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Life as a Scot in California

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4 Months No Blog

Posted by berkeleyscot on April 5, 2010

In my last blog I said that I was considering giving up blogging. My 4 months’ silence would suggest that I have, but my blog is back.

I’ve been living ‘virtually,’ for most of the winter. It has been colder than usual for longer than usual and I’ve been arthritically stiff more than I want to be.

So I spent a lot of time on the Internet. I joined Face book. I found old friends already there and I made new friends. I found a page there that is devoted to ‘The Doric,’ the mother tongue of the North East of Scotland, where I am from. It has been a delight to converse in my ‘comfort language’ and to see the growing interest in Sots dialects.

In December, I celebrated my 60th birthday, quietly, but very pleasantly, at home, with Richard. There really was nobody else to celebrate with, but good friends sent cards, telephoned and sent email greetings.  I’m not without friends. They’re just not here. But, because so many use the Internet, it doesn’t matter where they are. We communicate more frequently than we did BI. (Before the Internet)

We took in the New Year, on Face book, with a friend in Peru. We were all listening, via the Internet, to Robbie Shepherd presenting BBC Scotland’s New Year Party from the BBC Scotland studios in Glasgow and toasted 2010 at ‘The Bells,’ even though it wasn’t Midnight either in California or Lima.

So the year 2010 and my 60 years means we have been in California for 32 years. That’s over half my life. Is it strange that, while I became a US citizen in 1991, I never became an American? I consciously use American vocabulary, but my accent hasn’t changed and I’m still asked where I’m from.

We didn’t come to stay. We came for two years only.  I never left my culture behind and I didn’t adopt a new one.

I’m beginning to wonder if we stayed too long? I can’t think of anyone who would miss us if we weren’t here and I can’t think of anyone who is longing for us to go back.

But I do notice that I’m missed if I’m not communicating with my Internet friends.

We tell each other what our local weather is like, what our plans for the day are. We share personal information.

We don’t plan to meet face to face. But, if we did, we’d talk to each other the same way as we have typed.

Some people differentiate their Lives On Line and Real Life. I see no difference. Real time passes. I communicate with real people.

I shop online, I bank online, and I find information online. I say what I want to say online.

This is Easter weekend, 2010. There was a winter storm and so we stayed indoors and I stayed online.


6 Responses to “4 Months No Blog”

  1. Great blog, Margaret! I look forward to reading more!

  2. And I’m glad to be added to your list of Internet friends.

  3. Thank you Diane!

  4. Anna said

    Hi Margaret,

    I have just been having a look around your blog, and thought I would say g’day. I was reminded of your blog when I was re-reading some old blog entries of my own – namely, the ones describing our trip to Scotland in May 2008.

    You left a comment on one of those entries in June 2009, commenting that your mam used to meet with some of the folk in my blog entry! At the time I had no idea how you had stumbled across my blog, and I am still none the wiser. What a small world though!!!!! Anyway, I don’t think I ever replied to you back then, so I thought it was high time I did so today. 🙂

    My husband and I now live in Vancouver, BC. This blog post resonates with me somewhat, as we have been here for 2 years now and as yet have no departure date… although our plan IS to return to Australia eventually. Drop me a note via my blog if you can remember how on earth you found it back in 2009 and knew the people I was blogging about when I didn’t even use their surname!!


  5. Hello Anna.
    I probably found your blog by links to other blogs.
    Are you on Facebook?
    I have neglected this blog because I communicate more on Facebook these days.
    I am pleased to hear from you.

  6. Helen F. said

    Hi Margit
    I followed your facebook link and just read this entry, Isn’t it strange how life has changed, how out friends are often people we have never metand how important our computers and the internet are to us. I was speaking [face to face] to a CID guy from Canada who deals with internet crime and he seemed surprised that mowt of our major shopping is done online – clothes, furniture, household items etc but not food – I have to be able to squeeze it! That also took me back to a symposium at Aberdeen University about 10 years ago where the internet was compared in its effects to the invention of the printing press – and I think it is a good analogy. The world changed and became smaller after the PP was invented, and now it has shrunk to the size of a laptop physically but mentally it has expanded ourminds and the scope of thought to an incredible extent

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