Doors of London

London.

On my most recent travels to the UK, I visited London for the first time.

We only had two days in London, but they were two full days….and, boy did we fill them!!

Doors.

I knew that I would find a plethora of beautiful architecture in London, which would also include some amazing doors.

In this department, London did not disappoint!

Looking for doors was not the only thing that I did in my jam packed two day,s yet I still managed to have enough photos of doors that I will have to share them in more than one series.

Belgravia.

Today’s series of doors is from a walk that we took in Belgravia

(According to the map. I admit to being confused by the breakdown of the quadrants on London. There was a sign that we passed on Bourne Street that said The Royal Borough of Kensington on Chelsea, so I assumed that I was in Chelsea).

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But on with the tour…

On my list of “must see” items were some pastel colored buildings.

I stumbled upon a location to put into Google maps from this post by A Lady in London. While I would have loved to have seen every cafe that she recommended, time just didn’t allow for it.

After our trip around the London Eye, we took the underground to Sloane Square and proceeded to head toward my final destination.

#10

I can never pass up the opportunity to photograph a red door (ok, maybe sometimes…like when there are so many to choose from that you’d stop every minute).

I loved how this one had the hedge to create a framed pathway.

#91.

Not only did the door itself look elegant, the inlay on the stairs added an element of posh.

I also love flower boxes.

#89.

I couldn’t pass this door without snagging a shot because I loved the door knocker.

#83.

I think the intricate tile work is very pretty, but we know that I snapped this photo because a blue door is going to stand out!

71 Elizabeth Street.

Les Senteurs.

As we moved closer to my ultimate destination, the doors and displays became magnificent. I only wish that I’d had time to capture more, but rain was on the way and we still had so much to see.

53 Elizabeth Street.

Moyses Stevens.

Passing by flowers spilling into the street was just too gorgeous not to stop and capture.

However, if you are looking for a door, #51A & 51B to the left of the photo looks quite nice.

 

116 Ebury St.

Peggy Porschen Cakes.

This was my ultimate destination.

I could not pass up the opportunity to see pastel pink in all its glory.

We were late enough in the morning that capturing an empty door would have been time consuming. And time was the one thing that I had in limited quantity.

This is a well-known Instagram location so people were having shots taken while they sipped their coffee at the lovely outdoor tables. I crossed the street to take in more of the scene, but at that point someone had lined up in front of the door with a photographer. I have one of them as well, but I like this one of the server wearing his pink attire and entering the shop.

We considered lining up to eat, but again, time was a force working against us. It worked out rather well since we stumbled upon the Duke of York Square Food Market in Chelsea.

Stay Tuned.

I’ll share more about this surprise excursion and some hilarity with dialect in a future post. I’ll also be sharing more doors from London and some from our time in Scotland, so be sure to check back.

Meanwhile, if you have an affinity for doors, hop over to Norm’s blog, where he hosts Thursday Doors, and you’ll find many more.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions"

Let your light shine!

Amy

30 Day Challenge…June

End of May.

This month has flown by for me.

It will continue to be busy for the next few weeks.

I apologize ahead of time that it’s taking me a little longer than normal to respond to comments and catch up on reading.

30 Day Challenge.

I looked at the calendar and realized June was sneaking up on me and I hadn’t announced my June Challenge.

…and I had no clue what I was going to do.

For those that are new to my blog, I’ve done a 30 day challenge each month since I turned 40 back in September.

A challenge to press outside of comfort zones.

To grow in some way.

June Challenge.

After pondering a bit, I’ve come up with my June challenge.

So without further ado,

30 Days of writing (either a short story or part of a longer story)

for 20 minutes each day.

Europe to do list

Writing.

I knew that this challenge would need to be portable since I will be spending part of June in Florida. Also, May’s yoga challenge was physical in nature. Therefore, I wanted June’s challenge to be more mental in nature.

I’ve started and stopped writing pieces of fiction many times. I thought that this year I would find space to make my writing a more important component of my daily life. I am not very good at putting my needs before others so I only carve out small snippets eat day for my own pursuits. Since I decided those pursuits would include 30 day challenges, they took the place that I might have reserved for my writing.

