Testimonials – E-Diary and Blog

Here is some of the feedback from the original e-diary, and the blog about writing and marketing the book which followed.


‘Your emails always make me want to go out and conquer the world, study a bit of philosophy, or simply sit in a café and watch the world go by. Your writing is thought-provoking, entertaining, ambitious, crazy, funny, serious and relevant all at the same time. It’s poetic, creative and fascinating, and it is rare to read something that makes you want to pick up a pen and have a go yourself. It is almost as if you are able to inspire people to think deeper into their own life experiences.’
- Joanne Van, Employer Solutions Manager, Wales


‘I’m starting to think of you as some kind of all-over-the-world good spirit, floating down the halls with some wheelless bike, whispering the stories from your virtual black book diary, that no one really knows if it exists.’
- Domagoj, Photographer, Croatia


‘Your prose is delicious and flows off the page into my mind like a gazpacho on a hot summer night in Seville, bringing refreshment and nourishment even at this late hour.’
- Simon Hunt, Science Teacher, Manchester


‘Inspirational. I’ve read that at a cross roads in my life. If your intention was to make people think about their choices you have succeeded! Can’t wait to read the book.’
- Zoe Joyce, Financial Advisor, Wales


‘Wow, have I ever enjoyed reading your stuff! There is such a voice in your writing and I find myself having to both think and smile at varying points throughout each one.’
– Ria Hampson, Yoga Instructor & Founder of BalanceTree.com, Vancouver


‘You’ve excelled yourself. The style of your adventuring really impresses me – you’ve done it on a bike, you’re reading the collected piffle of the world religions on the way and you’re engaging so thoroughly with what you find. From ‘piffle’ to ‘zeitgeist’. Publish “Uncle Peter’s Pilgrimage” at once – it’s brilliant.’
- Ash, Traveller, Peru


‘I can not stress enough how uplifting your updates are. Picturing in my mind your whirlwind adventures feels like escapism, a far-off fictional world. Unbelievably, life IS this good and your magical tale is REAL.’
– Eden Tehan, Student, Sydney


‘I am loving each and every one of you lovingly written pieces of prose.  Copyright it all.  Someone is going to steal your words and write an amazing novel.  I really really enjoyed reading this episode – a grey Monday morning in Cincinnati and a burst of colour from you … Thank you.’
- Jane Dicker, Teacher, Cincinnati London


‘You are a master of script. Everything you write is so well structured. Me and [my husband] have talked over such issues for hours and hours in long drawn out discussions until the early hours. Everything you wrote in your last update is EXACTLY our thoughts. We salute you. We are united.’
- Joanne Taylor-Horne, Domestic Goddess, Southampton


‘A truly epic adventure and I thank you for the amusing insights and enlightened observations you have shared along the way.  Good luck with your writings and please let me know when I will be able to get a copy of the book.’
- Craig Perkins, Australia


‘I am so enjoying receiving your fabulous stories of your wonderful trip and hearing quite how many potential friends there are in the world with so much to say. It sounds like you are evolving with every lift you take, every pretty girl you encounter and every evening you spend on a balcony or hill, reflecting, as the sun goes down.’
- Becky and Kai Hallam, London


‘These really are beautiful thoughts. I love the open-minded manner in which you expose them, and the respectful way you tread on delicate grounds related mostly to tradition. If the big guns were to think this way then today there’d be less wars and more time to deal with the real problems of the world.’
– Paolo Pevere, Businessman, Italy


‘I love the way you write things. It has me hanging onto your every word, even the words I don’t understand! I pray that your book gets its well deserved recognition.’
- Charlene Murray, Recruitment Consultant, London


‘Just read your two latest emails and boy did they make me chuckle. You write so well and your outlook on life is so wonderful and uplifting. you could probably find yourself in a filing cabinet and have an adventure or find something to get excited about.’
– Katherine Manners, Actress, London


‘How utterly beautiful! [You] write so articulately, with such wit and clarity …’
– Samantha Benbow, Business Analyst, Birmingham


‘Your last two updates have been particularly fine and inspiring. I was delighted by your description of the Mediterranean, which for so long played a dominant role in the history of western civilization… Also, cracking quotation. That really brightened up my afternoon. These updates are becoming ever more charming and entertaining.’
– John Devlin, Communications Tsar, London


‘I have greatly enjoyed your e-diary – sometimes tirades, sometimes soliloquies, sometimes Zen-like musings. Please let me know how things work out and where your journey takes you next.’
– Kaylene Alvarez, Banking Executive, New York City


‘Why don’t you just get a job you bloody hippy?’
– Si Peace, Management Accountant, Hertfordshire


