Letters from Scotland
By Jonathon Farrell


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Snow in Scotland. photos by Jonathon Farrell

more snow



This week has been slightly less hectic than the one before. Naturally, after a period of mayhem and fun such as Raisin, we all had to come back down to Earth again. 

So here I am, taking a break from working on essays to send this update. Essays are the majority of what I have done this week - I have completed one, and have most of the notes I need to churn out the other. I am rather proud of myself for committing this well. 

Of course, not everything has been work. My academic mother hosted a Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, as she is American. So there were about 30 people there, and it was definitely the best meal I have had on this side of the Atlantic. 

The next night was Tim from Hong Kong's birthday dinner, so we were all out at a restaurant again. After that, I came back and worked, while three others wound up watching a movie in my room. I impressed myself and managed to work through that too!

The main story around here right now, as you may have heard in the international news, is that winter has arrived forcefully in the U.K. Or at least by the local standards it has! I think it's a nice winter day, and am looking at it and wishing I was back home in similar weather - it would be really good for tobogganing!

However, this country has a hard time accumulating much snow, as it is really not that cold. It has snowed some, and Scotland in general has completely shut down. My class for today is cancelled, most of the public transportation is shut down, and several roads are closed. 

Most kids in Scotland have snow days now too. I do not see why, this is beautiful winter weather. It would not slow us down in Kincardine at all!! However, there are no snowplows or anything here - the people figure they rarely get much snow, so there is no reason to have the necessary equipment to deal with it. They don't even have winter tires on their cars! 

So it's wonderful winter weather, but nobody here knows how to deal with it. All the international students from warmer parts of the world are just dying of cold! And people who have seen snow before know what to do - there are lots of snowball fights going on! We had one through my bedroom window - I saw them having it and opened the window to comment, and before I knew it I was catching theirs and throwing them back.

And one night, after I finished my essay and went to bed, there was a massive snowball fight. Apparently they were even in my room as I slept, looking for a good window to throw from! Enclosed are some pictures from my bedroom window at this very moment, to show you all just how much it takes to bring Scotland to its knees!

But now, I need to brave the storm (ha ha, this does not count as a real storm!) and head to the library to get some more books. This will bring the total to 17 library books in my room now! I have been a busy boy!



Jonathon Farrell, son of Geoff and Sandra Farrell of Huron-Kinloss, is studying at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland this school year, through a student exchange program at Queen's University, Kingston, where he is a third-year student.



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Monday, November 29, 2010