Saturday, July 20, 2013

ISBL, Finance, EABS, and the In-Between

It's hard to concentrate on July when buttery croissants, cappuccinos, and the Tour d'Eiffel are in my future. But, I'll do my best.

ISBL (International Society of Biblical Literature) came to St Andrews and was the largest conference the University has ever held.  Garrick presented on "The Text Form of the Minor Prophets in the Book of Revelation: Two Allusions to Zechariah 4 as a Test Case." Thoughts from the scholar himself: "I got good feedback on my paper, had a lot of fun, and met really great people." I noticed that Garrick came home every night more energized than when he left in the morning. He is blessed.

Finance. I have truly enjoyed the last three weeks in the Cash Office. I've been warmly welcomed, had tea made for me at least twice a day, and enjoyed ice cream every Friday. The work suits me, and the days fly by. I'm thankful had the opportunity to work this summer and would be interested in future work in Finance.

Abbey Walk roses on my daily commute.

EABS (European Association of Biblical Studies) is in Leipzig, Germany this year. Garrick and two of his friends will stay in the "Say Cheese" hostel and attend the conference. This time, he'll present on "Remarks on the Textual Form of Zechariah Utilized in Revelation." Then, he catches the train to meet me in Paris!

And here's to the in-between. Social much? We're coming up on our two-year mark, and this means our relationships with friends don't feel so 'new'. And come fall, a whole new group of students will arrive, and we're excited to welcome them to this unique community. With the weather reaching practically scorching for Scotland, we've enjoyed outdoor BBQ's, bonfires, and hunted for sea glass on packed beaches. Did we move to Spain?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

5 St Andrews Summer Must-Do's

Warmer weather has finally arrived for the first time in the past two years. We had a glorious week in March of 2012, but that was about it. So, here's a tribute to our first "summer" in St Andrews with five must-do's!

1) Hike the Fife Coastal Path.

This stretch of seaside trail is 117 miles long. We've hiked different sections, but most commonly enjoy the 5 miles to the Fairmont Hotel and back along the Castle Course. A rugged coastline with beautiful flowers and stunning views,  when the weather gets above freezing. Not convinced? Take a look:

2) Open the windows.
When the winter months are spent keeping every ounce of heat in our stone-walled flat, nothing is more satisfying than opening the windows on a hot day. Sadly, screens are uncommon in Scotland, so letting in the warm air means the flies and bees are unwanted guests. Garrick even hangs out of his office window every once in a while.

3) Go swimming.
My brave husband jumped off the St Andrews pier into the North Sea a couple of weeks ago. Without a wetsuit. I'm satisfied that I've gone up to my ankles in this frigid body of water, but some find it quite refreshing. So, if you're desperate, I guess you can swim when it gets warm enough. (Please note: Garrick slept for about three hours after jumping in. It sucked the energy right out of him!)
4) Stay out late.
Sometimes we're in our pajamas by 6pm in January. It's a long and dark month. So, the seemingly endless summer days are much appreciated. Our energy levels practically double. We're much further north than Seattle, so we enjoy light until 11:30pm on some evenings. This photo was taken at midnight on this year's summer solstice:

And this photo was at about 9:30pm at the St Andrews Castle:


5) Celebrate America's independence.
We celebrated another international 4th of July this year on East Sands. We grilled out and enjoyed sparklers, roasted marshmallows, and even fire jumping. In attendance were Germans, Brits, Canadians, Americans, and Koreans. Most of our UK friends wished us a happy 'separation' day, but we were able to put aside our differences and enjoy a beautiful evening. ;)

St Andrews, you are lovely in the summer. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Well, we're now able to say that we've been burgled. For my American friends, this is the UK term for robbed or burglarized.

Last night, we thought we heard our back door open and close, and then saw a person running past our window. There are a few other doors in our courtyard which we hear slamming fairly often, so we just assumed it was our neighbors door.

This morning Garrick couldn't find his keys or wallet, and then I went to leave for work and my purse was gone. Then it clicked. I left my keys in our back door. Oops. Someone capitalized on my error, entered our flat, and grabbed what was in sight.

We immediately phoned the police who came and to take forensic evidence (although there was none to collect) and conducted an hour-long interview.  Garrick stayed home from the office and cancelled all of our debit, credit, and international bank cards, coordinated our doors getting new locks, and also looked into getting new drivers licenses. What a stud.

Right before I got home from work, our bank phoned and said my purse had been found on the East Sands and turned in. I'll go along and collect it tomorrow on my lunch break. I'm hoping it's condition is decent, as it was a gift from my dear friend Rachael before we moved to Scotland.

So, there you have it. An unpleasant, but noteworthy day.