Happy Places – Weekly Photo Challenge

“Happiness is not a goal…it’s a by-product of a life well lived.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

(6 Photos)



Readers may wonder why I’ve chosen the photograph above in response to Krista’s “Happy Place” challenge this week. First, the road sign with the image of a camera represents the happy place I find myself in whenever I am out shooting, and even more so when I’m also traveling – an emotional rather than a literal happy place. Second, you’ll notice the Scottish road pictured actually has TWO lanes, each with enough space for a car AND a truck to travel, and no one has to worry about oncoming traffic – which makes it a particularly Happy Place. Third and most interestingly, the shot represents to me the happiness that comes from being able to laugh at ourselves. Let me explain…..



“No medicine cures what happiness cannot.”

Gabriel Marcia Marquez

While traveling the roads in Scotland we frequently came upon signs such as the one in my opening shot – a photo of a camera with no explanation. As a photographer I naturally assumed the signs meant there was a scenic viewpoint, and most often the sign appeared directly opposite a glorious landscape (no surprise considering the number of beautiful landscapes across the country). Because most of the roads in Scotland are quite narrow, the ability to pull over is very rare. Imagine my frustration when each time a camera sign appeared, there was in fact NO pullover spot until much further along, most often too far beyond the scenic view to capture it.



“The surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I mentioned my frustration to my daughter-in-law, whose family is from, and still partly located in, Scotland. Without calling me an idiot (which she had every right to do), she very sweetly explained that those signs designate SPEED cameras, and have absolutely nothing to do with the scenery nearby. Well DUH, of course they don’t !!!



“Whoever is happy will make others happy.”

Anne Frank

Now, I could have reacted a number of different ways. I could have been mortified to look foolish in front of my daughter-in-law and our families.  I could have beat myself up emotionally for my stupidity. I could have had a bit of a rant about the fact that there is no explanation to go with the camera sign, like “SPEED CAMERAS IN USE”. Or, I could have laughed out loud at myself for assuming the “scenic view” explanation — which happily, is exactly what I did!  And do you know what? It became a favorite memory of the trip which still makes me smile whenever I think about it.



“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Mahatma Gandhi

All of today’s photographs were taken during our Scotland adventure this fall. All of them represent Happy Places where I was able to shoot to my heart’s content after finding a somewhat convenient pullout spot. My husband, as always, was patient and supportive of my constant searching and stopping requests, and we only came close to causing serious traffic accidents twice – but as we like to say, close only counts in horseshoes, right? 😄



“Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sincere thanks to the many readers who expressed concern about our situation here in the Charleston area due to last week’s horrific floods. Happily (which seems like this week’s theme) we were high and dry and had no issues other than the inconvenience of the many road closures in our area. Both downtown Charleston and Kiawah Island were completely closed off for 2 days due to the deep and dangerous waters clogging the roadways. Several of my friends here had water damage but none were life-threatening or permanent. Our thoughts are with the many area residents who were not as fortunate.

My best to everyone for a truly HAPPY week! To visit more Happy Places, click here.


96 thoughts on “Happy Places – Weekly Photo Challenge

  1. Thank you for sharing that moment with us, Tina. 🙂 Life becomes a little less complicated when we have the ability to laugh at our self, doesn’t it?..when we take ourselves a little less seriously. Great post Tina, as always. 🙂

  2. Tina-
    I’m making an entry here – very late- this week. What a joy to see the photos from your trip, the sense of humor that I would have associated with you ( such a whimsical and positive point of view)…
    but, BEST of all, the note that you and your family are safe and sound! I’m very sad and concerned for residents of your state that did not fare well in the storms and relieved that your family is ok. You have put my thoughts at rest.
    Take care,

  3. OMG….u r so funny!!! I LOVE these shots and also love (as always) your words….always heartfelt, warm, touching, funny, thoughtful……just brilliant really!!! thank u for this….as I have been stressing up here in VT (all good) what a nice break!!……on our way back…..YEAH!!

  4. I am so glad to here that all is well for you after the storm. I hope others in the area recover soon. Love this post. I guess as we age – we learn to let go of things that irritate and if we can laugh at ourselves instead – all the better.

  5. I love your mistake with speed cameras! It must have been so frustrating looking for somewhere to pull over. I’m smiling as I type 😀 Also there are often no speed cameras anyway and they’re just a warning!!! Great photos too. Scotland is very beautiful. 😀

  6. I love that you could laugh at yourself AND share it with us afterwards. You know, I love my beautiful pictures, but my favorites are the ones that evoke wonderful memories. They’re not usually the prettiest ones, but they are my favorites.


