The first Monday of September was a good one. Perhaps the best one in years.
As part of my new role at the University of Dundee, I attended the Principal’s Welcome, an official event to kick-off Freshers’ Week and welcome new students to our university, and to our city. The welcome, held in the Caird Hall within the city square, was brilliant (lots of laughter and nostalgic anecdotes, emphasising how special the beginning of this new chapter in their young lives is) and Dundee really did itself proud; the sun shone across the city, hovering in the sky above like a giant halo over our green-around-the-gills new recruits, while the people of the city smiled and stopped to watch the festivities (like Oxford and St Andrews, Dundee is a very strong and proud student city). The kilt-clad pipers added to the buzzing atmosphere, as did the Nando’s chicken who puffed his chest for selfies with the freshers.
Luckily, I had made plans to meet Mummy Daydreamer afterwards, for lunch at noon. We sat outside at The Italian Grill, ordered a meat sharing board and a rocket and parmesan salad, and watched as the new students slowly filtered out of the square, excitedly making their way back to campus.
Lunch was great; al fresco dining in Scotland isn’t exactly a frequent occurrence so the novelty of sitting outside under the rays of the warm sun was most enjoyable, as was our sharing board of pastrami, salami, olives bread and mixed cheese. Everything was fresh and full of flavour. With the salad as a side, it was the perfect end of summer lunch followed by a strong Italian coffee. I was proud of my city and all that it has to offer to both the locals and to our guests, however long their stay might be.
All of this, on a Monday! The rest of the week has a lot to live up to.