Tuesday 24 April 2012


I am lying on my bed while 5 Glaswegian men with a mostly unintelligible brogue pack my family's most precious and useful belongings and cart them down huffing and puffing down 2 flights of stairs into a 2,300 cubic feet volume moving truck.

I am lying down not to be a princess. Or because it is the only soft spot left (which it is.)  It is because I must. All my cells are crying to stop.

All the culmination coming to this day... the worry about money, the fret about a job for Mark, the decisions about moving, about selling, about nurseries, the finding of a neighbourhood, a house to rent, the culling, the good bye-ing, the minutia of moving and quotes, and millions of squillions of details... it is all coming to its ready to pop head.

It is now all happening ... the domino has been tipped and I watch as many many more fall into place and they click click click taking this life, this world and change it into the next.

I lie down because I am overwhelmed with this truth.  And my baby girl inside is heavy and I ache. And I feel unable to watch the dominoes straight on. I can see them from the corners of my eyes. And it is enough. I have been in the drivers seat or the map reading seat for most of this journey and now I want to be driven.

Wake me when we are there and you need to put the flowers in the vase, arrange the pillows and stock the fridge.

Thursday 12 April 2012

will be missed

The fact that we are moving is quickly shifting from an abstract, scary future event into a hard and present tense fact. We have movers coming to quote. We have lease papers to sign. We are selling some of our Giant American furniture that fits our Giant Glasgow flat but will be ridiculous in our tiny Cambridge terraced house.  I have change of address things to fill out for the mail redirection. We have a new nursery for Lewis all signed up. I have started good-byeing, knowing that in 2 short weeks or so, we won't (gulp) LIVE here.

It always helps me (as any of you regular readers know) to list it out. Properly annotate just the very things I am processing. It helps me move through the treacle.

So my beginnings of my endings here. I am sad about leaving Scotland. Full-Stop. It has been a most welcoming country. It likes Americans. It  is not pretentious or snobby or competitive. It has a live and let live feeling. And a sense of culture and collective spirit that is enviable. People are friendly. I have friends.  I have people. It is home. And I hope in some ways it always will be. 

In no apparent order, things I will miss:
  • Hearing random bagpipes playing
  • Kelvingrove Park- so close, so big, our big garden 2 blocks away
  • An Clatchan cafe's easy, perfect park location, caramelised onion sausage sandwiches and open toy policy, a respite for the weary parent with great cake and an outside seat to watch the playpark while you sip
  • Biblos chocolate cake, reliable lattes and owner gossip
  • The 44 bus
  • Grassroots Charlie, always ready with a fun chit chat and a welcome for a local shopper
  • Kilts
  • Seeing wedding parties walk down the street to the civil ceremonies place
  • Lupe Pintos access to all things Tex Mex and oddly necessary American things
  • Our large, tall rooms to roam all on one floor
  • Having a baby in the familiar if imperfect princess royal hospital
  • Dear pal Rhona, real talk and real laughing with kindred spirit, movie nights at GFT
  • Acorn Nursery's sincere and relentless staff friendliness
  • My sunny yellow kitchen so lovingly upgraded by Mark
  • Scotland's space, absence of crowds and heat
  • My dear fellow mothering pals to commiserate and kvetch with, learn from, and watch our littles grow big together. I am sad I won't be here for more of the journey together. 
  • My supportive and earthy acupuncturist Maureen, seeing me through 2 natural pregnancies
  • My first home purchase of lovely historic flat with 16 foot ceilings and more rooms than we knew what to do with
  • The place where I became a mother, we became a family and Lewis had his first home
  • The toy room, TV room. big bed, tiny bed
  • Friendly, open non judgemental Scottish people
  • Kick ass curries
  • Trips to the elephant museum/transport museum
  • Park Circus views
  • Glaswegian blether 
And when it makes me too sad, I try to think of the things we are looking forward to in our relocation to Cambridge.

  • more chances of actual sunshine
  • flat biking 
  • a truly international community
  • a (more) non smoking & healthy environment
  • English country pubs
  • being a 1.5 hour drive away from grandparents
  • no more climbing 50+ stairs to our flat with a baby, a toddler, a pregnant belly or shopping
  • the Cambridge market
  • seeing old Cambridge buddies
  • another step closer to home
  • train ride easy access to London
  • coming full circle to where I started my UK adventure and Mark & I stopped just dating and started our lives together
  • posh accents
  • seeing Mark Love his job again
  • my baby girl being born English
 So as I process and we move forward at a speed I feel a bit dizzy from, it rips the band aid off. It would always be hard to leave. I would always be sad. Maybe fast is better. Maybe, like Lewis like to say, we are sailing to the sunshine next.  And that can only be good news.

    Thursday 5 April 2012

    come together. right now.

    I can scarcely believe I have stolen this slice of the clock to sit and reflect. It feels suspiciously intended for me to gather and comment.

    Moving house, late stage pregnancy, managing toddlers, selling a flat: what are things that are complicated. what are things that are stressful. what are things that are tiring.

    All true. And yet, here I am with an hour on my own. Chores done. Lists crossed off (for now). And  a sense of not calm exactly, but more okay-ness with it all.

    I feel like I have been staring at a mountain of puzzle pieces that someone dumped out -- all the same colour and no picture as a guide. Daunting and brain-achingly big. But somehow we've managed a few of the edge pieces together ... and a few of the central ones. I still don't know where many of the pieces go, or what the picture looks like, but I now see it is possible.

    It helps and soothes enormously that my partner is deeply committed to problem solving, puzzle piecing and is not scared to put an excel spreadsheet to good use. I just keep turning the pieces over and lining them up. Once in a while I find one that fits.

    No big lesson here or lofty epiphany here, just a deep sense of relief that things, which seemed endlessly complicated, are actually fitting quite nicely.