Posted by: christinelaennec | August 19, 2010

A New Start

Eighteen years ago today, Michael and I arrived in Scotland, to make our home here.  I’d been to England and Ireland many times, but had never actually been in Scotland before.  I remember

The road to Kinneff, with the North Sea beyond - looking the other way from the mountains and forests!

panicking a bit as the plane circled Aberdeen and I looked down onto the expanse of fields bordering the coast.  It looked suspiciously like the cornfields of Illinois where I’d been marooned for the past four years.  “But you promised me there were forests!  And mountains!”  I protested.  Michael said, “There are, really.  I think they’re just on the other side.”  When the plane swung around to land, I could see the forests on the western edge of Aberdeen, and the Grampian mountains beyond.  I breathed a sigh of relief.

Especially at first, people asked me if I was homesick, but I really wasn’t very much.  I’ve always loved living in Scotland.  It’s a cliché to say “I felt I was coming home,” and that’s not quite true.  But I felt I was coming to the place that would be my home.

The Dafter on her way to catch the bus to high school

Eighteen years later, the Dafter has has a New Start this week as well:  she’s moved up to high school.  It’s a big change for her, as she’d gone to her primary school every school day since she was a babe-in-arms:  at first, to take her brother there, and then between the ages of 3 and 12, to go herself.  Now she has a new route.  At the end of her first day, she said she loved being in Gaelic class.  She said they all agreed that it was like coming home, because in primary school they’d been used to hearing Gaelic for most of their school day.  Now it’s one subject of many, and everything else is in English.  So even for her, the big school where she’s one of the youngest again, and has to push and shove in the queue at the canteen – even for her, there is an element of homecoming in going to this new place.



  1. Lots of luck to the dafter in her new enterprise, I am sure she will get less dafter with every day of her new education!!!

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