Tsum Valley Trek: Complete

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Back from my Easter fortnight trekking in Nepal in the company of solar lantern engineer Anthony, Hazel and Val. Lots of LED solar lights distributed in the remote villages of the Tsum Valley, fuelled by Tibetan butter tea, tsampa and... Read more

Not strictly 'next' as I've not been on the Tsum Valley Trek yet, but I've just confirmed these as my summer plans... Destination: Back to Peru with Val, to do the Cordillera Blanca Traverse. Why: To trek and climb in... Read more

The King's Curse - Philippa Gregory

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Philippa Gregory' The Cousins' War Series transitions from the Wars of the Roses into Tudor times, using the long and eventful life of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury. Born Margaret of York, she was the niece of Plantagenet Kings Edward... Read more

Malcolm Slesser's autobiographical account of some of the notable mounainteering, climbing and other expeditions accumulated in his lifetime, interspersed with reflections on safety and risk, character and motivation, a mountaineer's responsibility to the(ir) environment. Unfortunately it featured mainly male friends... Read more

Tsum Valley Trek Prep: News and Views

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Just as countdown to Kathmandu is commencing, a Turkish Airlines aeroplane (semi)crashes at KTM's Tribhuvan International Airport airport, blocking the runway so that nothing bigger than the smallest domestic aircraft can land or take off. Val mentioned it when we... Read more

A Day to Die For - Graham Ratcliffe

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Another book by someone involved in the 1996 Everest disaster, this time British mountaineer Graham Ratcliffe who had joined Henry Todd's Himalayan Guides expedition in his attempt to be the first Brit to summit from both the North (Tibet) and... Read more

In The Cleaner of Chartres Salley Vickers allows us to approach Agnès Morel's story from two directions: we start with her life in Chartres, where we are given a speedy run through her arrival in the town twenty years ago... Read more

Reykjavík Nights - Arnaldur Indriðason

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Early Erlender. He's a new traffic cop, working nights, which means his path crosses with drunken revellers and drivers, the down and out and desperate. He's met Halldóra, mother to be of his two children, but only towards the end... Read more

Outrage - Arnaldur Indriðason

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Erlender is absent in this excursion into Icelandic-flavoured Scandi-Crime-Noir, leaving the focus on Elínborg as she investigates the murder of a young man - found in his flat in a pool of blood, his throat cut and wearing nothing but... Read more

Prophecy - S. J. Parris

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My second outing in the company of Italian ex monk Giordano Bruno, protecting Good Queen Bess and (relative) religious tolerance in the service of Sir Francis Walsingham. We're in the twilight years of Tudor England, with the rich and powerful... Read more

Tsum Valley Trek Prep (and Blurb BookSmart blip)

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We'll need 5 photos for our Easter trip to Nepal: one for our visa, four for trek/park permit(s). So, rather than shelling out for a official passport ones from a photo booth or Jessops, I googled diy passport photos online... Read more

Doctored Evidence - Donna Leon

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In Doctored Evidence Donna Leon shows us a slightly darker side to the good guys - Commissario Brunetti, Ispettore Vianello and Signorina Elettra - but in the context of Italy's obtuse legal system, and the power broking amidst the (absolutely... Read more

Long Weekend in York

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A lovely long weekend for one of our irregular series of St Andrews Reunions, featuring Daina, Gillian, Hazel, Helen, Laura J and Laura M. York Minster First class transport courtesy of East Coast trains spring sale, a cosy cottage whose... Read more

Pure - Andrew Miller

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1785, four years before the arrival of revolution in Paris, young engineer Jean-Baptiste Baratte is commissioned with the removal of the cemetery of Les Innocents. As his dreams of building bridges are replaced by the practicalities of bringing up the... Read more

Cordillera Blanca: photos and notes

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Embarrassingly tardy this, given that my trek in Peru's Cordillera Blanca with Val took place last summer. Although I did a short post with photos when I got back (Back from Peru: Cordillera Blanca complete), sometimes I just need longer... Read more

Arctic Chill - Arnaldur Indriðason

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Reykjavík is in the grip of the hard Icelandic winter, when the body of a 10 year old boy is found in a children's park near to a block of flats in one of the city's more run down areas.... Read more

The Last Quarter of the Moon - Chi Zijian

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Our nameless Evenki narrator reflects on her life as one of the last nomadic reindeer herders in China's for north east, where Russian influences seem stronger than those of Han China. A novel that reminded me a lot of Margaret... Read more

Silence of the Grave - Arnaldur Indriðason

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Another page turning Icelandic crime novel featuring complicated Detective Erlendur, juggling his his semi-estranged pregnant, drug addict daughter Eva Lind and fully estranged wife Halldóra on the one hand, and the discovery of a body buried in the hills above... Read more

Where next: Tsum Valley, Nepal

| | From Blog

Destination: Nepal's Tsum Valley in the Manaslu Conservation Area close to the border with Tibet: Why: To trek in some more big mountains with Hazel, and to visit Val's Himalayan heartland which comes with a large dollop of Tibetan heritage... Read more

Jar City - Arnaldur Indriðason

| | From Reading

My first taste of Icelandic noir, as Detective Erlendur investigates the murder of an old man in the Norðurmýri area of Reykjavík and a runaway bride from Garðabær. Cryptic notes have been left at the murder scene and at the... 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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