Friday, March 16, 2012


Last night I read a really interesting article in our student newspaper entitled "Battle for the Skies". It was about seagulls, precisely about seagulls and the problems they cause in our little seaside town:

"Over the last few years, the seagull population has significantly increased, causing much irritation for residents of the town centre [...] the problems with seagulls have reached epidemic proportions. They are a real nuisance, with their droppings causing damage to cars, blocking drain pipes and guttering. There is als the noise they create in the early hours."
Despite the fact that the highly dramatic language of the article - I am still laughing at the phrases "battle for the skies" and "epidemic proportions" - gives a false and far too exaggerated impression of the issue, I have to confess that I, too, feel the pain. Ever since I moved to the Scottish coast, the frequent exposure to seagulls has impacted my life far more severely than I would like to admit to anyone: my behavior is influenced and adjusted to their presence. Not only am I woken up by their high-pitched screams in the early morning hours, but the act of such also informs me that it will be a sunny day even before I had a chance to look outside the window. I furthermore quickly learned that carelessly strolling down the street eating whatever pleases me at the given time will most likely result in being attacked by a seagull, attempting to greedily steal anything that looks remotely like food directly out of my hand. Their poop, too, is everywhere, sometimes even on me, but with time I got a pretty good grasp of the areas best to be avoided - lamp posts, house walls, trees, ... to give you an idea, in case you ever decided to move to a seaside town. What baffles me about the article, though, is not the fact that almost every person in this town can identify with and support the concerns raised - no, what truly baffles me is that out of all the things the world faces, all the problems, all the terrible news, all the hurt, pain and sorrow, a seagull epidemic has been identified as the most pressing issue to report about - and that I, ironically, sit in the midst of it, wondering whether I condemn such ignorance or secretly, deep down inside of me, cling on to and sympathise with the illusion that this really is the biggest issue we have to deal with.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


About a week ago, I went down to the beach to take pictures of a couple of students celebrating the Hindu holiday Holi. There was so much excitement and joy as people threw scented powders and liquids in the most diverse colors at each other, saying farewell to winter and welcoming spring.

Saturday, March 03, 2012


While most parts of the Northern Hemisphere are still longing for the first hints of spring to come, Scotland has already been experiencing spring in all its glory, cumulating in the so far warmest day of the year this past Thursday. Spurred by the excitement of summer looming over us, I ditched classes and spent the afternoon sitting in our garden, half-heartedly attempting to do some reading instead. But the sun was shining into my face just a tad too brightly, making it impossible to read the ink on the paper. So instead, I soaked it all in: the sun, the smell of the flowers, the chirping birds. Everything. And that is when I noticed the ladybug. Idle as if barely awoken from hibernation.

Ladybugs are my favorite insects. They evoke this strange feeling of nostalgia towards everything childhood related - from dressing up as one for Mardi Gras to the long days of summer spent outside exploring what life has to offer without a single seed of worry on my chest. Its discovery not only brought back all these fond memories, but it was also nature's confirmation that spring indeed is not just around the corner but has arrived.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Farm Shop

Last Sunday two of my good friends and I went to this amazing farm shop, which is half an hour walk from the center of our little town. I have never been before but heard great things about it - and rightly so. It felt like a completely different world, very rural and sturdy: a place where the hardest work still yields the highest gain, where people drink full fat milk because they do not believe skimmed milk is as good for you, where quality is more important than quantity. It could not have been more opposite to what I am used to as a city girl, but I loved it. I loved the atmosphere. And I loved all the wonderful products they sell: Well picked but such variety, if possible locally produced and the highest standards of quality - so different from the local supermarket. I bought some smoked salt flakes, which was one of the main reasons why I wanted to go in first place.

We had lunch there, too. I ordered a salad and a scone with clotted cream and jam. Little did I know that I was going to have one of the biggest meals since Christmas two years ago. The salad was delicious and came with a roll the size of half a loaf of bread. The scone, too, was of abnormal dimensions - it was impossible to finish, yet so good.