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

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

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

Touch Wood: An Interview with Simon Webb

George Bernard Shaw is said to have written that England and America are two countries separated by a common language, and there is perhaps more than a kernel of truth in this statement. Some are obvious: in August I wrote about how American buttermilk biscuits are nothing like British biscuits. The latter tend to be more hard cookies, perfect for… View Post

A Walk on the Wild Side (Plus Sheep)

There are a few things you might expect to see when you go for a walk in the British countryside: Sheep? Most likely. Cows? Probable, especially in the area around Barbury Castle. Horses? Always a possibility. Intriguing architecture? Chances are good. Stunning landscapes? Guaranteed. But an elephant? Or a herd of zebra? These slightly more exotic creatures do not instantly… View Post

Musings on History

Like many people, over the past few weeks I have watched the events that have unfolded across the globe with a mix of emotions and questions swirling through my mind. There’s sadness. From Emmett Till to George Floyd—and the thousands of black men, women, and children killed simply because of the colour of their skin—how many lives have to be… View Post

Marlborough Magic

Travelling is often synonymous with getting away from it all or venturing to the other side of the planet to see the new, the unfamiliar, or the exotic. However, I would also argue that some of the most eye-opening travel experiences can happen practically in our own backyards when we are willing to look at the familiar in a new… View Post


Outside of the UK, the word “Glastonbury” is synonymous with music and mud. Within the UK, the definition is pretty similar, with the annual(ish) music festival regularly dominating headlines. Tickets for the 50th anniversary in 2020 recently sold out in under forty minutes, and even I took the time to brainstorm how litter could be reduced at future festivals after… View Post


[ Last week I shared Part 1 of a recent bank holiday weekend that did not go quite to plan, and this week I’m picking up with Part 2 … please consider signing up to the MissElaineous mailing list to get all blog posts as soon as they’re published. ] Although best known for its standing stones—which are considered the largest Neolithic… View Post


Outside of the UK, the term “bank holiday” is likely to be met with a puzzled expression. Is it a day to celebrate banks? Or a day that they’re closed? Or something completely different? After all, the UK is the country that also gave the world Boxing Day, which has nothing to do with pugilistic endeavours! The reality is the… View Post


Great Britain is composed of three nations: England, Wales, and Scotland. The United Kingdom adds Northern Ireland to the mix, and hence the official name of the country is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The point of mentioning this terminology is that both Scotland and Northern Ireland are parts of the UK that are some distance… View Post


People often talk about love at first sight, whether it’s meeting that special someone to spend your life with or buying a house. But what about the opposite? Because that was my reaction to Sheffield when I first encountered this northern city almost fifteen years ago. I was on a flying visit to find a place to situate one of… View Post


The cliché that lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place is patently false: after all, lightning rods are designed specifically for the task! But when it comes to magical moments, there is often a kernel of truth in the statement. How often have you gone somewhere and had a fantastic time—maybe it was an incredibly delicious meal at a… View Post


In like a lion, out like a lamb. This familiar quip about the month of March actually seems quite logical. After all, the beginning is still winter, with the spring equinox arriving at the tail end of the month. Which is, I admit, no guarantee of good weather, but this year it proved to be more accurate than anticipated. Early… View Post


Postcards feel like a modern day anachronism: bits of paper covered with photographs, a scribbled line or two on the back, and sent through a postal system that operates at human speed rather than almost instantaneously. Why bother with all this when you can pop a picture on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter in the time it takes to hit a… View Post


Okay, I admit it: I am addicted to snowdrops. If you have been following along with Facebook or Instagram over the past few weeks, you’ll have seen these little white flowers have had a starring role in my February travels. One of the first things I learned as a novice snowdrop hunter is the importance of sun to bring out… View Post

A Simply Stunning Seasonal Spectacle

Japan is known for its sakura, ornamental cherry trees that cover the country in billowing clouds of pink and white blossoms. Their blooming is considered an annual event, not just a sign of the season. There are daily forecasts that track the developing buds and, once open, families, friends, and work colleagues participate in hanami, viewing parties to enjoy the… View Post

A Light in the Darkness

I never gave much thought to winter before moving to the UK. After all, I grew up in Florida and if there’s one thing it’s known for besides Disney World, it’s sunshine, palm trees, and a tropical climate. Okay, that’s three things but you get the idea. Temperatures in Florida range from warm to scorching, with a side helping of… View Post

Exploring Edinburgh in Technicolor

[ PART 1 ] [ PART 2 ] Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is known for many things. There’s whisky, which I don’t partake in, but I can vouch that tastings are a popular activity on offer for those who want to sample a beverage that is practically synonymous with the country. There’s its architecture: the “newer” parts were built during the… View Post
MissElaineous Travel Blog: Escape, Explore, Discover, Enjoy