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A Winter walk in our new neighbourhood — 36 Comments

  1. I am so pleased that things are going so well for you Alistair and that you have no regrets about the move. I trust that your wife will also feel better about it very soon. A warmer climate… how wonderful. I especially am thinking that just now with what is the hardest winter we’ve experienced in many years. Every time we make plans for a little get away, there is another snow storm and the roads are too dangerous to travel on. -40 to -50 wind chills have been common so I stay hunkered down in my studio or woodshop much of the time. Worse of all, I know there will be losses in the garden and I feel the desire to push hardiness limits on the plants evaporating as I consider the wasted dollars spent on plants that won’t survive this brutal winter.
    Regarding the small tree in your photo… it appears to be some cultivar of sumac or ‘Rhus’. Some are very lovely but most tend to sucker. Best known are the ‘Staghorn’ sumacs which have lovely foliage reminiscent of antlers and the newest that I’m familiar with which is ‘Tigereye’ sumac which is a brilliant yellow hue all season until it become brilliant orange with its fall color. Our road sides are often covered with sumac and the fall reds of the foliage is amazing to see. However, as I said… be aware that it can sucker badly and check that out before installing in your gardens… Wishing you all the best and congratulations on all that walking… probably the very best thing for your continued good health! Friends, Larry

    • Hi Larry
      Good to hear from you. I hope you get a milder spell soon. Winter in the UK this year has virtually been non existent, loads of rain though. Rhus! I have seen them in the garden centres often enough but never a mature one, perhaps they don’t like the Aberdeen climate. Hope the cold weather hasn’t killed off those Martigons you planted last year.

  2. A bittersweet post. Hope the bitter fades fast.

    In your new location, you may find yourself being surprised by the urban wild plants you come across as you walk. I find them a delight. Wondering if you might like to follow a tree? I’m gearing up for a new year of Tree Following (having obliterated last year’s list by mistake I’m having to start from scratch and I’ve been dilatory about this because I’ve not been blogging much in bad weather) but if you’d like to join in (as I hope you will) . . . http://looseandleafy.blogspot.co.uk/p/what-is-tree-following-and-list-of-tree.html

  3. A shame that Myra was affected by the move Alistair. Roll on the better weather, hopefully that will give her a bit of a lift I’m sure. How is the extension coming on?
    I fair enjoyed my little stroll around your new estate (that sounds posh, doesn’t it). I’ll be your grandson feels very pleased with himself that Grandad is collecting him from school.
    I was once staying in a hotel in the Philippines and all the hotel rooms were named after places in Scotland too. We Scots have such influence world wide 😉

    • Hello Angie
      Had I realised that it would have had such an impact on Myra I would not have gone ahead. However a little progress is being made. Sun is shining this morning as I was tidying up the front garden, with a feeling of warmth that I would not expect until April back home. Plans are just ready to be submitted, hoping to actually get started in late April. However our neighbour is expressing feelings of not being very happy at how far we are going out in case it blocks some light on his side.

  4. Hi Alistair, what a lovely little tour of your new surroundings, I really like being able to “place” you and Myra, but goodness, what a contrast to your previous home. I am so sorry the move has knocked Myra so badly, and very much hope she is soon much recovered and able to start enjoying putting down roots, in every sense. Your new home reminds me very much of my previous one, which was on a simliar modern estate bolted on to a small village. Being able to walk to so many places is great, but being able to collect your grandson from school twice a week, that is magical.

    Good luck setling in and getting your extension plans approved and underway, look forward to your next Cheshire installment.

  5. Hi Alistair,
    I enjoyed the walk round your neighbourhood, thank you.
    I am glad to hear that Myra is feeling a bit better now; as you say the better weather should make a big difference to how you all feel.
    It must be so nice living near your family and being able to pick up your grandson from school. You will be able to share so many more of the little details of his life than if you were up here.
    Glad you mentioned that you couldn’t grow cyclamen in Aberdeen – I thought it was me! I can never resist putting them in every year, as they look so wonderful in the garden centres, but they rarely come up a second year. Do you think the corms just get frozen?
    Hope your plans get the go-ahead and your neighbour is OK with them.

  6. A lovely walk Alistair. Larry already said your interesting tree is a sumac. They are native here and the birds love those fruits. I love how your houses are brick. Here we use vinyl siding. I much prefer brick which is why my patio and front walk are brick.

    Wonderful to be so close to family and get out and walk. I am glad to hear Myra is feeling better. My health has been suffering so I am finally retiring at the end of this month. Time for a change for me. I look forward to learning more about your new town and garden.

  7. Hi Alistair, I am sorry to read that Myra was so stressed by the move. Moving is never easy, especially after you lived in one place for so long. I am glad that both of you are now settling in nicely. How wonderful to meet your grandson on Mondays and Fridays at school and walk him home. It is nice to build a bond with him. I wish I had known either of my grandfathers in this way. I concur with Larry: the mystery tree looks like a sumac to me.

    • Thanks Jennifer, I guess it will all sort itself out. Time I stopped going on about this stuff. I often feel critical of other complainers. I am absolutely convinced now that the tree in question is Sumac. Think I want one now.

  8. i understand how Myra feels. Each time (three times) we moved to Switzerland I felt uprooted. And once I’d sort of settled, we headed back to our home in Cape Town. Now we are still stuck between houses.
    Might Myra come with you on the school run, or is it too far for her? Family nearby will help her to settle in time. Good luck!

    • Thanks Diana
      Myra suffers with severe back problems making walking difficult, honestly considering one of those mobility scooters. As you say all will be well in time. Hope all goes smoothly at your end.

