Posted by: christinelaennec | July 30, 2013

Cheery bye the noo, Aberdeen!

Well, the house is now a shell, and most of our things have been taken away to storage. Very soon another family will move in and will make the place their home.  I wish them every happiness.

Tomorrow we pack up a van with what we need to live in Michael’s rented flat in Glasgow for the next month while work is done on our new house.  My indulgent decision to book a hotel room for these last days has been a lifesaver.  Tilly and the Dafter have taken refuge in the hotel while Michael and I have worked on final packing and cleaning at the house.  We’ve moved house 10 times before, but this move has been the most complex we’ve ever undertaken.  And we’ve been so blessed with good wishes for our “flitting” (lovely Scottish word for a house move).  So far, so good!

Packing, June 2013.

Starting to pack, June 2013.

We have all had some tearful moments these past few days, which is to be expected.  Even Tilly has been “crying” – strangely, her eyes get a bit mucky if any of us is under extreme stress!  (Then it clears up – I took her to the vet the first time it happened, when the Dafter was being bullied.)

I will always have very fond memories of our 21 years in Aberdeen, where both our children were born (even if we didn’t meet Our Son until a few years later).  This move has brought certain things more clearly into focus for me, and made me think about what I’ve most enjoyed here.

What will I miss?  I’ll keenly miss a few dear friends, and my church.  Another South Holburn Parish Church family has just announced that they, too, are relocating.  “How do you say goodbye to these people?” my soon-to-be-away friend asked me.  I answered, “You don’t.  It’s impossible.  You just say, ‘see you later’ and know that you’ll keep in touch.”

View over Aberdeen from Kincorth - Duthie Park's bandstand in the centre, with the spires of Union Street on the horizon.  May 2013.

View over Aberdeen from Kincorth – Duthie Park’s bandstand in the centre, with the spires of Union Street on the horizon. May 2013.

I’ll really miss the language here, too.  There are people in Aberdeen from all over, but I love overhearing people converse in Doric.  I’ll miss “fit like,” “the toon,” “quine,” “loon,” and “affa fine”.  I’ll miss the long Aberdeen ‘a’ (“Ah wis fair ponnickin’!” [“I was fairly panicking”]).  I’ll miss the Student Show, which has been consistently brilliant over the years.  I’ll miss the granite, too.  Since growing up in Portland, Oregon, I’ve always loved the combination of grey and green, so Aberdeen has been the perfect place for me in that respect!

I’ll miss the unusual ads on the buses:

North-Sea-oil-related ad on the side of a double-decker bus, Aberdeen, July 2013.

North-Sea-oil-related ad on the side of a double-decker bus, Aberdeen, July 2013.

Don’t ask me to explain what that’s all about.  I have no idea!

I’ll miss walking along the River Dee, and the beach.  I’ll miss Crathes Castle Gardens being so nearby, as well as Glen Tanar and all the fun places and castles along Royal Deeside.  I’ll miss my garden.  I’ll miss the dramatic, snowy winters.  And of course I will really miss the fabric of the city – the Victorian architecture, Education Salvation and Damnation, Union Terrace Gardens and the spires on the city skyline:

Aberdeen seen from the Torry Battery, July 2013.

Aberdeen seen from the Torry Battery, July 2013.

Although my blog has covered many things that are important to me – ranging from family life to knitting, faith and cat antics – in some way over the past three years it has been a kind of Hymn to Aberdeen.  It’s not the best-written hymn ever, but my love for this city has found a great mode of expression here.  And the Scottish saying is comforting:  “Happy to meet, sorry to part, happy to meet again.”  I will come back to visit!

So now we are at the “jumping-off-point”.  That was what St. Louis, Missouri, was called in the days of Western expansion in 19th-century America.  The wagon parties gathered their supplies, engaged their guides, and “jumped off” onto the Oregon Trail.  Although we are also going West, our journey will not be nearly so far, or so hazardous, and we will not have to say goodbye forever to our friends here.  As far as my blogging goes, I will be without my trusty PC for about a month.  I think I have set everything up so that I can put photos on my laptop and keep posting – but we shall see!  Even if I can’t manage to post much, I can still visit other blogs.

Thank you all, dear readers, for your many good wishes over the past months and indeed years.  I have been incredibly buoyed up by them, and the same goes for Michael and the Dafter.  We really can’t thank you enough.

Here goes!  See you on the other side!



  1. Have a good move! I think your idea of booking into an hotel sounds an excellent one. It gives you a bit of comfort and normality while you do the final packing. Hope all goes well for you, and especially for ‘The Dafter’ that she’ll cope and not find it all too exhausting.

  2. Good luck in the new spot. Believe me I know how tough moving is, and even if you have done it before, it is hardest after a long stay in a place you enjoyed. God Bless you all at this time.

