New client: Lesley Stones - Freelance journalist - photographer and traveller

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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.

Contact me

The Inconvenience of Wings

The Inconvenience of Wings There was a scene in The Inconvenience of Wings where I had to remind myself I was only watching a play.
The woman wasn’t really going mad, shouting obscenities, flailing wildly, terrifying her husband and indelibly disturbing the children witnessing her breakdown. It’s just a play, she’s only acting. And yet my heart was in my mouth and my breathing stopped until the uneasy, shifting calm returned. It’s only a play, yet this must be what’s happening in millions of homes as mental illness destroys lives and tears families apart. Read review:

The Kaktus of Separate Development

The Kaktus of Separate Development The latest performance by veteran actor and activist Pieter-Dirk Uys is a literally a show with two halves.
The actor is back with his Evita Bezuidenhout character giving us another run through history and politics, in a format that’s carried him through for decades. Dress as a white woman and get to say politically incorrect things, slap down or poke fun at parliamentary shenanigans and shine a light on corruption and incompetence. Read Review:

Writing awards!

Writing awards! I'm chuffed and honoured to have won the 2016 Arts Journalism Award!  I got the gold, and also a silver, in the reviews category of the National Arts Festival/Business & Arts South Africa awards. I'm delighted that the thoughtful and honest reviews I write have a role to play in applauding and helping to improve our theatre scene.

The Play That Goes Wrong

The Play That Goes Wrong It takes a great deal of skill to be consistently incompetent.
To corrupt a famous quote, most of us can manage it sometimes, some of us can manage it most times, but for everyone to manage it all the time, well, that requires real genius.
The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong does it perfectly, reducing the audience to helpless guffaws in this multi-award winning romp. Read review:

Lesotho's lonely mountains

Lesotho's lonely mountains If you want to learn about a country, try getting naked with the locals in the sauna for a while.
That wasn’t the plan when I sat on the hot wooden bench behind a large lady wearing nothing but a shower cap. But we got chatting, as naked people do, when she asked why I was in a hotel sauna in Lesotho. Read more:

Montreal meandering

Montreal meanderingIt’s Saturday night in Montreal, and I’m determined not to slink back home until at least 10pm.
I don’t want my two young Airbnb hosts to think I’m such a social failure that I can’t find anything to do in Canada’s self-proclaimed party city.
Montreal prides itself on being the fun and festive heart of Canada, a country that’s generally seen as rather dull. This city-on-an-island is having none of that, and celebrates about 110 festivals every year. So it’s a mathematical mystery how I’ve managed to arrive when there isn’t single a festival in sight. Read article:

Steve

Steve Here'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, 2015 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:

Cinema Shorts

Cinema Shorts Gifted: For a sweet movie about a kid, it's very tolerable. In fact, okaaaay - I enjoyed it! Young Mckenna Grace is brilliant as the genius kid whose uncle is trying to raise her normally ****
Their Finest
:
Gorgeous drama about a female scriptwriter in the Second World War. I laughed, I cried. They DO still make movies like they did in the old days! *****
Toni Erdmann: Weird one about an unbearable practical joking dad who tries to reconnect with his successful businesswoman daughter.  A serious message about life rather than silly, but long & squirmable. **
Beyond The River
:
A strong local film by director Craig Friemond starring Lemogang Tsipa and Grant Swanby as unlikely partners tackling the Dusi canoe race. All the usual conflicts, backstories and ultimate triumphs, but well told and beautifully filmed. ****

Below Her Mouth: Arthouse erotica with no holds barred sex scenes in a lesbian affair that turns the world of its 'straight' participant upside down. Rich with emotions.****
The Odyssey: Magnificently shot movie about the underwater pioneer Jacques Cousteau, with glorious underwater scenes. The script can't decide whether to focus on him or his son Philippe, and plumps for both, leaving it flabbier than necessary. ***
The Founder: Fascinating story about Ray Croc, the man behind McDonalds - and the people he stomped on to get there. Leaves you wondering how much more bad behaviour got omitted from the script...****