Meet Penny Pepper!By Limitless Travel -
Before we get into travel paradise, can you tell the readers a bit about yourself?
I’m a writer, a poet, a performer and an activist. My work is a mixture of the quirky and the sharp-witted, with a focus on examination of difference and identity – and of course disability. I wrote the taboo-breaking book Desires Reborn in 2012 and in 2013 I won a Creative Futures Literary Award. I’ve been in the Power 100 for the last few years.
As a performance poet, I perform across the UK, including London, Edinburgh and further afield – and once in New York.
Besides recent guest slots on Newsnight, Sky News, BBC Radio5Live Hitlist, and columns for The Guardian, my memoir First in the World Somewhere is now in all good bookshops and on Amazon. Here’s the official blurb:
“Penny Pepper’s new lively and candid memoir, First in the World Somewhere – which charts this disabled activist’s extraordinary life in the indie-punk music scene from Thatcher’s 80s through to Blair’s Britain in the 90s.”
It’s a very exciting time seeing my book in the shops and getting the opportunity to engage with lots of new lovely people. I’ve done a few signings at book festivals and more along the way. Watch this space!
What 3 words would you use to describe travel and what it means to you?
Adventure, communication, curiosity.
If you were a country what country would you be and why?
Although it might be chilly, I think I’d have to be Ireland. Land of the seers, poets, visionary writers. I have ancestral connections to Ireland and I’ve also visited Dublin which I adored. Everyone is a joker, everyone was warm and helpful. I also love Ireland as a place of contradiction, mythology and beauty.
What is your favourite bar/restaurant?
My favourite restaurant is very hard to choose. I live in Islington which is famous for its many eateries. I think Ottolenghi has to be one because the vegetarian food is outstanding and like no other. It also has a very respectable, accessible toilet!
Where did you eat your fave sandwich?
In Macy’s New York, I had a monster prawn mayo sandwich thing! Everyone says Americans do large portions – this was belly busting.
Where have you been that genuinely took your breath away?
I’m going to choose two because I love travelling the UK as much as I do abroad. My mother lives in Devon and every time I visit I always go to Dunkery Beacon one of the highest points in England, on Exmoor. It’s beautiful and bleak, silent yet teeming with life and on a summer’s day the distance across the horizon is so vast you can see the weather changing in remote valleys.
The second one is easy. Looking out from the top of the Empire State Building.
What one piece of advice would you give for accessible travellers?
Triple check every detail and then check again. Call if you have to. And then do it all again just before you leave. People, however well meaning, often do not get it.
What's your funniest travel moment?
On the plane to New York, I ended up being rather a long way from the accessible loo. My PA Janet helped me with some difficulty into the standard loo. And then began our now infamous belly rub dance! I’m quite small with a pot belly and Janet is thankfully much taller as we had to somehow slot our bellies into this space around each other! Somehow I managed and remain eternally grateful to Janet.
Where have you been where you felt most at home, away from home?
New York felt familiar. Maybe because I have several friends living there who made me feel like a native and also because I found New Yorkers friendly and welcoming – nothing like their reputation.
Where have you visited that you could see yourself living?
I don’t think I’d want to live anywhere else full time except in the UK. But I wouldn’t mind a little apartment overlooking Central Park! It would be like living in a movie.
What life advice would you have given yourself five years ago?
Never be afraid to ask and never be afraid to assert your rights politely.
Where do you hope to visit in five years time?
I’d like to visit Australia where a famous ancestor of mine is buried. I’d really love to go to India and don’t know if that will ever be viable due to health challenges, as opposed to disability. But never say never.
Which book would you recommend to take travelling?
I recommend a Kindle so you’re not stuck for choice. Books about travelling by reputable authors are always worth reading when you travel from Graham Greene, D H Lawrence, Edna O’Brien spring to mind.
Would you rather go into space or explore the depths of the ocean?
Without any doubt I’d love to go into space. I’ve written a poem that focuses on my six year old self desiring to be an astronaut. Zero gravity would be great and to see the stars would be an unfathomable excitement.
Buy your copy now 'Penny Pepper, First in the World Somewhere' : https://www.amazon.co.uk/First-World-Somewhere-Adventures-Scribbler/dp/1783523476/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1499285398&sr=8-2