Posted by: christinelaennec | January 12, 2013

My map of Scotland

Well it’s been a busy week, but it hasn’t been all cleaning and sorting!  A couple of people, in response to my “Changes Ahead” post, very sweetly commented that they’d dug out an atlas to look and see where exactly we’re going to be moving from and to.  This got me to thinking, and then to drawing, and I ended up making a map of Scotland, such as it exists in my head.

It does indicate where Aberdeen and Glasgow are!  It’s 2 3/4 hours by train between the two cities.  As you can see we will be going from the East Coast to the West Coast, from near the Highlands (mountains) to the Lowlands.  Aberdeen’s population is about 220,000, whereas Glasgow’s population is about 600,000 – many more if you count the total urban conglomeration of adjoining townships.  Glasgow is the fourth largest city in Britain, after London, Birmingham and Leeds.

Scotland in the mind of CL, Jan. 2013

Scotland in the mind of CL, Jan. 2013

I got to thinking about places I’d been to and would love to return to (in blue), and places I’ve never been to and would love to go (in green).  I also noted down month and year of blog posts I’ve written about various places.

There was a lot else I would have liked to add to this map!  I’d thought of trying to indicate what’s called the Central Belt, i.e. the area including Glasgow and Edinburgh, which is the most populated part of Scotland by far.  I did add Linda’s comment about the “40-mile cultural gulf” that divides Glasgow from Edinburgh.  You could sum this up by resorting to stereotypes:  Glasgow = working-class, Edinburgh = posh, and now the seat of the Scottish Parliament.  As usual, there’s some truth to these stereotypes, and so much more nuance that isn’t captured by a generalisation.  I will say that in my experience people don’t often make the journey between the two cities, except for work.

My map has various mistakes – for example the train route from Dundee to Edinburgh is missing, and I’ve made it look as if the train crosses the Firth of Forth via the road bridge instead of the rail bridge.  Well, as the Dafter would say, “You know what I mean!”  Now I’m off to have a rest, before more sorting.  I hope everyone’s weekend is going very well!



  1. I love your map! I especially like the little heart next to Benbecula, I might have done the same myself. You’ll soon be well placed for visiting the more southerly western isles and Dumfries and Galloway – very exciting isn’t it! 🙂

  2. Lovely map! Glasgow only about 3.5 hours from me 🙂

  3. What a fantastic map! Drawing, everything, superb.
    Nightmare trying to pack and sort? Thinking of you.

  4. It makes me roar with laughter to think that some people might need a map to know where Glasgow is… but then again, that’s where I’m from (even though, family-wise, only my little 95 year old granny and two younger cousins still live there).
    I never went to Edinburgh as a child because my Dad didn’t see the point (like most Glaswegians) so this part of your tale I can confirm. 🙂
    As for Aberdeen, I had only heard of it on television programmes, like the “out-takes” programme where they show the BBC news interview with a completely unintelligible Aberdonian fisherman, and the Beechgrove Garden, where Jim used to tell the world he was going to to “a wee jobbie in the greenhouse” – just ask anyone from Glasgow why you would NEVER want to go into the greenhouse after Jim had been in!

    I hope you ❤ Glasgow as much as you ❤ Benbecula once you get there!

  5. A masterpiece (except that you’ve missed out Speyside, but I’ll forgive you for that!). You could put in what we call the ‘blasted heath’ in between Edinburgh and Glasgow – with apologies to anyone who lives there…

  6. What a fab map! I love how much personality if has 🙂
    Ah yes… the blasted heath… where my mother lives :S

  7. I love your map, it brings back all my Scottish moments…..
    Hugs and all the best with packing

  8. I love poring over maps, and yours is especially delightful…seeing the lay of the land through your eyes : ) Thanks for posting, Christine. I look forward to learning more [and have enjoyed reading through the comments as well]

  9. Love the map!

    I notice Arran is on your want-to-visit list. I’d move it swiftly to the top once you’re as nearby as Glasgow – it’s beautiful, as are Cumbrae and so many other parts of the West coast.

    Aren’t we blessed to live in such green and pleasant lands?!xo

  10. All sounds very exciting Christine – and we would love to have you back. I grew up right in the middle of the ‘blasted Heath’ (an expression I’ve never heard before), and still have family in the area. There are many beautiful places there -I’m sure you will find them. Glasgow and Edinburgh were equidistant from us – Glasgow was for the serious shopping trips though – Christmas party dresses, Winter coats, Summer holiday clothes. Best of luck with your packing up xx

  11. This map has done so much for my (very poor!) Scottish Geography – thank you!

  12. Always loved maps and yours is simply wonderful – so personal! Like a different kind of self-portrait and diary in one.

