• Alexandra Kiley

Birthday Nostalgia and Ceilidhs

Okay, bear with me - I promise this winding story connects to KILT TRIP eventually. But first, it's my birthday!


I always get a bit nostalgic and think back on memorable birthdays like the year we found out we were pregnant with my daughter or when I turned 21 and, as a rite of passage, kissed a buffalo head mounted to the wall of a bar in Boulder (Go Buffs!!).


But my 20th birthday was one for the books. I'd been in Scotland for study abroad for exactly two days and was living in a dorm with freshman and other international students because I didn't do a formal exchange program.


The first week of school is called Freshers Week and it's basically a week of pub crawls since the drinking age is 18 and it's Scotland. The second night, the university hosted a Freshers Ceilidh (pronounced Kayleigh). My new best friends and I got all dressed up (yes, this girl always travels with a little black dress) and went out dancing.


Now, if you've never heard of a Ceilidh, it's a traditional Scottish dance with a caller who yells out the dance moves so everyone can join in. Basically the OG line dance. In school, Scottish children learn these dances and they're often a part of weddings or other get-togethers.


Here we are at McEwan Hall, impressing everyone, I'm sure.



Later in the semester, I joined an international students' group and went on an overnight trip to the Highlands that inspired a lot of Addie and Logan's bus tour. One of the highlights was the Ceilidh in a haunted castle. Ah, college.




Clearly, ALL the fun was had, and I knew I needed to include pieces of it in KILT TRIP. (See, I told you I'd get back to KT). First, because it's such a unique and energetic activity, but mostly because there's nothing better than the sexual tension from the forced proximity of dancing, am I right?


Here's an excerpt from the Ceilidh scene in KILT TRIP. Yes, the slow burn will wreck you.

The group clapped for a count of eight before meeting in the middle to slap hands above their heads. Logan couldn’t resist catching Addie’s fingers for a split-second to make her grin. They repeated the step before linking arms and turning in a circle.
As Addie spun, Logan caught sight of the open back of her black sleeveless shirt that nearly stopped his heart. The fabric draped in a thick X across her upper back and the triangular cutout below revealed the curve of her spine.

Oh wait, this, too...

They placed their hands into the middle of the circle, pinwheeling about, until Malcolm called out, “Heel, toe, heel, toe.”
The utter mayhem of Birdie and Gertie barreled toward them and Logan pulled Addie out of the crosshairs.
She stumbled and fell against his chest. Her face glowed, framed by the light curls at her temples. One glittery smile and he wanted to bury his hands in her hair, push her against the castle wall and claim her mouth, the tourists be damned.

I'm off to eat a lot of funfetti cake and dream about these two dancing in the Scottish Highlands!

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