A brown cardboard package dropped to the doormat this morning. It’s always an exciting moment when you’re expecting an arrival and the letterbox clangs.
The package contained a copy of Bus Pass Britain Rides Again straight from the press. I flicked to the index and there it was….on page 145…..my piece ‘A Tale of Two Doctors, Prose and Poison.’
In summer 2012 I was short-listed in the Bradt Guides/Independent on Sunday travel writing competition for a piece I wrote about a family canal trip. Following on from this I was invited to submit an idea for a book about bus journeys across Britain. By now winter was coming and I had little in the way of annual leave left to take. For now holidays would be lunchtime escapes on the internet or glancing at a calendar of Fife in our kitchen.
My first thought was to write about the infamous Number 11 route in Birmingham. However, it wasn’t surprising to see a route that had inspired songs, calendars and social media events had been covered in the first edition of Bus Pass Britain.
I’ve written about New Zealand, America, the Netherlands and Croatia, but much of my travel writing focuses on the UK. However, with the exception of my blog, I’ve never written so close to home before and it was great to be able to promote my home county.
I chose Stafford to Lichfield, winding through the beautiful landscape of Cannock Chase and highlighting some of the stories along the way. The journey was undertaken on a frosty February morning, but it’s true – much like train travel – you get a completely different viewpoint from a bus.
The focus – as locals may have guessed was the writings of Dr Johnson and the exploits of the Rugeley Poisoner, Dr Palmer.
Thanks to Hilary Bradt and the editors Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries. I look forward to reading the other entries which stretch from Devon to Jura.