Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Grace's Great Voyage Down Under, Week 2: coffee, cancellations, bubbles and Broadchurch.

In case you missed my first post in this little series, I'll reiterate the key point made in it: I am not a travel blogger. 

However, I really want to share some things about my recent travels. 
I’ve decided to write posts in the future about my trips to various Other Places – but not necessarily the way a seasoned traveller and blogger might. I’m just going to write about specific things, moments, and some will exist in a big compilation post while others may stand alone. For instance, if I had an especially magical dinner date, or discovered a secret spot nobody had told me about, or even just had a conversation with a native (of which I have already had many, in Australia!), then that might exist in its own post.

Right, now we're all caught up, let's look back at my second my second home. 

Tuesday, 28 November 2017


I have been bingeing on podcasts recently, especially those produced and hosted by badass and cool women. 

One of my recent favourites was 'Get It Off Your Breasts'; a 'female-led roundtable discussion with a difference', hosted by Emma Gannon and Lliana Bird. Guests literally are invited on to talk about pet hates and specific stresses they are baffled by and/or truly sick of. 

My favourite episodes of this series include those featuring Sara Pascoe, Dawn O'Porter and Konnie Huq. I'd often find myself nodding vigorously as I listened while walking into town with headphones in, or in my bedroom getting dressed and slapping on some extra face. 

But the 3rd episode, in which the angelic Emma and brilliant Lliana chatted with their excellent guest Shappi Khorsandi, was one that really got me thinking. 

The 3 ladies talked about the stigma of being single - and how Shappi is personally done with dating and is ready for a life very much by herself (with her kids). I found that pretty inspiring, as a twenty-something singleton who is often baffling others when she says 'I'm perfectly happy on my own, tbh'...

Then the discussion moved on to how affected we, the public, are and aren't when we hear about celebrity couples breaking up. They agreed (as did I) that while celebrity splits don't bother me, celeb deaths can really hurt. 

And then they touched on another hot topic that I have had a lot of feelings about recently: "sharenting"

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

It's a holiday, not a project.

*Below: the conversation I’ve been having for the past few months, awkwardly paraphrased*

   ‘So, what are your plans for Christmas this year?’
   ‘Oh, I’m actually spending it in Australia, with my family out there.  I’ll be flying out in November and coming back in January!’
   ‘Whoa, that’s a long time! What are your plans while you’re there?!’

I am completely aware of just how privileged I am to have the opportunity to travel out to the other side of the world. Not only do I have the financial means to do it, I also get a slight advantage as I am technically a citizen of Australia – *proudly brandishes navy blue passport* – and this means I can stay in the country indefinitely, and there’s no need to apply for a VISA!

Yes, I am very, very lucky. The thing is, with this luck comes pressure.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Grace's Great Voyage Down Under, Week 1: A mess of moments.

G’day. Please excuse the horrendously OTT title I conjured up for this…series? Yes, I am dubbing it a ‘series’, albeit very cautiously and optimistically.

I’m not a travel blogger. You guys know that. I have serious respect and adoration for those humans – the ones who brave the endless expenses and annoyances of journeying around the world and in doing so try new things, push their limits and explore new territories they may never have considered visiting before…and take plenty of photos and notes throughout these mad ventures, to then pour into their online platform for all to read. As if the act of travelling wasn’t busy and baffling enough, these guys actually write reviews, compile lists and recommend countries/cities/towns/hotels/restaurants and much more, all for their readers. So much love and respect for that, y’know?

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Recent Reads #7: the strongest voices.

Whoa, another Recent Reads within a month? Madness. As I said in the last post, I'm on a roll with reading at present, and coincidentally a lot of excellent books have been coming my way lately.

The books mentioned in this post are just a few of the ones I had sent to me recently, and I ran them through my usual 'test' of sorts (read the first couple dozen pages, wait to be hooked in by the story or the characters, or hopefully both), and while loads have been good, these few stories were told through the best voices. 

(Photo taken outside Camilla's Books, Eastbourne, by a very handsome bookworm.)

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Leaving on a jet plane...I think.

I’ve ruined a lot of things, for a lot of people, in the past few years. I’ve broken hearts by recommending devastating (‘in a good way’) books, I once hinted a little too heavily about the twist in a particular film, I told a few close friends the shocking secrets behind Starbucks’ coffee gleaning process…I’ve even done that glass-shattering ‘spoiler alert’ thing a few times when I’ve pointed out to others a person’s distinct quirks (e.g. ‘he talks with his hands’, ‘they say ‘totally’ a lot’).

However, I’d say the biggest and worst thing I’ve ruined, multiple times in recent years, has been my family’s holidays.

 (Photo: Erin Veness)

Friday, 3 November 2017


Hi, my name's Grace. I also answer to Gracie.

'Sass' and 'savage' are two of my favourite words at the moment, nobody makes me laugh as much as I do, that pot of mango chia seed mix topped with coconut shavings you can get at EAT is my latest bizarrely specific foodie obsession, someday I want to live in a totally different European city, I've fancied Reggie Yates since his days on DIGGIT, I actually love travelling by train, I eat eggs almost every day and they're the only thing stopping me from being 'full vegan', I really appreciate a good pun, my new little convertible laptop is my baby and his name is Kirk, I passionately believe that American dramas and sitcoms should only be permitted to run for max 5 series, I'm having plastic surgery next year, I've realised I look better and feel sexier with this extra chub on my hips, crunchy peanut butter is the best kind, I used to do these posts once a month, then whenever I remembered to, now whenever I feel like it.  Today I am lecturing First Year Creative Writing students about blogging and in 8 days I'm flying away to the other side of the world, all by myself, for 8 weeks - it's actually happening, at last - and my 2018 is already looking pretty f*cking amazing. 

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