Herefordshire Week 127: Tuesday 31 May – Monday 06 June 2022

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Back to St Andrews.

Took things easy in Tuesday morning, feeling the ill effects of Phil’s cold. Awful internet all afternoon meant that work was relatively quiet too. The day’s major highlight was the arrival of my Indian Tourist Visa. PHEW.

Better on both counts on Wednesday. In the evening, pre holiday pizza by Phil and more of The Morning Show.

Pizza - The Man Behind The Magic
Pizza – The Man Behind The Magic

First strawberry crop too.

Up early Thursday to get to Abergavenny for the 8.30am train. Gorgeous day, with the Black Mountains looking at their most tempting, but I was destined to spend the next 7 hours on the train: Abergavenny-Crewe; Crewe-Edinburgh; Edinburgh-Leuchars. I joined the southern contingent of the St Andrews Ladies at Edinburgh and we splashed out in a taxi to get us from the station to our fab Fife Cottages house in St Andrews.

Lovely sunny afternoon, and the earlier arrivals were already settled out on the terrace with glasses of Prosecco enjoying a long overdue (twice deferred) catch up. A lovely afternoon eased into an equally lovely evening. Perhaps a few too many glasses of fizz and munchings of crisps, but hey…

We woke to another sunny day. Leisurely breakfast, then out for a stroll over to the Old Course, on to the Castle and the Cathedral, out to the end of the pier and then back to The Quad, St Mary’s, various student flat locations and the three streets of town. Back at base for a late lunch out on the terrace, with tea and Fisher & Donaldson cakes a bit later when Prof M FRSE came round. A late afternoon walk along the West Sands to The End and Back then Fish & Chips from the Tailend for dinner.

St. Andrews
St. Andrews

More sunshine on Saturday. Another slow start, watching Friday night’s Platinum Party from Buckingham Palace – complete with Paddington – and deciding what to do. We plumped for the Fife Coastal Path south from the East Sands, Prof M joining us as far as the caravan park. Fabulous weather, St Andrews looking at its absolute best. I can’t quite believe I spent 4 years there. I loved it, but it doesn’t seem real. And it really doesn’t seem like thirty years since most of us graduated.

St Andrews - East Sands
St Andrews – East Sands

Another late lunch, a spin out to David Russell Apartments (aka David Russell Hall) and Fife Park to pick up a bike provided the opportunity for H and I to walk back via the Sports Hall and the North Haugh (with a stop for photos outside the Institute of Mathematics), Kinburn Park and the Bus Station.

Back to Mathematics on the North Haugh
Back to Mathematics on the North Haugh

Then a lazy late afternoon enjoying the sun trap back garden with a drink or two before dinner out at Forgans followed by ice cream from Janettas – open to 10pm!

Sunday. Sunny. The first set of farewells then down to the West Sands to watch the Chariots of Fire 5k Run. Helen, Hazel and I headed back to the North Haugh via Uni Hall and then into town for a potter, postcards and pizza for dinner. Another lazy afternoon in the sunny garden then to the Picture House for Top Gun: Maverick. Home for pizza and salad, and to tidy up the wine. Perfect end to a lovely long weekend.

Monday, the weather had turned to cloud. Sorted out the house, strolled down to the Old Course, narrowly avoided being brained by a golf ball and then took our taxi to Leuchars for – in my case – the three trains home: Leuchars-Edinburgh; Edinburgh-Crewe; Crewe-Hereford.

The long journey home was improved by the news of a no confidence vote in Mr Johnson (even though he survived it), and in particular our MP‘s open letter and the catalogue of issues that reflect my own loathing of this Prime Minister, his personality, his populist policies and his privilege.

Phil’s friends from Munich arrived late evening. Supper in the conservatory then bed.

TV: The Morning Show, Platinum Party at the Palace and The Platinum Pageant

Podcasts: World Book Club, Lingthusiasm, History Extra

Photos: Herefordshire week 127 on Flickr.

Phil: w/e 2022-06-05.

10 years on – Michele manoeuvres us back to the Alma Mater

Spent a great weekend in Scotland – Edinburgh, St Andrews and Fife.

Got off to a dodgy start, with what turned out to be a 4 hour delay to our easyJet flight. Not a disaster, but only reaching the home of Scots family Robertson at gone midnight put paid to our plans for a civilised catch up over dinner.

EasyJet’s sop of a refund looks like being a damp squib, albeit one which magicked away a plane load of passengers’ anger at the delay and complete absence of information during that delay. It’s less airport taxes, and having looked at how their fares are structured, is bound to be for the one way flight. So much for H and my plans to use the refund to fund a flight to take advantage of H’s dad’s new flat in Antibes.

Vegged in Corstorphine with Helen, Mark and Emily, and Hel’s parents (Quite a houseful!) before driving though to St Andrews in the Fiat Stilo (fingers crossed that turns out to be the bargain it seemed when booking fri to sun for £39 all in.

I love the way the Forth Rail Bridge looks under blue skies in bright sunlight, which were the gorgeous conditions which celebrated our entry into the Kingdom of Fife.

St Andrews seemed bereft of Students, so we made up for their absence by taking over Ma Bells for the afternoon, window shopping (and playing “what usesd to be here”) around the town shops, reconvening after an afternoon nap for dinner at The Dolls House. That ended up to be a drunken affair, complete with serviette tricks and a spectacular spillage of main course sauce down my front. I like to entertain.

The diners were:

Michele & Jamie
Ruth & Peter
Liz & Will
Allan & Lynda
Catherine & Chris (engaged!)

Photos here!

Returned to Brownlees B&B (recommended) via whiskeys at the Russell hotel, and continued the indulgent theme, watching Angel from our beds.

Sunday was more sedate, but equally well fuelled food-wise. Walked the West Sands for an hour, back to cross the 18th Green and the ?swiliken burn bridge – no rounds on the Sunday you see….

Coffee and newspapers in the (new) Janetta’s cafe before meeting up with everyone for lunch and trashy papers at the Vic Cafe. Walked off the potatoes wedges down at the Harbour – the pier is still fenced off – and along the East Sands.

Prize for the Most Extreme Transformation of a St Andrews Watering Hole goes to the West Port. You’ll have to experience it for yourself to appreciate it. If you never experienced the 1/2 pint max rule under old Mrs X’s proprietorship, you won’t really be able to appreciate the extent of the transformation.

Drove around the fishing villages of the East Neuk, and the less attractive industrial towns which line the north banks of the Firth of Forth.

Our flight back to Gatwick was only 30 mins late taking off – result!

Shattered, but happy after a busy, lazy, indulgent weekend.

09 February 2014: Photos now appearing on Flickr in St Andrews, October 2002.