The world through my eyes.
Welcome to my website! I'm Lesley, a freelance travel & leisure journalist based in stunning South Africa. Which means no matter where in the world I visit, it's always a thrill to come back home. Here you'll find some of my travel articles, hotel and lodge reviews and my quirky, warped and opinionated ideas on life, love, cheesecake and everything else crucial for survival. Check out my theatre reviews too - you may think I'm harsh sometimes, but I reckon I just tell it like it is!
If you want to follow me on Twitter, I'm on @lesley_stones
Have fun, and travel safely.
Hashtag Lottering!It’s a real cultural disadvantage not to speak Cape Coloured when you go to a Marc Lottering show.
You might be an interpreter for the United Nations, holding twin degrees and gold frequent flier cards from a dozen different airlines, but when the rest of the audience cracks up laughing at Lottering’s Cape Flats street slang, it’s you who’ll be feeling like the uneducated minority. Read Review:
Aspirational IslandsFlying over the Indian Ocean towards the gorgeous islands of Mozambique is like entering a kid’s over-imaginative colouring book.
Your camera works overtime to capture the stunning white sand and vivid green palm trees strewn across a dozen shades of iridescent blue. These are aspirational islands, boasting year-round sunshine, a laid back atmosphere, fine food and friendly locals, and none of the hustle and bustle of the mainland.
The best way to get there is by helicopter or light aircraft rather than by boat, which is pricy but worth it for the bragging rights and the incredible views! Read review:
Ubu and the Truth CommissionTruth is far more frightening than fiction, certainly in this battle-scarred country.
In the powerful play Ubu & the Truth Commission, fact and fiction blend through an imaginative mix of styles, with actors, puppets from Handspring Puppet Company, animation by William Kentridge and genuine stories from the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC). It’s not lightweight viewing, but it’s worth the journey.
Ubu is an excellent yet uncomfortable play in several ways. Read review:
Perfect PilanesbergYou know a game drive isn't going too well when the ranger stops to talk about impala.
Usually you drive straight by, dismissing them as too common to care about. But so far our 5am safari has yielded nothing but trees and empty clearings, and ranger Danie Fourie doesn’t want unhappy guests.
I’m beginning to wonder whether Pilanesberg Game Reserve was a bad choice when Fourie abandons the impala and picks up speed. We’re on the trail of lion, and suddenly the anticipation is electric. Read review:
SteveHere's me and my very lovely man, Steve Ormond, who fought so hard to beat off meningitis and then survive the series of strokes the illness caused.
He didn't make it.
He died on April 21 after such an incredibly brave battle and such determination not to leave me. He did it with grit and courage and humour and so much love that the last nine months were incredibly special for us, yet unbelievably cruel.
I love you Steve. I'm going to come and find you one sweet day.
Here's a piece I wrote about him:
Cine ShortsHello, My Name Is Doris: A sweet, funny story about an older woman suddenly obsessed by a far younger workmate. Pretty good, and Sally Field is great, but I'd have far preferred a British version rather than this American take. ***
Me Before You: I loved this book, a real tear-jerker, and the film is a pretty good version. Really glad it's a Brit affair - Hollywood would have healed our quadraplegic hero. ****
Youth: Michael Caine in a slow, surreal and sumptuous arthouse stroll through old age. Sit back and enjoy ***
The Truth: It's had mixed reviews, but I was sold on it. Shows the pressure of the newsrooms and the trade offs, in this case tainted by political influence that corrupts the media owners so journalists are fighting against their own bosses. SABC much?? ****
Sing Street: A jolly romp set in Dublin when some young misfits form a band. Touching and charming with a fabulous soundtrack from my youth! ****
The Man Who Knew Infinity: Slightly dull retelling of the true story of India's Srinivasa Iyengar whose maths skills earned him a place at Cambridge University during the Second World War. Good, with the niggling feeling that it could have been so much more ***
Genius: Interesting biopic on author Thomas Wolfe and his editor Max Perkins with the lovley Jude Law and Colin Firth. Made me want to actively avoid Wolfe's enormously wordy works, so maybe that counts as a fail? ***
The Idol: A sadly so-so movie with a childish feel because it spends so much time on the Arab Idol's childhood. An eye opener about conditions in Gaza, though.. ***