Posts Tagged With: Edinburgh Scotland

Day 2068: Brilliant or perfect?

Four years ago (but who’s counting?), I wrote a blog post — Day 597: Brilliant — about how people in Edinburgh responded “Brilliant” to many things I said to them.  (If you could visit that old post, that would be brilliant.)

In 2018, when I was back in Edinburgh for our usual August visit,  people rarely told me I was brilliant.  That didn’t damage my ego, however, because instead of “Brilliant,”  I often heard “Perfect” in response to things I would do or say.

Actually, to be more perfect about that, I often heard this: “Perrrrrfect.”

Last week in Edinburgh, when I handed my ticket to a  Festival Fringe employee and he said, “Perfect,” I commented to him how I’d noticed that “Perfect” was the new “Brilliant.” He laughed and replied, “Six years ago, it was ….” but I am neither brilliant nor perfect enough to remember the last word in his sentence.

Personally, I think it’s brilliant and perfect to be kind and complimentary to visitors.  I wish I could witness more brilliant, perfect, and civil discourse in my own country, here and now.

Are any of my photos from yesterday brilliant or perfect?

I may not be brilliant or perfect, but I have fixed my photo-loading problems on WordPress, FOR NOW.

Here‘s what comes up on YouTube when I search for “brilliant or perfect.”

Believe it or not, that is one of THREE different videos on YouTube titled “Brilliant Tips on How to Select the Perfect Watermelon.”  Unfortunately, I don’t see any videos on YouTube about how to be brilliant and perfect about anything else, so I’ll just share this brilliant tune from Jacob Collier, which made me perfectly happy when I heard it yesterday.

I will not pressure you to post brilliant, perfect, witty or thought-provoking comments today. I will do my best to express brilliant or perfect thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 1706: The best views of Edinburgh

Yesterday, as I took my farewell walking tour of this magnificent city, I saw a sign promising “The best views of Edinburgh.”

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I didn’t climb the Scott Monument, so perhaps my views are not the best views of Edinburgh (even though in my view, they’re pretty great).

 

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That last photo is another best view of somebody my son Aaron and I view as the best stand-up comic/improviser/PhD of Mathematics in Edinburgh — Dr.  Tom Joyce.  (Tom is best viewed in my previous posts here, here, here, and here).

Over the  years that Aaron and I have gotten great views of Edinburgh, some of our  best views have been thanks to Tom.  Somehow, we always run into Tom and get to view his kind, comic, creative, and often surprising views.  Yesterday, I got a different and surprising best view of Tom when we viewed each other’s medic alert bracelets and found out we both

  • take Warfarin/Coumadin,
  • were born with heart conditions,
  • have cardiac pacemakers,  and
  • got our first pacemakers when we were young (age 10 for me, age 11 for Tom).

The best thing I can say about that is this: even when you think you’ve gotten the best views of somebody, there’s always more to view.

Soon I’ll be getting best views of the friendly skies on my flights home to Boston, so I’ll leave you with these best views of Edinburgh:

In your view, what are the best views of Edinburgh in today’s post?

All my best to those who helped me share the views in today’s post and to all my readers who — in my view — are THE BEST.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 1334: The world is your oyster

Yesterday, the world was my oyster, again, at the Festival Fringe in precious-as-pearls Edinburgh, Scotland.

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I received that wrist band informing me that the world is my oyster from some oysters, who should know.

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The oyster to the far left is Marc Mackinnon, a wonderful and supremely talented man  we met at last year’s Fringe.  The world is Marc’s oyster as he moves from Scotland to London next Monday to attend a postgraduate acting program.

Here are more pearls from our last full day at the 2016 Festival Fringe:

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Even though those last few pearls seem to be imploring us to stay in Edinburgh, my precious and only son Aaron and  I need to get on a plane in a few hours to return to the oysters in Boston, Massachusetts.  I’m happy-and-proud as a clam that Aaron will be returning here in a few short weeks to start attending the University of Edinburgh, where I’m certain the world will be his oyster for the next five years.

Here‘s some precious music and images from beautiful-as-pearls Scotland:

Any pearls of wisdom you share in a comment will be very precious to me.

Pearly thanks to all  who helped me create this world-is-your-oyster post and to you — of course! — no matter where in the world you are.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 1188: So what do you think the meaning of life is?