  3. I keep welling up with tears….you have such a way with words. Wishing you a smooth transition and every blessing in your new home. Big hugs to you all, xxx

  4. Lang may yir lum reek! xx

  5. like Tina, I too had tears in my eyes while reading this post. you do very much have a way with words and I have enjoyed Aberdeen through your eyes over the years. I love that Scottish saying about parting … I’d never heard it before and it reminds me of my Scottish friends, including yourself, who I have met and said goodbye too, but whom I have also seen or will see again. Next time it will be in Glasgow. By the way, I think checking into a hotel sounds like an absolutely clever idea and worth every penny, i’m sure. bon voyage and wishing you all the best for your move.

  6. I haven’t much reply the last few months, but I wish you the best of luck in the new place and keep in mind …. you can make new memories there 😉

  7. Good luck!

  8. Hope all goes well, how exciting for you all, a new place, new friends etc. xx

  9. Good luck, God bless! xxxx

  10. Good luck on your next adventure, Christine! ❤

  11. The Scottish saying resinates with me as well, Christine. In my 62 years I have moved approximately 17 times. I managed to live in Missouri for about 16 years and New York for 2 and 1/2 then later for 15 years, so you are a bit more stable than me with your 21 years in Aberdeen 🙂 As you feel the mixed feelings prompted by your move, may the Lord bless you and yours and empower you to bless all those around you.
    Gracie xx

  12. Good luck with your move!
    I hope it all goes smoothly for you and that once you are out of the flat and into your new home you feel happy and settled. Hopefully you will come to love your new home as much as you have this one 🙂
    Lottie xx

  13. Christine, wishing you a smooth flitting! Since I will be in Glasgow over the weekend it hardly seems like you’re going far, and since I see you more through your blog than anywhere else these days I expect there is actually more chance of bumping into you there than here! 🙂
    Greetings & best wishes. You will love all the opportunities to explore Glasgow the way you have explored Aberdeen, and no doubt you will soon be educating me about my home city! x x Fiona (& ‘Gaelic’ family)

  14. Parting is such sweet sorrow! You have such lovely memories of your beautiful Aberdeen and thank you for sharing so many of them in your lovely way. I wish you many more happy memories in your new home and many happy new adventures to come! xo

  15. You have spoken so eloquently about your life in Aberdeen. As I spent three years living there, as a student, and my daughter now lives there, it means a lot to me. I wish you a smooth flitting, and look forward to hearing all about Glasgow and your new home in due course.

  16. What a lovely homage to Aberdeen. I’d forgotten about the ads on buses, that made me smile. I remember when I first moved to Aberdeen hearing a couple sitting on the bus in front of me chatting about the oil industry and I was really excited. I had just moved up from Edinburgh and wanted to tap them on the shoulder and say ‘I work in the oil industry too!’. At the time I didn’t know anyone else who did that type of work but I quickly learned that there was nothing special about it in Aberdeen. I’m sure Glasgow has lots of wonderful things waiting for you, things you would never anticipate just as Aberdeen has held surprises, and I wish you all the very best for the big move. Your last words make it all seem very exciting – which it is!

  17. Wishing you all the best in your new home. I have enjoyed reading all your stories and hope you let us know how you get on in glasgow. Xx

  18. I hope all goes well with the move! Always so bittersweet to leave one place and move to another. I have so enjoyed all your posts about Aberdeen. Im glad you will be close enough to make a little trip north when you want. I hope we can be in touch via email and then see you in person! Three weeks and we will be there!

  19. I am so excited for you and your family, Christine! Moving is a bit like a “blank slate” with the challenge and joy of new beginnings. I know it’s sad leaving behind certain ones but you will enjoy staying in touch with them…and making new friends. I’m happy for you!


  20. From your beloved Deeside where we’re spending a few days, every good wish for a smooth flitting. No doubt we will hear from you once you’ve ‘made the land’ in Glasgow. My trawler-fisher grandfather used to write a postcard and then latterly find a phone box to tell my grandmother that he had arrived safely in port – ‘made the land’. It’s an expression that has come down through the family, into this era of air travel. You have a vibrant, cultured, droll, richly varied city to discover as your new port. Like other commenters who also hold Aberdeen dear in their hearts, I also shed a tear for the Granite City. And I can give you a final Range Rover report from our latest passage through Aberdeen – 16!!!! Affa fine indeed.

  21. You’ll miss the dramatic snowy winters – are you relocating to sunny Spain? The South of France? Won’t there be winters in the part of Scotland you’re going to?

    Good luck with your move.

  22. I’ve loved reading about your favorite Aberdeen walks and sights and look forward to your impressions of Glasgow! I wish you a trouble-free move! (Or flitting, I should say!)

  23. Welcome to Glasgow. I hope you come to love it too. I wish you and your family well and hope everything goes to plan for you. Best Wishes. x

  24. Travelling mercies, Christine. I’m sure you’ll be writing love letters to Glasgow in no time at all and I very much look forward to reading them!

  25. Something tells me that Aberdeen will miss you too Christine. Bon Voyage to each of you from the three of us.

  26. Dear all,
    Thank you so very much for these lovely well-wishes!

  27. […] Twice in the past couple of weeks, I have heard the word used in blogs that I follow.   Occurrences like that tend to tickle my interest so I was intrigued and began looking out all my dictionaries and checking online.  The two blogs that mention the word are Kate Davies Design and Writing from Scotland. […]

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