We both woke-up pretty early the next morning, and that’s when we realised that without the heating system working we couldn’t take a hot shower. HarryPotter called his dad, and after more fiddling, they decided that it was broken. But as it was a weekend, there was no point in calling someone to fix it, so we only had two options: stay and be cold, or go home. We chose the cold option.
We got all our stuff together, and we were going to shower in the communal area for the tent and mobile caravan campers, when we realised that we forgot to bring towels. So we found three tea towels in the caravan and we had brought two pillow cases, these would have to do.
After getting dressed, we attempted to have some cereal in the kitchenette, but realised it was actually warmer outside. So we sat in some folding chairs outside eating our breakie and planning what to do for the day. HarryPotter suggested that we just have a wander, and as The Drews (as he fondly calls it) wasn’t too big, it’s not like we could really get lost.
The caravan site was atop this really large hill that looked down on the East Sands and onward to the harbour. We had a bit of a wander on the beach, then over to the harbour, and over to the ruins of the Cathedral. The Cathedral was once the largest in Europe, but is now just tall piles of stones. Since it was ransacked it’s been turned into a graveyard, it’s eerie but also quite lovely. St Andrews is an unbelievably gorgeous town, even in the grey. In fact, the grey added a bit to the ambiance, and I felt a twinge of Hogwarts we walked around.
I was gagging for a coffee, so we found a little café called North Point by the Cathedral and popped in for a cuppa. Afterwards HarryPotter took me on a tour of the town. He had a guide book he’d borrowed from his parents; it’s just a few pages with sites of interests and drawings. We went to the Castle and saw the bottle-neck dungeon where they used to shove people to die, saw the spot were someone named George Whisheart was burned to death, and then walked up the road and saw were someone named Patrick Henry was burned to death (actually the initials in the pavement read HP, so I made a HarryPotter joke, but forgot that he doesn’t know that’s his blog-nickname, so he thought I was referencing the literary character, and it all got a little confusing), walked around St Salvador’s quad (a medieval part of the Uni), then saw were people used to be hanged, and went back over towards the sea and saw where they used to drown witches.
So much horrible death in such a peaceful little place, so I asked HarryPotter to find something nice in the book, something that didn’t involve hangings, drowning or being burned alive. Since we were by the West Sands we went for another walk on the beach. This part of the seaside is really expansive, and it’s where they filmed Chariots of Fire, so of course HarryPotter and I had to do the slow motion run.
HarryPotter had put a bottle of wine in his rucksack along with the crisps and some apples, so we sat down and had a very grey and windy picnic. The sea was rough. There were people out in wetsuits surfing and a couple of people were flying kites. That’s the amazing thing about Britain, no matter how miserable the weather is, you can still enjoy the outdoors.
We eventually finished the bottle and headed back into the town. We walked past the golf and found a pub called One Golf Place. There was a nice fire in a corner, HarryPotter got us some pints and we settled in. Before we knew it, it was dark outside, and we were chatting away with a couple of students. We were sitting on two sofas, and they asked if they could share the area. HarryPotter moved over to my sofa, and the students sat on the other side.
They said that they’re not back in term yet, they’d just had exams and they were on break before classes started. It turns out that the girl is from Egham, and I told her I almost went to Royal Holloway for Uni, so we had a bit in common. We got to talking, and before we knew it, more students turned up, and we’d been invited to a house party.
It had been ages since I’d been to a proper party – the dinner parties with Goatee certainly don’t count – and it seemed like a really good vibe. Everyone there was super friendly. Although it was really weird. I’d always heard how posh St Andrews is, and how it’s full of YAs. But that wasn’t the case. Everyone was pretty normal and down to earth. What was strange was how many Americans were there. Nearly everyone at that party was American, and none of them were JSA or JYAs (Junior Year/Semester Abroad). At my Uni, most of the Americans were only there for the short term, whereas St Andrews seems to get loads of Americans who come for their full degree. There were a few English people, and one Scot from Inverness, and when she found out that HarryPotter and I work for a publisher she nearly went mental. She kept nagging us for information, how she wanted her novel published, and how she was doing creative writing at St Andrews, and how her tutor told her how good her novel was, yadda yadda yadda. HarryPotter was lucky enough to be able to say that he was just in design, and he had no control over commissioning, but he stuck me right in it by saying, ‘You should talk to her. She sorts the slush pile.’ Well, that was it. We couldn’t shake this girl. What had started out as a really fun night was turning into a disaster.
Luckily, someone came over and said that they were all heading to the Union. Did we want to go? This gave HarryPotter and I the perfect excuse to get away from that girl. We weren’t students, we probably wouldn’t be allowed into the Union. Someone insisted that they could sign us in, but we declined, headed out the flat and went to look for a pub.
We found a little place called the Criterion and scored a table. Although, this place was kind of weird as all the tables were really long, like they seat six people. Other than at the bar, there was no place for just a couple to sit. As the place got busy, I felt bad that we were taking up this big table as people were standing. There were these two cute guys standing next to where we were sitting, so I asked them if they wanted to sit down and share the table.
They sat down, and it turned out that they were Postgraduate students. One was doing a PhD in Biology, and the other was studying for his Masters in International Relations. One was Dutch and the other was Canadian. The Canadian was really fit as well, kind of that rough look, like he’d just gone out and tamed a bear. We got to talking, and it turned out that HarryPotter and the Brazilian had the same taste in comic books, which left me to talk to the hunky scientist from Ottawa.
We started doing rounds, which lead to loads of laughing and flirting. We shut down the bar, so we went back to their hall of residence, because the two guys said ‘there’s always something happening in the common room.’
They lived just up the road in a place called Dean’s Court, which is evidently the oldest piece of University property – like 16th century or something. The two guys were right; there was a bunch of people in the common room, some of who we recognised from the party earlier in the evening.
Bottles were opened, discussions were had, and a late night party was certainly in the making. I was still talking to the Canadian and had lost track of HarryPotter, when the Canadian said, ‘What’s the situation with you two? Are you a couple?’
I told him that HarryPotter and I were just friends, and the Canadian asked if I wanted to go to his room. Much more quiet. Now, I’m not going to lie, this guy was fit, and I so wanted to go back to his room. Without a doubt that would have helped me get over any lingering Goatee-blues. Although, to be honest, Goatee had barely crossed my mind all day, so the weekend away was certainly working in that respect. But this guy was super hot, wild dark hair, a bit of a skiing tan, just the right amount of stubble, and he was smart too.
At this point, I caught HarryPotter’s eye. He was talking to this guy he’d met at the house party. Leaving him to go off to bed with someone I’d just met wouldn’t have been right. You don’t do that too a friend. Plus, if I was going to get serious about my relationships, and not just fall into the sack with the first hottie that comes along, then I needed to tell the super yummy Canadian ‘Thanks but no thanks.’
Which I did. I told the Canadian it was getting late, and I went and got HarryPotter. As we walked back to the caravan he asked if I ‘fancied that Canadian bloke.’ I lied, and said ‘no.’