Wednesday Wandering…

It’s Wednesday again.

This is usually the time of the week when I go on a Wander. However, this week I’ve not had the chance to do my usual hunt for photos and research, despite (or perhaps because of) being out for a wander yesterday.

My Wednesday Wander posts take a bit of work. I enjoy doing them, and haven’t yet run out of places to feature. However, I’ve had a couple of books take me by the throat and demand I write them, so this year my focus will have to shift slightly when it comes to writing.

I do have more travel booked, a holiday planned for April to somewhere I’ve not been before, so I will definitely be writing more Wanders. However, they may not be every week – I hope you don’t mind.

I thought I’d take a look back and see how many Wanders I’ve written since the first post in November 2015, and was surprised to see there are 92! So, if you’re feeling that you might need a bit of a travel fix, there are 92 destinations right here on this blog, from Paris to Morocco, California to Wales. I even went to Dragonstone last year (though the Targaryens weren’t in, sadly). Just search Wednesday Wander, and you’ll see them all.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering (wandering?), my most popular post, based upon the amount of comments and likes, was to a place not far from where I live. Highgate Cemetery, London, is the most popular Wander I’ve written to date – hop on over and check it out, if you haven’t already.

Thanks for coming on so many Wednesday Wanders with me – see you next time!

Enjoyed this post? Want to read more? Find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, Under Stone (Ambeth Chronicles #4), is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

And don’t forget to get your Bloggers Bash tickets – follow this link to join the fun 🙂

Wednesday Wander… On A Thursday – Morocco

I know, I know, yesterday was Wednesday. But the snot monster who has returned to lodge in my head and chest forgot to remind me, and so here we are, Thursday, and no Wednesday Wander written.

So, as I’ve still not managed to dislodge the beast, I’m going to wander somewhere warm. I’ve wandered there before, but this time I’m hoping the reminder of sun and sand and sweet ocean breezes might tempt it away, and I can get back to normal again.

I’m in Morocco, on the coast north of Agadir, where the Atlantic waves roll in. If you’re looking for warmth, this is the place – the food, the people, the very air vibrates with heat, welcoming weary travellers from far and wide.

It is a place of light and roses and the scent of orange blossoms, of lanterns and stone walls and camels by the side of the road. A place where you can go and just be, listening to the waves and watching the sun set, golden, a sense of magic in the air.

I’d like to be there right now, to be honest.

Thanks for coming along on another Wednesday (Thursday) Wander with me – see you next time!

If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Author Page to see more.

Wednesday Wander – The Brighton Pavilion

img_0137You may think that this week I’ve chosen to wander somewhere exotic, a Moroccan souk or Indian palace. Actually, I’m only an hour or so from where I live, in the lovely but much-less-exotic Brighton, on the south coast of England. This is the Brighton Pavilion.

img_0141The Pavilion actually started life as a much more modest farmhouse, which the Prince of Wales, later George IV, rented as a convenient place to see his longtime love, Maria Fitzherbert, whom he was forbidden to marry. In 1787 he decided he’d like grander accommodation, so incorporated the farmhouse into one wing of a larger building. Construction continued until 1822 and took several stages, with renowned architect John Nash overseeing the final phase, giving it the appearance it has today.

img_0132Brighton at the time was gaining in popularity as a seaside town, thanks to the Prince’s uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, who had held a residence there for several years. For many years the Pavilion was the summer home of the Royal Family, until Queen Victoria decided it was too ‘cramped’ and not private enough. She decided to move to the Isle Of Wight for her summer holidays instead, and so the Pavilion was sold to the town of Brighton in 1850, for the sum of £53,000, a fortune in those days (and not too bad today, either!)

img_0139The Pavilion is now open to the public, and features the most wonderfully opulent interiors. I didn’t go inside on my last visit but plan to do so next time, and of course I’ll share the photos when I do.

img_0135Even though the day I visited was bitterly cold, it was bright and clear, perfect for viewing fantasy minarets against an azure sky. In some ways it reminded me of Hearst Castle, another place built by a man to spend time with the woman he loved but couldn’t marry – a perfect folly.

Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time!

If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ,  Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon.

Wednesday Wander – Fishing Village near Taghazout, Morocco

Is is Wednesday already? How this month has flown! I thought I’d be back on here a bit sooner than this, but the last few days of summer holidays are here and so I’ve been out and about, soaking up the minutes with my gorgeous girl before she goes back to school this Friday.

However, I can’t let a Wednesday go by without a wander, and this week, for some reason, my mind was drawn to Morocco. I’ve only been there once, though I hope to visit again one day – there is a real magic in the air. I love the food and the music and architecture, the way the lanterns glitter at night, sparkles of light painting walls and ceilings.

IMG_1569I also love the colours – the ochre of the buildings against dry earth and blue sky. The deep red which, I was told, is used on buildings because it’s the colour of the Moroccan flag, but also because it keeps the buildings cooler. I don’t know how true that last part is, but the man who told me seemed very serious about it. I also love the blue fishing boats, which blend into the ocean when they dance on the waves, but stand out so beautifully against the golden sands. IMG_1548Morocco is a warm place in many ways. The weather, of course, and the glorious earthy colours, the spicy food and dancing candlelight. But also the people, who are friendly, generous, and proud of their country and Berber heritage (at least, that was my experience). I hope to visit again, one day.

Thank you for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time!

Thursday Doors – Watford


On first glance you might be excused for thinking that this is a door from somewhere exotic, a Moroccan souk or Turkish bath, the air redolent with incense and orange blossom.


Instead, it is the door to a very good Lebanese/Mediterranean restaurant in Watford, just on the outskirts of London, where I happened to have lunch with friends earlier this week.



The food was excellent, the service friendly and welcoming and, when I saw another gorgeous door inside, the proprietor was only too happy for me to take a photograph. The plugs and fire extinguisher do slightly spoil the effect, but I think you get the idea.


This is my entry to Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors Challenge. For more doors, or to add one of your own, visit Norm’s site and click the link.


Wednesday Wander – Roses in Morocco

Over the past few weeks I’ve been doing ‘Wordless Wednesday’, where I posted a photo each Wednesday with no accompanying copy. However, ‘wordless’ just isn’t me, so I decided to come up with my own way to describe my images. I’ve settled on ‘Wander Wednesday,’ as most of the photos I take are while I’m out wandering around, whether just in my neighbourhood or farther afield. Plus, it also ties in with one of my favourite Tolkien quotes, ‘ Not all those who wander are lost.’

So here we are for the inaugural Wednesday Wander. Please feel free to join me 🙂


Five Photos Five Stories Challenge – Day 1 – Berber Tent



Camels walking alongside the dusty road, a small market stall piled high with bright oranges, green leaves still attached. A foyer lit at night with pierced metal lanterns, like walking into a room full of stars. Candles and fresh rose petals, silver and glass and polished wood. A small room, shadowy and curtained against the heat, lantern lit with comfortable sofas, just right for a mother and small daughter to hang out in for a while. The scent of honey and orange blossom. Drums echoing in the night, a masked man playing bass guitar against coloured lights, rhythms wild and pounding. And the view from a traditional Berber tent on the beach, redolent with smoke and fresh mint tea. Magical.


I’ve been nominated by Ali Isaac to take part in the Five Photos Five Stories Challenge – I haven’t chosen a nominee as yet 🙂

The rules of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:

1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is fun, not a command performance!