Favourite things

The fog:

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From one day to the next it turned from summer to winter when the haar rolled in off the sea. Although the sudden cold and damp has made me ache all over and I’m very tired, I still find it very beautiful. The transformation for clear blue skies to mysterious fog is one I will keep.

Favourite things

Ducklings!

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The burn (read: small river) I cross every day to go into town hasn’t had ducklings for the last couple of years. There used to be problems with flooding, so a few years ago the council paid to have banks along this stretch of the burn redone. They essentially dredged the river and put up new walls along the sides of the banks. Unfortunately, they did this right during nesting season and we haven’t had ducklings since.

That is, until this year! The mama ducks have finally deemed our part of the burn safe again, and have been parading their wee ducklings for all to see. Each day I’ve seen more ducklings. This morning I even saw three (3!) families of ducks, with a total of twenty-three (23!) ducklings!

How can you not love ducklings? Just look at them! And they go ‘cheep, cheep’, and paddle their little feet, and they’re just little balls of fluff! I love ducklings, and I’m so glad I get to see so many of them this year.

Favourite things

Swans:

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I love that our town has its own pair of swans, and here is their family of cygnets! Usually I see them in the harbour and not here in the Kinnessburn. I suspect the burn is a much quieter, safer place for wee cygnets than the harbour is.

Favourite things

Church square:

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The square outside the Town’s historic parish church, Holy Trinity, with benches, buskers, charity shops, and the local public library. I cross it often when going from South Street to Market Street.

Medieval Meander

Today I led a walking tour of medieval St Andrews. We started at the museum where I work and then for 1.5 hours we went to the castle, St Mary on the Rock, cathedral, Dean’s Court, Queen Mary’s House, Blackfriars, and many other sites of medieval importance that are still standing in our town. The group consisted of about twenty people, most of them retired age or older, and we had beautiful weather. Though nervous, I had a lot of fun.

About to give my talk on the cathedral. (Photo courtesy of Lola.)

About to give my talk about the cathedral. (Photo courtesy of Lola.)

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves: several people kept vying for a place next to me as we walked from place to place, asking questions, others still thanked me for an interesting tour, and my informer in the group told me that people talked about the sites I was pointing out as we walked from one place to another. All in all, I would say it was a success. I might even do it again.

Favourite things

My church:

I love the services, its people, the clergy and servers, the buildings. All Saints is wonderful. I am so blessed to be a part of the ministry of this church.

Favourite things

Used book table on Market Street:

I think all of the School of English postgraduates are friends with Bill, the owner of Bouquiniste. Not only because he owns the used bookstore in town, or because the actual shop is right next door to our offices, or because he sets up used book tables on Market Street on sunny days, but also because he is such a nice person and lover of books himself. When I was looking for a particular book a few weeks ago, I asked him if he had it — he did, at home, and brought it in for me the next day, and yet understood completely that I was looking for an older edition. It’s not just about selling books, with him, it’s the shared love of books that matters. I always enjoy stopping and chatting with him when I can.

Favourite things

East Sands:

Taken from the coastal path south of the town, looking back. The skies had cleared enough to go for a walk if one didn’t mind getting a bit muddy. It isn’t the sunny Mediterranean, but it is Home.

Favourite things

Lingering sunlight:

This photo was taken well past 10PM and yet there was still light. The summer days are long in Scotland.

For those of you recently tuning in: The ‘Favourite things’ Friday posts are in response to a question I was asked some time ago about what is my favourite thing in this town. I couldn’t think of just one thing, and often it is little things I love the most and that make this town Home to me. These ‘Favourite things’ Friday posts are glimpses into why I love this town by the sea.