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.
I spent the past week in Nottingham.
I had the most amazing time with her. We went to see the Nottingham Castle last Thursday. It's a lovely place; we walked around it taking pictures with my (semi-broken) digital camera. We also took a tour of the caves. This was fun as the tour guide told us stories of what the caves were used for and how they came in handy during the English Civil War. They were quite pretty. We also saw the statue of Robin Hood (the statue doesn't make him out to be as handsome as the films and cartoons do).
We walked around Nottingham City on the next day, and did a bit of shopping. I finally got myself a pair of skinny jeans and some nice boots to go with it!
We went into Beeston which is right next to my friend's halls of residence. It used to be a place where they kept bees. Hence the name. There were some cool shops over there as well.
On Sunday evening, it started to snow and when we woke up on Monday everything was white! It was so pretty to see so much snow. It kept snowing all throughout Monday as well. There was enough snow for people to make plenty of snowmen all around the University Campus. That evening we went sledging on the slopes on campus and we had a snowball fight with three random guys who dared to challenge us. I'd like to say we "won", but really, I don't even know how that would be determined.
While we were sledging a bit later on, one of the girls twisted her ankle and she had to be taken to A&E (Accident and Emergency) at the hospital. It took us quite a while to get there, but she was glad when they told her it wasn't broken after they X-rayed it.
I, sadly, didn't get to build a snowman because of that. We vowed to get up early the next day and build one. We were up at seven the next morning, but when we went outside to build our snowman, we saw that all the snow had turned to ice. Which went crunch, crunch underneath our feet as we walked in it. It was such a surprise because it still looked like snow form afar, but instead of being soft and fluffy, it was hard and crunchy.
I attended a few of my friend's lectures at Nottingham Uni. She studies psychology, so most of them were quite interesting.
We went out partying on one of the nights and that was fun as well.
I got back to St Andrews this afternoon. My train from Nottingham left at 7:23 in the morning and it was snowing again when we woke up at five. The taxi had a bit of trouble getting to the train station, but in the end it got there on time and I was able to catch my train.
The train moved along quite slowly, because of the snow on the tracks, I suppose. It was a little late getting to my connecting station and I realised I had missed the connection. I was about to try and figure out were the Information desk was when I hear another guy ask some people about the next train to Doncaster, which was where I had to be as well. So I went with him to Information, and they told us to just take the next train that goes there and it shouldn't be a problem because of the weather. We did that. At Doncaster, I saw him again and it turned out that we had to catch the same next train as well. This train was delayed by 20 minutes, so we stood on the cold snowy platform and ended up waiting for ages. They kept pushing the time the train was expected at, back by a few minutes every so often.
Tired of waiting, we both got something to eat and decided to take the next train going in the direction we needed to go. Which is what we did. We got the train, and managed to get to his station, where the train terminated. He helped me to find the correct platform to catch the next train to Edinburgh and helped me with my bags, which I had one too many of. We enjoyed talking about the snowy weather and attempting to do the crossword puzzle in the newspaper while we were on the train.
I don't suppose I'll see him again, but he was nice.
At Edinburgh, I got out and did a little window shopping and then caught the next train to Leuchars. I reached St Andrews in the late afternoon and was so happy to be back in my room. I had missed it a lot.
I'm on the train back up to St Andrews as I write this. I left from King's Cross in London, I guess you could say I'm on the Hogwarts express (I promise one of these days I'll get a picture of me by Platform nine and three quarters).
After a seven hour journey on Saturday, including a bus and three trains. I made to London in one piece. I have to say hearing some of the stories of other people being stuck in airports etc. I am glad I only had to make it to London. I am also glad that my home university is only two hours away from home for me, meaning that I would be able to go home on any weekend if I wanted to. I have to say, I had a bit of a glitch, since I ended up locking my debit card by being a ditz and forgetting my pin one too many times in a row. I'll have to sort that out when I get back.
Ok, so, I know this is long overdue, but I've been busy/tired/without internet access for the past few days. This is going to be a long entry, so, here goes.