Saint Andrews & My Seven-Year-Old on Irn Bru

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The shores of Saint Andrews Scotland

St. Andrews, Scotland named after Saint Andrews the Apostle, is a beautiful seaside city located on the North East coast of Fife and is known for their university and ‘Home of Golf’ one of the oldest clubs where championships are held.

The busy streets of St. Andrews were full of students. My stepsister Nicole and I wonder around with my daughter Angelina, we poked through clothes racks in the shops, bought Scotch pies and sat down for a fish and chip lunch. The cobble stone paths and the old buildings make the feel of the city old-world; you would never guess it has over 16,000 inhabitants.

My friend Marianna back in Capestang, France lived in Edinburgh with her boyfriend a couple years ago. She told me to shop at Fat Face for clothes. I always take good advice and had a huge pile of skirts, shirts and sweaters to buy. My sister talked me down to four items and I still paid 150GBP for my lovely new clothes. It has been years since I bought anything nice over 10€ and I unquestionably have a new beloved place to shop.

St. Andrews cathedral displayed the saint’s relics sometime in the 8th century when built and had a bishop since the 11th century. We explored the cemetery that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, a scenic setting to a once ruling church now in ruins. The stone structures and tombstones remain erect, and reach towards the heavens. The light casts a glow upon them, and the majesty of these remains were not lost on us.  We read the names on the graves, names like Ewan McGregor (totally unrelated to this post, but I happen to love the actor) we dream up stories of the people that once lived here.

What happens when you give a seven year old, a can of Irn bru?
What happens when you give a seven year old, a can of Irn bru?

Angelina had her first experience with the other national drink, Irn Bru. Whiskey of course is the national drink. The formula for Irn Bru is a closely guarded secret, known only by two of Barr’s board members. As of 1999 it did contain 0.002% of ammonium ferric citrate, sugar, flavouring agents (including caffeine and quinine) and colouring (E110, E124). Advertised as having a slight citrus flavour, many have differing opinions of the exact taste of Irn Bru. To me it tastes like sweet cold medicine. To my daughter Angelina it tastes like a lollipop.

After drinking a 250ml can with her lunch, Angelina was just short of the Exorcist scene where Regan’s head spun completely around during an attempt to rid Pazuzu the demon from her body. Once the sugar kicked in fully, off my 7-year-old went frolicking the streets of St. Andrews at 100 fold. We caught up to her, and her crazy laugh, near the beach, as she ran up and down the seashore as my sister and I strolled and caught up on the past five years since we met.

Angelina lapped us, and then passed us several times. At one point, she did non-stop cartwheels on the grassy patch above the sandy beach for twenty minutes. There is something in Irn Bru that my Angelina has never had before and her tiny body was definitely reacting to it. She seemed high as a kite. Maybe Scots ween their babies on this stuff and the gaffers are used to whatever is giving Angelina her reaction. My guess it is the amount of sugar combined with the food colouring… but I am no doctor.

Nicole and I laughed, as there was truly nothing to do at that point except let Irn Bru run its course. I swore it is the last time I ever give her pop.

The weather for our visit was perfect, with no wind and the sun felt warm. We peeled off our layers and enjoyed the fall day. Leaves that changed to warm colours fell to our feet and Angelina found piles to run through.

We decided to head back toward town for a cup of coffee and half way up the street, Angelina’s Irn Bru buzz wore off. Nearly in tears my girl crashed. Walking super slow we passed the university, the far side of the cathedral and finally under the gateway to the old city. What seemed like a lifetime with my miserable girl, we made our way back up to the café. Here we injected Angelina with an ice cream sundae to get her blood sugar high enough to get her the five blocks to the bus stop and then home. It seemed to work! Do not tell my husband Alfonz or I will never get the mother of the year award.

Nicole was kind enough to find us a cab once off the bus to get Angelina home from Cupar town centre with out another twenty-minute walk home.

And that’s our experience in St. Andrews Scotland on Irn Bru.

scotland1 scotland2 scotland5

chasing a kid through Saint Andrews on IRN BRU
chasing a kid through Saint Andrews on IRN BRU

Exploring Saint Andrews

perfect seat
perfect seat
Cemetery Grounds
Cemetery Grounds

Saint Andrews Fishing Boats

Saint Andrews
Saint Andrews
Saint Andrews Near the water
Saint Andrews Near the water
Near University
Near University
note Angelina staring me down, she ended up with it!
note Angelina staring me down, she ended up with it!