Wednesday, 15 September 2010

First Few Days...

Well it seems you found my blog, and as the title says my name is Andrew, and I am in Scotland!  Thats right, I am living in the city of Stirling for the next year while I pursue my Master's in Media Management.  Stirling is a historic place with lots of attractions and places to see.  Known primarily for Stirling Castle, The National Wallace Monument and the Battle of Stirling Bridge; the city is in the heart of Scotland and has been called by some, "Gateway to the Highlands". It's a great place to learn about the people, places, and culture of this ancient land.  The city is also home to the University of Stirling.  Founded in 1967, the university sits on the grounds of the old Airthrey estate, home to Airthrey Castle and Airthrey Loch.   
      Now for an update from me.  I arrived in Stirling on Saturday 11 September to a lovely day and very uncharacteristic Scottish weather.  It was sunny and warm, and after 18 hours of travel quite a relief. I have found that you can plan and prepare as much as you want, but until you step foot into a new place and see how things are done, you really have no clue as to the adjustments and concessions you make when living in another country.  Adjusting to a new culture and to new people presents quite a few challenges, but the experience has been very rewarding.  The people are very friendly and have been very gracious whenever I have run into any problems.   My favorite activity is crossing the road. I continually look the wrong direction and fail to realize how fast cars will get to my crossing point.  Did I mention that healthcare is free in the UK?  Something I tend to remember right before I run out in the street with a bus barreling down. But no, the drivers are very polite and regularly give way to pedestrians. It's so nice being able to walk just about anywhere you need to go within a short time.  Of course the public transit is very convenient, and after learning the different routes can be easily used to get anywhere in the city in less than ten minutes.  Shopping at the supermarket is also quite fun; the buggies, also known as shopping carts, can move in any direction, so moving down the aisles can be a bit like going through a jungle gym. On a side note, make sure you know how to pack your groceries like you are trying to break a record for grocery packing.  On Sunday I went to Destiny Stirling; it's a great church in the heart of the city and used to be an old theatre.  I missed the bus that morning so I decided to walk into town. I found the views much more pleasant since I was able to take in the city and the surrounding hills.  On my walk back from church I took a different route and ended up crossing the 500 year old Stirling Bridge.  It's surreal to stand on a rock that is that old and has been such an important part of the area for hundreds years.
   And I would be remiss if I did not write about the view from my flat.  I mentioned earlier the Wallace Monument, well make sure you follow the links and be sure to get a good view of the monument.  I live right down the hill and have a great view!  (You can see a picture I took around 9:30am at the end of this post)

 That wraps up my first few days in Stirling; make sure to check back every week or so for further updates.  I will be posting photos, videos and journal entries throughout my time here.

Thought of the Week 
We often complicate our lives by seeking complex answers for short term problems and fail to see the simple nature of a grace that surpasses our biggest problems. Freedom comes when I humble myself to my creator. He is bigger than all of my fears and anxieties and has called me to live by grace.

(And to accompany that Isaiah 40:22)  

Song of the Week
(Tried not to be to cliche, but it's a great song and very fitting. Enjoy!)


Wallace Monument from my flat!

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