by Tilly Smith Dix

The past year has certainly shown us how to appreciate silver linings. Seeking joy during a trying time. Doing whatever gives us hope – and having the smarts to be safe and forge ahead.

Never has the time been better to reflect, examine our lifestyle, careers, travels and options for a happy, healthier way forward.

From riding on steam trains to going on a sublime safari, South Africa offers plenty hospitality.

Something that grabbed my attention here in Melbourne, is the upcoming festival in Bright, guiding women towards living their most fulfilled lives.

Cheers to the good life…here’s to living our best life.


Get A Grip of the Grind Festival 26-28 February 2021

Living a life we choose. We have a choice. We are able to change our mind. Set boundaries. Create me-time. Stick with people who elevate us. Negative thoughts can be changed. Mindfulness is key. The outdoors clears our mind. Exercise in nature.

These are factors that are important in creating a life in which we are happy and fulfilled. We cannot help others or nurture them unless we are able to do so for ourselves.

Mental fatigue creeps up on us and we feel overwhelmed. Detached, yet bound to our stress. It becomes a shield. We feel like victims and cannot deal with the tsunami of life. The past year certainly threw those curveballs long and hard and they still keep on coming…

Three years ago, Get a Grip of the Grind Festival was launched as the antidote for working women wanting more from their life, and their career. This is the remedy to ceding to conventional career and parenting pressures, in addition to societal expectations, which are driving women towards burnout.

The brainchild of Dr Eibhlin Fletcher (pronounced Evelyn, she is of Irish origin after all), and a team of maverick female role models, the Get a Grip of the Grind Festival takes place in Bright, Victoria.

The purpose of the festival? Assisting women to be their boldest, best self to take control of their lives. Inspiring and exhilarating conversations, riveting speakers, complemented by outdoor adventures in the sublime beauty and tranquil spaces of Bright, women are given the courage to explore their full potential to set in motion positive, lasting change.

Eibhlin has broken barriers in some of the most prolific male dominated industries. As a change agent in Civil Aerospace Operations for Rolls Royce, she was responsible for production improvements on the iconic Trent 900 engine, which is now on the wings of the Airbus A380. She has a PhD in Catalysis.

Dr Eibhlin Fletcher in action with women finding their tribe to shine at a typical Get a Grip of the Grind Festival in Bright, Victoria, Australia, clockwise from top left.

She is also an avid adventurer competing in some of the most gruelling 48-hour adventure races. She has rock climbed the world-renowned Snake Dyke in Yosemite National Park in the US and represented Ireland in the World Duathlon Championships.

Says Eibhlin, “We are inviting women to plan an unforgettable weekend with their girlfriends, colleagues, mothers and daughters in the verdant High Country of Victoria. The purpose is to help women live the life they choose.”

The Get a Grip of the Grind Festival weekend:

Programme to include:

  • Workshops, adventures, inspiring female speakers, evening picnic, adventure film under the stars, networking soiree, dinner on a private estate, fireside discussions.

The Focus:

  • How to unlock performance blockers and fearlessly exploit your own emotional strengths
  • Deepen awareness of self-limiting mindset and behaviours, and unmask personal motivational and behavioural patterns
  • Unleash courage and confidence, with challenging outdoor adventures (rock climbing, abseiling and mountain biking)
  • Connect with like-minded women and share their daring effervescence

Tickets are on sale now at $250 per person for the weekend – Corporate Group packages available @ $5,300 for a minimum of 6 on a twin-share basis.


Phone +61 (0) 437 194 745

For further information, see

FB @getagripofthegrind


Sandstone Estates 2021: Summer and Easter Steam Festivals

February 26-28 and April 2-5 2021

Unforgettable. Unique vintage cars, farm equipment and trucks. World-famous 2ft narrow gauge vintage steam railway on 30km of track. Unique location. Panoramic surrounds. Majestic Maluti Mountains. Sandstone Estates is a marvel for steam enthusiasts from all over the world. Working oxen with wagons. Just north of Ficksburg, the cherry capital of South Africa. Authentic railway stations. Cosmos fields. Corn fields. Sunflower fields. Pristine farming estate.

