About

CL_16Feb2013

Welcome to my blog!  I’m an American who has made her home in Scotland.  I grew up mainly in Portland, Oregon.  My professional background is academic:  I lectured in French and Women’s Studies.  After living in Connecticut and Illinois, my husband (an Irish-Ukranian Brit) and I came to Scotland in 1992.  I taught at the University of Aberdeen for 20 years.  I also had the opportunity to study Gaelic for four years, which I can speak with some degree of fluency.  In August 2013, we moved to Glasgow.

I’m blessed to have a great family.  My husband still makes me laugh after more than 25 years of marriage.  Our children are both Scots.  Our (adopted) son is now grown up and lives in Edinburgh.  In my blog I call our (biological) daughter “the Dafter,” after her perfectly logical mispronunciation of the word “daughter” – like “laughter” – when she was learning to read.  Sadly she fell ill in September 2011 and has since been diagnosed with severe ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  I’m now her full-time carer.  Very luckily we’re a close and happy family.  We enjoy each other’s company and are determined to be as positive as we can be.

When I began my blog, I had been publishing poems and short stories for several years in Scottish literary magazines and anthologies.  I was particularly interested in questions of identity, belonging, adoption, cultural differences, faith and parenting.  My writing life is currently on hold, but I hope someday to have the opportunity to write again.  I love gardening, walking, Gaelic, knitting, and listening to Scottish accents.   Before my daughter fell ill I was very involved in church life, as I am an ordained Elder of the Church of Scotland.  (This does not mean, however, that I don’t still have many questions!)  In all indoor activities, I am ably assisted by our sweet cat, Tilly.

For fellow members of Ravelry, my username is “tefighe” (pronounced chay-FEE-a) which is an approximation of “she who knits” in Gaelic.

Responses

  1. Dear Christine

    I’ve been asked by the Scottish Poetry Library to write teachers’ resources for the National Poetry Day postcards, including your ‘Building Vocabulary’. I’m including some biographical details, and wanted to check your place of birth – Wish I Was Here says San Francisco, Silver says Portland, Oregon. Rather than guess, and possibly extend an error, I thought I’d ask…

    Best wishes,

    Ken Cockburn

  2. Christine…thanks so much for letting me know about your latest project…you’re wonderful book. It looks fantastic, and I shall immendiately ask for it in every bookshop I enter. I shall also mention it on the dreaded Facebbook coz many of my Scottish/American/Norwegian friends would be very interested.
    Good luck with it, and see you soon
    Jane

  3. Christine!
    Just found your Website. Didn’t realise you had such talents – you are far too modest! I’m sure I’ll get much pleasure in reading what you’ve done plus any future projects.

    Best Wishes
    John

  4. Christine!

    ‘MAY’[!] you have lots of success and enjoyment from, and interest in, your latest project.

    All the best with the venture

    Moira

  5. I came across your blog while looking for info about the knit camp at Stirling University. I clicked to read about your blog and see you wearing my favorite sweater, which I made myself. I am American too, love Scotland (made a 2 week trip to Glasgow, Edinburgh, and the Highlands in 2004), and love to knit! So much in common! I have added you to my list of blogs to read daily.
    Best
    Martha

    • Dear Martha,
      Thanks so much for your comment. I hope you enjoy the blog – I try to post every 2 to 3 days. (My daughter, “the Dafter” says more than that is total overkill for my readers!) If you’re on Ravelry, I’m “tefighe”. I’d be curious to know which sweater is the one you’ve made as well!

  6. Please never ever stop writing Christine, it is a great gift that you share with the world :-) I loved the photos of the crocuses, btw, made me think of Seaton Park in the sunshine. Some very happy memories,

    love to all the family

    Tom

    • Dear Tom,
      What a lovely thing to be told: “never ever stop writing”. I am often tempted, but simply can’t! I once read that the definition of a writer is: someone who can’t not write. I’m glad you liked the photos and have happy memories of Seaton Park. Thanks again for coming by and for your good wishes. Love to you and yours.

  7. Prof. Laennec:

    When discussing how engaged you felt when teaching, I am hoping that you remember your time teaching French at Illinois State University. As a student who struggled with learning a new language, I appreciated your passion and obvious enjoyment not only of French, but of your interaction with the students.

    I have many fond memories of my time at ISU. What I loved the most were the people there and the relationships I formed with other students and the faculty.

    Thank you for taking the time for us, your students.

    With Warmest Regards,

    Dan Wilkins, B.A., 1991

    • Dear Dan,
      What a kind, kind comment! Thank you so much – this is why people teach. Of course I remember I.S.U., and I remember your name as well. What struck me the most when we arrived there was that so many students would say, “Why did you come here from Yale? Why would you want to teach us?” I truthfully answered that I enjoyed the students’ sincerity and lack of pretension. I’m so glad that you have happy memories of your time there. I think what you say about the value of relationships with others is absolutely true. No-one can make anyone else learn a thing – we can only try to encourage one another. Wow, I’m having a flashback to being in downtown Normal! Thanks for coming by my blog. I hope life has treated you well in the interim.

  8. Hi Christine, my laptop is in the ICU at St. Best Buy. That means I don’t have your email address, please do send me a note, so I may reply, I have a question for you re: higher education in the UK from the son of a work colleague. All the best!

