About To Snap

Elegant Lady takes Snapshot with a Smile. Scenes of Visitors and
Summertime in Edinburgh means tourists. Lots of tourists. All clamoring for pictures with Greyfriar’s Bobby, Braveheart, and the bagpipers found on every corner. This is also the time of year when those of us who possess something of trust in our faces find cameras being shoved into our hands at an alarming rate. If a person possesses that look that says, Hey, I’m someone you can hand your camera to when all you want in life is a picture in front of a castle without having to fear I’ll run off and put it on Ebay, their lunch breaks and walks home from work between the months of June and September will be similar to mine.
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One For The Road

It is an Edinburgh-wide truth that a lone female’s ability to grab a cab at the end of a night out decreases in direct proportion to the upward height of her heels. Slip on a pair of ballet flats and you’re sure to find a fleet of taxis for the picking. Rock your hottest, highest heels and you, my fashionable friend, are destined to walk the stag night gauntlet of inappropriate propositions and public displays of urination. And, it was in this latter situation that I found myself not too long ago when The Hubby was out of town.
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Time And Tide Wait For No (Wo)Man

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If time and tide wait for no man, I at least thought I was in with a slight chance as a woman. But alas, my thirties have finally found me. I am thankful for another year and another decade, and I certainly have big plans for this next age bracket. Yet, I didn’t quite realize how deeply I would feel the transition between 11:59pm on the last day I was 29 and 12:00am on the day I became 30.

I am not one to dwell on regret. I figure that God’s will and my own stubborn one have given me the life I was supposed to have, whether in the valley or on the mountain top. Yet, when I look back on the thirty years I’ve clocked in this existence, I find myself thinking about the few things I had assumed as inevitable in my life that sadly never came to be. Herewith, my small regrets in life:
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The Climate Chaos of the Retail Gods

I love a good sale. Truly, I do. There’s nothing better than scoring that darling Brooks Brother pencil skirt without having to forgo things like food and electricity for a month. I probably owe much of this to my grandmother who could attack a Gayfer’s Midnight Madness Sale with all the tactical fervor of Napoleon Bonaparte. Yet, I am perpetually perplexed by the deals I score in the wrong countries.

When Christmas is over and the Boxing Day sales have left the flagship stores along Edinburgh’s Princes Street decimated, the new shoots of the spring lines slowly begin to appear. We are offered eyelet and linen in soft playful colors and the empty promise of warm enough weather to wear it all. Conversely, in department stores all across Florida, once we put our whites away after Labor Day, the flannel and fur set in for a winter that will never quite be cold enough.
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Punctuating My Patriotism

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I have an irrational fear of being a traitor to my heritage. This probably stems from an early memory of my grandmother, quite seriously, accusing me of being such when I brought Pepsi instead of Coca-Cola to Sunday dinner. I’d rather not unpack the cultural baggage of that perception, but to this day I remain vigilant of any potential future transgressions.

Now that I find myself living in another country, I try my damnedest to hold on to my roots. I wear my cowboy boots everywhere and carry my Garden & Gun around like a security blanket. I frequently educate friends, coworkers, or anyone who will listen on the joys of country music, college football, and real barbecue. So, it’s with this in mind that I frequently approach writing with some trepidation.
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The Unnecessary Freezing Of Water

Disclaimer: Due to bad weather and the author’s subsequent grumpiness, this post is not recommended for meteorologists, Scottish nationalists, or those with oversensitivity to sarcasm.
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Frying Pan, Meet Fire

Having recently returned to Scotland after spending the holidays with my big crazy family in Florida, I’m left with a prevailing thought: superstitions are a funny thing. On the surface they appear harmless enough – like shaking out dropped dishrags to avoid unwanted visitors or expecting them when your nose begins to itch. Yet, speak to any child raised by the stubborn kind of Southern grandmother like mine was, you’ll learn the more serious side of not adhering to superstition. These are the kind that stick with you for life and possibly send a good portion of grandchildren raised below the Mason-Dixon Line to therapy.

One could debate all day long whether there is some actual cosmic correlation to doing something at a certain time, on a certain day, or in a certain way that evokes a negative reaction. That’s a philosophical question I’m, frankly, just too lazy to answer. However, all evidence points to the fact that January 1st is the scariest day of the year. It’s the New Years superstitions that reach out and smack you when you’re not looking. I know that on New Years Day I should always have a man be the first to enter my home and to never touch a washing machine for fear of killing someone in my family.
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Fat Lards & Christmas Markets

Every year the German Market comes to Edinburgh at Christmas time. Princes Street Gardens turns into a sparkly winter wonderland full of festive Germanic wares and heavy with the smell of glühwein and bratwurst. It’s a magical time.

Yet, for all it’s beauty it will always be slightly tainted by the memory of visiting the market several years ago and for the first time in my life coming too close to being legitimately punched square in the face by another human being.
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Getting My Thanks On

My mother has a tradition on Thanksgiving to go around the table and ask each of us to say what we were most thankful for that year. Even if you happen to be 3,000 miles away, she still expects a webcam session to proclaim your annual appreciation for something. Besides her declaration last year that she was truly grateful that our town finally instituted kerbside garbage pick-up, our gratitude generally resides with the big things in life – having our health, getting a new job, nabbing a husband, technology that keeps the family together over miles and continents.

Yet, it occurs to me each year that the small, unsung heroes of our everyday life never get any praise. Where’s the gratitude for those banal things that make our lives a little brighter and our days a little easier? So, here on Thanksgiving I want to give a shout-out to the top five things currently in my life for which I’m truly thankful.
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Do Unto Others

Here we are on the backside of another presidential election. Florida has overcome its quadrennial bout of dyscalculia, the rest of the world has breathed a heavy sigh of relief that we didn’t screw it up this time, and sadly my plans to make millions selling Oven Mitt Romneys has come to an end.

This was the first election I’d ever spent abroad, and I must admit I longed to be part of that special cone of crazy that descends on my homeland when the electoral machine starts well and truly churning. While national politics are always exciting, it’s the more nuanced politics of the small Southern towns that I missed the most.

This land of big fish, small ponds, and long memories is where things really get interesting.
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