I had dreams of writing during my time in the U.K. I thought the words would spill into the leather-bound journal that I brought along. Instead I rushed along to see the wondrous sights and collapsed into bed at night.

And so for the month of June, writing will “be” the priority.

For the last portion of the month, Miss Sunshine and I will be staying at a little cottage near the beach. I’m already dreaming words flowing from my fingertips as I sit upon the little cozy back porch.

I suppose if I sit down and write a reflective blog post (which has an element of storytelling and takes me well over 20 minutes) then on those days, that will qualify as my writing time.

However, I am hoping most days will be filled pouring out ideas of storylines and seeing if they coalesce in a satisfying way.

I see this as a slowing down time after the rush of end of the school year preparations.

I hope that you find some areas in your life where you are able to slow down as well.

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. - Henry David Thoreau

Let your light shine!

Amy

Views Along the River Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow.

During my most recent trip to the U.K., my mother and I made a day trip over to Glasgow, Scotland.

There are trains from Edinburgh to Glasgow that take just around an hour and run regularly. If you are traveling during off-peak hours (which we did) the tickets price is nominal (We paid £13 each for a return ticket. It’s less if you are traveling with more because you can purchase a groupsaver ticket, which is what we were able to do last year when 3 of us traveled over).

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time then you are already familiar with the fact that many of my traced Scottish roots come from the Glasgow region.

Photography Series.

I’m squeezing this photography series in just under the deadline. The weekly photo challenge is twisted, which ask us to consider things that don’t maintain a straight line.

Obviously, this challenge could be taken many ways and I have many photos from my time in the U.K. that would qualify.

However, I am rapidly preparing to witness my oldest child graduate from high school. Big Mr. is done with tests and done with all the “officialness” of school. Today, he has graduation practice and varying fun things at school. And then, it’s just wait until graduation day on June 8th. It would have made more sense for them to graduate this Friday, but I don’t make the calendar.

This culminating time is a busy one, but it also makes me reflect on family.

River Clyde.

The River Clyde is the second longest river in Scotland.

Quite often you will hear it said that “Glasgow made the Clyde, and the Clyde made Glasgow”.

Clyde Arc.

The Clyde Arc (also known as Squinty Bridge) stands out amongst the landscape. It connects Finnieston Street on the north bank of the river to Govan Road on the south bank.

These first two photos were taken during our trip to Glasgow in 2017.

Genealogy.

We still have quite a ways to go in researching our roots, but we do know a few ancestors for whom the River Clyde must have played a part in their life.

McLachlan.

My 4th great-grandfather, Hugh McLachlan, married Mary McLachlan on December 7, 1827. The old parish registers of Glasgow state that he was a seaman and that they were residing in Glasgow. I have not been able to trace either of these grandparents back any farther at this time. Their son, my 3rd great-grandfather, Hugh McLachlan, was born in in 1835 in Glasgow. That was according to his death certificate. By the time of his death in 1881, he was living in Airdrie and was a former miner (I visited there last year).

His daughter Agnes was my 2nd great-grandmother and she would emigrate to Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband and sons in 1911.

Munn.

Her husband was James Scott and his family lineage would have also been affected by the River Clyde. His mother, my 3rd great-grandmother, was Mary Munn. She was born in Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland around 1842.

Her father was Thomas Munn. His death certificate lists him as a ship carpenter, journeyman and living at 67 High Street in Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire, Scotland in 1874. He was born in 1815 in Irvine to David Munn (also a ship carpenter, journeyman) and Janet Orr. On the 1861 census, he was listed as a ship carpenter living on Keppoch Row Possil Road in Maryhill (once a burgh, now part of Glasgow).

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Mary Munn gave birth to my 2nd great-grandfather, James, in Holytown, but by the birth of her son Thomas (two years later) and daughter Jeanie (two years after that) they are living in New Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire. My 3rd great-grandfather, James would die in October of 1871 from Caries of the Spine (which appears to be caused from TB and would explain why the baby was living with her aunt and uncle, John and Margaret Hay, on Pollacks Hill in Holytown on the 1871 census).

