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


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

There’s Something about Wales

I don’t usually write book reviews (book lists on the other hand …), but in a stroke of serendipity I recently finished reading Kate Humble’s Thinking on my Feet: The Small Joy of Putting One Foot in front of Another, an elegant meditation on the power of walking to both calm the mind and challenge the body, enlighten the spirit… View Post


[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ][ PART 4 ][ POSTCARDS ] Rather than the antiquated local museum I was expecting, from the moment you step inside Seaton Jurassic it is clear that time, money, and passion have gone into creating an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages. You start off by exploring a Victorian… View Post


I don’t know when or why the tradition began of gracing a website’s comment section with “First”. It’s something that I’ve always found it a bit silly. I mean, it’s not so much a comment as a territorial marker! However, I had my own first moment recently that, while it hasn’t convinced me of the merits of staking a digital… View Post


The stereotype of British weather goes something like this: it’s cold, it’s grey, and it rains a lot. There may or may not be fog. And I have to admit the last few weeks have fit that description to a T. Constant drizzle, thunderstorms, and the occasional hailstorm have served to keep me inside, daydreaming of warmer temperatures and drier days. Because of the… View Post


The British duo of Flanders and Swann are remembered for their comedic songs such as “The Gnu”, “The Sloth”, and, one of my personal favourites, “The Armadillo”.  Yes, they had a thing for songs about animals, and the best known is probably “The Hippopotamus”, in which the title character sings a chorus of “Mud, mud, glorious mud!”  From my recent experience in the town… View Post


Forty years ago, my mother made the decision to get married on her birthday. Four years later, I decided that it would be a good date to make my own appearance into the world. When it came time for my fiancé and I to pick a day for our wedding, there was only one obvious choice. It means the chances of either of us… View Post


I was first introduced to the wonders of Swindon many years ago through Jasper Fforde’s delightful Thursday Next series. There were airships, migrations of mammoths, and kickass literary adventures to be had in this enchanted town off the M4. Having worked in Swindon for over two years, I can say with a great deal of confidence that Mr. Fforde was exercising not only his imagination… View Post


In between our walk in Bradford on Avon and the following Sunday, I may have gotten a little overambitious. I thought it was time we looked beyond our charity shop guide to other walks in Wiltshire, and between Amazon and Waterstones I managed to put together a small collection of books with local walks. I even found one specifically for Chippenham, and that’s the one… View Post


Walking is the number one national leisure activity in the UK, with over 9 million people reporting regular outings. However, “walking” doesn’t really capture the complete spectrum of what’s on offer. At the more extreme end are hill walkers, those who relish the ups and downs of the landscape. They typically own several sets of waterproofs, carry flasks of tea or coffee (and plenty of… View Post


As an American expat in the UK, the most common question I’m asked is probably “Where in the States are you from?” This is immediately followed by the second most common question: “Wow, Florida! Don’t you miss the nice weather?” To which I can honestly answer no. Don’t get me wrong: I do love blue skies and sun, the ability to wear a… View Post


I found myself thinking about Wales recently. You might remember this is where I escaped to carry out a digital detox last year, getting away from the internet for several days in order to clear my head and escape from the constant pressure of always-on connectivity.* Going through my writing from this time was a good reminder of the things… View Post
MissElaineous Travel Blog: Escape, Explore, Discover, Enjoy