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

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.

Cirque Éloize iD

Cirque Éloize iD The power and energy of Cirque éloize grabs you by the eyes and ears from the moment it begins.
A constantly changing cityscape of high-rise buildings daubed with graffiti, the noise of traffic and sirens and the pounding beat of hip-hop and Spanish rap. This is where the street punks play, dressed like they raided a jumble sale as they weave in and out of buildings, swing from the poles and goad their rivals in mock gang battles. It could be downtown Joburg, except the youngsters in the Cirque are hugely skilled acrobats, aerialists, athletes and dancers who turn the city into a modern circus. 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 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 Shorts

Cine Shorts A United Kingdom: Lovely, lavish and semi-local movie of the true story of the king of Botswana's love for a British woman and their fight against international condemnation *****
Shepherds & Butchers:
Excellent local movie based on true events about the legal battle to defend an apartheid prison warder turned murderer. A damning look at the jail system that's harrowing yet engrossing. With Steve Coogan and young Garion Dowds.  *****

The Arrival: Engrossing, intelligent sci-fri movie about a troubled linguistic expert trying to communicate with aliens. It'll stick with me for days. *****
Dr Strange: Slightly daft and utterly surreal Marvel caper with Benedict Cumberbatch doing a fab job as a pompous neurosurgeon who turns to the mysic world. Great in 3D. ***
Sully: As a frequent flier, I'm in love with Capt. Sully, the pilot who landed a plane in the Hudson when both engines conked. Tom Hanks is superb as Sully and director Clint Eastwood tells a taught tale of the investigation around the action ****