Our Stories: Emma Frampton

Written by NZBWN.

Emma Frampton Profile Picture.docx

As a teen in Wellington, Emma was convinced she didn’t like camping, after going on school camps in less than waterproof tents. So it may seem a little surprising that she co-founded Adventure Queens, a women’s adventure community set up with the aim of ‘delicately smashing down’ the barriers that prevent women from heading off on adventures.

In July 2017, Emma and co-founder Anna McNuff began by organising 50 women around the UK to go wild camping as part of ‘Wild Night Out’ – a night under the stars with fellow wild women, led by a volunteer queen. Emma’s group of half a dozen or so women camped out in the Chilterns. “I hadn’t met them before but in a short space of time we were sharing and enjoying experiences with people who had recently been strangers.”

Now there are over 6,500 women in the Adventure Queens community with 33 local Queen groups in the UK and beyond. Throughout the year, four in-store workshops are held at Arc’teryx London and four campouts at wilderness campsites around the UK, supported by Kathmandu. Plus there is a £2,000 Adventure Queen grant to help send one woman off on her first big adventure. Last year’s winner, 55-year-old Sue Barrett ran, swam and cycled 1,500 miles along the spine of the Alps from Trieste to Monaco.

Emma says, “The focus is on getting women outdoors. Some members have grown up with the outdoors experience but don’t have others to go on adventures with. And some want to get into outdoor adventures but don’t know where to start.”

Our Stories: Rebecca Blandford

Written by NZBWN.

Rebecca Blandford Profile Picture.docx

After experiencing one university term in the UK, Rebecca returned to her family in Auckland unable to understand why anyone would want to live in London as it was ‘so terrible and boring’. So it is quite ironic that, fast forwarding a few years, Rebecca is known to her many readers as Runawaykiwi and regularly blogs on how to get the most out of London life, including ‘coffee, culture and how to survive this crazy city’.

But that’s only one aspect of Rebecca’s London life – in her corporate life she is a business analyst for The Travel Corporation and she also makes and sells iconic jewellery under the name Zeal & Heart (www.zealandheart.com)

So how did that all come about? Rebecca says she made a ‘questionable life decision’ by studying to be a tax accountant, and after one year in her job, her mum suggested that as she wasn’t happy she might as well try England again.

Our Stories: Bridget Walsh

Written by Linda Rose.

Bridget Walsh bw 2 GIMP smallMiss Bridget Walsh – as she is known professionally – has an impressive tour history. She has performed with bands in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, France, Mexico and the Czech Republic to name but a few. Bridget got the touring bug early - she travelled with her school choir from Westlake Girls in Takapuna to both Hawaii and Vancouver.

But, of course, the music began before that. On her mum’s side, Bridget is the oldest grandchild in a large family of Irish heritage, and says her grandmother played the piano and her mum has a beautiful singing voice. “And I was bossy and a bit of a show-off, clearly destined to be on stage.”

A degree in Music at Auckland university seemed appealing, but at age 16 Bridget found she just didn’t have a passion for classical music. A paper in pop music led to an invitation to audition for the university’s pop programme, and after a quick six-month trip to the UK (where a job at Clare’s Accessories nearly derailed her into retail management) Bridget took up her place on the programme and completed a Bachelor of Performing Arts in 2005, majoring in voice and piano.

Our Stories: Linda McDougall

Written by Emma Bell.

Linda McDougall bw GIMP“I used to believe I could do everything, what a silly idea. I’d never think that again.”

Linda McDougall describes that she ‘leaps out of bed at 5am’ not only to tend to her latest manuscript, but also her house renovations and her voluntary work with the Barbara Pym Society, an organisation that celebrates the work of one of her favourite novelists. At 77, she doesn’t appear to be showing any signs of retiring from her work yet.

“Sometimes I lie on my back and tell myself that I don’t have to do anything, but I still don’t believe it.”

Linda first arrived in the UK in 1961 as a 19-year-old aspiring actress on a NZ Government bursary to attend the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. It was upon her arrival in the UK that she watched television for the very first time, unaware that she would go on to spend her entire career behind the cameras as well as in front of them.

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