  7. Beautiful landscapes, Tina! And you story about the camera signs is hilarious:)
    BTW, do you know that the word “sky” came from Old Norse, where it meant “cloud” or “gray” — probably because they rarely saw clear skies:).

      • Well, I’m married to a linguist, so I have to know:).

        Thank you for your comment about the women. They and their brother (I actually suspect that he was their husband:)) were with us on our Spanish tour.

  8. Ha! I never thought about it, but those signs really are very ambiguous… Still, at least by slowing down and looking for a place to take a photo, you did technically obey them 😀 Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos of Scotland!

  9. I’m still chuckling at your interpretation of the camera. I would most definitely have thought the same as in Australia they do use a camera image to let you know a scenic area or look out is coming up and it usually has a convenient pull over place with plenty of space for parking. As always your quotes are so appropriate and you have captured a part of Scotland I did not expect. My imagination expects Scotland to be all towering mountains and glens. It is quite bucolic and beautiful in these photos

    • Well THANK YOU Pauline – I just KNEW it made sense. You Aussies are people after my own heart 😄. Glad I’ve shown you another side of Scotland too, it really is a magical place.

      • I had a bus trip there with my mother when I was about 11 years old and must admit the memories are very hazy, so I’m loving this series of your visit. They do put the cameras up for the iconic look outs but of course there are always so many more and the beauty of our roads, usually plenty of areas to pull over and not mush traffic.

  10. Beautiful views, Tina. Really very scenic and peaceful. I had to smile when you said you thought the camera sign meant scenic views round the corner. I never thought of that and always thought they were pointing pointing out speed cameras 🙂 Always having the camera and photography on your mind, always in photographer mode but that isn’t always a bad thing – always ready to rock and roll what you love doing 🙂

  11. Such great Scottish scenes with your photos Tina, but I think the best one must have been when you heard your daughter-in-law’s explanation of the “photo signs” ~ that is a classic that will build over time, especially with your in-laws 🙂 Great story telling!

  12. Oh Tina. As a Brit used to the camera signs, you made me smile. Whilst in Scotland I can easily understand your interpretation of the signs. Thank you for sharing these lovely quotes.

  13. Wonderful photos Tina, and a very amusing post to go with them 🙂 I’m not surprised you thought the ‘camera’ signs were for scenic view points, they don’t look like speed camera warnings. Glad you and the family are okay after the flooding 🙂

  14. We’re used to those speed camera warning signs in South Africa. It seems a bit odd to warn people though, but maybe it does make them slow down a bit. 🙂 Beautiful photos and quotes, Tina. Love the red barn image. Eleanor Roosevelt was a very wise woman.

    • Thanks so much Sylvia – on all counts! And actually, we did slow down at the signs because we were looking for the stopping point LOL. We never did speed anyway tho, because we were too frightened driving on the opposite side with oncoming cars and two inches of room between us!!

  15. I had to think how I’d interpret that sign if I wasn’t from the UK. And a viewpoint does seem the most logical. Your interpretation reminded me of my M-i-L who thought the signs themselves were the speed cameras! After passing several of these signs on the way back to her home, she remarked at how many cameras there were on the road. I was puzzled as we had not past a single one. Bless her she is 91. And I also had a giggle at the way you were impressed with dual carriageways. Having driven in the US I can see why our ‘highways’ might be disturbing to you, my poor car bears the scars of narrow lanes, scratchy hedgerows and granite walls. I don’t do reversing very well 😉

    • Well Jude, you made my day with this one! Then again, your MIL is 91 so unlike me, she has a reasonable excuse!!! As for the highways, I don’t know how you guys do it on those teeny narrow roads. We can barely manage on our 4-lane super highways. On the other hand, I’m willing to be you have far fewer serious accidents since drivers are always aware of what’s around them. The biggest hazard for you guys must be drivers like us LOL

  16. Great quotes and pictures. I love the opening quote from Eleanor Roosevelt best. You know, i had yo think twice about the camera sign when you mentioned it. It really isn’t so obvious if you’re not from here. It really could well have been a vista of great panorama for photography.

  17. Hi, Tina. I was thinking about you this week! I’m so glad you were “high and dry.” And I love your story about the speed cameras. Those “aha” moments are part of the joy of traveling and they remind us to laugh at ourselves! Be well–

  18. 😊 I so enjoyed this one … Put a laugh, chuckle and a smile…. Surely none of us
    should take ourselves seriously eh?
    ~ as an aside , always see light colored cows or black, never grey ! This one is darn pretty ! Wonderfully captured
    landscapes ~ totally agree, a happy place to be!

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