling on the rest of the day’s events.

The thing I was most worried about the cycling was getting on and off the bike without flashing too much. This turned out to be the least of my worries in the end. The structure of a kilt, being essentially a wrap-around skirt with the front “apron” being the overlap, caused while riding the the two front parts to start to move outwards. Thankfully, with the help of the sporran, they never separated and hence no-one caught a glimpse of anything other than my legs (and my rump every now and again when the pleats flew up).

Because of this, once I got to work I secured the edge of the front flap to the rear where it overlaps using the kilt pin. This, strangely, was said to be not how to do it in the instructions I’d found about kilt wearing. Still, it worked and this evening the kilt was far better behaved.

As for the rest of the day, well, there were some interesting reactions which essentially could be put into three categories really:

  1. Smile and/or be supportive.
  2. Blank it out, pretend that there’s nothing different.
  3. Look away, get embarrassed. (And no, I’m not talking of them seeing something which they shouldn’t.)

Now, by far the most numerous were the (2) group, though this was generally more common outside of work. In work the split was probably something like (1) 70%, (2) 25% and (3) 5%. (This shouldn’t be taken as hard data, merely the “grab a figure out of the air” affair.)

I’m not really sure why anyone would want to be embarrassed about someone else wearing clothing which is only slightly unusual. People are strange.

Still, most of the reaction was very positive. Let’s see how day two at work goes.

And so it begins…

Well, the time has arrived for the start of my month of kilt wearing.

So, this morning I packed away all my trousers into a wardrobe I hardly used and cleared out my underwear and packed that away as well. It was more a symbolic event to hide them and hence not remind me or tempt me to put any on, even in private.

My first forays into the world wearing the kilt will be up to Maplin’s to get some earbud foam covers for the new iPhone’s earphones, returning via a garden centre for bird seed and thence to Sainsbury’s for the weekly shop.

Anyway, I s’pose I’ll have to get on with it.

P.S. I wonder how I’ll feel about the whole thing in a month’s time. Who knows, maybe the trousers will never come out of the wardrobe. I somewhat doubt it, however. It would solve a whole load of problems finding clothes if I did, seeing how impossible it’s become to get trousers to fit me.