Merry Christmas

“The wonder of Christmas is not magic, but grace.” – Midnight Mass at Saint Andrew’s Cathedral

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Wrapping

Today I went into the city to pick up the last of my presents and wandered around a bit with a Costa sticky toffee late to enjoy the lights and spectacle. Of course, I’m really bad with crowds, so half of this adventure turned into me dashing around people mumbling “Yes, excuse me, pardon me, coming through, I swear to god I will punt your child do not test me, thank you, excuse me…”

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Wrapping presents is great if, like me, you are of the magpie type and just enjoy shiny things. And, of course, the best wrapping presents music ever.

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Cloisters

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After my exam I dropped by the cloisters, just to see one of the places on campus I hadn’t got to visit yet. Lovely.

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Good Luck

Today Seán gave me his Christmas jumper as a good luck token on my final exam. To be honest, I was more than a little bit nervous for the exam. I’d been studying for over a week now, trying to find out what would possibly be on the exam, and I’d come to the conclusion that the answer was: everything. So good luck.

So off to the exam I went, kitted out in Christmas spirit.

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I felt quite festive.

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And what do you know? The exam turned out fine. I got a question on the Woman of Endor Bible passage, which I had studied extensively, and about why studying folk belief is useful for historians, which is something I think about in my spare time anyway. All good!

Thank you, Christmas sweater!

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#Finals

"I have of late- but wherefore I know not- lost all my mirth."

“I have of late- but wherefore I know not- lost all my mirth.”

A piece of graffiti Seán and I spotted on our way back from Five Guys last week. Oddly appropriate feeling now, as my final is tomorrow.

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Still Life with Finals

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Now back into the pits I go.

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Taste of Home

The homesickness is starting to kick in now stronger than I felt it last time. I didn’t think missing Christmas would be a huge deal as it’s not my favorite holiday and I generally find it rather stressful, but knowing I won’t see my family for it for the first time is rather sad. I’m glad I’ll be going home in January, but even that seems far away now.

Still, at least I got to eat away my feelings at the Five Guys that just opened in Glasgow. There was a Five Guys burger joint right outside my high school and I have fond memories of going there for fries on days when I had to stay after school to work on the school newspaper. Luckily Seán was happy enough to go with me.

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Oddly enough, the main draw for Seán was that there was a huge variety of drinks there. As in, hundreds. So we mixed up a bunch of fanta flavors and got ourselves in line.

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The entire joint is covered in praise and testimonials from Five Guys all over the states, and I was pleased to see the names of some local papers I recognized calling them the best burgers in town. I don’t know about that, but it made me feel really at home.

My only criticism of the shop is that it was really loud in there. The kitchen was noisy so they turned up the music volume which made people talk much louder, so it was over all kind of deafening. Seán also thought it was overpriced, but I’m just desensitized to things in the UK being ridiculously overpriced so I can’t complain.

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Mmm burgers.

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And more fries than I knew what to do with.

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I got a regular portion, which was fine for me, but Seán eats like a vacuum cleaner so he got a larger size. The woman at the cash register raised her eyebrows and said “You know that is supposed to feed four, right?”

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His only response: “I know what I’m about, son.”

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I didn’t doubt him for a second.

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St Cuthbert’s Churchyard, Edinburgh

Look at me catching up on posts! Yes, this is the much-awaited sequel to my Edinburgh post that I made over a week ago. I thought I’d post these photographs separately since there is a bunch of them and they’re thematically somewhat separate from the others. I’m sorry again for the delay, finals and all that.

What we’re looking at here is the churchyard that surrounds St Cuthbert’s church in Edinburgh, a nineteenth century construction, which might have been in use since the sixteenth century. Many of these graves are eighteenth and nineteenth century, however.

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Memorial to Rev. David Dickson (c.1840) by Alexander Handyside Ritchie.

Memorial to Rev. David Dickson (c.1840) by Alexander Handyside Ritchie.

Memento Mori themes and skulls are extremely popular motifs here.

Memento Mori themes and skulls are extremely popular motifs here.

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And, of course, great views of the Castle from below!

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Not a bad haul of photos for one afternoon, huh? :)

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An Apology

It’s almost exam time for me here and I’ve been more than a little busy with studying for mine. I have some back up posts to write and I’ll do that soon, but just know I haven’t abandoned this blog. Talk to you all soon!

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December 1st

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Well, I guess I can’t deny it anymore. It’s after Thanksgiving. It’s December. I’m listening to choral Christmas hymns. I’ve started buying Christmas presents. It’s final the season. It’s weird to think that this will be my first Christmas away from home, but if Thanksgiving was any indication it should be a lovely day.

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