‘Fantastic! What a trip! What a lovely saga and it’s been really super to follow your travels and enjoy your and Nelly’s ups and downs (both literally and figuratively) and the delightfully eccentric and hospitable people you’ve met.’
– Janet Fulford, Architect (retired), Colchester


‘Thanks for brightening my day – I’ve just done a 13-hour day at work and am pretty fed up, but your update made me smile.’
– Rachel Barlow, Radiotherapy Physicist, Southampton


‘Ahhhhh, so good – for that brief, dreamy moment I really do feel I’m there with you.’
– Janet Annan, Businesswoman, London


‘I have to congratulate you on the e-diary you are putting together, I thoroughly enjoy hearing about your escapades and hope your onward journey is as enjoyable and eventful as the story so far. Keep dem updates coming’
- Charlotte Ingwell, Domestic Goddess, London


‘I am totally enthralled!!!!!’
- Kirsty Gordon, Businesswoman, Cape Town


‘What beautiful stories. I can see all the characters as clearly as if I was there.’
– Claire Chantelle, Performing Artist, New York


‘Fascinating totally fascinating! Keep going, I am enthralled by your every word!’
- Pete Raistrick, Design Lecturer, London


‘I love to read your stories. You have such a talent to describe things and emotion so vividly! Keep writing and maybe one day you could publish your diary!’
– Maja Badovinac, Embassy Worker, Slovenia


‘Keep em coming, you are brightening my days with your commentary. Looking forward to the next one am I.’
– Jason “Yoda Man” Willis, Recruitment Manager, Dartford


‘Bloody funny reading! I look forward to new tales and forward them onto my wife. We both agree you have an amazing way of writing. We love it.’
– Charles LeBesque, Health and Safety Officer, Chelmsford


‘Your emails are more than just emails – you have real writing talent. Looking forward immensely to the book. Following you in heart, mind and spirit – expanding my horizons from the desk.’
– Harriet Swatman, Public Relations Consultant, London


‘I am very impressed by everything you have achieved and the wonderful story that you have to tell – I for one would buy the book immediately!’
- Louise Claire-Pardoe, Careers Guidance Advisor, Coach, Complementary Therapist & Trainer and Writer, Birmingham


‘A hello from Berlin, I always love to read about your adventures.’
- Kathrin Knoll, Berlin


‘Awesome !!! Awesome !!!’
– Abhishek Anand, IT Consultant, New York


‘Thanks for the great emails which I read diligently and with anticipation of the next. It sounds like you are:
a) safe and well
b) having a some great adventures
c) experiencing the diversity, sights, sounds and smells of European culture first-hand
d) turning a bit bonkers’
- Dr Quintin Davies, Geological Consultant, Lincolnshire


‘[Our mutual friend] said you’d enquired [whether we] really wanted these travelogues – I must admit, I found this episode strangely interesting – so keep them coming. I’m looking forward to hearing more.’
– Frank McDaid, IT Consultant, London


‘Sounds like you are having the most amazing time. You are such a fabulous writer, I hope you will be making a book out of your memoirs.’
- Clare Roberts, Domestic Goddess, London


‘Great reading, Great fun, I really feel I am with you.’
– Peter de la Marche, Businessman, Wales


‘I was in touch with [our mutual friend] and asked how you were getting on and she forwarded me your email. You have got to start writing for a career! Very entertaining! I really admire what you are doing!!’
- Paula Geharty, London


‘Looking forward to your next instalment. Onward wayfarer!’
- Clare Story, Online Editor, London


‘It was a pleasure receiving your latest update. I just wanted to say that it is amazing reading your texts, you really are the person millions dream to be but do not dare. I am just hoping your book comes out and gives me the chance to read it. It is amazing that you’re trying to explain your whole view of the world…’
– Roberto Espinosa, Photographer, Ecuador


‘Keep the emails coming man, I am here at work and when I get them it brightens my day to see that someone is living their dream.’
– Phil Dudiak, Entrepenuer, Chicago


‘I really like this last entry – very inspirational!’
- Linda Pevere, Publishing Executive, London


‘Bravo. You’ve done a great job. Congratulations from Serbia.  I enjoy reading about your trip a lot. Maybe one day we will meet again.’
- Miljan Boskovic, Negotin, Serbia


‘If you’re not doing anything fun for the next week or so try living through someone else: read The Jolly Pilgrim.
- Jemma, Pastry Chef, Vanuatu


‘Congratulations on such an accomplishment. Your adventures are delightful.’
- Catherine Keen, Occupational Therapist, Essex


‘Loving your work!’
– Rowena Patmore, Trainee Midwife, Chester


‘Looking very good. I love the whole project. I can’t wait to read this.’
- Rebecca Green, Archer, Durham


‘Now I know you are insane! I only suspected it before. I’ve been laughing my ass off because of that last email for the last ten minutes.’
- Jim DeSeve, Film Director, New York


