I last left you all with a promise to tell you about my experience of the May Dip. It was great. I stayed up most of the night with a friend. I managed to sleep for two hours from 11 to 1 and then we woke up walked to this fast food place called KFB (Yes, it's KFB, not KFC). We got ourselves some food and kept awake by watching TV shows on my computer. At around 4am we got ready to go outside. We reached Castle Sands a little before 5 when dawn was breaking. There was quite a crowd and the most difficult part was actually getting onto the beach through the steps cut out form the cliff, they were crowded, sandy and slippery. We finally got down to the beach an dthen made a mad dash for the frigid North Sea! Ran in, dipped under and came out. We loved it so much that we did it again! It was cold, but not as cold as I was expecting and it was very very salty. I'd forgotten how salty the sea can be. Another friend joined us later. She didn't dip, but she brought us towels which we wrapped ourselves in before we walked back to hall. It was fun. My legs felt like pins and needles for a while when we were in the water, but it was good fun.
Last Thursday, I was invited to High Table. High Table is a St Andrews tradition where select students are invited to dine with the Warden, sub-Wardens and a special guest or two. In the Days gone by, High Table occurred at least once a week. Now a days it happens rarely, even less than once a month. There are other events where the residents get to meet the wardens, like the tea and biscuits receptions or the more formal wine and cheese receptions that take place throughout the year. These two are more common than high table.
My Easter Break has been going well so far. I had a 4 day retreat in the North of Scotland. It was held at this Benedictine Monks' Abbey in Pluscarden and was organised by the St Andrews Catholic Society. The place is lovely with a serene and prayerful atmosphere.
The boys got to stay in the abbey and eat with the monks. Us girls had rooms in a place about a five minute walk away from the abbey, and we got to cook our own meals. There were tons of pheasants all over the place and a few of us were eager to catch and eat them ;). Daffodils were springing up all over the fields and the sides of the roads, making everything look quite pretty.
The retreat was very helpful. I knew that I had been missing something crucial for a while and as I had suspected it turned out that I was missing God. The retreat helped me reconnect with Him and helped me to figure out what was important in my life. We went to prayers when the monks had them. We didn't have to go to each and every one during the day, but we went to most, especially to Mass and Compline. On the last day, I made it a point to get up at half four in the morning to go to Vigils and Lauds which starts at a quarter to 5 and goes on till a quarter past 6. I got a bit fidgety in the middle, but I don't regret going. Prayer is always good. :)
After that, I spent a few days in Aberdeen. The weather was quite lovely the whole time I was there and Aberdeen is a nice place as well. The beach is pretty and I saw the ships in the harbour which looked quite impressive.
I had a long train journey back to London from Aberdeen on which a woman who sat next to me reprimanded me for being anti-social with my laptop. I tried to explain that I really only had my laptop open to keep me from getting bored and people in today's world generally don't speak to each other on trains and planes. But she got me and the guy sitting across to shut out laptops and engage in conversation. The guy turned out to be a young physics professor. Interesting. I'd like to know what your opinion is on the issue. Should people talk to each other more on public transport? Is technology making us more antisocial? Let me know in the comments.