Saturday 27 October 2012

More about the horseback safaris described in 'Ride the Wings of Morning'

~ Horizon Horseback Safaris ~

Let me know if you would like to go on one!
We are hoping to put together a sponsored ride acrtoss the Waterberg in South Africa for a week in 2013 to raise funds for the Waterberg Welfare Society Trust.
for details

Saturday 13 October 2012

Now with colour illustrations on Amazon Kindle ~

'Ride the Wings of Morning' ~ the illustred ebook is now in colour
Click on the regional links below for the book's product page on Amazon:
‘But I don’t have a Kindle!’
Don’t worry. You can easily add a free Kindle reading app to your PC, laptop, Android or Apple device and see the illustrations in colour:
If you are in the UK
Click here:
If you live in Africa, you want to download the Kindle app direct from
Go to:
And choose which device you want to download the app to.
All the Kindle reading apps are free.

Friday 12 October 2012

What to take on a horse safari ~

Sun glasses  with a retaining strap
Barbour or thorn-proof raincoat you can tie over the saddle. You can always use this as a ground sheet even if it never rains. Take a light rain jacket if rain is unlikely.
Old riding clothes in earth colours (not red)
Light-weight long-sleeved shirt. Do bring old shirts that you can wear then give away at the end of the trip.
Short-sleeved shirts or 'polo-shirts' (Shirts with collars are better than t-shirts unless you are totally immune to sunburn).
A cardigan or fleece that zips up the front.  
Comfortable old riding breeches or trousers with a belt.
Summer dress
Trainers for walking and tennis.
Sandals or flip-flops. You are not going to wear high heeled shoes. It's too sandy.
Short riding boots with thick rubber soles
Half-chaps for riding. Only take black rubber boots if riding in the Okavango or other wetlands. You only really need full chaps for thornbush country.
Good socks. Lined walking socks are best.
Two pairs of riding gloves. I cut the tops off some of the fingers so I can undo buckles. 
Riding helmet or Hard hat. I have a hot weather one but need to take a shower cap to put over it in case it rains. I've fitted a wide-brimmed tennis visor to the rim with velcro. Click here for one I found that fits. and here for the velcro

You might want to take a bummner but it may not fit the saddle. Some saddles will have fitted ones.
A wide-brimmed sun hat that stays on in an open vehicle. 
Cotton bandana/scarf.
Water bottle. You can always use this as a hot-water bottle at night. I take proper a hot-water bottle for some climates. My own thermos cup.
Small bumbag with Lipsalve
Sun protection cream factor 30 or higher.
Mosquito repellant 
I have a small camera case with a wide belt that proved useful once when my girth broke. 
Phone/camera + charger and adaptor plug. Take one you can easily ride with.
Swimming costume
Night clothes
Elasticated body wraps if you need them.
Wash bag, tissues,
Wet wipes 
A torch
A good book. Diary/sketch book, pens. 
Health insurance documents.
Driving License
Credit/debit card
(Remember not to take a penknife or scissors in your hand-luggage).
You must be in possession of a passport with at least one blank page that is valid for at least six months after your return date. Visa. 
You also need travel and health insurance that allows you to ride without ridiculous exclusions. Make sure your Tetanus inoculation is up to date.
Money. You can usually use cash point machines.
Travel in your riding clothes taking a Day bag for your helmet, chaps, riding gloves for the first two days as your luggage might easily get delayed. No handbags!
If you ring the airline in advance they may give you permission to take sports equipment as extra luggage, but they will ask to see it at the luggage check-in desk. However, try to keep your personal baggage down to 10kgs. Horse safari companies usually supply all the equipment. Sometimes you need your own sleeping bag.

For cold-weather countries:
Puffa jacket/padded waistcoat. This can always double up as a pillow if you are camping.
Woolly hat to keep warm at night.
Hot water bottle

Off you go.

Having said all that, here I am, wearing leather walking boots, shorts and long chaps, no gloves (regretted that in later life) and no helmet. (Regretted that too.)  The cotton thick Australian shirt lasted well.

My little horse Sam was so good in the bush. I never shod him. He'd find game, and was good at avoiding holes. Sadly we poisoned his brain by racing him and he became difficult to stop but he was always a great ride.  

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Book Club comments about 'Ride the Wings of Morning'

'I loved it. It made me laugh. I now know Sophie's family are totally dotty. I enjoyed it.'

'I absolutely loved it.'

'It's terribly important that it is true story.'
'Much more facinating.'
'It's too acute for it to be made up.'
One reader said she sees 'a miniscule part of life that so funny...'

'I don't know one end of a Springbok from another but I love the illustrations.'

'I think it's fantastic; a great book to have by the bed. I kept dipping in.'

'I've spent a lot of time in Africa. I find the letter format a bit disruptive for a long read but it was good fun to dig in and out of. I think the family are hysterical. It's fascinating.'

'It has certainly whetted my appetite for travel.'

'There's an endless demand for animal stories.'

'Tamzin (Sophie's sister) writes very well - it reads well.'

'I don't do letters. They don't keep me awake. Because I have arthritis in my hands I found the paperback too long and too heavy physically - it is very heavy. Literally too heavy weight-wise for holiday reading. I didn't like the double spacing, but I thought the drawings were lovely - what a way to live.'

'The letter format would make it a good train book, perhaps best on Kindle.'

'This book made me feel I wanted to go on an adventure and I liked reading about the Army wife. It's a book you can pick up and put down but I prefered Funnily Enough.'

It was agreed that whilst ride the Wings of Morning stretches the reader into new dimensions on a physical level, Funnily Enough stretches one spiritually.

'I've enjoyed it more than Sophie Neville's first book.'

'My mother loved the first book ~ Funnily Enough. She's quite particular, very particular about what she'll read, and she was really thrilled with it.'

Monday 1 October 2012

Questions for Book Clubs ~

Tonight the Quay Book Club will be discussing 'Ride the Wings of Morning'.

Here are a few questions from the author:

1. 'Ride the Wings of Morning' has been put together from letters sent between Sophie, who was travelling in Southern Africa, and her family back in Europe. Do you think this works as a format?

2. This is a true story. How much does that matter?  How would you feel if you were told it was a novel?

3. Being real life there are hundreds of characters. Who was your favorite? Which relationships interested you most?

4. If it was a novel the narrative would probably be stronger, there would be a plot and probably more romance. Real life panned out in a different way. Did you still find it a satisfying read?

5. There are about 240 illustrations in the paperback - more in the Kindle version where many are in colour. Do you like the idea of illustrated books for adults?

6. What age groups do you think would most enjoy the book?

7. Would you recommend this book as holiday reading or a for someone ill in bed?

8. Do you think this book would make a good gift?

9. Did you prefer it to the prequel, 'Funnily Enough'?

If you have any questions you can add to the list please use the Comments box below.