Sunday 27th March - Spring Break

Spring break for two weeks. Naturally I started it in style: reading, writing notes and spending time with Maximus (the MacBook).

Yesterday - or shall I say early this morning - I had an epic iChat conversation that lasted nearly eight hours. So what does one talk about/do for eight hours on iChat?

  • Talk about/re-enact my crazy expressions
  • Play the ukelele wearing a trilby and a waistcoat
  • Wear hats (I wore a chullo)
  • Lego man makes an appearance, along with his friends the Crunchy Nut cereal box and the Red Bull can
  • Pass Pringles through the screen
  • Show off the Pringles tower (which has now reached the top of the window!)
  • How olives are no substitute for Pringles
  • Vlogging (you guys read the tripe I write, do you really want to watch me verbally corrupt you with it? Thoughts in the com box)
  • Catholic teaching
  • Find the effects on iChat extremely amusing - especially the 'mirror' one
  • Spiders and how I would swallow one - I never want this conversation to be repeated again EVER
  • How we should really go to bed soon - this suggestion was repeated every half hour until everyone succumbed to the Sandman, leaving me with the Lego man and admitting defeat (5am)

What do people typically ask you for help in?

Usually it's when someone needs something drawn, or a face superimposed on to Harry Potter. I'm often asked how to spell things, or whether I know a synonym for a word as if I'm some sort of dictionaurus. Oh, and anything related to religion. A mistake if you ask me. I'm not a theologian ... yet.

(Photo credit to Killbot-Beauty)

Ask me anything

What are you naturally good at? (Skills, abilities, gifts etc.)

Making a fool of myself; self-deprecation; unknowingly making crazy faces; forgetting things; and making lists.

What makes you smile?

Other people smiling; the ducks on Lade Braes; children oblivious to the ice-cream smeared on their faces; the landscape of the East Coast bathed in the sun. The list is endless.

Ask me anything

What are your deepest values?

Money, fame and beauty.

(Photo credit to 'tangledweb)

Ask me anything

Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?

Why do the two have to be different? I like to do the right things right.

Ask me anything

Would you break the law to save a loved one?

Most definitely. Well, actually, if it meant killing someone in the process I'm not so sure. I don't deal with blood very easily.

(Photo credit to JulianGraves)

Ask me anything

A Powerful Piece

I found this on a friend's blog and thought it was worth re-posting here. It really is worth a read.

Elisa Patricia: A Passionless Life: "Tears are significant to me. They mean that something truly matters to me, that something from deep within my core is being affected. ..."

Wednesday 23rd March - Life is a Soap Opera

I could kill someone.

(Photo credit to meemo)

So I've been having troubles with finding a place to live in for the next academic year. A few weeks ago I put in an application with an estate agent, only to be told that I would have to wait a few more weeks to find out whether I was successful or not. So, today, I rang up to try and see if any progress had been made. To my surprise I had got it! But (and what a big 'but' it is - now behave, I didn't mean it like THAT) the estate agent didn't actually know whether the landlord wanted tenants for next year! Now, tell me people, why would you advertise a property if you had not spoken to the landlord yet? Is this not common sense? What a twist! However, my day was about to get even better.

I posted yesterday that I had arranged an interview today for another property - one that I'm really interested in. After the phone call to the estate agents I began to get a bit worried. I now had to make a big decision. Do I go and attend the interview and pretend that everything's great, tell her how interested I am and that I'd be willing to put a deposit down? So, what I did was ring back the estate agent to tell her that I had an interview in an hour and really needed to know whether the landlord needed tenants or not. Naturally, she was in a meeting. And here's where the plot twists once more. Five mins later, I received another call telling me that the interview had been cancelled! The other group who was interested in the property could not make it, so the landlady decided it was not worth travelling in to St Andrews. God was I angry.

I had just told the estate agent that I was going to attend an interview for another property, only for it to fall through. Now there's a chance that the agent doesn't think I'm serious about the property she offered me, and if she decides to withdraw her offer (or the landlord doesn't need tenants), I need to wait another two weeks to hear back from the lady who cancelled on me today. Ergh. Anyway, enough about accommodation.


Part of me wonders whether I'm living my life for someone else.

(Photo credit to t0x1c-d0LLy)

When I find myself interested in a topic I wonder whether it's because it reminds me of him; whether it's because it allows me to keep his memory alive. I occasionally still see him in what I learn and within the books I read. It's obviously better than before, but it's still happening. I no longer know the difference between what I'm interested in and what I believe I'm interested in.

Clearly some serious soul-searching needs to happen. I hope that my retreat to Pluscarden will help me order my thoughts a bit.


A friend of mine believes pensiveness is a good thing. That being a thoughtful person is a 'strength'.

(Photo credit to StupidCatOfDoom)

Thinking a lot is good - but only in moderation. It also depends on whether your thoughts are good or bad. It's very easy to get swept away in one's thoughts to the point where reality becomes secondary.