  9. Welcome to the Cheshire weather, if it makes you feel better it has been exceptionally wet this January although we have escaped the worst extremes all winter. My Schizostylis are still flowering but they are naturally very late due to their South African origins, coming into flower usually for a short period of time mid/end October onward in a normal year. Strangely Rhus typhina normally var.laciniata are quite common in this area, a Canadian native I believe, it was used as a source of black ink.

  10. glad you are finding your feet in a new place Alistair, sorry though that Myra has found it difficulty, people often ask me about moving from south east England to west Scotland and I had no problems though I do enjoy going for visits back down there, I never quite knew why until now, Myra has answered it, the sense of belonging, because my maternal grandmothers parents were cleared from the islands and I have heard stories about the islands all my life, one part of me felt like I had come home, if you suffer from back pain have difficulty getting around that is enough to make anyone feel out of sorts, add a move to a new area in winter (said to be the worst time to move) I can completely sympathise with Myra, I hope the coming of spring with the warmth and promise of new growth will help her, the mobility scooters are good,
    I enjoyed coming with you on your walk and all the chatter, hope all goes well with the building plans, Frances

    • Thanks for dropping by Frances and passing on these wise words. Although my nature makes me feel (lets just get on with our lives and be happy) It really brought it home to me when Myra said, I have lost the sense of belonging.

  11. I wish Myra well, moving can be a chore, especially so far from your previous home. The sumac will likely not be the only plant that you will find new to you in this differing climate. It will be fun growing plants you have not previously. I will like seeing more of where you live.

  12. I really enjoyed the walkabout! With everything you need about a mile away, that is perfect for getting in some exercise without making it feel like a chore. I’m sorry to hear that Myra has been having a hard time. I can see how it could be devastating to leave behind the home you have lived in for so long, the home that holds so many memories. I bet as she settles in, and the new house begins to feel like home, especially with your daughter and grandson so close by, she will soon be thrilled with the move. I agree that winter is a depressing time anyway, and spring holds more cheer in its days. Interesting the differences in the climates, and the plants. I know you’re just filled with ideas and new plans!

  13. I enjoyed your walkabout! Your umbrella trees are fascinating. How fortunate to live so close to your grandchildren! Maybe Myra can come on some of these walkabouts with you. Surely that will raise her spirits, though I can imagine how hard it was to leave her home and that gorgeous garden! Changes in life can be tough, but the secret is not to cling to the past but to truly live in the present. In many cases that is easier said than done!

    • Hi Deb
      Myra’s chronic back problems means she can only walk very short distances. We are all trying to persuade her to get a mobility scooter or even a wheelchair, whatever the outcome she knows we are working on making things better for her.

  14. So nice to “see” you again Alistair. Moving can be so hard on us. I agree with Deb’s comment… LIVE in the present. Embrace your new reality and find the joy that is here, but remember with great fondness where you have been. Myra may enjoy an activity that I have been engaged in lately. I’ve been searching out my Family History. I’m looking for that Scottish blood that runs through me. 🙂 Go to familysearch.org and register as a guest. You will then have access to the billions of records available to find your own roots as you complete your family tree. You can’t help but feel a sense of belonging as you connect to ancestors and see your tree begin to fill in for generations. I’ve discovered a line of great-grandfathers that has taken me back to what I hope will become my Scottish connection: MacEnnor Clan of Fifeshire. I’m still searching to find this. Apparently during the 16th and 17th centuries Scotland was ravaged by religious conflict. Many Scots fled and dropped the Mac in favor of a less hostile spelling. My records show our line as “Kennor” which was again changed when they arrived in America to “Kenner” to signify out with the old world and in with the new. Can you sense my vigor to unravel the mystery? I am finding such joy in discovering my roots. Perhaps your Myra will as well. Love to you both!

    • Thanks for the wise words Carolyn. You have fairly uncovered some fascinating stuff in your ancestry. Dropping the mac, now that’s something I had not heard of. As for Fifeshire I also have never heard this term used, perhaps it was used in days gone by. Our youngest daughter lives in Fife and it is known these days to all as The Kingdom of Fife. (how grand does that sound)

  15. Hi Alistair, thanks for the walkabout, lovely to see where you live. It is great to hear you feel you are settling in and as someone with a lifetime of physical difficulties, I can fully sympathise with Myra and her struggle to belong at the new place. I hope that as the weather improve (surely it has to soon?!), and she can get to enjoy the garden a bit, the feeling of belonging will also improve. I know from experience how low it can make me feel being cooped up in the house because of bad weather as I am not able to walk anywhere, for Myra it must be even worse being in a new house that perhaps not yet feels quite like ‘home’. A bit of warmer weather and some gardening therapy can make wonders.
    By the way, it was lovely to see your photo of the weeping white birch, reminded me of Norway where these trees are everywhere, I used to have one just like that in my old garden 🙂
    Have a good week, take care, Helene.

  16. Looks like you have some plant-loving neighbors, Alistair, which is good. But just wait until they see what you can do with plants! I think a mobility scooter is an excellent idea for Myra. My friend in England has a new lease on life since she got hers. I know how Myra is feeling… When my first husband brought me to America I was extremely homesick and thought I would never belong. Now I still get homesick for England, but love my life here. When I am in England for any length of time, I get homesick for the USA. P. x

    • Yes Pam, I think the mobility scooter is a good idea. Because she can get around short distances fine enough and not having the appearance of having a disability, she feels embarrassed by the thought of it.

  17. Hi Alistair, I’m glad you’re gradually getting settled, though it sounds like it’s been quite an emotional move. I love the sign for “Aberfeldy Close”, made me giggle. I’m going through a similar move at the moment, with time ticking on our current house and garden. It’s been a slow and difficult process but there’s the excitement of a whole new environment. Your posts give me an idea of how one readjusts to fit in and feel comfortable, after being uprooted and taken somewhere new, just like quite a few plants from the garden that will be making the trip with us.

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