Thursday, 26 November 2015

Another Postcard From St Andrews

We've been in the caravan in St Andrews for almost two weeks. I always have a moan about the WIFI when we are here and I'm afraid today's no exception. Although a signal for Caravan Connect shows on the laptop and the 'sign on' screen appears - that's as far as it goes. There's almost no phone signal either so we can't use 3g. I've spoken to the site manager who tells me that they improved the speed but that has reduced the distance that the signal travels and, as we are at the far end of the site, we're the ones who lose out. But, do you know what? Life's not all that bad. I've been busy on the next novel and managed to watch TV with subtitles without being distracted by Twitter or Facebook and having to ask Marion "what did she say?". So thank you Caravan Connect for being so crap. I won't be renewing the £75 subscription in January and can escape cyberspace whenever we are here in future.

So where is today's blog being delivered from? We enjoy our daily fix of coffee and a snack and when we're at home that's usually provided by The Dancing Goat. Here in St Andrews it  used to be Mitchells but that's a busy place and we feel obliged to move on when the coffee is drunk. We've discovered the St Andrews students' union cafe. The WIFI is lightning fast (it has to be, virtually everyone in the place is using it), it's good to be surrounded by youth (not sure if that feeling is reciprocated but we seem to be welcome enough) and the food and drink is good (and cheap). I've uploaded the photos for this blog in about ten seconds and there are plenty of empty seats so I don't feel that a kicking out is imminent.

It's been cold, wet and windy for most of our stay but it's been sunny once or twice and this morning was glorious. The weather is not that important as the grandchildren and family are the main purpose of our visits.

Now that Melody is two she can manage a jigsaw puzzle with a bit of help.

She and her sister have visited us at the caravan a couple of times.

We kept all of Sarah's My Little Ponies from when she was small and the girls love playing with them. Maybe they will survive to be played with by their own children one day or end up on Antiques Roadshow fifty years from now.

We took the family for a day at Muddy Boots. It's a farm packed with outdoor (and some indoor) fun for toddlers and its only half an hour away. 

There's plenty of fun for kids of all ages.

And it's in a lovely spot.

We've also paid a couple of visits to another caravan site with an excellent indoor soft play area. Rose was given the responsibility of looking after her nursery's class teddy bear.

With it being such a lovely morning. We walked into St Andrews today and I took some photos on the phone. I know I've photographed and blogged just about every St Andrews scene there is in the past but I've been experimenting with some of the features on the new iPhone so I hope that some of these are a little bit different.

St Andrews Cathedral - One of the most spectacular ruins in the UK

Marion's twin joined us 

The famous pier and harbour.

More cathedral views.

The Castle

We managed to get to the local Cineworld in Dundee last week. We wanted to see the last Hunger Games movie but they don't have IMAX so we're saving that for Ipswich. We went to see The Dressmaker instead. After Brooklyn , our last cinema outing, it's another film with a female protagonist and, what a protagonist! Kate Winslet is brilliant as the tough seamstress who returns to her Australian outback shanty town to seek revenge for a ruined childhood. Populated by grotesques and oddballs, the aptly named Dungatar meets its nemesis in Winslet's Tilly Dunnage. Filmed in brilliantly garish colour the film casts many a nod in the direction of Tim Burton and it reminded me of Burton's Big Fish and Alice In Wonderland. It's had mixed reviews critically but we absolutely loved its mix of pathos, romance and black comedy,