'it's a weakness if you let thoughts be substitute for action, or if you let yourself have irrational thoughts, or if you try to work things out in your head that can't really be worked out, cos then you're over-thinking'

I unfortunately am guilty of all of these things. A lot of the time I try and rationalise every situation or dilemma I find myself in, ranging from the banal to life-changing events. If I don't understand a concept, I can spend ages imagining various scenarios and answers. I'm a very visual person, so when I think it's like watching images flick by on a projector screen. Everything seems so real: the colours, the voices; the smells; the feeling of the slightest touch. I'm completely lost in thought that I'm often found pulling a face like JD.

Being pensive has become somewhat of an occupation for me. It shouldn't surprise me then that apparently this blog makes me sound like a 'hermit'. I'll take it as an insult.

.Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

This is the kind of question I ask myself constantly, but not enough for me to pay much attention to actually answering it. If you asked me this a couple of years ago, I would have said that I am definitely doing what I believe in. However, now, I don't know to be honest. Not long ago I felt like I was merely an observer of life - I wasn't actually 'living'. I'm trying to change this, but, unfortunately I think I'm probably still in the 'settling for what I am doing' stage.

Ask me anything

.Which is worse, failing or never trying?

Failing itself is not the end of the world, but failing to try and feeling regret because of it is something else. Who knows, you may never get the chance to try again.

Ask me anything

Tuesday 22nd March - Busy Bee

Super busy week before the 'Easter' break (it's silly up here, we hardly ever have our inter-semester break during Easter, which makes attending the Holy Triduum at my parish church difficult to say the least).

I've decided to run for publicity officer for St Mary's College Society (the society for the School of Divinity). Today I helped a friend who's running for president of the society by putting together some posters for her. Here's one of them (I hope she doesn't mind me showing you....):

(RON is the acronym for Re-open Nominations)

According to her, us teaming up was a good idea for two reasons:

1. I'd be able to 'publicise' myself by making these posters
2. She'd get 'awesome' (her words not mine) posters for her presidential campaign

A win-win situation I guess. If it means I get to be creative and use photoshop more, why not? An ideal opportunity to bring two things I love together, as well as supporting the School.


Update on housing situation: I have an interview tomorrow for a potential property. I absolutely fell head over heels when I went to go and visit it, so I'm really hoping it goes well. Wish me luck!

Sunday 13th March - Historic Scotland

I had hoped that it would stop raining later in the day so that I could climb St Rule's Tower and take some nice photos. Alas, the heavens opened and the rain kept on falling. That said, I thought it would be a waste if I did not use the free voucher I found on the Historic Scotland website, so I went ahead anyway.

The view from the top was breathtaking. I can only imagine how much more beautiful St Andrews would look with clear skies and the sun shining. The climb to the top is not for the fainthearted, especially if you're claustrophobic. I've climbed to the top of the Cupola of St Peter's Basilica in Rome before, and although it is a lot more tiring than climbing St Rule's, that feeling of 'when will the spiralling end?' was something I couldn't quite shake off.

If you'd like to see the photos I took just click here.


Whilst reading for one of my seminars I stumbled across this. I post it here because I feel like I know what she means:

I cannot remember the day when I felt for the first time that not everything was irretrievably lost. ... One day I noticed that I had ceased to be only a facade. I exist, I breathe. I wanted again to have influence over events. Slowly I regained consciousness and saw what was left of me.

Saturday 12th March - New DSLR

It's not my birthday for another month or so but I've just been told I'm getting a new DSLR! My Fujifilm S9500 has been very faithful to me for the last five years, providing me with immense pleasure and joy with my photography. I was lucky to stumble across it. As a rookie ebay buyer (one should not trust a 16-year old with a paypal account) I saw it listed and bought it straight away, primarily because I really wanted a new camera that would arrive before Christmas. I didn't really pay attention. I noticed that it was second-hand and that the buyer was new and had no ratings, not to mention the fact that there were no photos of the camera itself advertised, and yet still went ahead with the purchase. Like I said, I was extremely lucky.

Naturally, my camera and I became inseparable. Quite heavy for a hybrid DSLR, it often weighed my bag down as I took it everywhere - whether it was to school or to another country. I went photo crazy. As a creative person, it was amazing to have a camera that had both a macro and telephoto lens in one. The opportunities were endless. I would take photos for my school newsletter, of the school production, of friends and family, or of random inanimate objects that I thought looked pretty or spoke to me in some way. I love photography but I would not consider myself to be much of a photographer. For a while I was adamant that I would become a photojournalist or at least a wildlife photographer - just because animals can surprise you in the most amazing ways. Whether it's a dolphin or a panda I find that they often reflect the beauty and innocence of nature.

