Posted by: christinelaennec | August 5, 2013

We’ve made the land!

Hello from Glasgow!  I’m using Linda’s family’s expression to say that we got here safely (see occasionalscotland’s comment on the previous post for an explanation of ‘made the land’).  We have definitely had unseen helpers with us, as well as the seen kind, and things have gone very smoothly.  The one hitch so far happened when the so-called nationwide company we booked the transit van with, phoned to say that their “nearest van in our area was in Glasgow”!  They were phoning from an English city, where Scotland constitutes an “area” on their list, nevermind how geographically massive it is.  However, we were able to book another rental van in time.  Most of our things went into storage, a dear friend helped us fill the transit van to the gunnels with things needed for the month of August, we left the empty flat, and just after 2 pm on July 31st we drove out of Aberdeen and up the Stonehaven Road towards the south.

I was feeling pretty numb after a wrenching goodbye and a lot of hard work with little sleep.  But I had to focus on reassuring Tilly, who kept up a conversation with me while the Dafter watched the North Sea slip away next to her.  Michael was driving the van behind me.  We arrived at his flat by early evening.  And we all pretty much felt like this:


Tilly snoozing

We’re staying in Michael’s flat while work is done on the house.  They began this morning and have already taken all the carpets out.  So although it’s been very disorienting at times, things are going well so far.  Tilly has settled amazingly well.  It really is true that, as Jill commented, it’s their people that are most important to pets, more even than their environment.  The Dafter has simply been amazing in her patience and fortitude.  She Tilly-sat a lot while we were at the hotel, and despite feeling pretty rough with ME, and all the upheaval of not quite having what you need to hand, she’s been enjoying her first few days in Glasgow.  I’ve discovered that my laptop is on its last legs, and won’t speak to my camera, so I’m hoping that the Dafter will provide me with some photos for posts over the next few weeks.

What are my first impressions of Glasgow?

  • The air is damper than in Aberdeen – the clothes don’t dry so quickly.
  • It’s warmer here too.  You can smell roses as you walk past – unusual in Aberdeen.  Things must grow more quickly here because the hedge at Michael’s flat that we cut on a visit three weeks ago is already needing another trim, whereas the hedge in Aberdeen has hardly changed in appearance since its haircut in June.
  • People are so very friendly and outgoing!  We knew this already, but for a few days it still took me aback to have people greet me smilingly on the street.  We were served by a lovely shopgirl who was very chatty and wanted to know what had brought us to Glasgow; ten minutes later the man at the cafe clearing the tables asked us the same thing, and wished us all the best when we said we’d just moved here.  The Dafter remarked, “I feel like I’m grumpy compared to people here!”  And it’s true that a lot of people (not everyone, obviously) seem openly cheerful.
  • We were warmly welcomed by one of our next-door neighbours when we went by the house.  She had us inside and sitting on her sofa, sharing all sorts of information about bins and milkmen and GPs, within five minutes.  The Dafter was delighted to hear that her grandchildren come most weekends, and we reassured her that hearing them play in the next garden will be no bother at all.
  • Driving here is a bit mad.  It can’t really be the case, but it seems as if there are no clear markings on the roads, no street signs, and quite unbelievable traffic arrangements.  I’m sure we will soon get used to it.
  • It’s a very big city!
  • There’s a lot going on here.  The community centre has a list as long as your arm of groups and activities and classes.  When we went by, the cafe was jam-packed full of people chatting, with more people sitting at tables outside.
  • Being a big city, it’s much more vibrant than Aberdeen.  What do I mean by that?  Lots of different kinds of people and cultures, musicians on the street, people happily chatting outdoors at cafes and bars – just a buzz about the place.
  • Glaswegians sure do like to dress up at night!  Michael and I went for an evening walk on Saturday and passed some amazing get-ups.
  • The weather is more changeable, and there isn’t that same biting wind as in Aberdeen.  Going to church on Sunday, I wasn’t sure quite what to take – just cardigan? jacket? umbrella?  It was kind of warm and damp.  I opted for all three just in case.
  • The Dafter has a hard time understanding the Glaswegian accent sometimes.  I’ve watched enough episodes of Still Game that so far I can follow pretty well.

Today we had a lovely time visiting J and her family, whom you might remember used to live in the flat downstairs in Aberdeen.  It was great to see J and we discovered that although we’ve both had some wobbly moments during our moves, we’re both really looking forward to getting to know Glasgow.

So that’s the report for now.  I hope to have a chance to so some blog-reading soon, and I hope to be able to post some more in the next few weeks.  Thanks again for all your lovely wishes!  They have certainly kept the wind in our sails (to round off the metaphor).



  1. What a wonderful post, Christine! It all sounds like things are going quite well. It’s a good thing that Michael had the flat so that you have a place to stay while your house is being renovated. I will look forward to seeing pics of it when you have time and a working laptop. I just know that the dafter is going to do so well there! The community center sounds great…maybe there would be some art classes? She might enjoy that when she has had to rest up from the journey and move. Sounds like Tilly has been a trooper as well!

