Posted by: christinelaennec | January 6, 2013

Big changes ahead!

Dearest Readers and Blog-friends,

First of all, happy Epiphany!  I like the part in the story where the Three Wise Men go home “by a different route,” having been warned in a dream not to go back to King Herod.  Secondly, we have some exciting family news.

Taking a new road!

Taking a new road

We’re going to be moving to Glasgow!

Although 2012 was a really tough year, mostly due to the Dafter’s illness, it was also the year that a new employer came knocking at the door for Michael.  He has accepted a new post and we will be moving to the Dear Green Place as soon as we can manage to do so.

Initially, when we discussed this with the Dafter, she was hoping to be back to school and rebuilding her life in Aberdeen.  We were willing to try a weekly commute (Glasgow is about three hours from Aberdeen).  Sadly, the Dafter is not much better and is still very far from being able to do schoolwork even at home.  Given how stripped bare her life has become here, she’s very keen to start afresh in a new environment.  It’s wonderful that the three of us are working together towards this new goal.  I think one of our strengths is our closeness as a family, and we’re all very happy that we can stay together.  We’ll also be closer to Our Son in Edinburgh.

Regular readers may remember that I was planning to take a leave of absence from my job at the start of this year.  As it turned out, I left for good just before Christmas.  (I received a fabulous leaving present – a voucher for knitting wool and supplies!)  I was wondering how I would feel about it now.  Someone was recently very concerned that I would suffer from lack of intellectual stimulation “just” looking after the Dafter.  The truth is, I’m very relieved not to have the strain of being away two or three days a week, with the Dafter so unwell.  I was finding the stress of the situation so great that I was really struggling to concentrate at work.  My professional identity has always been important to me, but set against the well-being of my family, its importance has faded very significantly.  So, to my own surprise, I’m now a full-time carer and homemaker, and glad to be so.  These considerations were on my mind when I wrote my post on Obedience – little knowing how my theory would be put to the test!

We’re busying ourselves with preparing our flat to go on the market, we hope by the end of February.  There’s lots to do in the way of fixing things and decorating – as usual, we’re thinking, “Why didn’t we do this ages ago so we could enjoy it?”  Such is life.  And there’s a LOT to do in the way of sorting and sifting possessions.  The fact that I’ve become the holder of the family archive in recent years is a pleasure and also a responsibility.  The strange thing is, I’ve had such a feeling of peace about the whole move.  I’m not so naive as to assume there won’t be days I’m tearing my hair out.  But it seems right.

I’m hoping to be able to keep blogging in my usual haphazard way.  (No, I won’t be taking Before and After photos of the sorting process!)   From a blogging perspective, I was very relieved that we didn’t end up moving to England – I can still keep Writing from Scotland.  In the next few months, I’m going to be sure to arrange time to myself and to meet friends, and I’ll make sure I get out of the house for a walk every day that I can.  Both Michael and the Dafter are completely supportive in helping me to have fun and a bit of a life of my own.

When Michael accepted the job that took us from Illinois to Aberdeen in 1992 (the fulfilment of years of planning), I had a card by Mary Engelbreit with this illustration:

Mary Engelbreit bookmark

Mary Engelbreit bookmark

I’m not sure where the card has gone, but I have a bookmark with the same illustration.  Moving to Glasgow isn’t nearly the leap that leaving the US for Scotland was, but the message is still relevant.

Michael, the Dafter and I are very much looking ahead to a fresh start and new adventures.  I hope you’ll find sharing them with me interesting, whatever they turn out to be!



  1. Its exciting int it!

  2. Wonderful news Christine, I wish you well with all your preparations. Moving house is always a huge task, but doing it when you feel so positive about the move is very exciting. Glasgow, here you come!

  3. Brand new adventures ahead, how wonderful! 🙂 So glad we can share your adventures with you. xx (and ooooh, about the yarny gift vouchers!) 🙂

  4. wow..our (Glasgow) gain is indeed Aberdeens loss…. hope you enjoy the city and settle quickly, and the lead up to the Commonwealth such a great and exciting time to be here.

