Every Business Has A Story

Over the past two years, my primary business of Academic Smartcuts has grown to the point where it now takes up the majority of my time. This is good news when you’re self-employed!  Although this means fewer MissElaineous blog posts, I am still writing A LOT. You can take a peek at what I get up to over on LinkedIn,… View Post

Going from A to D(urham)

I’ve always found the term “travelling for work” to be a bit of an oxymoron, or at least a contradiction of sorts. Although there is literal travel involved, in regards to moving from one place to another, it’s not exactly the type of thing that one thinks about when saying “I love to travel!” After all, many people don’t love… View Post

My Year of Buying a Car

[ This is not a standard blog post in that there is no travel, nature, history, or tea, unless you drink the latter while reading it (or count the cups I consumed while writing it). It was written partially as therapy to decompress after the experience and partially to inform. It is also long, so please buckle up and enjoy… View Post

Crocodiles in the Cotwolds

If I asked someone to describe the Cotswolds, they might talk about thatched cottages and buildings constructed from the eponymous honey-coloured stone. Adjectives like “charming” and “quaint” would likely be used to refer to the villages and hamlets that dot the region, which is itself an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They would perhaps mention that the Cotswolds has… View Post

Past Present

Do you ever find yourself thinking about the seeming randomness of life? For example, maybe the first person you meet at school becomes one of your best friends. Would things have played out differently if you or they had arrived at a different time that day, or would you have bumped into each other at some point anyway and your… View Post

Lions and Tigers and Dragons, Oh My!

Despite living in the UK for nearly 20 years, there are still large swathes of the country I haven’t seen. I’ve been up to the Orkney Islands at the tip of Scotland but have never properly visited Cornwall. I attended a wedding in Norwich once, but much of the east coast—Essex, Kent, Sussex—remains an absolute mystery. Trips to London must… View Post

In Review

The past few weeks have seen me revisit some of my favourite stomping grounds, so this blog post is less about exploring new sites and more about the enjoyment of reconnecting with places you know well. Magical. Enchanting. Quirky. These words were used by a friend to describe her first visit to the Cotswold Sculpture Park, and she is spot… View Post

The Not-So-Hidden Treasure of the National Trust

Throughout the past month, MrElaineous and I have watched the BBC television series Hidden Treasures of the National Trust. This documentary takes viewers into National Trust properties ranging from the huge and historic, such as Belton House and Hardwick Hall, to houses that are more on the human scale, like the Liverpool dwelling of photographer E.C. Hardman or the childhood… View Post

Save the Date

https://youtu.be/CnlIls5hzEI April 2024. This is the month that Bowood’s Woodland Gardens will again open to the public, and I encourage everyone reading this to pay a visit. MrElaineous and I have lived in Chippenham for over ten years now, and although we were aware of the Woodland Gardens, we had never managed to visit during its relatively brief opening season… View Post

Sacre Bleu!

This French expression of surprise or dismay seemed fitting when I realised it has been well over a year since I last shared a new blog post. It’s not due to a lack of travelling or a lack of desire: I have half-written articles and random paragraphs stashed all over my hard drive, as well as a mega-outline for last… View Post

Life Lessons from The Repair Shop

In what I think is a first for the MissElaineous blog, MrElaineous and I have actually managed to produce joint content. Keep scrolling to read my ode to The Repair Shop or hit play to hear an original Jon Paget composition. https://youtu.be/TeOj_RhiGvc Just a warning, this is a long blog post and best paired with a cup of tea* or… View Post

The Off-Season

The words “Westonbirt” and “autumn” are practically synonymous, at least to me. After all, this is the time of year when thousands of people from across the UK descend on this small patch of Gloucestershire for just one thing: the fantastic display of colours from the national arboretum’s collection of acers (Japanese maples). This is a seasonal spectacular that I’ve… View Post

Christmas Calling

Along with black cabs, bowler hats, and cups of tea*, the traditional red British telephone box has become a symbol of the UK as well as a design icon. Its history begins nearly one hundred years ago, when a competition was held to choose the design of a telephone kiosk for London. It was won by architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott;… View Post

A Thanksgiving Birthdaversary

If you’re reading this in the UK or elsewhere on the planet, you’re probably considering your plans for the weekend or thinking something along the lines of “I can’t believe it’s only one month until Christmas!” For those in the US, however, it’s Thanksgiving, a day of family, food, and (American) football. In the MissElaineous household, today also marks a… View Post


It sort of goes without saying that one of the goals of the MissElaineous blog is to share the natural beauty, fascinating history, and incredible nature of the UK from an American perspective. After all, it’s mentioned up there in the tagline! My friend Joanne Prince, however, approaches things from a different direction: for the past thirty years, Jo has… View Post

Out and About in Chippenham

I think I speak for everyone when I say that it feels like our world has shrunk this past year. Lockdown has kept some of us literally within our four walls or, at the very least, limited our usual travel opportunities. In the UK, restrictions that went into effect in January only started to ease on 12 April; it’s not… View Post

How to Travel Safely in a Pandemic

I’m not going to lie to you—I miss travelling. Whether it’s a day spent exploring a National Trust property or a city break in London or a long weekend getting away from it all in the beautiful countryside, I miss experiencing new sights and sounds. Everything else that’s mentioned in my tagline? I’ve managed to find ways of catering to… View Post

About the time hackers activated two-factor authentication on my Facebook account …

UPDATE: If you are experiencing this issue—and it seems that a lot of people are—I’m afraid I have no quick or easy fix to recover your Facebook account. Click here for the update that shares what worked for me and others. Do you have a solution that’s not listed here? Let me know and I’ll add it to the post. … View Post

New Year, New Project?

My friend Cathy introduced me to two things that helped brighten 2020: Caron Cooper‘s delightful Fosse Farmhouse and the works of Mary Crawford Fraser. The first is a charming B&B near the quaint village of Castle Combe that serves as a shrine to the anime programme Kin-iro Mosaic and is the perfect place to have a cream tea on a… View Post
MissElaineous Travel Blog: Escape, Explore, Discover, Enjoy