Mary Munn would marry George Brown at the end of 1872 and some of the Brown children would be born in the Lambhill and Maryhill areas

Bell’s Bridge.

It was with this family history in mind that my mother and I chose to make a stop along the River Clyde.

On our first trip, we only passed by on the tour bus. This time we wanted to walk across the River Clyde.

We chose to do that on Bell’s Bridge.

Bell’s Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that spans the River Clyde.

The bridge can rotate open to allow ships to pass.

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BBC Scotland.

From the bridge you can see the BBC Scotland building along with the Glasgow Science Center, which also includes the Glasgow Tower (which, according to the website is the only structure on earth capable of rotating 360 ° into the prevailing wind).

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SSE Hydro.

Of course, no tour of this area of the Clyde waterfront is complete without sharing photos of two architectural marvels.

One of those is the SSE Hydro. Located on the opposite bank as the Science Center, the SSE Hydro is the largest entertainment venue in Scotland. It can hold 12,000 people (all seated) or up to 13,000 (seated and standing in performance bowl.)

The shape was inspired by ancient Greek and Roman amphitheaters.

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SEC Armadillo.

Located just beside the SSE Hydro is the SEC Armadillo. It was originally called the Clyde Auditorium. The inspiration for the 3,000 seat venue was a series of interlocking ship’s hulls. However, the nickname “armadillo” obviously stuck.

Have you ever visited the Clyde waterfront?

I’ll have plenty more to share from Glasgow in future posts, but if  you’re interested in my time there last year, you can find my posts here:

The Necropolis

George Square

University of Glasgow

The Cloisters

Murals of Glasgow

The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace. -Mahatma Gandhi

Let your light shine!

Amy

Friday Faves Edition 64

Friday.

Well if you hadn’t already guessed, I’ve made it back from the U.K.

I arrived back in Virginia on Tuesday evening.

…and have been playing catch up ever since.

Friday Faves.

I’m still playing catch up, but I thought I’d pop in with a few of my Friday Faves.

I returned home to our upstairs a/c being out…it had been out for a week…but the service calls require you to be available and the hubby has a job in a different city…so, no bueno… and I dealt with that on day one of my return.

While I was away Miss Sunshine had her middle school spring sports banquet and was awarded Offensive Player of the Year.

Mr. D made it to his AP exams.

I also heard rumor that my three teens know how to pack their own lunches and wash their own clothes. Upon my return, I learned that I’m not sure it was a factual rumor because I am back in the food packing and clothes washing business.

Big Mr. took his final test of high school yesterday and over the weekend we will be signing him up for his July University orientation.

I was so busy since my return that it was only this morning that I found time to import my photos from the trip. It will take me a while to sift through them since there were around 1,200 photos. I’m sure many will make their way to the trash pile, but I’m hoping the majority will have turned out nicely.

I thought that I’d share a quick few today, but be on the look out for more in the future.

Isle of Lewis.

We had one day in the Outer Hebrides on the Isle of Lewis.

It was an early morning!

We caught the local bus in Inverness at 5:10 am to the airport for a 7:00 am flight. After landing, we picked up our rental car and headed straight out to the Callanish Standing Stones.

It was a day full of adventure before heading back to the airport in time for our 5:00 pm flight.

I have so much more to share about our day here, but that’ll have to wait until a future post.

Isle of Skye.

We had a bus tour that took us all over the Isle of Skye along with some more stops.

This shot of my mother and me was taken at our stop to see the Quiraing . It had rained just a bit earlier and the cloud cover was low. It did start to clear up some as we made our descent.

I’ll share more in the future.

I didn’t mind the low clouds and the element of mystery they created, but I’m hoping as I sift through the photos that it translated well in the captures.

Highland Coo.

And lastly, a selfie with a Highland Coo. They were just so adorable. I was hoping that I’d be able to see one up close!

Weekend.

That’s all I have for today.

So much to do, so little time!

I hope that you all have a light-filled weekend.

We’ll be enjoying the three day Memorial Day Weekend.

Catch up with you all soon!

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still. - Dorothea Lange. Photo quote placed over photo of Victoria Street in Edinburgh Scotland

Let your light shine!

