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Archive for April, 2011

Can you spare £5?

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

A personal one, this. My brave/mad/masochistic husband Steve is running the London Marathon this Sunday, for Edward’s Trust.

The moment Steve’s confirmation letter from the race organisers plopped onto our doormat, he was determined to run for a smaller charity; one which doesn’t have the resources to buy up places in big events such as the London Marathon.

Having recently met Peter Dent, the father of a boy named Edward who died aged just seven years, Steve quickly decided on Edward’s Trust. Peter and his wife Hilary founded the Birmingham-based charity in 1989 to help other families deal with the pain of losing a child.

Today they support bereaved families and those affected by serious illness, as well as providing training services for teachers, parents and other adults who are working with bereaved children. You can read more about the charity at

The kite logo for Edward’s Trust was taken from one of Edward’s pictures, which he drew on pink copy paper. The charity has been kind enough to send Steve a white vest to run in on Sunday, as well as a T-shirt in ‘Edward’s Trust pink’ which Steve has worn for training every week.

It’s no small undertaking, a marathon, and the past few weeks have seen Steve nursing creaky knees, sore feet, grazed nipples (yep!) and various other chafed bits. He’s also diligently climbed into ice-cold baths after three-hour training sessions and abstained from curries and beers. No easy task, trust me …

Of course all these endeavours will be worthwhile when Steve crosses the finishing line on Sunday, having raised hundreds of pounds to help Peter, Hilary and their team keep up their excellent work in Edward’s memory. 

Thanks to the generosity of our families and friends, Steve’s not far off the £1000 mark. Can you throw in a fiver and help him get there?

You can donate quickly and easily online at If you pay UK tax, you can also apply Gift Aid and boost your donation, at no extra cost to you.

Thank you for your kindness. I will keep you posted on how Steve does!


Sunday was a day we’ll never forget. Less suited to running than to cheering from the sidelines with an icecream, I stood with Steve’s family and mine, marvelling at the supportive, festival atmosphere that pervaded the city. Meanwhile, Steve battled heat, blisters and bruised toes to complete the course in 4h 29m 27s, raising more than £1200 for Edward’s Trust. Well done, that man.

Steve completes the London Marathon

Marie in the Independent on Sunday

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

If you find yourself flicking through the Independent on Sunday this weekend (10 April 2011), take a peek at my article in the travel section.

It’s about Malta and Gozo’s megalithic temples and is being published to launch the next Bradt / Independent on Sunday travel-writing competition, which I won (to my great disbelief) in 2010.

Although I haven’t travelled as much as usual lately, the competition has given me a kick up the bum to pursue my writing dreams a little harder.

I’ve started a blog (the currently sparse and finished editing my first book, The Birdwoman of Bangkok and Other Tales. In October I won the Telegraph’s Just Back travel-writing competition.

I’m also very busy with Good As Gold - something I’ll always be grateful for. 

I’ll post a link to the article on Sunday. Good luck to everyone who enters the Bradt competition this summer - it’s a great springboard for your travel writing and the people behind it are supportive and lovely.


It’s here: It’s changed in places from the article I submitted, which is entirely understandable: sub-editors know far better than I do about how to present a final piece. But so you can see it, I’ve published the original version on my blog:


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