Meeting the Scots in Scotland

by Anna Blanch on October 18, 2009

I almost crashed a wedding yesterday! Yep, that’s what happens when you miss the bus stop for the place you planned on exploring and end up in a little hamlet – it even had a little hamlet name – called the “Crook of Devon.” The church was in the parish of Fossoway and had one of those wonderfully old graveyards. I’ve decided that in these unexpected travels that i’m on the hunt for the oldest outdoor gravestone i can find. See my current oldest find – 1741 – below.

I’ve been here less than a month and I’ve been inducted to within an inch of my life. As a delightful side product of these curiousity filled days i’ve tried some of Scotland’s finest…

  • Fish and Chips (including purportedly the UK’s finest at Anstruther (as seen in the photo left).
  • Haggis and Nips (said “neeps”)
  • Salmon and Oat Cakes
  • Tablet (like fudge but better)
  • Tennants and the myriad of different Ciders.

However, one of my favourite finds thus far has been the array of goats and ewe’s milk cheeses available here. It has been alllowing me to indulge in some of my favourite foods without suffering undesirable consequences.

From the above you would think that all I’ve been doing since I arrived is eating and that is slightly misleading. I’ve also been enjoying sunrise runs along the pier and east sands. Before you think me more heroic than I am, sunrise isn’t until around 7 so seeing the sunrise is not quite the feat you would think. I’ve been told that by December, my sunrise run will take place somewhere around 8am. I’ve also succumbed, for a few days at least, to the dreaded cold/flu symptoms that come with moving to a new university town and being in an office building and residence with people from 6 (count them) continents!

I’ve been trying to find some balance in my life here. Settling into research 40 hours a week and carving out a life here by enjoying some of my favourite things: travelling, exercise, writing, photography, and people! There is this weird thing that happens sometimes when you “live” somewhere – the kind of 3-4 hour day trips that seem like nothing when you are travelling for a couple of months suddenly seem like a big exercise. I am an independant traveller – I love being alone when I am travelling – but suddenly i lose all confidence and keep looking for companions for the simplest things! I’ve been managing to avoid that rut so far. Hence the rambling adventure of a bus ride on a Saturday afternoon and hikes from Anstruther to Crail and my new years plans (to be revealed) and that lovely planning/dreaming/what-if-ing i’ve found co-conspirators to indulge in.

I’ve also begun to experience the vicissitudes of Scottish weather. When it is sunny it can be quite pleasant! But that wind and fog and misty drizzle can hit at the strangest of times! These photos were taken on that hike from Anstruther to Crail – when the winds were 60 kilometre an hour. It was pretty windy!

I’m sure it isn’t the weirdest or wackiest weather I will experience here!

PS: Here’s that gravestone I mentioned earlier.

There shall be more – much more – but bear with me while I get back into the swing of things.
In the words of Jason Mraz – “Hold your own. Know your name. Go your own way.”

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