  5. Good luck on selling the flat and getting ready for the move. Glasgow sounds like a neat city to live in.

  6. I could be really flippant and say “You’ll never get to Glasgow that way!” but I won’t 😉
    It is really exciting and I have to say I am rather jealous (not least of your knitting voucher!)
    Good luck to all of you – and keep blogging!

    • I just-re-read what I wrote and it makes no sense – I mean that the road in the photograph doesn’t go to Glasgow.

  7. Dear Christine, I hope you all will have a wonderful new start in Glasgow, you know I love that city and I’m sure you did a good thing to leave your job, to look after the Dafter….All the best…

  8. Good Luck with your new venture, very exciting and refreshing for you all xxxx

  9. Looking forward to your being nearer to Edinburgh, even tho these 40 miles feel like the Continental Divide sometimes. I shall miss your photos of Aberdeen, but will look forward to discovering Glasgow with you.

  10. so excited for you, my friend. i hope your place in Aberdeen sells well and quickly and that you will find just the right place to move to in Glasgow. Funny thing about the “don’t look back”; I just read somewhere … can’t remember where … about not dwelling on the past. Here’s to hope and an exciting future. Wishing you all the very best!

  11. I wish you well Christine – I so understand where you are coming from. You know, I find even more “Intellectual stimulation” at home than ever I had when I was at work (ex teacher & uni lecturer).
    Life is good.
    God is good.
    Enjoy your move.

  12. Thank you all so very much for sharing my excitement and for your good wishes! One thing I love about the blogging is sharing my life with other people, and vice-versa. It makes getting through the hard bits so much easier.

    Auchenshugglegranny – what a fabulous name! Thank you for your kind words. We’re not huge sports fans, but are nonetheless curious to see what the Games will be like and what buzz there will be in the city.

    Roobeedoo – but I thought all roads led, eventually, to the Central Belt? 😉

    Erna – I feel 100% positive about leaving work to look after the Dafter, but there are people who feel it’s the wrong thing to do, and so it’s very nice of you to agree with me!

    Linda – I hear that the 40 miles between Glasgow and Edinburgh represent a cultural gulf. But as I’m already and always a ‘ferriner’ I will be happy to leap over the gulf!

    Lynn – Although I’ve always worked, albeit part-time for the past 16 years while raising children, I’ve also always questioned the stereotype that women who don’t work outside the home are somehow stunted in various ways. I’m glad to hear you’ve found “intellectual stimulation” being at home. Life is what you make of it, and as you say life is good.

    I’m planning to save the yarn voucher for when we’ve relocated, but I will definitely let you all in on what I get! Thanks so much again for all the well-wishes.

  13. Great news! Nearer Edinburgh, nearer Fife, maybe we’ll get to meet one day! I suspect a fresh start may be very good for the Dafter.

  14. You will never regret staying home with the Dafter, and it sounds like you are all ready for a change. Think of all the new possibilities that await you. Wish you the very best.

  15. Dear Christine, I am so happy for you and your family that you are looking forward to new adventures and a fresh new start for the Dafter. You will be very busy in the days to come with preparations and traveling back and forth and I do hope you take time for yourself to rest. Now that you are a carer, this is so important. You are taking on this monumental task of moving, and with such a positive attitude, but it is very easy to get overwhelmed. I am looking forward to seeing Glasgow through your eyes and keeping up with this exciting chapter in your life. There is always time to go back to your intellectual pursuits and career in the future, but you can very easily get ‘burned out’ with caregiving if you have no relief, so keep aware of the signs so you can take steps to ward it off. I am so happy for you and your family and look forward to hearing about and seeing your new journey. Love and Hugs xx

  16. It’s a blessing to care for our children so glad you feel that too.. Yes, keep blogging — I am one of your blogger fans and totally interested in your life.. so keep finding the time to blog.. All the best in the upcoming move – be safe too!!!