Amy

A Sneak Peek at the Isle of Skye

U.K.

Hey all!!

I’ve returned from my travels to London and throughout Scotland.

I’ve been back in my time zone for less than 48 hours. I’ll have my feet back in my current home city by this evening.

I have lots of catching up to do, but I wanted to pop in before I missed the weekly photo challenge.

This week the theme is liquid.

Scotland.

While I did take a cruise along the Thames in London, it was my time in Scotland that brought me many views of water.

Don’t worry!

I’ll be sharing plenty more from my time in the U.K. after I get home and process my photos.

Isle of Skye.

For today, I’m just sharing a glimpse of a view from a stop in the Isle of Skye.

We took a 12 hour bus tour with WOW Scotland (which I’ll share more about in a future post) from Inverness and through the Isle of Skye.

Trotternish Peninsula.

This shot was captured on a stop as we drove along the Trotternish Peninsula, the northernmost peninsula of the Isle of Skye.

I hope you enjoy the view.

I’ll talk to you all soon!

View from the Trotternish Peninsula on the Isle of Skye in Scotland

Let your light shine!

Amy

Amy check-in with Yoga Crescent Pose for Yoga Challenge on the beach at sunset in Naples, Florida

Returning Home

Checking In.

Hey All!

I’m sitting at the Miami International Airport and will be boarding my plane shortly.

London here we come!

I wanted to get in my interpretation of the weekly photo challenge before I head overseas

Where I Belong.

The theme was “where I belong”.

I belong many places, but the first place was the town of my birth…

Naples, Florida.

I returned there to meet my mom for our trip.

Crescent Pose.

We caught a gorgeous sunset on the beach and my mom convinced me to complete my yoga challenge there even though I don’t like to create a scene.

I hope that you are having an amazing week and I’ll be checking in from time to time during my travels.

You can also follow along on my Instagram stories.

Every Adventure Requires A First Step - Cheshire Cat photo quote

Let your light shine!

Amy

wpc: Where I Belong

Friday Faves Edition 63

Friday.

Here we are once again at Friday.

This week has both been longer than I could ever imagine and yet shorter than I thought.

Have you ever had a week like that?

Friday Faves.

You may have noticed that I’ve been around the blogosphere a little less this week. That trend is likely to continue. I have prepping to do before I leave for my UK travels. I have almost 2 weeks of travel. Then, I have end of the school year stuff for three teenagers, one of which is graduating from high school.

However, I wanted to pop in to catch up and share my Friday Faves.

I won’t be posting Friday Faves for the next two weeks since I fly down to Florida next Wednesday.

I hope to give you an update through the blog during my time away, but honestly, the best way to follow what is going on will be through my Instagram stories.

The reason for that is because they are much quicker to produce and I want to savor my time away with my mother.

Travel Plans.

As a recap if you are new to my blog: I head to Naples, FL next Wednesday. My mother and I will be flying to London from Miami. After 2 days in London, we head to Inverness where we will take a day trip over to Isle of Lewis, a day tour that includes seeing the Isle of Skye, and a cruise along Loch Ness (Nessie…I’m really hoping you make it to our appointment). We then head down to Edinburgh for a few days before traveling back to London for our flight back to the U.S. I have planned in an extra day to lounge on the beach and visit more family.

What I’ve Been Up To Lately.

Over the weekend, the hubby and I did some shopping to pick up a few pieces that I need for my travels. I’ve had some jeans for more years than I can count and they had finally “worn” out their welcome. I did find some replacements. This weekend I will fully assess what I need to pack (procrastination at its finest).

We also traveled over to visit my mother-in-law. Since the hubby and I are doing predominately a vegan diet, I needed to pick up something from the grocery store for lunch. I chose to make a sandwich consisting of avocado and tomato on toasted sourdough bread. I’ve recreated it at home and added alfalfa sprouts as well, and it is my new favorite sandwich!!

Most of the week has been checking off boxes…teen to orthodontist, hair appointment, a/c service, attending soccer games, editing soccer photos, rounding up graduation announcements, tweaking itineraries, cleaning house, parenting.

