Posted by: christinelaennec | August 16, 2016

Great news!

I am absolutely delighted to tell all you lovely readers who have followed the Dafter’s journey over the past five years that…

Caspian in the Dafter's hood.  August 2016.

Caspian in the Dafter’s hood. August 2016.

… she passed both her Highers and even got an A in Higher Art!

Lilies in the back garden.  Glasgow, mid-August 2016.

Lilies in the back garden. Glasgow, mid-August 2016.

Our happiness has been very deep, let me tell you.  People say, “You must be so proud.”  Yes I am – but even if she had not passed the courses, I would have been just as proud because I know that she gave her all, every step of the way.  It’s a relief, though, that her hard work has been recognised.  And to think she had never been well enough to sit a full exam until May!  I am deeply grateful to her school for giving her such excellent support.

Tilly monitors the end of the garden.  August, 2016.

Tilly monitors the end of the garden. August, 2016.  Sometimes there are strange cats beyond the back fence….

We’ve had a cool and quite wet summer with temperatures mostly in the 50s and 60s F / single digits C.  But the garden seems very happy, and there are bees and also a few butterflies.

Three bees on the sedum.  August, 2016.

Three bees on the sedum. August, 2016.

Today we’ve had a warm summer’s day, in the 70s F / 20s C.  That is very nice.  Of course, the schools have all just gone back!  The Dafter was saying how every year the P1s, who are just starting school at age 4 or 5, seem even wee-er than the year before.  (Is wee-er a word, or did we just make that up? A question for my Scottish readers.)

We managed to have another holiday on the Isle of Harris, which I will share with you once I get my many photos sorted.  We had old friends staying with us at the cottage, and it was great to catch up.  There was lots of happy laughter from the girls’ room!  We had mostly pretty good weather, and the Dafter was able to walk a bit each day, which was excellent because she has struggled over the summer.

Back from the islands:  sweet peas waiting to be picked, shells from Harris, a new mug with the Gaelic tree alphabet.  August 2016.

Back from the islands: sweet peas waiting to be picked, shells from Harris, a new mug with the Gaelic tree alphabet. August 2016.

The only thing that has been less than wonderful for me is that on my marvellous outing to Arran I was in fact very badly bitten by midges on my scalp and neck where they got caught in my hair and munched themselves to death.  I didn’t realise I’d been bitten at all for three full days!  The midges on Arran must have special Slow Release venom.  Over the past few weeks I have suffered severe pain (neuralgia of the trigeminal nerve), and also numbness.  I wasn’t the best company on holiday insofar as several times a day, as the painkillers wore off, I could hardly move my head and practically had tears streaming down my face.  However, it is finally clearing up, to my intense relief.

This coming year the Dafter is going to be doing Higher Gaelic.  I hope that she will manage it – we’ll have to see.  She’s looking forwards to getting back to Gaelic, which she did in primary school.

The nights are beginning to draw in, meaning that some nights we need to put the lights on as early as 9 pm.  I always find that it’s in mid-August that the turn of the year begins to pick up momentum.  It’s a time of transition in many ways.  I’m looking forwards to helping the Dafter with her new course and routine, to choirs all resuming, and of course to more knitting!  I have lots to show you on that front.

I hope this all finds you well, and thank you so very much for your incredible encouragement and support over the past five years of the Dafter’s ME/CFS.  Onwards!




  1. Oh what wonderful news, Christine 🙂 Congratulations, Dafter 🙂 So sorry to hear about your trigeminal neuralgia – I’ve read quite a bit about it and realise you must have been in agony 😦 I totally agree with you about the middle of August – when we moved from Devon to Kent we got much warmer, drier weather, but lost 3-4 weeks of summer with such an early start to autumn over here. I’ve learnt to embrace the differences though. Autumn is beautiful 🙂

  2. Congratulations to your daughter on the good test scores. And good luck in the next class. Also so sorry about your bites, hope things get better soon. Always good to hear of your outings, and love seeing Tilly guarding the garden. I have a guard cat who sits on my bed watching for intruders. Silly animals.

  3. Wow! Very very happy for the Dafter!

  4. Well done the Dafter! Congrats to her supportive family too! 🙂
    How awful about your midgie attack – I’d never imagined something like that could be possible. Good that it’s gradually clearing up though.
    Good luck to the Dafter on her new endeavours!

  5. As I have said before Right On!!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  6. I am totally thrilled for you all, particularly the Dafter of course an amazing achievement. Sorry to hear about your Midge attack, hope you are feeling better soon. Hope all goes well in the next stage for the Dafter. Looking forward to hearing all about your trip to Harris.

  7. Congratulations to the Dafter! And to you both for the ongoing care and support you’ve given her. Love and prayers for you all – Barbara

  8. Congratulations to the Dafter!! Wonderful news and best wishes with the Gaelic. 🙂 Sorry to hear about your midge attack and hope you are better soon. I love your Isle of Harris posts and am looking forward to the latest adventure. 🙂 Your August garden is so pretty now, and that’s a lovely mug. I have a weakness for mugs.:-)
    Enjoy your week! Anne♥

  9. Hearty congratulations to the Dafter! And if wee-er wasn’t a word, it is now.

  10. I’m delighted about the Dafter’s Highers – and especially about the A in Art. Having children who got A in HIgher Art I know how much work and commitment that demands. Congratulations to all of you!
    And I’m so sorry about the midges, I’m lucky they don’t like me, but they do like my husband and one of our daughters,

  11. Woohoo! So exciting. Such great news about your dear daughter. Just made me smile when I read your news. I’m sorry to hear about your bites and I hope you feel much better soon. I love the colors of your shells. Happy new season to you!

