Enjoy Virtual Travel to Stunning Italy

Photo by Ilnur Kalimullin on Unsplash

Coronavirus restrictions, crowded airports, busy tourist sites, heavy suitcases - who needs them? Do you really want to travel to Europe now? Apart from these concerns, the virus still wreaks havoc in some areas, and it spreads suddenly, and surprisingly quickly.

Why not stay home, and enjoy virtual travel to Italy instead? Enjoy watching a tour of Rome, or a movie set in Italy while sipping a glass of vino. Learn Italian, study history, or read a romance set in Italy. The possibilities are endless. Surprisingly, it is possible to do many of these free on YouTube!

If you have…


A Searing Account of Suffering with the Spanish Flu

Why You Should Read Pale Horse, Pale Rider

Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The haunting sounds of someone singing on their balcony drifted down to us as we walked along the deserted street in Rome. We were on the Via Nationale soon after Italy’s lockdown, strangers in a foreign land, growing increasingly panicky about whether we’d be able to get back home to Australia. Almost stranded in Italy, we made it to London where the effects of the pandemic really became clear to us.

We listened to a BBC announcement warning of hundreds of thousands of deaths, of Heathrow Airport possibly closing, the shops closing…


Hello Mint,

This was interesting. I am glad that you have found a relatively happy new life here, but sad that you are so far from your family and unable to see them. Pandemics usually don't last forever, and it is extremely surprising that this one is so similar to the Spanish Flu. Australia's answers to it have come straight from the Spanish Flu 'rulebook'! That lasted about two years, so hopefully we will all be able to travel again soon. Keep your spirits up!


Don’t Let Social Media Snatch Your Time!

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

“Social media not only snatches your time, but it also teaches you attention deficiency.,” according to Procrasdemon — The Artist’s Guide to Liberation From Procrastination by Neeraj Agnihotri,[i] Have you ever found yourself spending too much time checking what your friends are up to on social media or looking at the news on SM platforms while working at home? This is a waste of time which reduces productivity, induces guilt feelings, and can lead to addiction in the worst scenario. …


Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay

Woman in White Long-Sleeved Shirt Reading Books. Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Katherine Reay is one of my favourite authors so I was delighted to read this sequel to The Printed Letter Bookshop. This novel focuses on several characters from that book, together with new ones. They are all dealing with heavy problems but the community of Winsome (this name is perhaps too ‘cheesy’) gradually provides support and healing, although they all have to learn some very difficult lessons.

The characters include Alyssa, Janet and Jeremy. Alyssa is being investigated by the FBI after a scandal at her medical company. Fired and broke, her only option is to return to her hometown…


My Ideal Vacation is Prince Edward Island. What’s Yours?

Smudge 9000 from North Kent Coast, England, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Have you always dreamed of visiting a particular place? Unfortunately, many of us have been forced to place our ideal vacations on hold, because of closed borders and lockdowns due to the pandemic. However, the rollout of vaccines will probably make the possibility of travel more promising soon.

Don’t despair. Surprisingly, this is the perfect time to plan a trip! A University of Sussex study, published in 2002, shows that people are actually at their happiest when they have a vacation lined up.

Clinical psychologist, now writer Alice Boyes, says that planning a trip is good for anxiety. She always…


Comfort Boxes Help When You are Feeling Stressed or Panicky

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Comfort boxes can help you feel better during stressful times. Their contents can soothe, console and relax you. Making a comfort box is also a therapeutic experience. Comfort boxes are good for your mental health.

Imagine fighting in the mud and filth of the trenches far from home, with the fear of scattered shellfire. Then imagine the excitement of receiving a box filled with treats, such as books, magazines, cigarettes, cake, and jam. This would certainly help to make you feel closer to home, and ease the suffering a little.

During World War One many countries sent packages or boxes…


I read it often, and never tire of it!

Image by Mario Hernandez from Pixabay

Confident, ambitious, kind, helpful, dreamy. These are all words which describe Anne Shirley, the heroine of Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery, one of the books in the much-loved Canadian Anne of Green Gables series.

My grandmother gave me this book when I was 11, and it is the most inspirational book I have ever read. This is because it concerns profound themes of friendship, death and love, and because of Anne’s wonderful character. Many young girls admire Anne, and want to grow up to be just like her.

Anne certainly has some difficult lessons to learn in this…


By anonymous — Scanned from the book The National Portrait Gallery History of the Kings and Queens of England by David Williamson, ISBN 1855142287., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6639616

The people at court quickly stifled their gasps when they saw the young and beautiful Princess Elizabeth dressed like Queen Anne. As she was of ‘the same shape and complexion’ it was obvious that she was wearing one of the Queen’s dresses. Although Princess Elizabeth had been invited to court for the Christmas celebrations, she had effectively been declared illegitimate, and only royals were permitted to wear rich gold and purple silks. Why was she dressed in one of the Queen’s gorgeous dresses? More importantly, why was King Richard III paying her so much attention at these Christmas celebrations? …


Flexibility may be the most important quality in a crisis

Young professional in white sweatshirt https://unsplash.com/photos/YcJupWm1PhQ

A crisis often requires you to make huge changes in your life, causing great stress. For example, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, most people had to keep away from their loved ones and stop going out except in extremely limited circumstances. Some had to work from home, while others were forced to deal with the loss of their jobs.

All but the most grounded of people found this taxing.

During a crisis, flexibility is arguably the most useful skill to cultivate. Flexibility is “the ability to shift perspectives or actions when new or unexpected events arise.”¹

So, what…

Lisa-Anne Sanderson

Lisa-Anne Sanderson is a freelance writer who has had several articles published in websites and magazines. These include Life in Italy and French Provincial.

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