  17. Exciting! I just dragged out my Great Britain Road Atlas to understand from where to where you are moving…from Eastern to Western Scotland and a bit further from the ocean. As a veteran of many moves I appreciate the challenges before you and will be cheering you on from my side of the pond, Christine 🙂 xx from Gracie

  18. Good news indeed. So pleased that things are working out for you. I’m sure the move to Glasgow will be a good one, and a great new start for the three of you. I’m sure your decision to stay at home with your daughter was the right one. I hope all goes well for you all

  19. Hope the packing up goes as well as it can and that you can enjoy your fresh start. Praying that you find a good new church in Glasgow and a community to be part of, for the Dafter as well as you. From all I’ve heard The Yarn Cake (yarn shop/cafe) is very good and has lively knitting nights.

  20. Hi, i’ve just found your blog tonight for the first time, I’ve no idea how I came across you but I’m glad I did. I’ve read a few of your posts and I’ve enjoyed them all. I’m sorry to hear about dafters illness but I do know of one person who was at school with my son who is 28 and she got ME when she was 14. Once she became housebound I didn’t see her mum so much and as we were only aquaintances I didn’t hear for a long while how things were, however I met her mum again a few years later and found out her daughter had been ill for 5 years but as she improved she began to get tutoring and has in fact now qualified as a lawyer, in fact her mum said she thought she probably did better with the one to one teaching than she might have had she been well and at school. Every cloud and that silver lining as they say! I live in Glasgow and have done all my life so if I can be of any help for information etc for your move please feel free to contact me. I wish you and your family a happy new year and a stress-free move (if thats even possible!) x

  21. A fresh start for you all, Christine. How exciting. I sense that there will be much to blog about in the coming months. All good wishes.

  22. Glasgow smiles better & Glasgow’s miles better –
    have fun

  23. Congratulations on your news – what an exciting start to the new year for you all! Even though I’ve only been here a few months, I must say Glasgow is a great city to find yourself in. Good luck with the move!

  24. Congratulations on your positive outlook all the very best in Glasgow I am sure you will find a fresh start is great for every one especially your daughter

    Susan x

  25. Dearest Christine,
    A very happy and healthy new year and hopefully wishes come true for you and your loved ones.
    Change is good and hopefully it will open new doors with fresh vistas for you all.
    You are closer to me than ever…maybe we will see each other again before too long.
    Much love, Heike xx

  26. I love Mary Engelbriet, and that illustration is one of my favorites. “What if” never brings e much in the way of peace or joy. Blessings on your move. May you find an extra measure of organizational creativity and stamina. I’m going to look at a map of Scotland to see where you’ll be.

  27. Happy New Year Christine! And best of luck on your move and the beginning a new life in a new place. May Glasgow be a good home for you and your family.

  28. Happy belated Kings Day to you, too, Christine. What wonderful news for your family – to be starting anew and to be closer to your son. I too, recently gave up my job and am now at home full time (though my Jillian is a college student) in order to pursue writing. At time I wonder “what if,” but when I do this, I’m going to remember your card. This is my life (at least for now), and the other path is no longer an option.

    I wish you all the best in the coming year, Christine! ❤

  29. Wow, an avalanche of well-wishes, thank you so much! I should do a post with a map in it… I’ll think about that.

    Katherine – I’d love to meet up someday! And I think the fresh start will be good for her, too.

    Wendy – thank you so much for the vote of confidence.

    Karen – you are a dear to be concerned about me. I know that you speak from experience, and I know you’re right. I think what you say about watching out for the signs of fatigue is the hard thing. Thanks for sharing our sense of adventure!

    Kristeen – you’re so right that it’s a blessing to care for our children. It’s a blessing to have them at all! Thanks for the encouragement to keep blogging too.

    Gracie – I’m impressed you got the atlas out, and thanks for your cheers!

    Ann – thank you so much for your good wishes. If anyone knows about a fresh start, it’s you! I hope your own daughter keeps making a good recovery.

    Stephanie – I’m sure we will find a new church family, with time. Being able to stay in the Church of Scotland is one reason I was glad we didn’t move to England. And yes, the Yarn Cake! Roobeedoo and I went to their “Glasgow School of Yarn” for a day in October 2011, and it was great.

