Moments in May
The month of May brought with it bright sunny days and clear blue skies to the United Kingdom. After a long winter, the gloomy grey that enveloped the city of Glasgow dissipated, ushering in bold and beautiful hues of the springtime flowers in bloom.
Scotland saw everyone come out onto the streets and invade outdoor venues. Hibernation was finally over and it was time to absorb as much sunlight as possible, replenishing the body with a natural source of vitamin D.
People gathered in the parks to bask in the sun while listening to music, savouring a barbecued meal, and sipping on a cool beverage. The mood was festive, the air filled with laughter, and people wearing the best smiles.
While May was a joyous month due to the weather, it was also a challenging one due to the academics. With assignment deadlines and exams crammed into a few weeks, the library became a home to many students looking to do well in their studies. This meant sleepless nights of revision, staring at computer screens and cramped fingers from all the typing. The sombre life of the procrastinating student.
One of my major highlights during the month was the playoff matches in the Scottish Championship. Sport, whether through playing or watching, is a fantastic way for people to meet, network, socialise, and build camaraderie.
As a keen fan of football, when I arrived in the UK I was eager to watch some live local games. A couple of my classmates persuaded me against supporting any of the Old Firm teams, (Glasgow Rangers and Celtic) and instead took me to a Livingston FC game. Livi performed exceptionally well, beating Dundee United 4-3 on aggregate in the semi-finals and Partick Thistle 3-1 over two legs in the final, earning them promotion to the Scottish Premiership.
What I learned from this experience is that football is a religion in the UK, and the stadia are places of worship. The atmosphere at the games was incredibly electric. There was a nervous tension at the start of each game, as the Livi fans had high hopes for the team, and by the end when the results were in this erupted into ecstatic revelry.
May was also the month of the Royal Wedding. I must admit that I was not particularly interested in the days preceding the event but on the day I found myself tuning in. I didn’t manage to make it to any of the public screenings so I followed via a YouTube stream. The following day I popped into one of the bars in Glasgow and found it decked out with Harry and Meghan pictures and Union Jacks, showing that they were well invested in the festivities.
During the month, I managed to do a little bit of travelling, making it out to Brighton and London. The pebble beach in Brighton I found most fascinating as the only beaches I had been to previously were sandy. The water was too cold and the skies not too welcoming, so I dared not venture in.
I took a trip to Brighton Palace Pier and for a few moments relived my childhood playing arcade games in the Palace of Fun! After losing a bit of precious coin I purchased an ice cream to soothe the pain of my financial state and took to exploring the streets of Brighton. One of the most impressive attractions I saw was the Royal Pavilion which was constructed over 200 years ago as King George IV’s seaside pleasure palace.
May was a fantastic month with a lot of memories created. With the academic pressure of the dissertation mounting it was great to have some time to relax and find activities that provided some mental relief. I definitely will cherish many of the moments along this Chevening journey and will remain forever in awe of all the places I managed to go.