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

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

Conspiracy - S. J. Parris

| | From Reading

Part 1 slow; Part 2 speedy. Having returned to Paris, Bruno Giordano finds himself embroiled in affairs of all kinds at the court of King Henri III and his machinating mother - Catherine de Medici. Author's webpage: Conspiracy - S.... Read more

Back from Ladakh!

| | From Blog

A great three week mix of mountains and monasteries - and almost every day brought bright blue skies and glorious sunshine to the bright, barren landscape of Ladakh. High and very dry, I'd like to return to do more walking... Read more

Chosen - Benedict Jacka

| | From Reading

Borrowed from Hazel and read in Ladakh, an introspective outing with ex-Dark Mage, Alex Verus. And the next four to borrow now we're back! Chosen - Benedict Jacka... Read more

Treachery - S. J. Parris

| | From Reading

Giordano Bruno and Sir Philip Sidney join Sir Francis Drake and his fleet in Plymouth where murder, corruption and disloyalty await.... Author's webpage: Treachery - S. J. Parris... Read more

Photos from my Nepal, April/May 2016 trek with Val (aka Val Pitkethly's On and Off the Beaten Track through Solukhumbu) are finally on Flickr. Admiring Ama Dablam, Khurkekharka Here are my notes: Friday 15 & Saturday 16 April 2016 Overnight... Read more

The Incarnations - Susan Barker

| | From Reading

Two souls, destined to be reincarnated together but doomed to be reborn into incompatible characters - a eunuch at the Imperial Court in Chang'an and his incest-borne, prostitute daughter, rival concubines of sadistic Emperor Jiajing, a Cantonese fisherman(boy) and a... Read more

X - Sue Grafton

| | From Reading

No, no ".... is for ...." this time. Two letters of the alphabet left to go.... Santa Theresa Private Eye, Kinsey Millhone misjudges colleagues old and clients new. But her gut feeling of dislike about Henry's new neighbours is bang... Read more

On The Bone - Barbara Nadel

| | From Reading

Through the good offices of Inspectors İkmen and Süleyman, plus an American celebrity chef and a dead man whose last meal featured human flesh, Barbara Nadel shows us ISIS, the caliphate and the porous Turkish-Syrian border, İstanbul's Syrian refugees and... Read more

Blood of Dragons - Robin Hobb

| | From Reading

Hest rejoins the tale, as do Tintaglia and Icefyre, and Tintaglia's Elderling Malta, Reyn and singer Selden. Now I need to read the Liveship Traders Trilogy! Author's webpage: Blood of Dragons - Robin Hobb... Read more

City of Dragons - Robin Hobb

| | From Reading

Kelsingra! Flying dragons! Author's webpage: City of Dragons - Robin Hobb... Read more

Dragon Haven - Robin Hobb

| | From Reading

With Liveship Tarman, captained by level headed Leftrin, the weakling dragons and their misfit keepers journey north along the Rain Wild River, in search of Kelsingra. Author's webpage: Dragon Haven - Robin Hobb... Read more

Where next: Winter Walking Trins, Austria

| | From Blog

I'm going to have to come up with a better naming convention than "Where next", given that I'm in a phase of booking holidays ahead of going on the actual "next" one.... Anyway, here's what I'm now looking forward to... Read more

Autumn in Ladakh: Trip Prep

| | From Blog

Our three weeks in Ladakh are looming on the horizon, so today I've: completed my Indian e-Tourist Visa application bought my annual multitrip travel insurance (to supplement my Austrian Alpine Club (UK) mountain rescue insurance). I've gone with MoneySavingExpert's "Best... Read more

The Snowman - Jo Nesbø

| | From Reading

Inspector Harry Hole meets his nemesis, as the Oslo crime squad investigate a series of murders of mothers. Author's webpage: The Snowman - Jo Nesbø... 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


Random photos

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