Is Scottish Romance Still Alive?

Hello everyone and welcome to our second Blog ‘n’ Blether….the place where we natter about all things Scottish!

Our ‘blethers’ this month (to co-incide with Valentine’s Day) take a light-hearted look at love and romance…

Current ‘Affairs’…

Have we lost that feeling of anticipation and excitement surrounding chance encounters and face-to-face introductions in favour of instant messaging and Tinder?

Is a ‘swipe right’ the new love letter, which historically was penned with care, emotion and thought in its composition?

Has ‘Ten shades of Tartan’ replaced ‘Forty Shades of Grey’??

There’s no denying that the way we potentially meet a partner has changed dramatically in recent years. Now, rather than writing a love poem or voicing our affections in romantic song, most of us, especially the younger generation, prefer the safety and convenience of smartphone dating.

There’s less risk of rejection, no need to hang around in bars and clubs hoping to strike up a conversation and no missing out on meeting someone due to unsociable working hours, plus you can put forward the best possible version of yourself by way of perfect selfies at just the right angle and listing all the interesting facts you want people to know about you.

Is this progress? Is it ‘real’?? Does the fact that times have changed so much really mean that our attitude to romance has suffered?

Not necessarily.

Love stories abound throughout Scottish history….from the very early days through the Romantic Movement and into modern times. How much has romance changed throughout Scottish history? Do we still have the heart-felt romantic attitudes of our ancestors….or has the strong flame of Scottish romance died in the embers of time?

The wild and dramatic landscape of Scotland, majestic castles, misty glens, harsh rustic lifestyle of those early days, fierce battles between Scottish Clans and other settlements all combine to give a perfect backdrop to famous films and TV Dramas such as Braveheart and Outlander.


This is the story of Sir William Wallace, one of the greatest Scots in history, who led a rebellion against tyrannical English rule in 13th Century Scotland. Although the 1995 movie, starring and directed by Mel Gibson, is historically inaccurate, there is evidence to suggest that the romance within it may well be true (difficult to deny, with Mr Gibson in the lead role……drool….even with a ‘dodgy’ Scottish accent!)

According to an article published in ‘The Scotsman’ aiming to dispel myths about Wallace, he “may have indeed fallen in love with and married a young woman”. The article goes on to confirm that heart-wrenching scene when Wallace’s wife, Murron, is murdered by the Sheriff for defending herself against an English guard, encouraging Wallace to unleash the full force of his rage against his country’s oppressors. The full article makes interesting reading


Everyone is familiar with the television drama series, ‘Outlander’ (and if you’re not, where have you been?!) Based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon, ‘Outlander’ is filmed in various picturesque locations throughout Scotland including Dean Castle Country Park, right in the heart of Scottish Keepsakes’ home town, Kilmarnock!

Set in eighteenth-century Scotland, it tells the tale of Claire, a young army nurse visiting the Scottish city of Inverness with her husband, Frank. During a wander of the grounds, she accidentally transports herself back through time, from 1946 to 1743, after visiting a cluster of ancient standing stones.

What follows is a compelling saga of love and loss as Claire is torn between her old life with Frank and her undeniable love for Jamie Fraser, the Scottish highlander she is forced to marry.

As the mounting danger and conflict of the Jacobite rebellion comes to a head, Jamie and Claire are forced to part ways, with Claire returning to the 1940s and the two lovers uncertain if they’ll ever see each other again. However, as in all sweeping romances, they are reunited, almost 20 years later, their love stronger than ever before……awwwwww!

Robert Burns, the Romantic Poet

Almost over-exposing on the ‘Burns’ theme here….but talking about Scottish romance, we simply CANNOT ignore the romantic works of Robert Burns (jump back to last month’s Blog ‘n’ Blether for our Robert Burns special!).

With Burns and romance, the list is endless – he was penning love poems from the tender age of 15! His first was in 1755, ‘O, Once I Lov’d A Bonnie Lass’, which was dedicated to Nelly Kilpatrick, a girl who assisted him during harvest time on his home farm. From there, Burns went on to give us ‘A Red, Red Rose’, ‘Comin? Thro The Rye’, ‘Ae Fond Kiss’, ‘There’s Nought But Care’ and ‘For The Sake O Somebody’ not to mention countless love letters and ballads to his (equally countless!) lovers.

However, the undisputed love of Burns’ life was his wife, Jean Armour, who was also the mother of three of his children. Even after her father forbade Jean to see Burns, resulting in them becoming separated for several years, their love remained strong and they eventually reunited and married. Declaring his love for Jean to the world, Burns wrote ‘Bonnie Jean’:

There was a lass, and she was fair,

At kirk or market to be seen;

When a’ the fairest maids were met,

The fairest maid was bonnie Jean.

As in the bosom of the stream,

The moon-beam dwells at dewy e’en;

So trembling, pure, was tender love

Within the breast of bonnie Jean.

‘O Jeanie fair, I lo’e thee dear;

O canst thou think to fancy me,

Or wilt thou leave thy mammie’s cot

And learn to tent the farms wi’ me?

Such beautiful words….


Gifts of Love

At Scottish Keepsakes, we have plenty of gift ideas to show someone special just how much they are loved & cherished, whether it be a partner, friend or family member.

Our organza wedding and baby/christening keepsakes contain Rose Quartz, a beautiful pale pink crystal, symbolising unconditional love, forgiveness and compassion. This beautiful crystal tumble stone is also found in some of our ‘Caring’ range of keepsake gifts.


Our newest ‘Highland Coo’ Scottish keepsake sends a message of love…..with tartan, hearts, thistle & heather!

The folklore surrounding the love story of how purple heather became white, is featured in our lucky heather keepsakes. These are also popular for wearing as Wedding corsages.



Love…Scottish Style?

So, do we modern-day Scots have the same attitude to romance as Wallace and Burns??Just because most of us no longer write love sonnets, travel through time or start nationwide rebellions for the ones we love, doesn’t mean we love them any less.

Irrespective of how we find love in this modern age, it’s the way we love each other that matters, surely?

This “Scottish Romance” ‘love’ poem caught my eye a few months ago (author unknown) and may strike a chord with some. It certainly made me laugh!!


Love each other

The Scottish Keepsakes Clan