The Next Phase of Life

Dearest Readers,

My masters program is coming to an end, with my dissertation being due August 31 and my housing contract ending on September 7. That means the next phase of my life is rapidly approaching, and it’s about time I know what exactly that will be.

And I do!

Last week, I accepted an offer from the University of Glasgow to enter the Celtic and Gaelic PhD program, which means another 3-4 years of studying in this amazing city/country and having more time to get to the know the lovely people I’ve met here.

Is this terrifying? Sure. It’s a big commitment. It’ll be a lot of work. It will be overwhelmingly stressful at times. I’ll be spending a lot of time looking at manuscripts and struggling with Gaelic and comparing texts.

But it’s also exciting. It’s a big commitment that I’ve worked to be able to do. It’ll be a lot of work, but I’m looking forward to starting it. It will be super fun at times. And I’ll be spending a lot of times looking at manuscripts and and getting better at Gaelic and comparing texts.

Staying here allows me to continue dancing, continue exploring, and learn more of what it means to be a Scot.

And it will allow me to keep sharing some of my adventures.

Your Bonnie Celtophile,

Dani

Kelvingrove Park in the Summertime

Dearest Readers,

There’s something wonderful about Kelvingrove Park in the summertime. First, there’s all the animals and flowers that just aren’t around during the winter. It makes the park absolutely beautiful.

However, the wonderful thing I’m thinking of has to do with the Kelvingrove Bandstand. Over the summer, at least on many Fridays and I’m sure at other times, there’s live entertainment there.

And sure, you can get a ticket in order to actually see the show with all the lights and such.

The wonderful thing, though, is that you don’t need to get a ticket to enjoy the music. All you have to do is find a place in the park nearby, sit on a bench, and let the music and the cheering wash over you.

I was there on Friday night with a friend. We had a picnic, and then we sat and listened to the music and chatted until the show was over. It was a bit chilly for the summer, but it was also a very fun and relaxing time.

So, if you happen to be in Glasgow over the summer, see what’s happening in Kelvingrove. You might just be able to listen to some decent music last-minute with some takeout to fill your tummy. There are worse ways to spend a night.

Your Bonnie Celtophile,

Dani

St. Andrew’s Highland Games

Dearest Readers,

Today, I finally went to a Highland Games. I decided to head to St. Andrew’s 33rd annual games to watch some people run, throw things, cycle, and dance, and I was not disappointed.

When I arrived, the only event on was the Highland Dancing. Lucky for me, I made it just in time for the sword dance, which was a delight to watch. I especially love the little kids, who are just the cutest while trying to get their feet in the right places. I saw them do other dances throughout the day, as well, like the ones I know as the angry Irishwoman dances and the sailor dance. If you know what those are actually called, feel free to share!

Look at these Highland Dancers being their majestic selves.

The Heavyweights did their best today, but after some decent shows of throwing heavy things, the caber proved too much for the lads. There were no successful attempts. Still, there were a lot of smiles among the men, and that’s the important part.

The runners and cyclists of all ages were focused and ready, and it looked like everyone was having fun no matter what place they came in. Indeed, even in the De’il Take the Hindmost race (the last cycling race, where the person in last every lap drops out until three are left, and those three battle it out for places) people were smiling and cheering. By that point, many people had cleared out, but those remaining were there to support.

I’ll admit, it wasn’t the best Highland Games I’ve ever been to. It rained on us multiple times (ah, Scotland), the number of people made it difficult to see sometimes, and the announcer wasn’t as enthusiastic and dramatic as others I’ve heard.

Even so, it was exactly what a Highland Games is supposed to be: people gathering together to hang out, laugh, have some friendly competition, eat food, and show off their prowess.

It was, in short, quite a lovely day, and I don’t regret the long bus ride to and from St. Andrews in the slightest.

Your Bonnie Celtophile,

Dani