As career changes go it couldn’t be any more radical – or more unexpected.
The woman with the cheekiest and most infectious giggle in Scottish journalism is taking off on December 13 on a flight bound for Kabul in Afghanistan.There she will be taking up a new position as Journalist and Forward Media Team Leader with, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
I rather suspect she’ll prove to be quite a catch s for ISAF – which needs all the talent it can get as work goes on to rebuild Afghanistan and shake off the dark spectre of the Taliban. And Lianne is a real talent.
As well as being clever, witty and excellent writer, she is tall and willowy with the warm tones and effortless cool of an English Rose. But there’s nothing aloof about Lianne – and I suspect that catchy giggle gets her out of far more scrapes than it ever got her into (in fact, if memory serves me rightly I don’t think she’s even English!).
Lianne tells me that having been given the nod for the job months ago she’s been hopping impatiently from foot-to-foot (and biting her tongue to keep from spilling the beans) while she awaited final details of her posting.
Indeed, those details only dropped through her letterbox last Monday (Nov 26) – so in the whirlwind of getting ready for her big move there’s no time for a formal farewell drinks bash. Probably just as well, because she’ll no doubt have to get used to an alcohol-free life as part of the Reconstruction Team in Baghram Province.
Despite being caught up in whirlwind preparations to fly to one of the most trouble hotspots on the planet, she still found the time to check out the Holyrood Partnership website – then finished her breathless goodbye email to us all by announcing: “Aren’t you all looking dapper!”
Thoughtful, brave, selfless and charming! All that remains is to wish Lianne the very best of luck in Afghanistan with our very sincere wishes that she genuinely makes a difference in improving a whole lot of blighted lives, before returning safely at a time of her own choosing.