    -Bruce Anderson

  9. For the wonderful Writing from Scotland: I’ve just given you a Liebster Blog Award – http://lornastearoomdelights.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/dearest-blogs/

    My post is a bit all over the place but here’s the proper info you need to dish out some awards of your own:

    “Liebster is German and translates into English as “dearest” or ”favorite”. A Liebster Blog Award is given to talented bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, in a way the award not only recognizes these bloggers as amazingly gifted in their own right but also as your very own personal favorites.”

    How to participate:
    Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
    Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
    Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.
    Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed. (Some say just 3 or more blogs of less than 200 followers each)
    Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog.

  10. Lovely to meet you Christine, via your blog. Sending your “Dafter” my good thoughts and a very special Indian prayer. Keep well, stay happy.

    • Thank you Shona, and lovely to meet you too on your own blog! The Dafter will appreciate an Indian prayer. She amazed us once when we were visiting the Victoria & Albert museum and she was able to name the various Hindu dieties depicted by the statues we were walking past. She had studied them in school and knew all about them – but had never mentioned this!

  11. dear sister we bring greetings from india .

  12. Hi Christine, I just nominated you for the Illuminating Blogger Award: http://lornastearoomdelights.com/2012/07/09/awards-in-july/

  13. I stumbled upon this website as I am searching for a pen pal from Scotland. I to am from America. I would LOVE to visit and even dream of moving to Scotland. Scotland and Ireland have entranced me. I want to learn Gaelic and though having a pen pal would help me with that. Plus, I enjoy writing. I look forward to reading your work.

    • Dear Beth,

      Welcome to my wee corner of blogland! I hope you will find your pen-pal, and find ways to study Gaelic. There are lots of blogs about Scotland and Ireland in the meantime!

  14. Hi Christine, I nominated you for the Capture the Colour challenge because I know how much you appreciate colour and you take such lovely photos: http://lornastearoomdelights.com/2012/08/06/capture-the-colour/

    • Oh Lorna, that is very kind of you! I’m very chuffed. I didn’t know I enjoyed taking pictures until I started my blog. I’ll check out the challenge soon. Sounds like fun!

  15. Christine, My Patrick)’Brian friend Sara in the UK posted a bit on Facebook. I don’t know if you saw this or if you really want to more since I am sure you are very aware of all about ME you want to know. Sara says she developed ME in her fifties and counts herself fortunate that she has not been as severely affected as many young people but I think she still has her ups and downs with health issues.

    Anyway, here’s the link: If you are unfamiliar with this paper, let know me know and I’ll try to send a real link. It is:MAIL ONLINE and the columnist’s name is SANDRA POULTON. It is SANDRA POULTON’s BLOG and it appeared in the Friday, September 21, 2012 edition.

    Best.,

    LindaC

    • Dear Linda,
      Thanks very much for thinking of us. I’ve had a wee look around the Mail Online, and there is a columnist called Sonia Poulton and one called Sandra Parsons, but I can’t find any articles about ME. I’ll maybe look again another time. It certainly is a mysterious illness!

  16. Christine do you believe in 6% of separation ?. I really enjoyed your article and the stained glass window depicting Wordies Horses. My brother came across your blog and sent me the picture. Our Dad worked at Wordies in Belfast in Ireland from 1950 right till they closed in the 1960s. It was good of you to put that on the blog and it has brought back happy memories of Dad.
    I hope “the Dafter” is keeping well. God bless her.
    Thank you Rob

    • Dear Rob,
      I certainly have experienced remarkable “coincidences” and synchronicities in my life, so I know what you mean. I’m so glad you liked the post about Wordies. I hadn’t realised they were in Belfast as well as Scotland. I’m glad it brought happy memories back.
      Thanks also for your good wishes to the Dafter. Very good wishes from our family to you as well!

  17. Christine, so sorry to read about your daughter’s illness. Was just wondering where you lived before Scotland and decide to ramble over to your “About” page to get the scoop. What an interesting life you’ve led!

    • Hi Kathy! Thanks for that. Yes, I have been very blessed with an interesting life. The Dafter and I consider that her illness is part of the journey for both of us. She says that it’s much more interesting to take a winding road rather than a dead straight one. Having lived in the grid of central Illinois, I know she’s right. I would drive miles out of my way to find a non-straight road!

  18. I have been reading youre Blog for a while and find youre writing excellent, uplifting and youre love and devotion to youre family divine.Prayers for you all

    • Dear Karen, thank you for such kind words. I’m so glad you enjoy reading my blog. Thank you very much for your prayers also.

  19. Dear Professor Laennec,

    My name is Jeff Richards, and I am a Christine de Pizan scholar (I translated the Cité des Dames over thirty years ago). I would very much like to contact you about the Livre des fais d’armes et de chevalerie, but not here on your very lovely blog – it is very much academic nuts and bolts.
    Could you please contact me at e.j.richards@live.com ?
    Cordially yours,
    Jeff Richards

  20. Wishing you a very happy birthday, Christine, (long overdue letter now in the post to you) x

    • Thanks so much, Tom! I had a really good birthday. Older but no wiser! Looking forward to hearing from you. X


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