Sunday, January 1, 1989

Hogmanay Through the Night ...

1... 2... 3... Well, we then did the traditional Scottish thing and visited other people throughout the brisk New Year's night. You are supposed to take a lump of coal to the guest's house for good luck (maybe all the ones you got on Christmas for being naughty), but we forgot. Actually, Kenny forgot... we didn't know until he told us along the way.

Our first stop was at Kenny's friend Mike's house, but he wasn't in. Which makes sense, because if you are supposed to go out visiting people on New Year's Day, it stands to reason that a lot of people will be out and about. Nevertheless, Mike's parents were home, so we had drinks with them until some other kids came to the house.

One funny moment while at Mike's. J.P and I were sitting talking to each other when a man in a suit walked right between us and stopped, as if we weren't there. I looked on both sides of the man, pushing his coat in my face as I moved. When he left, J.P. and I were in hysterics. I guess it falls under the "had-to-be-there" category.

Another good moment came when Mike's Dad was asked if I wanted another beer. I said that I was fine, that even though I had finished my first beer, I had nicked another that was on the table because the statute of limitations ran out on it, so I grabbed it. The adults there fell into hysterics, called me a true Scotsman and then asked again if I wanted another beer. This time, I said, "Sure!"

Before long, all of the kids were kicked out of the house, and we were left roaming the dark streets of St. Andrews looking for a party to crash. By this point, we had quite a gathering... probably one of the reasons we couldn't find a party... everyone was with us.

Soon, J.P. and I noticed that we were leading the pack. Yes, a bunch of Scottish locals were following two Americans around... the only two people here who had absolutely no idea where they were going or what they were doing. Curious to see how many people were just blindly following the two Americans, we turned into a driveway where the lights were out, got to the end of it and turned around to see how many would follow us in. Most of the pack followed us and took a few seconds to realized what had happened. We giggled profusely.

Well, we continued to wander, getting nowhere. It was a very clear, starry night, and we got a nice view of the Milky Way in the sky.) However, soon it became clear that everyone wanted to congregate at Kenny's house. Everyone, that is, except Kenny. The mob was insistent, but Kenny didn't like that idea. So when the rest of the gang wasn't looking, Kenny, J.P. and I broke loose and high-tailed it through back alleys, ducking the group and making it back to Kenny's.

When we arrived we kicked back with a few beers and watched "Blazing Saddles" on TV, finally getting to bed at about 4 a.m. It looks like the start of a good new year.

Kenny's 2: The Next Day

Woke up at about 1 p.m. and lazily made my way downstairs to eat some breakfast (breakfast?) Afterward, we went on a car ride around the area, which included a stop at an injured oil platform (not the Piper Alpha, which was destroyed in an explosion that killed 167 men last July, the world's worst offshore oil disaster... the other one.)

It was a good trip, even though I was pretty quiet throughout (still recovering from the previous night), but it was enjoyable and relaxing to see the sites this way.

When we came back, we went over to the College, where J.P. found a baby grand and played some piano. Then we borrowed two guitars and took them back to Kenny's house, where J.P. and I played for awhile.

Ate some dinner, then toyed around with Kenny's keyboard, creating our own brand of "Acid" music (it's really quite easy with the right equipment.) Then we watched "Amadeus." I had never seen it before, and it was an excellent movie, although a rather long one. When it was over, I watched a bit of "Billion Dollar Brain," but got bored with it. So I went upstairs to read for awhile, then fell asleep around 1 a.m.

(Pictures: #1 is a structure at the University that is basically located in Kenny's garden. #2 is a view of the old stone bridge on the famed 17th green of St. Andrews' Old Course, where the British Open is held about every 4-6 years.)

  • Number One Song in Britain This Week: "Mistletoe & Wine" - Cliff Richard (again??!!! This turned out to be the biggest selling single in Britain in 1988. I'm not sure I even recall ever hearing it.)
  • Number One Song in America This Week: "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" - Poison (When Poison finally hit over in Britain, I told several people I'm from the same area as Poison lead singer Bret Michaels... who I would actually meet in December 1991 at the Gingerbread Man in Mechanicsburg)

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