South Park Self

the empty sky

Scotland is beautiful. Cold, and bleak, and windswept, and beautiful. Apparently these are the sands from the race in Chariots of Fire. The local industries appear to consist of education, golf and Chariots of Fire jokes.

The St. Andrews cathedral is a rather picturesque ruin, having been abandoned during the Reformation, after which it spent the next few centuries gently falling down. Its slightly unusual position right on the sea probably had something to do with this. The wind off that sea is, as the Scots say, a bit stroppy.

A feature of our Saturday morning stroll around the town was the unexpected American harrier hawk, with attendant falconer, parked off on a park railing. Apparently the falconer has seven of them, which he keeps strategically tethered to rooftops in the town to prevent the seagulls from nesting. This probably works rather well: a harrier hawk is one of your more disagreeable raptors (in the photo it's objecting to a passing labrador). When not tethered on rooftops, they're flown on the golf course to combat the undermining of the greens by rabbits and moles, which I should imagine they also do rather efficiently.

Unfortunately, proximity to a falconer and bird apparently makes me cry. I miss my dad.

I now face the next 24 hours in airports and aircraft, to fortify myself for which I will now descend and partake of an enormous Scottish breakfast, although without the black pudding. See you in Cape Town.
  • Current Mood: determined loins girded
Lovely photos! The harrier looks great. Black pudding isn't too bad, but definitely an acquired taste I guess. Did you try haggis?

Good luck with the flight home.
I'll get to Scotland one day ...
In summer, perhaps.

Congratulations on getting through the experience with academic credentials intact, not frozen to death and not being lynched by Divinity students.