For he was a diplomat - and Brigid found herself the smiling face of the European Union in locales ranging from Kazakhstan to Trinidad. Finding herself miserable for the first time in a career into which many would have long ago thrown the towel, she found herself asking (during a farewell party for the Papal Nuncio): was it worth it?
As this stream of it-really-happened-to-me stories shows, it most certainly was - if only for our vicarious bewilderment at how exactly you throw a buffet dinner during a public mourning period in Syria, remain viable as a fashion journalist when taste-wise you are three seasons out of it and geographically a world away, make people believe that there are actually terrible things going on in paradise, be a good mother and save some of the finest architecture in Damascus and Brussels from demolition - seemingly all simultaneously.
Now, in her further adventures, we find Brigid in Kazakhstan, where AW, her husband, contracts Lyme disease from a tick, the local delicacy is horse meat sausage and Brigid's visit to a market leads to a full-scale riot from which she requires a police escort. Then, as the prospect retirement looms, Brigid finds herself on the cusp of a whole new world: shuttling between London, Brussels and their last posting in Azerbaijan, navigating her daughters' weddings while coping with a cancer diagnosis, and getting a crash course in grand-motherhood as she helps organise a literature festival in Palestine.
Along the way, dauntless and wildly funny as ever, Brigid learns that packing up doesn't mean packing in as she discovers that retiring and moving back home could just be her biggest challenge yet.
Fate often gave Brigid a helping hand – in the late fifties, in her teens, she landed a job as an assistant at the Daily Express in London, and by the tender age of twenty-one she was a Fashion Editor at the Sunday Times. It was the dawn of the swinging sixties, and London was the place to be. Brigid worked with David Bailey and Jean Shrimpton, had her hair cut by Vidal Sassoon, drove around London in a mini-van, covered the Paris Collections and was labelled a 'Young Meteor' by the press. Despite always trying her hardest, Brigid's enthusiasm - and occasional naivete - could lead to embarrassing moments, such as when she turned up to report on the Vietnam war in a mini skirt …
Candid, wickedly funny and surprisingly touching, Full Marks for Trying is a coming-of-age memoir that will delight, entertain, and make you cry with laughter.
Praised by Bear Grylls, Levison Wood has been called "the toughest man on TV" (The Times UK). Now, following in the footsteps of the great explorers, Levison recounts the beauty and danger he found along the Silk Road route of Afghanistan, the Line of Control between Pakistan and India, the disputed territories of Kashmir and the earth-quake ravaged lands of Nepal. Over the course of six months, Wood and his trusted guides trek 1,700 gruelling miles across the roof of the world.
Packed with action and emotion, Walking the Himalayas is the story of one intrepid man's travels in a world poised on the edge of tremendous change.