Category Archives: restless spinster

On rape and racism

“But isn’t it dangerous? You know, as a woman?” This is one of the questions I’m asked again and again, when I tell people about my travels, and I’m getting more and more impatient in my responses. It’s not only that I’ve had to answer it a few too many times – it’s that, every time I […]

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On chasing men

Don’t ever get the impression I’ve got it all sorted. Just when you (I) think you’ve (I’ve) got life figured out, and it’s all plain sailing from here, you either discover something completely new that you have to get your head round, or simply realise that you’re not the master you thought you were. Both […]

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Loose ends

Notes on finishing a journey. ‘It is not the goal but the way there that matters. And the harder the way there, the more worthwhile the journey’ Wilfred Thesiger I am all out of order at the moment. That’s to say, things aren’t happening in the sequence that I expected or assumed they would. This […]

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Period drama

I almost wrote a blog post about menstruation last night. But then I talked myself out of it. I don’t always think very much about who reads my posts – because when I do it usually stops me writing anything at all. There’s no one version of me that could possibly be acceptable to all […]

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Legs

You know what? I absolutely love my legs. They’re amazing, and I’m so lucky to have them. No matter how unreliable my tyres, the weather, the road surface, my brake pads, the nerves in my hands, my route-finding, my nutritional input or my strength of will, my legs just keep on going. I have never […]

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On doing well

I’m not depressed any more. And hopefully I won’t be for a very long time, although I won’t be so naïve as to claim that I’ve beaten the disease into submission forever. And life with all of its colours and its contours restored is a very lovely place indeed. But it’s not all plain sailing. […]

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On shutting up

Warning: Contains sexism and strong language I came to an uncomfortable realization this week, watching yet more women in the public eye being bombarded with threats of violence, rape and murder for having something to say, and for saying it. It’s becoming a depressingly familiar routine: a journalist, academic, celebrity or ordinary woman expresses an […]

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A Night Of Adventure

Quite unexpectedly, Night Of Adventure turned out to be one of my greatest achievements to date. [Photo: Jools Whitehorn] I’d been worried about all sorts of things: concerned that, as Lois Pryce later put it, it might turn into “a novelty women’s thing”; afraid that we simply wouldn’t find enough interesting female adventurers, and would […]

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Valley of the Cold

The other night, sheltering from a blizzard in Reykjavik’s youth hostel, I ran into the only other cyclist I’ve met on this trip – a cheerful Bahraini entrepreneur called Yassir, who made it his New Year’s resolution to travel more, happened to watch The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, and booked a passage to Iceland […]

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Right then!

I tell everyone I’m skeptical about New Year’s resolutions, but I always end up making one or two. Everything always seems to build up and grind to a halt at the end of the year, and by mid December your diary and stomach are both bursting at the seams, and you’re constantly behind with sleep […]

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