With a few stressful moments thrown in…parenting.

May Challenge.

This week signaled the end of the April Challenge, which I did complete and will likely reflect on in the future.

It also began my May Challenge, 30 days of 30 yoga poses.

I’ve share my first three days on the Instagram stories. It’s likely that I’ll continue to do so over the course of the challenge.

I know many of you said you’d be cheering for me from the sidelines. A huge “thank you” to all of you. Dee Dee from Invisible-No-More is joining along with me and posting her poses to her Instagram feed. She’s found some awesome places to capture her poses!

Mountain Pose.

Day 1 was Mountain Pose.

Maverick decided that he wanted to join along with me. Which was a nice added perk. It also made Miss Sunshine less reluctant to take photos of me after her long day of school and soccer practice.

Child’s Pose.

Day 2 was Child’s Pose.

I love this shot because Maverick looks like he is bowing down, and child’s pose can have a similar look.

On my blog, I usually participate in Wordless Wednesday. A photo posted that speaks for itself. This is the photo I chose for today and it does speak for itself, but I also chose it because the weekly prompt that I was interpreting was “unlikely.” 💦 I chose this photo because if you had asked me when I was 16 to peer into my future 🔮 it is “unlikely” I would have seen myself standing at Natural Bridge in Aruba, watching as my own 16 year old son made his way across the rocks to witness the waves crash against the limestone. This side of Aruba makes you feel like you are at the edge of the world. Nothing but an expanse of blue as you look away from the island. Pounding surf, relentlessly crashing against the cliffs. It truly is a breathtaking place 💦 #seekthesimplicity #beautyinthechaos #dreamchaser #roamtheplanet #aruba #onehappyisland #jetsetfamily #lifeofadventure #doyoutravel #travelbug #travelstoke #traveldiaries #traveldeeper #natgeotravel #tlpicks #stayandwander #fromwhereistand #thehappynow #exploretocreate #artofvisuals #optoutside #exploremore #darlingescapes #oceandweller #familytravel #naturehippys

A post shared by Amy Lyon Smith (@amy.lyon.smith) on

Instagram and Photo Challenge.

If you saw my Wordless Wednesday, then this photo is familiar. I almost opted not to make it wordless and to share why I was using it since I was also interpreting the prompt from the weekly photo challenge.

In the end, I decided to keep it wordless and share its backstory today.

Food.

Since I know that I will most definitely be trying new foods in the UK, I wanted to be sure that my stomach will not rebel. While the week has been mostly vegan, I did eat eggs last weekend. The hubby and I also went out to dinner on Wednesday night. I had steak and shrimp, along with mashed potatoes. I do think it affected my digestive system somewhat, but I don’t think I’ll be curled up in a hotel room in London or Scotland. I really think dairy is not my friend…but I still may eat some cheese while I’m over there!

Soccer.

Miss Sunshine finished up her middle school soccer season last night. We will be having their team banquet tonight. The game location was a good drive away and by the time we made it home, it was 7:30 ish at night.

I popped off my sandals…threw on some workout attire…rounded up the hubby….

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Cow Pose.

And started on day 3 of the yoga challenge.

Cow to Cat Pose.

As soon as I pulled out the mat, Maverick thought it was play time. He did not join in on Cow Pose.

But…

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He crawled into my face and started trying to give me kisses.

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Cat Pose.

He ended up moving for the second part of day three.

Cat Pose.

If only he were actually trained to do the poses because he is amazing at this one. I’ve never seen a dog stretch like a cat before, but he does! He can articulate each vertebrae as he rolls through stretching his back.

That’s really been most of my week. I have to get bills lined up to be paid, make sure the calendar of where the teens need to be is up-to-date, round up any necessary items to travel with, decided whether I’m packing a tripod….and the list goes on.

If you’re over on Instagram, I hope that you’ll follow along with my journey. And if you aren’t…well…I’ll have lots of tales to share with you when I return.

I hope you have days filled with excitement ahead. And smile, it always brightens the day.

In closing…because I must…. “May the Fourth be with you.”

 

 

Let your light shine!

Amy