The quiet after the storm

I’d expected that finishing my last ever exam would be amazing. Instead I felt shell-shocked and slightly sick. Free, but still not really free. It’s out of my hands now, and I’m waiting for the piece of paper with my grades; the university’s assessment of what I’m worth, and how worthwhile my time of study has been. I know I won’t have done as well as I could have done, but as long as I do reasonably OK, I’ll have no regrets.

Still, when it comes to getting over the stress of finals, there’s no better place than where I am now. Me and 10 of my classmates from Chinese are spending a few days in a cottage on the west coast. It is beautiful. We’re on the North shore of West Loch Tarbert, having driven up Loch Lomond and down along Loch Fyne yesterday afternoon to get here. The house is big with huge windows onto the Loch: Here’s me by the window! (All photos in this post are from Kit)

Last night when we got here Will cooked a delicious dinner of lamb with ratatouille and fresh salad followed by homemade muffiny sponge cakes with orange syrup. Then we settled down for a drink and a relax in our little house. I went for a walk but it was pitchblack and I got terrified by the noises of animals so ran back to the house – I’ve become a proper city girl me! Here’s a photo of some of us after dinner:

OK it’s Wednesday now, the sun is in and the weather has settled with deeper blue-greys and light drizzle. The water is seaweedy with blobby purple-spotted jellyfish. I like the dull light that glows across from the south.

Yesterday we climbed up a dewooded hill to see the view. You can just see the edge of Jura in the distance. The estate is 1000 acres with just a few houses. There used to be 5 crofts, though all have been long abandoned and are being turned into holiday houses. Here is us climbing – I’m the one at the back scrambling up the next bit.

Then we rowed out into the Loch in a rowing boat. It was very choppy and we were pretty inept at rowing, so unlike the lads who took the canoe and zoomed across to the other side, we lulled about near to the shore, drank some whisky, and spotted a seal. The woods were beautiful too, with that perfect fresh green colour that is special to May.

In the evening we had delicious roast chicken with salad and a garlicy sauce full of mint and lime. Then we played mafia (like wink murder but you get to lynch people) and generally mucked about. I’m reading a book about evolutionary psychology and the genetic determinants of supernatural beliefs which is very interesting. Today has been very relaxed, with large quantities of food, reading, and lounging. The next plan is to drive to the fishmongers for some fresh salmon and mackrel. I’ll be leaving tomorrow bright and early to get the bus back to Edinburgh. After quite a refreshing three days.

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