Monday, September 24, 2012

Our Windy Front Yard

This is what it's like living by the North Sea! The wind is the strongest I've felt. Enjoy! :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Laundry Innovation

I realised yesterday that I would have been very unhappy about the lack of "convenience" of our current lifestyle just a few years ago. For example,  I never thought one day I'd hang my clothes on a wood pulley system suspended from my kitchen ceiling:

After about 24 hours, these clothes will be dry (and crispy). I do have to whip out the iron a little more often, but the amount of time put in to doing laundry makes me think twice before tossing my clothes on the floor. Planning ahead is now necessary if I want to wear a certain item later in the week. My positive outlook may change come winter, but for now, we think our pulley system is pretty cool.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

371 Days In

I've been having flashbacks. "Which bank do you use?" "Where do you shop for groceries?" "How do you find a job?" All of the questions I asked just a year ago are now resurfacing with the incoming students and families. It's therapeutic that our struggles and successes can help others, and relieving that we don't have to be new again anytime soon.

We've been in St Andrews a little over a year, and are reflecting on the differences a year makes:

1) Closer friendships. We are surrounded by many wonderful people, and we've been fortunate enough to build relationships with them over the past 12 months. Now, time together feels like a warm cozy blanket, instead of early dating jitters. We are still very excited to meet incomers, but we no longer feel "new."

2) A "settled in" feeling. I know which stores carry which items, I've found the shortcuts around town, and I would be disappointed to leave. Going back to the USofA is the end goal, but I am content here for the next few years.

3) An appreciation for a different culture. "It's not bad, it's different." I repeated this to myself multiple times when we first arrived. Now, I'm the one that gets slightly annoyed at Americans who complain about silly inconveniences. Not only have I picked up Scottish words and phrases from my lovely coworkers, we eat dinner later, drink more tea, and have embraced a new perspective. Being that it is election season, we hear that "America is the greatest country on earth" almost daily. While taking pride in your home country can be very positive, it's also good to realize that other countries are wonderful as well.

4) Visitors! Having friends and family travel to this small corner of Scotland to see us, and pay a lot of money to do so, is humbling. I guess we offer free lodging, and St Andrews is historically beautiful, but nonetheless, we love visitors! Up next? Kenneth and Janelle Owings and Sierra Snyder!

5) Academic rigor. Garrick just covered this in his last blog post, but the University of St Andrews' School of Divinity continues to be ranked above Oxford and Cambridge. Wow.

6) A pretty decent view:

Photo: What we see out of our front windows: the North Sea!

If you'd like to be inside my brain a year ago, refresh your memory with one of our first blog posts: 13 Days as Scots. (I'm cringing that I referred to us as "Scots.")


Monday, September 3, 2012

Our New Home!

Goodbye Langlands Road and hello to The Scores! On Thursday night, with the help of a few generous (and strong) friends, we moved what little we own to our new flat.  We inherited this property from The Watts, who now live in a more accommodating place for their family. We have a view, live very close to the Town Centre and our offices, and now have a bathtub! It's a quirky place, and we're really beginning to love it.
Want a tour? I took some photos.

Above is our front door and the walkway leading up to our flat from town.

We have a large entryway, and each room is branches off from this space.

To the right is our sitting room. The furniture is...eclectic.


We definitely have a retro kitchen. The sun shines in each morning, making it a cheerful place!

Our dining table is in the sitting room, so we often sit at the kitchen island unless we have company.

Our bedroom is very spacious, and we each have a space for our clothes! (Garrick had to do without a closet in our last place.)

I can't forget about the bathtub:

There's no toilet in this room, because we have a water closet!

Our back entryway with the Cathedral and St Rules Tower in the background:

And finally, the view:

Honestly, the location is pretty dreamy. We're definitely excited to make this place our own and update a few things, but overall, we're content.