‘You’ve become a beautiful writer; that last email was incredibly heartfelt and moving.’
- Sid McLean, Journalist, London


‘I just wanted to say that I think it’s amazing what you’re doing.’
– Marisol Diaz, Book Seller, Quito


‘There’s a species of cichlid fish in the Rift Valley that only eats the eyes of other cichlids. There’s also several species that bite the scales off other cichlids. If you lose enough scales, there’s a chance you’ll get diseased and die, and fall to the bottom of the lake, whereupon you’ll be eaten by the species of cichlid that only eats dead, diseased cichlids at the bottom of the lake. The main danger for these latter fish is the species of cichlid that lies upside down at the bottom, and has flesh that appears chewed and diseased, but is very much alive and only eats the fish that eats dead, diseased cichlids. Can you explain what all of this means?’
- Dr Chris Armstrong, Politics Lecturer, Southampton


‘Days since leaving London : 510
No. of lifts taken thus far: 8
No. of trees hugged: 67,034
Tree-hugger rating: 98%
Likelihood of losing one’s mind: 92%
Chances of the piss being taken on return: 100%’
- Adrian Hartley, Deputy Head Teacher, London


‘One evening in late summer of 2005 into our hospital park my English Patient arrived. I saw him through the window from afar. He was exhausted and hardly ascended the hill, and along with this, his bike was damaged. Soon I was called to the emergency room by the nurses, enthusiastic about a young man who arrived in Zagreb from London on a bicycle. I learned that he was on the way around the world looking for meaning. Although severe infection on his leg had slowed him and departed him from his schedule, he was not impatient or angry (what we doctors often see among young and ambitious people). Hospitalization was for him one more chance to get to better know himself and the world.

The evening before his departure from Zagreb we spent in endless conversation about the things that have marked our lives. There was laughter and tears. Since then I regularly receive his e-mails from the remotest corners of the world, I follow him in spirit and I know that on this planet there are people who are willing to leave the safety of their lives and go to the world to seek and spread the good. May God protect him.’
- Marija Santini, Doctor, Zagreb


‘Don’t sit on a bee!’
- Tony Bowers, Quantity Surveyor, London


‘[You need to] get yourself camouflaged up with webbing and your face striped out, stalking along crouched, placing your feet carefully as you scan the area for bogies. Cradled in your arms is a colt commando AR15 automatic weapon fitted with a 203 under barrel grenade launcher, naturally all your clips are taped to maintain a crushing amount of fire. The safety catch is for dimwit lessers. On your weapon it’s been removed. You’ve been put here by the faceless bureaucrats, the rear echelon f***ers who toss off at night wishing they had what its takes to be you, but that doesn’t concern you, you know you’re here to smash some daygo drug baron and his slack ass gophers and today’s the day they get the good news – it’s the action that you love. As you advance you can hear the bolshie chat of the AK 47 armed locals, vehicles are running and you can smell the cheap tobacco smoke as they load another consignment, your buddies move up and take position level with you, as per E.U. protocol you issue the warning, possibly last thing most of these c***s will ever hear….

“…Hi! I’m Pete Baker!”’
– Mark Yzerman-Snare, Hip Hop Injection Maverick, London


‘I can only imagine what it feels like to finish a task like this.  You’re a talented author, the subject matter is compelling, and you have demonstrated a willingness to do what it takes to get the job done.  Bravo.  As for the book, I’m sure it will revolutionize the planet for quite some time. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.’
- Jim Martin, USA


‘It’s so exiting you have now finished your book. Now you just have to get out there and grab it my boy! We are sure with your personality and enthusiasm it will get published and of course the proof of the talent and you as a man is in the book.’
- Annie Atkinson, Banker, Mauritius


‘This latest episode is a good metaphor for life; nothing is perfect and we have to learn to make the best of imperfect situations – which is what I believe you might be doing in Sydney. Maybe in years to come you’ll be pontificating at some seminar in Hay-on-Wye, explaining how you’ve learnt you do your best work away from the eye of the storm, even though at the time it felt slightly pedestrian. That’s all to come.’
– Dr Susannah Colbert, Research Psychologist, London


‘This is very readable dude. I read it all – I didn’t intend to read it all, not because I thought it would be crap but because I was busy and intended to skim through it, and then I read it all and wanted more.’
- Yazan Sboul, Businessman, London


‘There are only so many talking heads on the radio droning away the same old point of view. It would be great if you could get in there. Unlike most commentators you aren’t just recycling “I’m the answer” or “My party’s the answer”. The blog piece is brilliant.’
- Owen Kellie-Smith, Product Actuary, Exeter


Testimonials – The Jolly Pilgrim >

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