Acreage closed for Easter


As this post goes up, I’ll hopefully be stepping off the train in Bruges for a long-awaited holiday with my partner. I say ‘hopefully’ because our Eurostar leaves at Stupid o’clock AM and neither one of us functions properly before midday.

Assuming we both arrived at our destination, my blog will be quiet for the next week whilst I soak up some architecture, foreign culture and literal tonnes of chocolate. After all, I’m in Belgium at Easter. What else would I do?

I’ll probably be offline for most of this time so, if you’re among those taking part in Camp Nanowrimo (especially those in my cabin), I wish you the best of luck with your goals. I’ll still be stealing some time away from The Boy to work on my own project, holiday or not. Ideally I’ll be in a Bruges cafe with some sweet treats rewarding my progress…

Have a lovely Easter / spring holiday!

Week #8 | An unforgettable day in my life

img_1141My nephew is one of the best people in my life and, because of the small age difference between us, we’re more ‘brother and sister’ than ‘nephew and aunt’. His dad Jess lives in New Zealand and, back in 2013, was getting married. Obviously Jess wanted Jake there, and Jake wanted to be there, so I flew to the other side of the world with my favourite little guy so he could be ringbearer [insert obligatory Lord of the Rings joke here].

The whole trip was pretty memorable; we visited Matamata, home of Hobbiton (see below – beautiful day!), Jess got married and Jake met his cousins and half-siblings for the first time. Mindful of how far we’d travelled, Jess made sure we both had a fantastic time, going out of his way to make sure we saw everything we wanted to.

I’m not by nature a very active person (I’m a writer, what do you expect?) and this trip definitely showed up how unfit I was. Aside from a trip to Fairy Falls, which sounds like an easy walk but is not (because the steps up the steep hill are made for giants and I’m a hobbit), we also visited Rangitoto, the volcano off the coast of Auckland. This is my unforgettable day.

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Week #5 | My favourite holiday

Part of the 52 Week Blog Challenge

I’ve been many places; the Goodacres are big on the whole ‘family holiday’ thing. It took me a while to figure out which holiday was my favourite: did I go for the cliché Disneyworld trip, or the holiday to New England, or Egypt with my mum? They’ve all been so fantastic. But the more I thought about it, I kept coming back to one place, and it wasn’t too far from home.



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Week #4 | Top 5 Places I’d Love to Visit

Part of the 52 Week Blog Challenge

There are very few places in the world I wouldn’t want to visit (although Trump-ruled America now definitely makes that list), but I do have lots of countries that are my priorities. Narrowing it down to just the Top Five was very hard. I’ve done my best, so let’s explore.

1. Russia

kremlinI’ve had a love for Imperial Russian history for the last decade, due to a story I researched and drafted which was set in 1604, Moscow. Although this story is on the back-burner for the foreseeable future, I would love to visit the country that birthed it one day. I had a trip planned a few years ago with my friend, but then the whole Ukraine thing happened, and we had to cancel. Someday, though…

The two things I would most love to do when I’m there are visiting the Kremlin, and seeing the Russian Ballet perform Swan Lake.


2. China

chinaMy journeys so far have taken me to many places in Europe and a couple in Africa, but never to Asia. China is an obvious stop. There are many tourist attractions I’d like to see: The Forbidden City, The Great Wall, but really, my heart is set on visiting the Zhangeye Danxia, the Tianzi Mountains and sailing down the Li River. Just look at how beautiful everything is!

3. Iceland

northern-lightsNorthern Lights, anyone? Seeing the Aurora Borealis has been my dream ever since I read His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, and I am determined to not go to my grave until I have succeeded in doing so. However, I would also like to visit a few other places while I’m waiting for that elusive beauty. Top places are: The Blue Lagoon and the Crystal Cave (below).


4. Japan


Japan! If there’s ever anywhere in the world with a culture so completely different to England’s, it is Japan. Apart from seeing the Harajuku District, riding the bullet trains and trying out Japanese cuisine, a few of my ‘must see’ items in Japan are: The Cherry Blossom Festival and the Takayama Spring Festival, the latter of which includes the Tokeiraku parade of 1,000 people in historical Japanese dress, playing music and dancing. The people are followed by yatai floats, which are lit by paper lanterns once night falls.


5. Greece


Although my current mistress is British mythology, and I had a long dalliance with Imperial Russian History, my first love was Greek mythology. I’ve adored the Greek pantheon of gods and their stories ever since I can remember, and this fondness has held steadfast through the years. I once visited Greece on a family trip when I was 11, but we were on the Greek island Zakynthos instead of the mainland. I was desperate to visit the Parthenon and all other places on my mythology checklist, but on the day we were due to go, I fell violently ill with an ear infection and spent an entire week in bed, in great pain. By the time I recovered, there was no time to go to the Parthenon or anywhere else, so I left, broken-hearted, but toting an enormous book on Greek mythology my mum had bought me as a commiseration prize. So, here are my top 4 priorities when I make it back to Olympus.

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The Return of the Hobbit: K’s Adventures in Middle-earth

My blog has been a digital ghost-town for the past three weeks. Why?

I’ve been on holiday in New Zealand. Land of the Hobbits. Middle-earth. Realm of Elves, Dwarves and Aragorn’s magnificent stubble. And so on.

Snake (my nephew) and I left at the beginning of August for a fun-filled three weeks with his Dad, who lives in the North Island. We visited Kauri forests, waterfalls, beaches, and I even climbed an (active) volcano.

One of the great things about New Zealand was the Maori-rich culture. I immediately zoned in on the fairy stories about the Children of the Tane and, inspired by these tales, I am currently plotting a Wild Hunt Chronicle featuring everything I discovered. I loved every second of absorbing the Maori culture and can’t wait to learn more about it.

But now I’m back and I bring photos of great beauty to share with everyone. Enjoy the scenic wonders of New Zealand.

Normal blog service will resume on Wednesday.

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