So what do you think the meaning of life is?

So I (and Merriam-Webster) think the meaning of life is

the ability to grow, change, etc., that separates plants and animals from things like water or rocks
: the period of time when a person is alive
: the experience of being alive

So I think the meaning of life is

what you make it.

So what do you think the meaning of life is, in these photos I took yesterday?

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So what do you think the meaning of life is?

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So what do you think the meaning of life is, in the following photos?

So I think those photos have special meaning in my life,  because they show my son in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he’ll be attending university.

So what do I think the meaning of life is?  So I don’t think I could explain it all in one blog post.

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… I think it includes giving thanks.

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So thanks a million, for reading this post.

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 66 Comments

Day 965: Getting unstuck

Do you ever get stuck in a behavior, a feeling, or a thought? Do you ever repeat patterns of acting or thinking you KNOW are neither positive nor helpful?

If you answered “yes,” you are NOT alone in your stuck-ness.

If you answered “no,” could you let the rest of us know how you stick to being unstuck?

Here’s why I’m stuck thinking about getting unstuck today:

  1. Tomorrow I go back to work helping others get unstuck in their lives, after two weeks of being wonderfully unstuck from my regular routines, on vacation.
  2. One article I read while in Social Work graduate school — that has stuck with me for decades — suggested that all mental/behavioral health diagnoses could be replaced with a single, one-word diagnosis: “Stuck.”
  3. While I’ve made a lot of progress in my own life, I still get stuck in certain ways of thinking, reacting, and behaving  I KNOW are unhelpful, outdated, and automatic.

Let’s stick to the title of this post — “Getting Unstuck.” How do those of us who know we get stuck start unsticking from  old, unhelpful habits of thinking and behaving?

Before I share some getting-unstuck advice,  I invite you to stick to your own wisdom and experience.

What’s one thing you’ve learned in your life about getting unstuck, even temporarily?

Stick with that question, for a moment. What memories, images, or other associations about getting unstuck are sticking with you, now? If you stick any of those in a comment here, you might help others get unstuck, too.

Because I’m stuck with that promise I made to share something I have learned, in my long life,  about getting unstuck, here it is:

When you feel stuck, get in touch with your experience and your intuition and do ONE THING differently. Then, notice the other changes that one simple change creates. 

With all of you as my witnesses, I now pledge to do one thing differently when I return to work tomorrow.  In order to get unstuck from old and unhelpful post-vacation habits, I  am going to consciously allow the many wonderful feelings, thoughts, and images from eight glorious days in Edinburgh, Scotland to stick around, for a long time.

We’ll see how long I can stick with that.

If I had brought my Scottish walking stick back with me to U.S., perhaps that stick would help me stick to sustaining and change-inspiring  memories of freedom, creativity, beauty, and growth. However, I left that stick behind on the streets of Edinburgh, stuck with the hope that walking stick might help somebody else — who might need support — move forward through that cobble-stoned city.

Because I have no pictures of that stick, I’ll stick to other images, old and new:


                                                                    
       
What music might help us all stick to those things that help us get unstuck in our lives?


I’m sticking with a song that’s familiar to me:  the Scottish Gerry Rafferty and Stealers Wheel performing “Stuck in the Middle with You,” stuck back in the United Kingdom circa 1973.

Unsticking thanks to all who helped me stick to this topic, today, and to you — of course! — for sticking around for the end of this post.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 55 Comments

Day 957: Unforeseen Circumstances 

Yesterday morning, my son Aaron, my excellente ex-sister-in-law Deborah, and I walked over to the New Town section of Edinburgh,  to try out a highly regarded breakfast spot named “Urban Angel.”

When we got there, we found this:


Due to unforeseen circumstances, we ended up at a fine breakfast establishment next door, with more unforeseen circumstances, including:




Deborah ordering six shots of Espresso and cream and getting whipped cream instead of regular cream on the side,


white AND pink marshmallows adorning a glass of fine Italian hot chocolate,

my foreseenly breakfast-shunning son eating most of his hearty breakfast (except for the more than forty seen beans), and


four unforeseen backpackers at the next table unforeseenly  singing German Christmas songs, out of season.  When those four seemingly German singers  asked us if we had any requests, we then had the unforeseen circumstance of my being serenaded —  in Scotland on August 14 — with “O Tannenbaum.”