    Blessings to all you,

  2. Great to hear the move to Glasgow went well and you will soon be settled in your new home, you seem to be discovering the new city where you will make lots of new friends

    Good luck


  3. Great to hear that you’ve arrived safely. It must be a huge amount of work, of which only a fraction is now done. I wonder how long it will be till you’re able to sit back and declare that you’re now pretty much settled in a new home….maybe by Christmas?

  4. Ahhh, this post makes me miss Glasgow so much! I passed through briefly last week and was very quickly reminded of what a lively, beautiful city it can be.

    So glad to hear that you all made it there safely and that your “first impressions” seem to be largely positive. Continued prayers as you further settle in xo

  5. So glad it’s all going so well. We have also found Glaswegians to be friendly people too, looks like you will fit in well. xxx

  6. I can sense the excitement! So much promise of better things to come for you and your family 🙂

  7. I’ve only ever been to Glasgow once, but I’ve known many Glaswegians. They’ve all been friendly, outgoing souls, extremely proud of their city. So glad to hear that you’re settling nicely, and I look forward to reading further reports, as and when.

  8. This is an exciting post and I’m looking forward to reading more of your impressions of Glasgow. Your point about the friendliness is something I always associate with Glasgow, and indeed other bits of the west side of the country. I think the climate is generally warmer and wetter than the east coast, due to the Gulf Stream, but perhaps not quite as sunny as Aberdeen? You’re in easy distance of so many wonderful places, as well as the city itself, but I imagine you’ll want to get settled in first before you go off exploring. I expect you will miss things about Aberdeen, particuarly the friends you left there, but I’m sure there are lots of good things waiting for you in Glasgow and Aberdeen’s not too far away for the a visit. Here’s to a happy life in your new city!

  9. So glad to hear you are safely in Glasgow!!! I hope that your adjustment time will go well and that people will continue to be friendly. My husband returned home early from his studies to finish up here at home! Two weeks from today we leave so it will be nice to have him around so I can get things done.

  10. I think you are off to a good start, Christine. I have never been to Glasgow, but enjoy visiting through your writing. Happy house-warming! ❤

  11. Great to hear the move to Glasgow went well, Christine. Enjoy your new home and I hope you’ll be able to visit many lovely places soon. 🙂

  12. I’m so glad it’s going well, hope the house improvements go quickly so you can all settle in properly and that you settle into your new church quickly. Do they have anything for young people for the Dafter? Or a youth minister who could visit her?

  13. I love the report on Glasgow. All the best with living there and I hope you enjoy it! I’ll look forward to hearing more of your impressions of the city.

  14. Glad you are safely there. Welcome to the tropical south! Does the community centre have classes in Glaswegian? Given your family interest in Gaelic, you might like to start with the ancient Celtic verb, ‘erra’, as conjugated by Stanley Baxter:

    No Ris Bus
    Anura Bus
    Oh – Eerra Bus

  15. So glad you are settling in and Tilly, too! I look forward to exploring Glasgow with you through your excellent observations and writing! So far it sounds like a happy place to be. Isn’t it funny how every city has it’s term for the populace? I never expected ‘Glaswegians!’ Well, that is what you are now and it must feel so good to finally ‘make the land’. I just love all the sayings in Scotland. Your descriptions make me feel like I am right there, feeling the warm, damp breeze and smelling the roses. Happy that the Dafter has come through all this in good spirits, too! Hugs, xo

  16. So pleased with your good report, Christine, and so excited for you all as you settle in your new home! I hope you are able to follow Tilly’s good example and get the rest you need 🙂 in the midst of your new adventures. This Friday is the first Boring and Dull Day celebration here, and I hope to attend some of the festivities and post about them. My sister and I are planning to drive to West Point, Nebraska, launching on Sunday, the 11th returning on August 29; so I am busy studying maps, and making a “to do” list 🙂
    Blessings to you and yours,
    Gracie xx

  17. Land ho! As we’re unpacking from our month-long travels, everything seems topsy-turvy around here. I’m praying that I can be patient with myself and others as we get things settled again. I’ll pray the same prayer for you.

  18. so thrilled to bits for you, Christine. glad you and the family are settling in well and many blessings to you in your new city. I’m looking forward to returning and meeting up with you in Glasgow. I’m sure we will have lots to talk about. If you get a chance to get to the Cathedral, it’s absolutely fantastic.

  19. It’s good to hear you are settling well. I am Glaswegian, though you would hardly know it now, and my Aberdonian children (particularly JuliE & Orla) are always amazed in Glasgow because ‘everybody talks to you in shops’! The first time they were old enough to notice a difference, they asked me why I kept talking to strangers… 🙂 I hope you continue to meet lots of friendly strangers!

  20. It’s lovely to hear your good news about Glasgow. We have been enjoying an idyllic week here in Stonehave-the light is wonderful but the wind is biting even in the sunshine. Hope to meet you soon if you would like that.

  21. SO happy for you!! I really wanted to thank you so much for being a faithful bloggy friend. You come to my blog, read what I share and leave a kind comment. All when I have been almost nonexistent for over a month. Thank you, thank you. It means so much to me.

  22. I’ve just returned from a trip to Scotland. I found the people very friendly, especially on the Isle of Skye. The country is lovely….I will return next year.

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