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|