Autumn in Ladakh: Photos & Notes

| | From Blog

With greater brevity than usual (in the interests of getting my photos onto Flickr before my next trip), here's what we did on this year's Autumn in Ladakh trip. You'll find my photos in my Ladakh, September 2016 album on... Read more

The Wolf Border - Sarah Hall

| | From Reading

Unexpectedly still in Cumbria, after an initial introduction to lead character Rachel Caine in Idaho where she's been living and working on a Nez Perce reservation, reintroducing wolves. Rachel is persuaded to return "home" by Thomas Pennington, the The Earl... Read more

The Shepherd's Life - James Rebanks

| | From Reading

A year - and a lifetime - with Lake District sheep farmer, James Rebanks. Publisher page: The Shepherd's Life - James Rebanks Herdwick Shepherd on Twitter: @herdyshepherd1... Read more

Golden Age - Jane Smiley

| | From Reading

By the time I reached the end of Jane Smiley's One Hundred Years trilogy, any semblance of a Golden Age was disappearing into the past, fast. The two (three?) years of near future gazing - the book was published in... Read more

Winter Walking in Austria: Prep

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Over the past few weeks I've slowly been working out options for getting from Innsbruck Airport to the Hotel Wienerhof and back again. Although I'm not on the group flights, Exodus allows you to hook up with them if the... Read more

800 Entries in Sparkly Trainers > Reading

| | From Reading

Early Warning - Jane Smiley was my 800th blog post on Sparkly Trainers Reading. Entry No. 1 was Best Rainy Day Book Ever - Richard Scarry back in July 2001 when I added my three favourite books to the now... Read more

Where next: Japan

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Rosa's 18th birthday trip - hence the manga / anime / kawaii / kitschy Japanese popular culture theme! Not strictly 'next', as I've got Winter Walking in Austria in December and next spring's Dolpo Expedition first, but Tom and I... Read more

Early Warning - Jane Smiley

| | From Reading

Our annual eavesdropping continues with the second and third generations of Langdons, spanning 1953-1986 and America from easy coast to west, with only second son Joe still at the family farm in Iowa. Book 2 in Jane Smiley's Last Hundred... Read more

"Sherpa Tenzing"'s son, Jamling Tenzing Norgay's account of the 1996 Everest disaster, where he was part of the IMAX filming team. It's a very different account from those by other climbers on the mountain, focusing on Norgay's relationships with buddhism... Read more

A Journey in Ladakh - Andrew Harvey

| | From Reading

Should I have read this before going to Ladakh? It has sat on my bookshelves for a long time, unread. Written about a visit in 1981, Andrew Harvey lamented already being decades too late to encounter the traders from Yarkand... Read more

Some Luck - Jane Smiley

| | From Reading

Annual eavesdrop-ins with the extended Langdon family, starting in 1920 with baby Frank and his 3rd generation German parents, Rosanna and Walter,on their farm on the outskirts of small town Iowa. Easy reading; 20th century lives. How things change. Book... Read more

Ring of Bright Water - Gavin Maxwell

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My reading of Gavin Maxwell's account of his early years at Camusfeàrna alternated between delight at his descriptions of the place, the wildlife and his relationships there, and irritation at the sense of entitlement and privileged displayed in London and... Read more

Walton Weekend, October 2016

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A surprisingly sunny and warm weekend for late October. Perfect for strolling from Frinton-on-Sea to Walton-on-the-Naze, and then around the Naze going beyond Stone Point for the first time. Sunday featured more strolling - this time to the end of... Read more

Biography of British climber Alison Hargreaves who died on her descent of K2 in 1995, having summited Everest solo and without bottled oxygen - the first woman to do so - only three months earlier. Based on the personal diaries... Read more

Where next: Dolpo, Nepal

| | From Blog

The first big trip of 2017 will be the long awaited Dolpo expedition - four weeks trekking in the Dolpa (Dolpā, डोल्पा) district of Nepal and into Upper / Inner Dolpo (དོལ་པོ ). Flights booked today, which makes this trip... Read more

White Gold - Giles Milton

| | From Reading

Got to say I found this book on European slaves in 17th/18th Morocco and North Africa a bit of a slog. Perhaps Thomas Pellow's account of his life as a slave in the court Sultan Moulay Ismail of Meknes was... Read more

At the Edge of the Orchard - Tracy Chevalier

| | From Reading

I'm loving Tracy Chevalier's stories of American pioneer life. At the Edge of the Orchard starts in the Goodenough's farm in Ohio's Black Swamp and comes to an end amidst the sequoias of California's Sierra Nevada. En route we meet... Read more

Sharing her car on an overnight drive home with a hitchhiker Hiddle, Heidi Howkins shares vignettes of some of the climbs and crises that culminated in her 1998 attempt on K2. More shocking than her descriptions of finding dead bodies... Read more

The Outrun - Amy Liptrot

| | From Reading

Two years sober in the Orkneys, Amy Liptrot looks back at the preceding years in London as a developing alcoholic. Beautiful descriptions of the islands, the day to day lives and high days and holidays that filled those two years... Read more

Maria Coffey was Joe Tasker's girlfriend of 2 years when he and Pete Boardman died on Everest in 1982. In a way, a good book to read on the way to Uncle John's funeral, Where the Mountain Casts Its Shadow... Read more

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.

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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