This is how visitors to the Steam Festivals at Sandstone Estates in South Africa have described their experiences over the past twenty years.

Walking tours of the movie-set friendly farm, complete with 30km of narrow-gauge rail track, remain part of the timeless attractions of this highly productive farm.

Sublime vistas of the surrounding Maluti Mountains of Lesotho, a unique vintage steam and heritage museum, and highly productive farmland, toiled by a team of 36 working oxen, are just some of the many attractions to be embraced by all age groups.

Bookings now open for:

  • 26 to 28 February 2021 Sandstone Steam Festival – highlights include: Train rides all day from 10am
  • 2 to 5 April 2021 Sandstone Steam Festival – highlights to include:

     Train rides all day from 10am.

     The Mountain Wanderer train to run daily, at 15h30, duration two


Entrance fees comprise:

R230 per person, R145 per child under 12 years of age – includes all train rides, starting from 10am daily.

Call 051 933 2235 for enquiries and visit for further details.

Fun with steam at Sandstone in the Eastern Free State, South Africa, above.

Easter and Autumn safari in unpretentious five-star style

Autumn, for many, is a special time of year. Days are cooler and evenings call for delicious hot toddies and much conviviality around safari log fires.

This is also the time when the visibility of game enthralls visitors to Tau Game Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve. Game is less inclined to seek shade after the summer heat has gone.

For 26 years Tau Game Lodge has hosted visitors from around the world. Guest reports have always been along the lines of their having visited many safari lodges, some very swish, but the welcoming team and comforting hospitality, paired with sublime game viewing and a waterhole visible from every room and hospitality deck, will beckon them to return time and again.

Safari game drives with sightings of the myriad game, including the Big Five, followed by sundowners in the bush before a magical dinner, listening to a lion’s roar and elephants trumpet are just part of the magic of Tau – the place of the lion…

The five-star family-friendly lodge is enclosed within the reserve, resulting in the humans being subtly fenced in, while game, including several crocodiles, roam free, including the spectacular birdlife.

The Tau Easter and Autumn 2021 packages @R16,000 per couple, include:

  • Accommodation for 2 nights in one of the 12 newly renovated Luxury Standard Chalets as an introductory offer
  • 3 meals per day
  • 2 game drives per day
  • Drinks and snacks on safari drives
  • Tau Spa Oasis African Foot Ritual (30 minutes) per adult: Allow your feet to be pampered by our therapists in a soothing footbath to drain away tiredness. Next your feet are pummelled and massaged with an aroma-therapeutic based scrub to remove all dead skin followed by a true African warming foot massage.

This rate is exclusive of the following:

  • Park Entrance fees of R180.00 per person (Subject to change)
  • Tourism Levy of R10.00 per person per night (Subject to change)
  • Bar, Mini Bar, Laundry and all other extras
  • Rhino Conservation Levy of R165.00 per adult per night
  • Easter egg hunt for kids applicable for families in Deluxe and Family Suites – please contact the lodge for rates

To book this special package, please quote: TAU EASTER 2021

The culinary team’s delicious and healthy meals are served a-la carte and tables are spaced apart at an appropriate distance, as per Covid-19 regulations to keep guests safe.

The highly addictive Tau live webcam will keep you mesmerized on:

Safari magic at Tau Game Lodge, in the eco-friendly Madikwe Reserve, mere hours from Johannesburg.

Tau Game Lodge opened its 5-star safari doors in 1995 and offers 30 rooms, from newly renovated Luxury Standard & rustic Standard Chalets, to Family Suites. Family-friendly, with a Tau Cubz Club for children, the Tau Spa Oasis, and a Conference & Events Centre. Eco-friendly. Malaria-free.

+27-(0)11-466 8715/17 –

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