Category Archives: Scotland

Photo Of The Day From Scotland: Golden Light On The Royal Mile

The photo of the day for today is from Edinburgh, Scotland.

The sun was beginning to go down on this cold Spring day when suddenly the sun blasted through the clouds, creating a golden-white light on one end of the Royal Mile and deep shade on the other side.


A blast of golden-white light illuminates one end of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland on a brisk late-winter day.

A blast of golden-white light illuminates one end of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland on a brisk late-winter day.


©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
Please respect the words and images on this page.
All rights reserved.

Happy New Year Wherever You Are!

Drink from the Well of Life, the Well Of Pity, the Well Of Comfort, and two other wells that are no longer visible in the worn away engraving at the top. Drink Ye All Of It — grab onto life, embrace it, ingest it, and never forget to feel alive on each and every day that you are here.

Auld Lang Syne is the traditional song heard in many places around the world and reminds us to not forget old friends — no matter how far flung they might be. This tombstone in the Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh, Scotland goes hand in hand with the sentiments in the song and prompts us to immerse ourselves in life and good companionship.

Inscription "Drink Ye All Of It" on Tombstone in Edinburgh, Scotland

On this final day of 2011, may all of my readers have the happiest and safest of New Year celebrations.

See you in 2012!

©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
Please respect the words and images on this page.
All rights reserved.

Working Our Way Around The World as Ad Lib Artisans

I’m proud to announce that the new website for our around-the-world building, decoration, and renovation company, AD LIB ARTISANS, is now live at

Please enjoy the FIVE galleries which are full of pictures of our work on various projects in England, France, Scotland, Germany, and Australia.

Mark enameling custom cabinetry that he built in a period home in London

In a future post I will explain how this work has allowed us to work our way across the world over the last 10 and 1/2 months!
©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
Please respect the words and images on this page.
All rights reserved.

Bye, Bye Edinburgh and Hello Borders

Quite a few people claim to live an eco-friendly life, but very few of them actually live by those principals to such an extent as those we met in Scotland.

Stop and think of how challenging your life would be if you tried eschewing a motor vehicle altogether, cycled to work each day, did all of your shopping with a bicycle, and had a small child in tow on a bike cart or in a backpack as you walked. This is exactly how our friends live in their ultra-low-consumer and recycle-everything mode!

Ellie and Baby Sula with their daily form of transportation

Saying goodbye was hard. Our two weeks in Edinburgh had fairly well flown by and we had grown quite attached to our marvelous WorkAway hosts — Ellie, Simon, and the adorable baby Sula. We had driven north to participate in a project at Greenworks and ended up making what we hope are a lifelong friendships.

The winds were brisk and the air was filled with micro-rain. But the scenery at the Borders (where Scotland and England meet) was simply stunning — wild and raw and unforgettable.

Scottish rural landscape

We’re hoping to go back to Scotland before the end of the year — so fingers are firmly crossed!

Gatepost carving on rural fence at the Scottish Borders farm

COPYRIGHT ©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
Please respect the text and pictures on this site. All rights are reserved.

Pictures Full of Words

Today’s post is another photo break — and we examine the words on signage that aim to catch your attention. Both of these signs were seen on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland.


Do Angels With Bagpipes Create Sottish Foodie Heaven?

And in the sign below, it’s nice to imagine that some cranky old miser can’t always dictate his spin on the news — or pick and choose what he wants ‘the masses’ to know or think or believe.

Can it be that there is still some freedom in today's media?

COPYRIGHT ©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
Please respect the text and pictures on these pages. All rights reserved.

Hotel Doormen Wear Kilts in Scotland

Quick photo today of yet another quirky and wonderful thing I spotted in Edinburgh.

Hotel doormen can be spotted wearing kilts!

Hotel doormen wear kilts in Scotland

COPYRIGHT ©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life. Please respect the images and text on these pages. All rights reserved.

How Wonderful and Quirky Is Edinburgh

Look up, look up! Re-tune your eyes so you fill your memory with the many snippets of marvelous things scattered about the city — tiny pieces of poignant sculpture — partial bits of quotes or poems — monumental architecture with almost-hidden carvings — all of it weaving a mysterious cloak that wraps this city up tightly.

Quirky, quietly beautiful, and never failing to amuse with the non-stop parade of ‘interesting’ residents and visitors alike, Edinburgh has so much going for it as a travel destination.

Squeezed between the shopfronts on the Royal Mile is a perfect example — the carving over Paisley Close which commemorates the survival of one young lad who was found amidst the rubble of several collapsed buildings in 1861. “Heave awa’ chaps, I’m no’ dead yet” is inscribed above the arch.

"Heave awa' chaps, I'm no' dead yet" sculpture above Paisley Close arched opening in Edinburgh, Scotland


Under the category of sweetness, where else in the world do you expect to see three charming teenage boys walking across a bridge in the heart of a city, two of them holding hands, and one of them wearing his kilt. It put a smile on the faces of everyone that they passed.

Kilt wearing, hand holding teenagers in Edinburgh, Scotland


Stereotypes exist for a reason, and the sheer determination, outright stubbornness, and frugality of the Scottish nature were all on display in bits and pieces on our travels. Our 2 week visit certainly convinced us that the lovely Scottish friends that we had back in Australia derived their fearless attitude and ferocious tenacity from their ancestry as well as their general personality.

The beauty of Edinburgh manages to mask the occasionally simmering resentment of the governing powers down in London. That historic anger was certainly on display in the National Museum of Scotland where the arresting poster below found quite a few people stopping, nodding their heads up and down in agreement as we watched, and creating a strong impression on me that those decades old resentments are still not forgotten.

National Gallery of Art & Edinburgh Castle Atop The Hill


Margaret Thatcher 'Oil Vampire' poster

But under the category of just-plain-quirky, how about the whiskey store right next door to the health food store? Or the wine shop that is an ‘homage’ to the old sci-fi film, Planet Of The Apes? Click to enlarge them and have a giggle!

Odd choice of shops to be side-by-side

A quirky homage to Cornelius from Planet Of The Apes


Calligraphy on wall of National Museum of Scotland: Declaration of Arbroath - 1320 AD

My most recent visit was my 4th time in Edinburgh and I have still barely scratched the surface of what there is to see and do. Trust me, I’ll be going back!

©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
Please respect the copyright of all text and photos on this website.
All rights reserved.