Sophie starts her day with a manifest sense of duty. There are crows to chase, overly familiar Jack Russells to ignore and a village pig to be warily glared at. A girls work is never done. The PONettes tasks are borne lightly in the sure and certain knowledge that there will be a trip into town for a bowl of water and a de-chocolated Jaffa Cake. Duty has its rewards.
We park by the town bandstand. A hundred yards or so down the road there's an open garden door. On the other side a group of early rising students seem to be hitting each other with sticks. Perhaps it's one of those esoteric oriental martial arts ? Sophie is keen to greet the students but is encouraged along. We are amazed that students would be up and about this early.
Further along the road there's a long, high wall. It has a dozen or so spear points jutting out above it.
On the shore side of the road a truly hideous Victorian house. Scots baronial at its worst - heavy and lumpen. Long ago the cost of heating a monstrosity like this forced out the last tenants and it was taken over by the university. One side is Moral Philosophy, the other Logic and Metaphysics. The view from the inside looking out over the sea must be wonderful.
The early rising pretty girls and the sword wielding boys might have been getting ready for this or, more probably, for the St Andrews day festivities. St.Andrews is a town of historical 're-enactments'. :https://www.facebook.com/thekatekennedyprocession/videos/549207220203420/
I remember that building - I think it's right next to the economics building? My husband is an economist, and I recall thinking what a view they must have. My son, after spending nearly four years in rural Ohio, is thinking about Scotland again. He wants to do graduate studies in Sports Psychology, a field in which the UK seems to lead the world, but he may need a "conversion" degree in psychology from a UK school as a starting point. Not all schools offer these degrees, but St. Andrews, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow all do. We the parents are all in favor of more trips to Scotland.
Hi Lisa - Isn't Exeter the leader in that field ?
Loughborough and Bangor seem to be at the top of the sports psychology rankings at the M.Sc/Ph.D level, but neither has the conversion degree. Exeter has the conversion degree but not the post-graduate sports psychology program. We visited Bangor and Loughborough over the summer, and I think he has his heart set on Loughborough - the sports facilities were absolutely amazing.
Angus, how do you de-chocolate a Jaffa cake? Do you break the chocolate off, scrape it off with a knife or use some other method?
Lisa - Loughborough has long had an excellent reputation for sports science and psychology. But I have to say that, of all the university towns mentioned above, it is perhaps the least attractive as a place for parents to visit, notwithstanding the amazing sports facilities! I say this as a native East Midlander, having been raised in Nottingham, just 15 miles away.
Life of Riley - Removing chocolate from a Jaffa Cake ( or de-chocolating it ) is best done on a cold, near freezing, Scottish morning when sitting outside. Cold weather solidifies the chocolate coating. Snap the Jaffa Cake in two and the thin layer of chocolate then breaks into small, easily removable, pieces. In the heat of more soujterly climes all that happens is the Jaffa Cake gets soggy and the chocolate melts.
I did at first wonder if that might be hockey - or camanachd - practice, though it did then cross my mind about renactments, so was glad to see your confirmation. It's good the young uns have a hobby. 🧐 YAM xx
Thank you, Gail, have to agree that Loughborough does not have the same degree of charm as some others, but I think it would be OK as a student town. When we were there, a lot of the athletes competing in the Commonwealth Games were training there, which was cool Nottingham is on the conversion program list, by the way. Angus, sorry to have hijacked the thread - we don't seem to have the ability to reply to individual posts anymore?
Such a pretty place and such a sweet little girl. Wish I was there.
Are you sure those students were early risers? They may not have been to bed!
I must say that your latest move has certainly put you almost into the big city league, with so much going on.
Thanks for the tip for removing chocolate from a Jaffa cake. It might come in handy one day, though not much use at the moment as it's a pleasant 24ºC outside.
I enjoy learning about the daily life in your part of the world.
I have never heard of Jaffa Cakes until your blog. Finally got around to looking up a recipe. What a delightful combination: sponge cake, orange, and chocolate. A tasty treat any time of day!
Our Gemma would have been over with the students in a flash trying to wrest all of their sticks from their grasp...a German Shepherd Dog does like a good stick tussle. :)
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