I’ve heard it said that life is a metaphorical rollercoaster. It certainly sent a few unexpected ups and downs my way this weekend. I have very recently returned from spending the weekend visiting my dear friend, pen pal and future stepsister in law, Sarah, in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. After weeks of messing her around with endless phone conversations, facebook chats and my inability to decide on dates, that is. I spent my first evening there trying to think up a facebook status that would sum up my weekend in just one sentence. However, after posting a five sentence status which still didn’t do it justice, I decided I would have to elaborate on my blog. As I am now doing.
I began to think that maybe the weekend wasn’t getting off to the best start when, after a jolty plane landing followed by an equally jolty bus ride, I suddenly felt uncharacteristically travel sick. To the point where I may or may not have actually thrown up, just as my accompanying stepfather asked if I was feeling ok. Less than ideal for someone who hasn’t vomited for nine years (since a particularly unpleasant whalewatching trip). Including during stomach bugs, blood donations, animal dissections and migraines.
Being a sore reputation-breaker, my immediate reaction was to proceed to the airport as if nothing had happened and pretend that my throat and nose didn’t feel as if they were on fire. We eventually reached our destination, after not being able to find the hire car’s handbrake, and before I knew it, I was strolling around the delightful town that is St Andrews and enjoying a pub dinner with Sarah and her lovely friends (they know who they are).
Fife is definitely one of my new favourite places that I have visited. Forget De Montfort Uni in Leicester, I’m sorely tempted to move to St Andrews. Do Leicester and Loughborough have ice cream cafes which serve pineapple ice-cream milkshakes? Are there any beaches in the midlands where you can walk along a wall while trying not to fall headfirst into the sea or the dock? Not in my experience. With some disregard for my stomach’s earlier moment of weakness, I found myself up to my ears in ice-cream, flapjack, lasagne and fruit strudel. I somehow haven’t convinced Sarah that it was only due to her forcing it all upon me, and that I would never have given all that food a second glance otherwise. Honest.
When I wasn’t stuffing my face or having my picture taken by the beach with my hair looking as if I’d combed it with a hedge I also attempted to thrash her at Last Word and some trivia type board game. I managed to win one of our two rounds of Last Word, and spent the rest of our game playing time apparently looking as if my whole world had come to an end every time I did badly. All in all, the weekend was a great success. Well, for me it was. I guess I can’t really speak for Sarah, her housemate and their friends, so I will have to assume it wasn’t too nightmarish for them.
It was while we were hitting the town during the first evening that my stepdad, who was staying with my stepbrother, tracked me down to be the bearer of bad news. Lionel, elderly diabetic rescue cat and facebook celebrity extraordinaire, had had to be put down. Now, as a dedicated animal lover, the death of a pet is not an easy thing for me. On the other hand, neither is breaking down in tears in front of other people, which meant that after recovering from the initial shock, I managed to keep it at the very back of my mind for the whole weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I had a genuinely great time in Scotland; it wasn’t until I arrived home to a Lionel free existence that it really hit me hard. Particularly on hearing a detailed account on exactly how it happened.
Having planned to publish a blog post the very day I got back (Monday) I quickly found that my writing ability was seriously lacking. If it still is, then bear with me – it will hopefully be completely up to scratch ASAP. In the meantime, when I’m not staring at my borrowed suitcase thinking about unpacking, I will be mentally accumulating a montage of Lionel anecdotes. He had a facebook account, which I think must mean that it would mean a lot to him to have a blog post all to himself.
So there you have it. A roller coaster of ups and downs, tears and laughs, sickness, health and lots of rich food. And all in the space of three days.