Sitting down in the ‘Black Medicine Cafe’, Edinburgh; Timber furniture, post-war era Rock’n’Roll, a “display only” piano, unsmiling staff and a coffee to spur me on. I sought out this place after reading the bad reviews. One person said that the girl serving coffee whispered in her ear “This is the season for death” and then carved a pentagram in the froth. I was half-expecting to be punched in the face as I walked in, however it turned out to be just another cafe, what a let down. I went to St Andrews this weekend, the home of golf.

I boarded a train from Haymarket station early on Saturday morning, An hour journey with views of the eastern coast of Scotland. Slow towns where in the simple passing onboard a train you can see how an entire life is lived there; the park, the church, the school, the homes and finally, the graveyard.

St. Andrews has the usual buzz of a student town, people around my age walking in every direction. Prince William met Kate Middleton here, and (from what I have heard) that alone is a reason students enroll. I utilised Saturday’s good weather and visited the ruined castle and the remains of what used to be the largest church in Scotland.

I spent Saturday night with a bottle of wine, one that I clumsily opened with a corkscrew, despite its screw top – that sets the precedent for the night right there. Instead of cutting loose and bar hopping I stayed in St Andrew’s only hostel watching George Orwell documentaries. Orwell wrote, his last and one of two most famous novels, 1984 on the remote island of Jura – on the other side of Scotland from where I am now.
He sheltered there in anticipation of an atomic war that he thought London would’ve been a target of. I traveled for slightly different reasons – I was a bit bored. Spitting out bottle-top shrapnel as I emptied the last of the wine into my face, I thought to myself “This is my weekend in St. Andrews?” Well, I am attempting
to take advantage of my remaining time in Scotland.


Earlier in the afternoon I took advantage of the low tide and walked over the rocks below the ruined castle. It looked a bit weird from the other side, unkempt and crumbling. As I took each step on the slippery rocks I couldn’t help but think of being back at Piha walking over the rocks toward the keyhole, something I miss. The thought of not being in New Zealand is using up a great deal of my energy. I will be back home in July and I am actively trying to make the intervening time a time worthwhile.

Over-all… St. Andrews is just another town in Scotland and I am writing this in just another cafe in Edinburgh, about to order yet another coffee.


Checking out the ruined St. Andrews Cathedral
St. Andrews cathedral and graveyard, the nearest tower dates back to the 11th century, predating most of what you can see in this photo.
A view of the coast seen from St. Andrews Castle, a sort of natural pool
The famous golf course


I'm a Carpenter from New Zealand. I completed a Carpentry apprenticeship and decided to build something on every continent. I started this blog so I could share the journey with people!

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