Travels With My Hat: A Lifetime on the Road

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eBookit.com, Jan 21, 2014 - Travel - 270 pages
4 Reviews

Travels with My Hat is the story of how an Australian nurse switched careers to become an award-winning international travel writer and photographer. It is a colourful record of her experiences defined by travel and frequently against all odds. "We don't know who you are," she was told on arrival in London in 1974. "To get a name here, you need to write a book," which is precisely what she did, choosing as subject, the developing Arab oil states of the western Gulf. Publication of The Gulf States & Oman in 1977 brought commissions on the Middle East. Books followed on Jordan and Pakistan. In 1979 she was accredited to the Buckingham Palace press corps to cover Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's historic tour of Arabia. The title refers to a famous piece of millinery which was on the road for decade. Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II, disoriented in the great souq in Nizwa in the Sultanate of Oman, said: "I was looking everywhere for your blue hat."

Christine Osborne has visited 35 different Muslim countries, usually treated with great respect and kindness. But of her experiences in the secretive mountain republic of Yemen near the Red Sea she says, "I've occasionally wished I were a boy. Not for the penis per se but for the freedom it allows a man."† In 1981 Christine Osborne travelled to Iraq, invited to Baghdad by the Ba'athist regime of Saddam Hussein. Christine's adventures in Iraq, Ethiopia, Egypt, Pakistan, Morocco and other exotic places, are rounded off with letters to her mother, who never left Australia.

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Christine Osborne has a way with words to take you with her in the 1960s across North Africa, innocently wearing her little sundress to the fascinating market places in many towns and cities of the Middle East, some of which she has re-visited more recently. And what changes have taken place in those years. The author writes of a time when tourism had yet to become the huge industry of today. The letters home to her mother have a special poignancy.
Irene Reynolds
Sydney
 

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Christine Osborne’s “Travels with my Hat” is remarkable, covering the world of Islam from the Atlantic Coast of Morocco to the borderlands of Asia. It is a multi-layered work, encompassing the history, traditions and people of each nation plus, of course, the sheer joy of experiencing the different and unexpected through the author?s discerning eyes.
Repeated visits to these many countries have revealed the subtle (and not so subtle) impacts of the West on Islam and have constituted the work of a lifetime. Fascinating!
Lyall Ramsay
Nambucca Heads
 

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About the author (2014)

Born in Sydney, Australia, Christine Osborne is an award winning journalist and photographer who has worked as a senior travel editor and contributed to prominent newspapers and magazines around the world. First leaving the then cloistered shores of Australia in the 1960s, she came to prominence in 1970 when she received the Pacific Area Travel Writers' award for travel articles on Asia. For many decades Osborne explored the Middle East and Africa from her base in London. Following publication of The Gulf States & Oman in 1977, she fulfilled writing and photographic commissions throughout the developing world. The thousands of images Osborne collected became the basis of a number of photo stock libraries, including the World Religions Photo Library. Her haunting pictures of starving children taken during the devastating Ethiopian droughts of the 1970s were published in a number of European newspapers, including The Times of London. One of her many assignments was interviewing Joy Adamson, the Lion Woman, in Kenya in 1973. In 1979 Osborne was the only woman accredited to the Buckingham Palace press corps to cover Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth‚e(tm)s historic tour of Arabia. ¬ The Queen of Jordan wrote the introduction to her second book, An Insight and Guide to Jordan. Osborne saw many of the world's most pristine places before the advent of mass tourism, her ground breaking work taking her to many of the world's most beautiful and dangerous places. In 1981 she travelled to Iraq, invited to Baghdad by the Ba‚e(tm)athist regime of Saddam Hussein. An intrepid traveller throughout her career, Osborne has spent a lifetime on the road. She has written 16 books in all, including on Pakistan, Morocco, Thailand, Malaysia, Oman and the Seychelles.

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