  13. I like your map == it’s a journal in it’s own right..
    Hugs – don’t hurt your back in all your sorting..

  14. I notice you have marked Arran in green, Christine. We spent a few weeks wandering fairly aimlessly (a long story) in the 70s, and Arran was a place we fell in love with. Highlights included camping on a small beach, bluebell woods with a wonderful heronry, and the beautiful light reflecting off the sea.

  15. What a great map. Many years ago we went to Gairloch on our honeymoon and we visited Inverewe Gardens. It was so lovely there. To be honest, I hadn’t realised that it was so far north. We had spent a couple of days in Edinburgh first. Thanks for the memory jolt. :0)

  16. Good luck with the sorting. I plan to post you the book when you are settled in Glasgow. You do not need another item to deal with at this point.

  17. Loved the map! My immigrant ancestor, Rev. William McGregor, was supposedly from the Isle of Skye. Would love to get back to family history and find him! You’ve obviously seen a lot of this beautiful country!

  18. Wish I was living somewhere on that map so I could visit. But it is a lovely map and now I can see where you are – so far away. I am looking forward to hearing and seeing your photos and plans! An exciting journey for you and your loved ones! xx

  19. oh Christine, your map warms my heart. it is so personal and so fun. love the train tracks!

  20. What a marvelous map, Christine! You should frame it. I loved seeing the names of places I’ve been. And I think you are quite right about the divide between Glasgow and Edinburgh. I’ve been to the latter twice but never to Glasgow. With your moving there, perhaps I’ll have a reason to visit, eh? 🙂

  21. Dear all,
    I’m so glad you liked my map! I had fun making it.

    Lorna – I had wanted to try to indicate the tearooms of Perthshire and Angus, but simply didn’t have the space. But they are in the more detailed mental map in my head! Yes, the Inner Hebrides and Dumfries and Galloway beckon, for when we get a chance.

    Heike – how exciting! I will definitely be in touch about that when it looks like I might be able to get away. 2014?

    Jill – really the sorting isn’t a nightmare because we simply can’t rush ourselves due to the Dafter’s great needs. So we are just going along and doing what we can. It’s more enjoyable that way, as well. A nice feeling once it’s done!

    Fiona – I remember Seumas Grant asking a Glaswegian if she had a “wee jobbie” and the reaction from the class was guffaws. I’m sure I will really enjoy Glasgow.

    Linda – I didn’t know about the “blasted heath”. I have, on the other hand, been to Speyside but not a lot. I left out quite a bit – including MacDuff, which I blogged about (I realised later) in May 2010. Oh well!

    Roobeedoo – just as well your mum doesn’t read this blog…

    Erna – I think you could make your own map, you know and love Scotland so much! Thanks for the good wishes.

    Gracie – high praise from someone who actually did fish out the atlas!

    Laura and Martin – Arran is pretty high up on the list. Yes, we are extremely blessed to live in such a beautiful country.

    Jacqui – thank you! I remember reading on your blog about how you ended up selling your house in the Central Belt to someone who had longed to live in it for years and years.

    Carla and Asplund – thanks!

    Kristeen – thanks, I am careful of my back. x

    noddingviolets – I had the rather disorienting experience of thinking I was back in San Francisco when I went to Inverewe gardens, because of the strong smell from the eucalyptus trees. I think it sustained quite a bit of damage in a storm a few years back and lost some of the big trees, but I’d love to return.

    Marjorie – you are very kind. x

    Dianne – oh you should definitely find him online first, and then come to Skye to make further inquiries!

    Karen – yes, I wish we could have a cuppa together. Who knows, maybe someday?!

    ajb – well, the train tracks are a bit odd. I refrained from attempting to draw a train!

    Ellen – ha ha! I will at least keep it in a plastic folder for now, but thanks for the compliment. I’d love to see you if you make it to Glasgow!

  22. I love your map, Christine, even if it’s missing a few elements. Still places to visit – isn’t that always the case? 1 1/2 years in France and I never did make it to Giverny. *sigh* ❤

  23. I love your map!!!! Last year Rachel created a quilted map of Lord of the Rings for one of her 4-H projects. This year she decided on a quilted map of Scotland. We just sat down to start making the pattern yesterday. I think we’ll have to tweak it a bit…..but it should be a fun project.

  24. Greetings from Blackpool. Thinking of you – Anne x

    Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2013 13:59:07 +0000

  25. I think my comment was eaten.

    Cool map. From my globe, I would not have guessed Ireland was so close. I love that you’ll move from one side of the country to the other and l still be on a coast.


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