    Marksgran – hello! I’m glad you found me too! Thank you very much for that cheering story of a recovery from ME, and also for the offer of help. It’s very kind of you. I don’t think any move is stress-free, but it will be worth the stress, in the end.

    Martin – thank you very much! You know me, nothing much stops me blogging for too very long…

    Jean – as you know so very well! Maybe we can see you there?

    CMorrell – I’ll be reading your blog with a different perspective now. You’re the forerunner! Yes, many people use the word “vibrant” when talking about Glasgow. People are certainly friendly there, from my visits.

    Susan – thanks so much. We’re all really looking forward to the adventure.

    Heike – I was thinking just that, we will be closer to quite a few things, including where you are!

    Kelly – thank you so much. I will definitely need to do a post on the geography involved!

    Luciana – thank you. You know about making a new home in a very different environment from the one you’re used to I think!

    Stacy – as Kelly says, “what if” is never of much comfort. I like to think of the Buddhist proverb, “If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep walking.” Best of luck with the writing!

  30. Yes, an avalanche of responses indeed! I’ll add my voice to the chorus of well-wishers 🙂

    Without knowing much about the relative merits of Glasgow & Aberdeen, I do think that living together in one city without a long commute will have advantages that outweigh most negatives. I’ve always had the perception of Glasgow as a working class, rough city, although I don’t know where this comes from, and I’m sure it is in fact a large and diverse city, with both the rough & the smooth, so to speak!
    I am pleased to say that my paternal grandmother came from Glasgow, so I am very much looking forward to learning more about it. (hmmm…this calls for a bit of family history research to find out where abouts in Glasgow she lived – I’ll get back to you!!)

    • Actually, I do know something about Glasgow….just recently I was listening to a podcast of the BBC Scotland’s Book Café and they talked about the Glasgow Women’s Library. It sounded great!

      • Dear oldblack, your perception of Glasgow as working-class certainly was the case when the ship-building industry flourished. Even today, I’d say Edinburgh seems more genteel than Glasgow, although obviously there are well-off and deprived areas in both cities. And you’re right, too, that Glasgow is a large city – I believe it’s the third largest in the UK after London and Birmingham. It’s at least three times the size of Aberdeen, population-wise.

        And yes, the Women’s Library! I’ve been wanting to go there for years, so I hope I get the chance very soon.

        Also, if you do find out where your grandmother came from, I’d be interested to know!

  31. Oh how exciting! Although I’m sure Aberdeen to Glasgow will be a bit of a change. In my mind I picture it as much more urban, moving to Glasgow. However, you will be closer to different countryside to explore (as time and energy allow) and Edinburgh will be SO close! I hope all the plans go well and maybe the excitement will give the Dafter a little boost of energy now and then. And, maybe this means we might be able to meet in person when we come to Scotland later this year!

    • Heather, you’re so right about Glasgow being a more urban place, but closer to countryside that will be fun for us to explore when we can. I’d love to meet up if at all possible, so keep me posted.

  32. Wow! Best of luck with the move, this is very exciting!

  33. Ohh, what exciting news. Glasgow is brilliant – such a variety of cultures and beautiful places to explore! I’m sure it’ll feel like home in no time.

    All the best for the move and everything that leads up to it.

    Look forward to reading about your new adventure =]

    – Laura

    • Thank you so very much, Laura! I think it will feel like home very soon, once we actually get there. x

  34. Welcome to Glasgow-we live 10 miles south. There are so many exciting places to see for free and I hope you and your family will enjoy exploring them at a gentle pace. I would love to meet you and your daughter when you are settled-there is a fantastic yarnshop in the West End. Happy house selling and hunting for a new one.

    • Dear Catriona,
      As if further proof were needed that Glasgow people are friendly and welcoming! Thanks so much for your invitation to meet, and good wishes for house selling and hunting. Watch this space!

  35. Oh, what an exciting news! All the best for the move, and I am glad you will be closer to your son. 🙂
    Have a wonderful 2013.

  36. A new beginning is always fun and I am so happy for you and your family! I’d be happy to come help you pack! 😉

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