It's a quiet village, ev'ry day like the one before . . .
Mornings in St Andrews are serene: the streets are silent save an occasional truck bouncing over the cobbles. In the calm this morning, surrounded by townhouses soaking up the sun, and the book shop looking eager for patrons, I felt like Belle, as if a window above me might open and a cheery Bonjour! sprinkle down.
And this morning, I had my buddy. Usually when I pop round town to Tesco for baguette or Boots for contact solution, the camera stays in his cozy bed at home. No shopping for you, mister! When he does tag along, he spends most of his waking hours watching the ocean or flowers in the cold afternoon, so today was his lucky day.
He stayed tucked in my purse as I bought knitting needles and looked at wellies, but when I had a few extra minutes before my smoothie chat with a friend, he started to peer into shadows and doorways, nosey thing!
I love that cupula's shadow, and the fact that I get to say cupula. I always wish cupula's were big enough for a seat so high and bright up there.
Which reminds me: I had an enlightenment, in the category of Totally Obvious. The reason doors are so colorful here is because the houses are all stone or stucco! A door is the owner’s blessed chance to speak their mind. (I'm at the point where everything I write is playing in my head to the Beauty and the Beast Bonjour song. Please, no more!)
These are some of my favorite streets in St Andrews, too narrow for much car traffic and too isolated for much foot traffic. You walk right along the main road in town into this golden, peaceful world and are suddenly stilled.
The bookstores in this town are cramped and low-lit, and I love looking in the windows almost as much as going inside.
Cool feature of this town: hidden gardens. You walk down side streets to discover these amazing panoramas with no end in sight. I swear everyone in Scotland can grow wilt-free flowers. Every bush and shrub is blooming here. I conclude that October must be a prime flower season. How exactly does that work?
This reminds me of a cider mill in America. Sorry, I hallucinate.
And my favorite secret garden with a ribbon of light. Smile.
Now, I reckon it’s been nearly 15 posts since I had some notable instants to report, so watch out!
Instant number one: Walker and I go out to our favorite Thai restaurant Monday night. Almost an hour after we arrive (around 9:30pm), we have no entree, and our waiter drops two Coca Colas on our table 'on the house'. We spent the next five minutes trying to figure out what had happened. Did we seem that petty and American?
Instant number two: I got home from smoothie-ing to find a registered mail slip saying something had arrived Special Delivery. Of course, the mailman never comes around back for a signature, so the walk to the post office and back takes a good hour. I brought the camera along, but was distracted with anticipation. Could it be? Only 9 days later?
The envelope felt fairly thick and I literally took two steps away from the counter and ripped it open. Miracle of miracles, I pulled out a new passport in my new name. It’s thick and clean, and my picture makes me look both like I’m thirteen and am wearing too much makeup, and like I might bite your head off (the photographer refused to let me smile). I was so giddy on the way home, I barely noticed where I was going. I did pass my favorite townhouses ev-er.
and the outskirts of town, which reminds me of a Scottish meat-packing district, even if our kingdom is too small for one. (Our county is actually called 'The Kingdom of Fife'. True that.)
Thank you, Scotland, for reminding me always you are Scottish to the core. Freedom, forever freedom, even if it looks like we’re under siege at the South Street Gate.
And my walk from the post brought me home, to my for-real happily-ever-after with my prince (who has always been completely princely).
Around here, we've been doing the ushe (short for usual; don't laugh.). Test prep, cooking like a fiend . . .
…roasted garlic soup and foccacia.
There goes the baker with his tray, like always, the same old bread and rolls to sell . . . (or, if you're Walker, who has also been humming this all day, you add your own lyrics that go something like and in my head there is a Gray-hound sta-tion).
Apparently we have a bus to catch . . .