  12. Many congrats to you both.x.

  13. What fabulous news! So pleased for you all. Well done the Dafter!…..and sorry about the midges. I think they have been quite bad this year.

  14. Cheers for Dafter and all of you! I am definitely celebrating with you! So sorry for the brutal midge attack you endured, Christine, and I am glad to hear you are feeling better. It will be fun to see travel photos. I was camping at Cape Lookout during the last of July and I am just now catching up with your news. Your Glasgow bus tour sounded interesting. We went through the Tillamook Pioneer Museum again and enjoyed the many wonderful displays. My grand girls were able to make fossil rubbings which they thought was fun. Your garden is fabulous! I posted new photos of my first ever Sweet Peas, but they are not as lush as yours and I have not cut them for a bouquet. Mt Hood is visible in a haze, especially on hot days, and the forecasters are expecting us to have ### digit temps for the next three days, but at least the state has been spared fewer wildfires this year. Your Oregon sweater is coming along so well and I am pleased you are able to organize music for choir and enjoy singing as well. Please give your little furry housemates love pats from me 🙂 xx

  15. So, so very excited and pleased for you with these exam results! And you are so right, whatever the actual grade, it is the hard work and perseverance and persistence that is even bigger than the grade. Please pass on my congratulations to the Dafter!!!

    Wow that sounds like such an awful midgie bite experience — I didn’t realize that kind of thing happened with them. I’m glad you are improving but sorry for all that pain and discomfort! Can’t wait to hear/see more about your holiday!!

    Yes, I feel the nights drawing in to. Seems like suddenly we are headed toward autumn. We finally had a break in the solid 90 degree weather we have had since the beginning of June and that makes it seem all the more like near-fall. Thanks for the updates and will be in touch soon!!!

  16. Félicitations à votre fille et à vous également : quelle belle victoire pour elle et toute votre famille ! J’avoue ne pas bien comprendre le système scolaire écossais, qui a l’air bien différent du système scolaire français. Ici les adolescents restent au lycée jusqu’à l’âge de 17/18 ans et passent à la fin le “baccalauréat”, qui est un examen avec des épreuves de français, langues étrangères, mathématiques etc. Il y a plusieurs variantes suivant les filières choisies, mais c’est un diplôme très général. Ensuite on entre (éventuellement) à l’université.
    Votre aventures dans l’ile d’Aran a dû être bien pénible. Je suis heureuse de savoir que vous allez mieux à présent ! Ici l’été a été parfait après un mauvais début et nous profitons de l’extérieur autant que nous pouvons ! Mais je prends aussi le temps de tricoter pour mon premier petit-fils (et petit-enfant !), né au début du mois de juin.

  17. Hearty congratulations to the Dafter – what great news!

  18. Well done Dafter! So happy for you! Congratulations to you all! So sorry to hear about your ordeal with the midges, Christine. I hope you’re feeling better.❤️

  19. Lovely catch up!

    Congratulations to The Dafter!!

    And glad you are feeling better 🙂 xx

  20. Fantastic news Christine – absolutely the best! Please pass on our congratulations to The Dafter. I hope the afterglow continues and has positive effects. As a native Scot raised in dialect I can confirm that wee-er is indeed a word!
    Wow you must have been tasty for the midges. What a horrible reaction. My husband is also very attractive to midges – he starts flapping around when I’m completely untouched.

  21. I am so delighted for you all! Happy hugs from Colorado!!!!

  22. Very heartening news about the Dafter’s exam results. It must be a great encouragement to her. A child in our extended family has PANDAS which has similar ups and downs to ME/CFS–each victory won is a real triumph.
    Trigeminal neuralgia is a fierce misery–I hope it is soon completely vanquished, never to be repeated.

  23. Very many congratulations to the Dafter, to the school and to you for your unrelenting support. An excellent result and I’m not too surprised she got an A in Higher Art, going by the occasional examples you’ve shown us of her work. As others have already confirmed, wee-er is certainly a word, and a jolly good one, too.

  24. Hooray! What a smart cookie the Dafter is! I bet her scores gave her a big lift!
    I’m so sorry that the midges bit you. Yikes.

  25. Thank you all so very much for your lovely comments sharing our happiness. I’m pleased to say that I’m mostly now pain-free, although I have to be careful how I touch my left ear. “Fierce misery” is just right but thank goodness it is nearly all gone. Lots of people have said the midges have been worse this year than ever before. And I’m so pleased that ‘wee-er’ is indeed a word! The Dafter has just begun her college course, and I have been rather overwhelmed with things to do so I haven’t had the luxury of time to do blogging. However, hopefully that will happen soon! Thanks again for your kindness to all our family.

  26. A hearty congratulations to the Dafter! I’m excited for her taking Gaelic this year – I wish I could take it with her!

    Sorry about those nasty creatures feasting on you, Christine. I hope you are doing much better.

    Summer is over here and school in full swing again….now on to fall. I love it because we finally feel a bit of relief from our summer highs in the low 100’s and high 90’s, but then I dread it for the melancholia – another year gone.

    Hope to see you again soon! ❤

    • Thank you so much Stacy. I know, it is a great privilege to be able to learn Gaelic. Not something one can do just anywhere. I hope fall will bring you much sweetness as well. Nature’s reminder that we all need to slow down and rest before swinging back into action!

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