Other unforeseen circumstances, yesterday, included an extended walk around foreseen Edinburgh, where all the unforseen-ness of the following unforeseen scenes were seen:







   

  


  



  




   
  

   

Here’s an unforeseen circumstance: I’m going to ask you to guess what all those unforeseen flavors are for, above.

After the unforeseen circumstance of over forty seen flavors at a restaurant, there was yet another unforeseen and un-four-scene circumstance:

 

Unforseenly, Aaron and I totally disagreed about a Festival Fringe performance of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. While I LOVED the unforseen and flawless navigation of a complex score by all the singers and musicians,  Aaron disliked the acting.

Then, we encountered a few more unforeseen circumstances, at this foreseen Fringe Festival venue:

Lote —  who was handing out unforeseen  flyers outside the world-famous and formerly seen Frankenstein establishment — told us, unforeseenly, that she:

  • was given the name “Charlotte” at birth,
  • chose the name “Lote” for herself because it’s Elvish for “blossoming flower,”
  • is of Russian Jewish descent, and
  • was convinced  we would all love a stand-up comedian who was (1) performing at the Frankenstein in four minutes and (2) a master of punning.

Then, this unforeseen circumstance: none of us enjoyed the foreseen punning of that comedian.

Two more unforeseen circumstances:

  1. My red eye is NOT fading and
  2. My purple hair extension is.

That foreseen red eye may look bad, but it is unforeseenly and completely painless.

Is it unforeseen what music I’ve seen as seemly for this unforeseen post?

Perhaps it should have been a foreseen circumstance  by the three of us that —  directly after seeing  “A Little Priest” in a scene from Sweeney Todd — we were all punned out.

Unforeseen thanks to all those who unforeseenly contributed to this unforeseen and circumstantial post and foreseen thanks to you — of course! — no matter what your circumstances, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 47 Comments

Day 954: Baggage

We’re in amazing Edinburgh!

I’ve got plenty of

  • scenery, outside our hotel room,


  • interesting things to notice in Boston, London, Scotland, and in-between,

  
  
  
  


  



  •  love  and concern — from caring people around the world — and
  • easy ways to continue my venerable tradition of blogging  955 days in a row (although probably at different posting times, while my son, my excellente ex-sister-in-law, Deborah, and I are here).

At this writing I do NOT have plenty of


… baggage.

But who needs baggage in this beautiful world of ours, with so many great sights and sounds?

Plus, Deborah just messaged me — on my iPhone — that “delivery process has been initiated” for our bags.

I got plenty of gratitude for people who initiate solutions, my son Aaron, my excellente ESIL Deborah, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, brilliant and stupendous people in London, Scotland, and elsewhere, and you — of course! — no matter what baggage you’re carrying around, today.

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , | 39 Comments

Day 599: Signs, again

As I’m writing this — back home in Boston after a whirlwind 5-night visit to Edinburgh, Scotland with my 16-year-old son, Aaron — the room is very cool, with the windows open, at 6 AM.

Signs of the impending autumn in super-seasoned New England, USA?

We shall see.

 

Usually, before I publish a post, I check to see if I’ve used my title before. Yesterday, I didn’t bother to do that because

Because I didn’t check, yesterday, to see if I had used the title “Surprises” before …

…of course there WAS a post with that title: Day 463: Surprises. Coincidentally, that post was written at the end of my most recent trip/adventure (to NYC, with my friend Jeanette, right before I came down with a month-long bout with pneumonia).

Are there signs, there, of anything important?

We shall see. In the meantime, I’m reframing that whole I-Have-to-Title-Each-Post-Differently Rule, right now, as follows:

It doesn’t matter if I use the same title for a post, since my including the post number in each title automatically makes each one unique.

Phew!  One less thing to worry about, in my life.

