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.
El BlancoTo tell the truth, the play El Blanco is a heap of nonsense.
There’s a plot, of sorts, some singing, of more uncertain sorts, a very large hat and very tight trousers, and square-mouthed James Cairns spinning a yarn of his days in crazy Mexico. And bravo, amigo, because it’s one hell of a funny show.
El Blanco - Tales Of The Mariachi is a fabulous piece of storytelling where everything is slightly madcap and one thread leads to another in great loops of convoluted imaginative twists. Read Review:
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.
Lesotho's lonely mountainsIf 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:
The Echo of a NoiseThere are times, when Pieter-Dirk Uys is fluffing around playing his various characters, that I don’t find him terribly entertaining.
This esteemed actor is widely hailed as a national treasure, yet even the grandest monuments grow dusty and fade past their prime. But I was wrong.
Perched on a barstool under a spotlight on an otherwise empty stage, 71-year-old Uys can still hold an audience absolutely mesmerised just by talking. Read review:
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:
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, 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 ShortsMoonlight: Some arty, perhaps annoying camera work, but once you get into it the closeness draws you in. A sad story of an unloved young boy trying to make his way in a world where people are so unkind to each other. A moving meditation as much as a movie.***
Hidden Voices: A cracker of a tale, the true story of three genius black women who worked for Nasa and made the space race possible, and their fight for their own much more basic dignity.*****
Manchester By The Sea: There are no happy endings in this moving, a beautifully told but ultimately grinding tale of a lost soul who will never find his way back to happiness. Great acting by Casey Affleck. ****
Fences: Denzel Washington and Viola Davies are brilliant in this story of love and abandoned hope with some meaty twists. It started as a play, and still has a stagey feel. ****
La La Land: Hmmm, a pretty, colourful, fizzy story of wannabes in Hollywood, with a bittersweet ending. Very good, but correctly not worth the Oscar's pic of the year. ****
Trainspotting T2: Raw life with a lot of humour, a mashing of violence and thick Scottish accents as Ewan McGregor and the boys try to revive a classic. It works. Sort of. ***