Borrowed from Val at the end of the Cordillera Blanca Traverse, polished off during the journey from Huaraz to Lima, and from Lima home. A lovely novel set in 16th century Istanbul, at the height of the Ottoman Empire, and... Read more

Cordillera Blanca Traverse: Complete

| | From Blog

Trip No. 3 to the Peruvian Andes with Val Pitkethly, and definitely the toughest so far: ten nights over 4000m, seven valleys, three passes over 5000m, and a peak: Urus / Yanarahu, at 5495m. A lot of up and down,... Read more

A slow, spread out read of Peter Fleming's revived diary of his 1934 journey through the Caucasus, Central Asia Siberia, Mongolia, Manchukuo and China, which falls between One's Company and News from Tartary (perhaps it's time for a reread of... Read more

Access All Areas - Sara Wheeler

| | From Reading

A female travel writer shouldn't be a novelty, but it is I realise - at least in terms of my reading. A collection of essays and articles, arranged thematically and with Sara Wheeler's own life underlying all. A woman after... Read more

Everest Trek Get Together No 7

| | From Blog

Another fab weekend in Pembrokeshire, enjoying better weather than London - and making the long awaited visit to the legendary Mrs Weston's Tea Shop! On Friday, Hazel and I followed our usual routine for the our journey west - taking... Read more

One's Company - Peter Fleming

| | From Reading

In 1933 Peter Fleming (brother of Ian "James Bond" Fleming) blagged funds to travel to China from The Times, The Spectator and his publisher, with the promise to "write a series of articles on China, each one more portentous and... Read more

Cordillera Blanca Traverse: Peru Trek Prep

| | From Blog

Déjà vu? I do enjoy the build up to a trip.... Over the past week or so, I've ticked off the following: joined the Austrian Alpine Club (UK), which means I benefit from their worldwide mountain rescue insurance (based on... Read more

London weekends: 06 & 07 June 2015

| | From Blog

Saturday A day out in London with Clan Russell, featuring the Changing the Guard and the London Transport Museum. We walked from Waterloo to the top of The Mall via: Jubilee Gardens adventure play area The London Eye Westminster Bridge,... Read more

The Minaret of Djam - Freya Stark

| | From Reading

A slight account of Freya Stark's travels in Afghanistan in 1968 with the aim of visiting the lonely Minaret of Jam in the days when intrepid travellers could travel across and around Afghanistan without a military escort, and many did... Read more

Younghusband - Patrick French

| | From Reading

Sir Francis Younghusband is a name that's cropped up in a lot of books I've read over the years, from the British Invasion of Tibet in 1904, to the attempts to climb Everest in the 1920s. He's a key figure,... Read more

H is for Hawk - Helen Macdonald

| | From Reading

One of those books I just had to keep on reading.... devoured in a weekend, interspersed with a 5 year old's Star Wars & Superheroes birthday party in Blackheath and 'babysitting' B&R while T&J were in Stockholm for the weekend...... Read more

The Devil's Star - Jo Nesbø

| | From Reading

The second of my Frinton haul of Harry Hole crime thrillers. This time Oslo faces a serial killer, nicknamed the Courier Killer. Harry faces his demons: drink and despair. Author's webpage: The Devil's Star - Jo Nesbø... Read more

London weekends: 09 & 10 May 2015

| | From Blog

Saturday Drafting a LED blogposts with an update on what we've achieved for #‎NepalQuakeRelief‬, and what still needs to be done. Apposition 2015 at St Paul's School - Prize Day meets a wedding. Sunday LED Facebook page updates on #‎NepalQuakeRelief... Read more

The Redbreast - Jo Nesbø

| | From Reading

Another self-destructive, alcoholic, rubbish-at-relationships detective in a Scandinavian setting. Super! Modern day Oslo, World War II, the Eastern Front and Norwegian Nazis old and new. Just right for a May Bank Holiday weekend read in Walton-on-the-Naze. Author's page: The Redbreast... Read more

The Empty Throne - Bernard Cornwell

| | From Reading

I thought this was the last in the Uhtred saga / The Warrior Chronicles/Saxon Stories / Alfred The Great series, but I finished it and there are still a lot of loose ends.... Turns out book 9 is due to... Read more

Nepal Earthquake - How you can help

| | From Blog

The Tsum Valley area I went to over Easter has been devastated by the earthquake in Nepal - it was very close to the main epicentre in the Gorkha region. You can see how close from my previous post. Val... Read more

London weekends: 25 & 26 April 2015

| | From Blog

Not strictly London, but the earthquake in Nepal became the focus this weekend, with emails to/from/about Val. In other news.... Saturday Breakfast at Trade, near Spitalfields Market - excellent. Tasty menu, and lovely relaxed service. We'll be back. Home via... Read more

Nepal Earthquake

| | From Blog

The earthquake in Nepal has become the focus this weekend. Twitter's #NepalEarthquake is providing an invaluable source of news and I had my first experience of a Google Public Alert. But whilst there is lots of news about the avalanche... Read more

Cordillera Blanca Traverse: People & Prep

| | From Blog

Barney's going to be joining me in Peru this summer for Val Pitkethly's Cordillera Blanca Traverse - w00t w00t!! I also spotted that last summer Mark Horrell did a pretty similar route to our planned one - which he wrote... Read more

The Emperor Far Away - David Eimer

| | From Reading

Former Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph correspondent, David Eimer, takes us on a fascinating tour of the people and politics in China's borderlands - Xinjiang (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Russia), Tibet (India, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar), Yunnan (Myanmar,... Read more

Where I've Been

About Me

Born and brought up in Solihull, I studied at St Andrews and in Chester before coming to live and work in London.

I've done a variety of jobs in the legal sector, focusing on the knowledge management and technology side of things since 2000. You'll find details on LinkedIn.

In September 2013, I joined the ICT staff at St Paul's School on a part time basis, helping pupils learn the skills to live in a world driven by rapid technological change.

SparklyTrainers is about my world outside work. As you'll see, I love to travel, take photos and read.

I tweet (sporadically) as @maryloosemore

My email is [my firstname] @ [my surname].com

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