My Fujifilm isn't broken but it doesn't function properly either. The macro function is temperamental and works when it chooses. The viewfinder is completely redundant - everything you see is blurry (this may have something to do with the fact that it's been under a waterfall....); the dial to change the ISO doesn't work and neither does the continuous shooting function (essential). Other than those minor things it's great and I will continue to use it once I have my new one.

I've taken care of my camera but it has taken a beating over the last couple of years. I've dropped it twice from a height of two feet and it has survived. Not to mention the fact that it's been in the sea and had grimey sticky hands handle it (my cousins). For me, taking photographs is never about what camera I have. It's about what I can see and what it says to me or the person viewing the photo. In most cases, I'll do what it takes to get the photo I want. Even if it means taking my camera under a waterfall.


EDIT: Encouraging news! I went to visit the flat today and it was quite nice. Unfortunately estate agents was closed today, but I left a voicemail and hopefully they'll get in touch with me on Monday so I can put a deposit down. Fingers crossed.

Friday 11th March - A Breather

So I've just managed an all-nighter writing an essay that was due in today at 1pm. I know, I know, I should have written it weeks ago etc. etc. but things came up and my planning didn't work as well as I would have liked it. All that should matter is that I handed it on time, even if I did only have ten mins to spare....

Anyway, considering I had no sleep I was surprised I was able to function (sort of) today, engaging in conversation with others and even attending a lecture. The talk I attended was on Dante's Divine Comedy, specifically Canto XVIII of the Inferno. It wasn't compulsory ('why did you attend?' I hear you cry!) but I had dissertation topics on the brain and a tutor recommended these series of talks to me. Not really sure as to why I've been thinking about my dissertation so much lately. As geeky as it sounds, I'm actually really looking forward to writing 10,000 words on one thing. I've not decided what I'll be writing about yet but I've got a few things in mind. Will have to do some research when I get a chance.


So, I've forgotten to mention it on here (with twitter and facebook I often end up neglecting my blog) that I currently have nowhere to live next year. Now, you may think that this isn't such a big deal but in St Andrews the housing situation isn't something to be proud of. I applied to return to university accommodation but was not offered a place. The way it works here is that in February the estate agents in St Andrews release their property letting lists and everyone scrambles to view them and put in an application. With university accommodation, the applications open at the same time, but offers are not given until early March. As you would expect, most - if not all - of the properties listed with estate agents or private landlords were taken with hardly anything available for those who have been rejected by the university. Thus, the only feasible option is to move out of St Andrews to one of the nearby villages - or even to Dundee. You can imagine the hassle of transport, not being in town for social events etc. that one would have to go through, but right now this is a real possibility for me.

On a good note though, I managed to arrange a flat viewing with one of the estate agents who had a few properties left over. I was looking forward to seeing a place that could possibly solve my homeless situation, but true to the unpredictable workings of the universe it didn't work out. I arrived only to find out that the people who lived there were not available. If I didn't call the estate agent I wouldn't have found out about the cancellation. Talk about being unprofessional. She didn't even think to call me to say that the viewing had been re-arranged. I mean, where are the good manners? Ok, rant over, the viewing's been set for tomorrow. Hopefully it will be liveable and not have mould/damp/boiler problems so I can hurry up and stop worrying about whether I'll have to pitch a tent up in the Quad next year.


Sometimes I wonder how long it takes to get tired of listening to a song over and over again. Right now it's this:

Wednesday 9th March - Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel

It's a busy time with Lent, essays, presentations etc. but I thought i'd quickly write a post saying that things are, well, good.

I've always wanted to start yoga classes, so I made it one of my Lenten promises to do so. I had never been before so went on Tuesday evening. I was looking forward to being one of those people who really enjoys and benefits from it, but I don't think it's really 'me'. Yoga is supposed to make you feel relaxed but I couldn't help but find it stressful. I mean writing an essay is more relaxing than what I experienced! Now, this may have been because it was quite a strenuous routine that evening. My friends tell me that it's not usually that demanding but I'm not sure whether I'm going to go back. I should really. It being Lent an' all - doing things you don't really want to do. (Obviously this is not the theological significance or the true meaning of it, but still, you understand what I'm trying to say, right?)

I went to Crail today so I could attend an Ash Wednesday service. It was a beautiful day on the coast but in true Scottish fashion, extremely windy. It saddened me to see that I was the only young person at Mass. It might be because Crail is such a small town, but still, I expected at least ONE other person. Anyway, there was an amusing moment during Mass when nobody knew the hymn we were singing. The parish priest (the same one I have here at St Andrews) suggested that we sing one that we knew - or at least one we "thought" we knew. As expected this ended badly, with the priest having to give a quick choir lesson to the congregation on how to 'sing together and on the same note' whilst people received the ashes. Lovely service though. And so begins Lent and the time of year when I constantly fail to keep any of my Lenten promises.

Sunday 6th March - Read: It's what I do best

Apart from the fact this illustration reflects how I feel, Pawel Kuczynski's work is compelling stuff.