I had a great time in St Andrews. I would really recommending spending a weekend as a student, I am certain it is good for the soul.
A trip to Tesco was the first port of call. The thing about St Andrews is it that it is very small. If you have never been, I don’t think you are envisioning the correct smallness of small. There are THREE main streets. Nothing is further than a 15 minute walk away. Except Morrisons, and god forbid you live in the Badlands, the area across the Kinessburn, I mean, that is SO far away.
So we went to Tesco. And we bumped into everyone. At the turn of every aisle there was another acquaintance and the St Andrews anxiousness began to creep upon me. And I don’t even know any of these people. But realistically you cannot go anywhere without bumping into at least 5 people to whom you say ‘we MUST go for coffee soon’ both knowing full well that over the course of your 4 years you will only repeat this line to each other in Tesco, in the Library, and then accidentally drunkenly snog each other at an event and pretend like it never ever happened.
My other favourite Tesco observation was the number of highly youthful looking men wearing black tie at 6pm on a Friday. Because, you know, it’s Friday, there are places to be.
Having acquired our wine, we then attended a family dinner. In third year, you find yourself academic ‘children’ from first year, and tonight the children were cooking supper. It was excellent – I forgot how normal attending a dinner party can feel (we’ve all got far too grown up and proper in our old late 20s) – you turn up with a bottle of wine, you’ll be fed and then games will be played and it may or may not descend into drunken fun. There are no clubs in St Andrews – it’s all about the dancing in someones living room.
On Saturday we went to yoga in the Aquarium, a walk to the pier via the Cathedral, and I also went for a run on West Sands – it was so nice being by the sea and not in grotty dirty London.
We also picked up our Don’t Walk fashion show tickets. I am going to follow with a full DONT WALK post, no fear, I took so many photos and had the BEST time. But something you should know, to put Don’t Walk into context a little, fashion shows, mysteriously, are a BIG THING in St Andrews.
If you aren’t on a fashion show committee in St Andrews, you are basically no one, and therefore can be spoken to in an off hand, frankly quite rude and very condescending manner. We were there to pick up tickets we had paid money for. My general feeling is, any organisation (ok except maybe Easy Jet) from whom you have purchased a ticket (and an expensive one too) for an exclusive event they are holding, would go out of their way to help you with any ticket issue you might have for their event. Not Don’t Walk. No matter that you’ve spent £160 on a SUPER SUPER VIP ticket ‘Did you say you can’t get the ticket app to work?’ ‘Sorry, I can’t really help with that right now’. I mean WHAT? The attitude of the girls doling out the wristbands can be compared to the mean cheerleaders in a high school movie, fake smiles all round, with a touch of, ‘don’t ever think of talking to me EVER again’. (Oh and by the way, there are no standard tickets for this event, you are a VIP in some degree – because obviously the fact that you know someone who has helped you acquire this ticket, makes you slightly less lowly than your average student).
So having been made to feel thoroughly unwanted by the all american / scandanavian DONT WALK committee, we left clutching our precious wristbands and goodie bags (this contained a coca cola, a coconut water, and a hair scrunchie – money well spent..), to enjoy the rest of our day before the main event.
A few other things I did whilst in St Andrews:
A visit to Topping’s Book shop, it’s a proper bookshop, with every book imaginable from floor to ceiling.
Have a hot chocolate in Taste. And a coffee. And a chocolate brownie…
Go for another walk on West Sands.
Visit the Balgove Larder for brunch.
Go to Aikmans for a beer.
Go to Empire and buy garlic pizza bread and chips with cheese and eat it all really quite rapidly.
I also got ID’d buying a bottle of wine in Luvians, and someone asked me if I was my sister’s younger sister – apparently I can pass off as being very youthful.
And I was also asked multiple times if St Andrews has changed – NO, nothing has changed – I mean, ok, there is now a Pret A Manger and an M&S, but everything else is pretty much the same – the same types of people, the same events, the same ‘chat’.
I had such a nice time, perhaps going back to visit is the best way to experience it – no essays to worry about, but you still know the place so well, everything feels so familiar, even the people. And students just have endless time which is amazing (although everyone is SO busy, I mean – you’re not, you have 3 lectures a week and are just one of the members on the 50 strong fashion show committee…).
And one more note, one of my flatmates occasionally mentions that we need to currently stop living so much like students . The thing is Tom, you just have no idea…
Another post to follow full of DONT WALK delights.