Okay!  Time for some signs from the last week, during our round trip from Boston to Philadelphia to Edinburgh to Philadelphia to Boston. And, for this parade of pictures, I’m keeping some personal blogging rules/preferences in place, showing images you’ve not seen before, in order of appearance:

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I would like to explain some of those photos, at this point. That last shot shows the lovely Cynthia Levin a/k/a the scathing Linda Lovin, performing at Fingers Piano Bar with Ron Lynch (as described in yesterday’s post, here). The four pictures preceding that show my son, Aaron, performing on yet another Fringe stage, as he was invited to exchange places with the star of that extraordinarily inventive show — the incredible Dr Professor Neal Portenza.

Well, I have many things to do, now that I’m back home in the USA.  I will leave you with my last photo of the trip, taken yesterday in the Philadelphia airport:

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Thanks to all those who create and read signs, to every single person who contributed to making this post possible,  and to you — of course! — for making the trip here, today.

Categories: friendship, humor, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism, pride | Tags: , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Day 597: Brilliant

“Brilliant” is a word I’m hearing a lot, during my trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. People use it somewhat differently than what I’m used to, when I’m home in the United States.

Here are two recent examples:

Me: “I can pay for those tickets with this credit card.”

He: “Brilliant.”

 

Me: “We’re done eating.”

She: “Brilliant.”

 

More reasons I should move to Edinburgh!  I love

  1. feeling like I’m brilliant and
  2. being told I am.

Before I’d make any decision to move here, though, I need to remember this: there’s no way of knowing whether all these people telling me I’m brilliant actually live in Edinburgh.  There’s a good chance they do NOT, according to somebody who was talking to me and my son yesterday. This person (who, I seem to remember, also called me “brilliant”) told us that the population of Edinburgh DOUBLES during the Fringe Festival every August, because of all the visitors.

Brilliant.

Now, I believe, is a brilliant time to show you some photos I took yesterday.

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There’s a lot of brilliance to be found, here in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Many thanks to brilliant people everywhere, to those who express appreciation of brilliance, and to you — of course! — for brilliantly being here, today.

 

 

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Day 593: A spot of bother

Whenever I start something different — a trip, a job change, anything new at all — I often start out with some disappointment.

I’m not sure why I get bothered by change, that way. Maybe I’m …

  • anxious,
  • stressed out,
  • cranky
  • expecting too much,  or
  • fearful that any change might be a mistake, making things worse.

These days, at least,  I know enough to EXPECT this  reaction from myself. So, I’m ready for a spot of bother, when I’m starting something new, and I recover from it, more quickly.

Today, my 16-year-old son and I flew from Boston USA to Edinburgh, Scotland (via Philadelphia PA) for a six-day stay at the Fringe Festival.

Sure enough, when we got to our hotel, I felt that old, familiar disappointment.  I think I was bothered, because it wasn’t the familiar place we stayed in, last year. Now, that change was deliberate; we WANTED something new.  I knew to expect difference, going in. Nevertheless, when we made our way to our new hotel, I felt a strong sense of nostalgia, for our experience last year.

Well, the hotel last year DID have an AMAZING view, of Edinburgh Castle.

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You can’t beat that, can you?

Today, after my son and I  found out that our hotel room wasn’t ready, we walked around Edinburgh, trying to experience the old and the new, including lots of people attending the Fringe Festival.  I did take some photos but — I’ll warn you —  they’re not that great.  I was jet lagged and my son gets cranky, sometimes, when I stop to take pictures.

However, maybe some of these images are good enough, for now.

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That’s a photo I took from the new tram system in Edinburgh, which brought us from the airport to our hotel.

Oooops! I just got a message, on my laptop, saying that I was about to exceed my data transfer limit for my internet access in the hotel

Yikes!  I’d better find out what I can do about that.

I may very well  be disappointed about internet access here, especially if I compare that data transfer limit to every other hotel I’ve blogged from, since January 1, 2013.

It’s a good thing I committed to posting only one photo a day here, from Edinburgh.

Here’s the photo I definitely wanted to show you, today:

 

 

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Hmmm. I’m not sure if that image is even showing up here. If you can’t see it, it’s a photo I took on the plane, of the book I’m reading.

A Spot of Bother,” by Mark Haddon.

So far, I LOVE it.

Thanks to Mark Haddon, to my son, to the good people of Edinburgh, to those who are on the fringe, to people who do their best to let go of disappointment and unhelpful comparisons, to friends old and new,  and to you — of course! — for taking the bother to be here, today.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

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