WHAT I DO, AND WHY
Over the years I have met many a person who has moved my world, whose story deserves to be told. That, and rising to the challenge of the brief, is the thrill of the job.
I realised the desire to become a journalist after reading English and History of Art at Bristol University when I joined Conde Nast Traveller on the graduate advertising scheme.
There was no cross over between publishing and editorial back then so I decided to train the old-fashioned way, as a daily NCTJ newspaper reporter.
I joined The Gloucestershire Echo, a three-edition daily in Cheltenham. Bookish, arty and sporty, I'd been schooled at Cheltenham Ladies' College and was passionate about the Cheltenham Literary Festival. I was training for the London Marathon so, after long shifts on the news and features desks, I'd run for the Cotswolds' hills.
After 18 months, I saw a position advertised on REAL (1m+ readership), an empowering and agenda-setting national women's fortnightly, writing across all sections (reportage, real life, celebrity, health, money, style, interiors, travel). I was a national magazine features writer.
In 2004, now a senior features writer and commissioning editor, deputising to the editor, I was awarded PTC New Journalist of the Year for "insightful investigative reporting", "sparkling writing" and "sheer hard work".
In 2005/6, I became a contributing editor for REAL, living with my partner in Singapore while he studied an MBA at INSEAD. We then moved to the Middle East where I joined VIVA! in UAE (with editions in Jordan and Saudi Arabia) as features (and digital) editor on the leading glossy women's monthly for the 'modern, intelligent, international woman, aged 25-40'.
We returned to London in 2007, where I joined EMAP in the rapidly growing young women's market. First, on the features desk of weekly Closer! (1m+ readership), breaking news and features exclusives. Next, as maternity cover for the features director on More!, with a 1.8m weekly readership.
MAKERS & TASTEMAKERS
In 2010, on starting a family, I went freelance, writing and editing supplements, and, whilst renovating our home, retrained in interior design. After graduating from KLC School of Design in Chelsea (distinction), I joined Studio Suzy Hoodless as a design assistant to "Britain's Brightest tastemaker" (Suzy), sourcing C21st craftsmen, fabrics from Uzbekistan, rugs from Morocco, C20th furniture and art from New York.
TRAVEL & SKI WRITING
In 2015, I launched my freelance travel writing career, focusing on ski (I love the wilds) and family travel - inspiring parents to discover educational adventures in far-flung places. Over the last five years, I have established a portfolio of national outlets.
Highlights have included interviewing Dame Emma Thompson (for Nanny McPhee), Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Cosmetics) and Olympian Chemmy Alcott, and being invited to Cannes Film Festival to interview cover celebrities Eva Longoria and Claudia Schiffer,
Another was having my Closer! report on the rise in under 18 skin cancer, caused by sun-bed addiction, read out in Parliament; The Sunbeds Regulation Act 2010 came into force April 8,2011 making it illegal for U18s to use sun beds.
And in 2019 being selected as the British representative journalist on the Grande Circolo, a six-day 126km ski tour along the WWII front in the Dolomites for Fall-Line, sponsored by Salewa.
It has been an eventful journey since scooping local newspaper front page exclusives, reporting on midnight anti-TB-badger-culls, and surviving another deathly council meeting - as almost the only woman in a newsroom of 15 reporters.
Who knew then that a work day might entail powder-skiing with Olympian Jenny Jones, kitesurfing in Mauritius, elephant conservation in Zambia, a safari on the Zambezi, hot-air ballooning over the Sahara, visiting the YSL Museum in Marrakech, air boarding in Anzere or a historic ski of Mont Blanc's North Face?
Two quotes that inspire my work:
"Travelling - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller." Ibn Battuta
'The function of good journalism is to take information and add value to it." John Chancellor