“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.” – Margaret Mead
“The four judges present on Monday night at the event in Stanfords, Long Acre, all praised the very high standard of entry in this, Bradt’s 40th anniversary and the 15th year of the travel-writing competition. It just seems to get better every year.” Hilary Bradt
In ancient villages, I was enchanted by wooden houses, elaborate clocks and ornate town halls, straight out of a Grimm fairy tale. The glittering salt mines of Krakow, with chandeliers intricately carved from black or white crystals, fuelled my enthusiasm for trolls, elves and the supernatural.
When Nazar met our coddled cat, he fell in love. He adores animals, but the few ragamuffin moggies you see in India are tiny. To him Millie was an exotic sleek-coated giant.
Nature, culture, wildlife: all important elements which make travel enjoyable. But for Jamie and me, it’s the people who make it memorable.
Living among the ruins, in immaculate shanty lean-tos or plastic and corrugated iron shacks are some of the friendliest and most inquisitive people we have met during our sojourn by boat.
Esper’s bow disappeared under water, shooting the sea into the cockpit. I was astonished at how warm it was. Jamie released the sails, then furled them, to give the wind a smaller target. His hands bled from rope burns, and the din of whipping lines and snapping canvas made me flinch. But we were upright.
The Bradt/Independent on Sunday travel writing competition is one of the most important in the calendar. In 2014 the Itinerant Writers Club had five entries in the top 14 positions, and six in the top 20. Two of our members are in the final
Ban those adverbs! Only use “said” to denote speech! Don’t use exclamation marks! OK.
“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” The late novelist, Elmore Leonard, on good writing.
Esper came equipped with a swimming platform on the stern. Even so, it’s still a struggle to haul yourself up. For humans, there is a fold-down ladder. But cats don’t have our dexterity, so we added a rope ladder to make the job easier. The next question was would Millie be able to find and use the rope?
Pong’s child-sized body bends like a master yogi into the smallest spaces on the boat. Often, when I go below to see what he and his sons are up to, it takes a moment for me to find them. Sitting, cross-legged, on a small shelf by our bed, or inside the space where our cooker used to be, they apply delicate wooden veneer.
You’ll need energy for all the sight-seeing, but don’t worry, Penang was at the top of Lonely Planet’s best places to eat in 2014. And there’s no need to dress up to go out because the best food is found on the streets and in the hawker markets.