We arrived at lunchtime on overcast-but-warm Tuesday, went to the castle, then to Jannetta's, the ice-cream shop:
This was a bit of a treat for me because although I don't like ice-cream I do like sorbet. It's not often that I can get ice-creams for the kids and a sorbet for myself but Jannetta's has a great choice of sorbet flavours. I had the raspberry sorbet (mmmmmmmmmmmm..), and the next day tried the apple sorbet which was a bit odd but also lovely. They also did an Irn Bru flavour sorbet that I really must try next time we're back there, as well as the more usual mango and lemon sorbets and I can't remember what else.
Then the next day..
..the sun came out! Oh, it was glorious! We headed straight for the beach first thing and packed a whole summer's worth of summeriness into one glorious day.
... and building sand-castles.. That's Miss Mouse's first effort in slightly-too-waterlogged sand!
photographic cliché :-D.
To complete the seaside vibe we got our dinner from the chip shop and ate it sitting on a bench on Market St (outside the Buchanan building where I used to have painful 1st-year French classes and art history lectures, and my brother did an entire German degree). Fish and chips on a sunny evening in St. Andrews, and no need to do a French translation ever again - perfect.
Buckets and spades, sandcastles, kites, ice-cream, fish and chips - see what I mean? An entire summer in one day.
We were staying in a hall of residence (pictures on my 354 blog) - it's used for bed & breakfast guests during the summer break. In fact I worked there as a chamber-maid in the summer before my final year and the summer I graduated. The hall (unimaginatively named 'New Hall', though they've finally got round to finding a proper name for it apparently - when it'll actually get changed I don't know) was new then, in fact it was still being built the first summer I worked there. So it was odd staying there as a guest. I can remember cleaning the room we stayed in!
But it was lovely. Most of the other guests were golfers, mostly American, mostly older than us - of the kind my Californian friend Kelly described as 'Howards and Marthas' (i.e. the archetypal sweet enthusiastic elderly American tourists) during her JYA year in St. Andrews. I only saw one child apart from our own, but didn't feel they had to be on best behaviour or anything (though they were really good). It was all very laid back and in any case golfers are very absorbed in the topic of golf!
I can't wait to go back!
Oh right, the poem the title quote is from:
Almae Matres - Andrew Lang
(St Andrews, 1862. Oxford, 1865)
St. Andrews by the Northern Sea,
A haunted town it is to me!
A little city, worn and grey.
The grey North Ocean girds it round,
And o'er the rocks, and up the bay,
The long sea-rollers surge and sound.
And still the thin and biting spray
Drives down the melancholy street,
And still endure, and still decay,
Towers that the salt winds vainly beat.
Ghost-like and shadowy they stand
Dim mirrored in the wet sea-sand.
St. Leonard's chapel, long ago
We loitered idly where the tall
Fresh-budded mountain ashes blow
Within thy desecrated wall:
The tough roots rent the tomb below,
The April birds sang clamorous,
We did not dream, we could not know
How hardly Fate would deal with us!
O, broken minster, looking forth
Beyond the bay, above the town,
O, winter of the kindly North,
O, college of the scarlet gown,
And shining sands beside the sea,
And stretch of links beyond the sand,
Once more I watch you, and to me
It is as if I touched his hand!
And therefore art thou yet more dear,
O, little city, grey and sere,
Though shrunken from thine ancient pride
And lonely by thy lonely sea,
Than these fair halls on Isis' side,
Where Youth an hour came back to me!
A land of waters green and clear,
Of willows and of poplars tall,
And, in the spring-time of the year,
The white may breaking over all,
And Pleasure quick to come at call.
And summer rides by marsh and wold,
And Autumn with her crimson pall
About the towers of Magdalen rolled;
And strange enchantments from the past,
And memories of the friends of old,
And strong Tradition, binding fast
The 'flying terms' with bands of gold,—
All these hath Oxford: all are dear,
But dearer far the little town,
The drifting surge, the wintry year,
The college of the scarlet gown.
St. Andrews by the Northern Sea,
That is a haunted town to me!