Today in St Andrews

Rain on window

It’s lunchtime and I’m blogging, looking out of my office window opposite the University Library at a very wet St Andrews; very wet indeed. In fact, about half an hour ago I was out in it (“isn’t it!”) and I am now, in the words of my dearly departed Great Aunt Ella, “Plachit through tae ma breek erse!”

Exciting goings on in town today through, other than the crowds of ill-clad St Andrews students dancing through puddles to and from lectures. Remember, there is no such thing as bad weather, only wrong clothing.


Seemingly overnight Ottakar’s has been transformed into Waterstone’s. I emerged from Logie’s Lane, a wee close that links South and Market Streets, and stood for a moment staring at this once green building — now painted black — and feeling a little disoriented. I looking up and down Market Street for Ottakar’s. Hmmm… it used to be there, I pondered to myself. Good news though, as I much prefer Waterstone’s. Mr Waterstone has a good taste in all forms of printed matter.


The second transformation I noticed as I was leaving Boots the Chemist, my £2.99 Meal Deal in a bag swinging at my side. The Bakers Oven, a bakery and café on the south side of Market Street, has now become a Greggs. Mmmm… Greggs chicken and mushroom slices, I pondered to myself. Good news though, as I really like Gregg and his fine assortment of baked wares.


The third transformation is that Birthdays (which closed during the summer — did you manage to get your cowboy and indian play set there during the extended closing-down sale?) is now in the process of becoming a Fopp music film + books store. (Fopp obviously don’t believe in punctuation.) Good news though, as I was regretting St Andrews’ lack of a quality emporium for purchasing pre-recorded audio media, and Mr Fopp has a solid and reliable reputation for dealing in such things.

Ah … and now lunchtime is up. Well, it’s been nice chatting with you. I hope you don’t get as wet as I did today. And probably will on my way home. It’s forecast for thunder and lightning, you know.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

5 thoughts on “Today in St Andrews”

  1. The Waterstone’s takeover of Ottakar’s is supposedly bad news for the book world I hear. Ottakar’s is apparently much more supportive of local writers and there’s a worry under Waterstone’s that Scottish literature will be excluded in favour of the wider market.

    No idea if that will end up being the case, though.

  2. Hmmm. I actually prefer Ottakars to Waterstones. Although that’s mostly because its a more calming colour and generally has softer carpets on the floor.

    Why could they not have had decent shops like these in St Andrews in ye olden days when we were undergrads? John Smith’s bookshop was never that great and ‘Hi-energy records’ was an awful record shop. However, who needs a Greggs when there’s a Fisher & Donaldson just round the corner?

  3. Whatever happened to that lecturer who sued the University for breaking his contract? See his website for the latest skullduggery involving people in high places.

  4. Beautiful photograph you took of the rain meandering down the window. I would love to use this picture in a CD I am constructing of my Grandfather playing the piano. Please let me know if this is ok; I will gladly send you a copy of the album when I am finished! Cheers, from Atl, Georiga. -RY

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