Although born in Kent and largely brought up in London, Anna is a bit of a wild Celt being of Irish, Scottish and Welsh extraction.
During her childhood, she spent many unconventional yet magical school holidays travelling around Eastern Europe and some off the map destinations in a battered old car and on a shoe string with her mother, older sister, Cecilia, and her inspiring maiden teacher aunts, Minny and Della. It is these experiences that have led to her life long love of travel and adventure.
After leaving school, Anna studied English Literature and Classics at Leeds University before joining the national charity, Help the Aged, as a graduate trainee. Promoted to senior press officer, she organised many major fundraising and gala events involving high profile celebrities and the late Princess Diana, who at that time was the charity’s patron.
Moving to the Guinness Book of World Records she became International PR spokesman and invigilator, working closely with both the late Norris McWhirter, CBE, and TV presenter Roy Castle and travelled the world judging extraordinary records.
Those she most enjoyed adjudicating included the world’s longest conga line with singer Gloria Estefan in Miami; the tallest tower of bread in Indonesia; the festival of record breaking in Korea; the longest train journey which culminated in Hong Kong, and driving around Finland in the world’s longest limo.
Anna was often searched at Heathrow customs when she returned to the UK with weird and wonderful artifacts from record-breaking countries and was once nearly arrested for carrying an enormous ginseng root floating in a water tank – a gift for Norris McWhirter.
More stressful moments in the job included meeting Mr Mangetout, the world’s greatest omnivore, the world’s largest and fiercest dog (who bit the bottom of a BBC concierge while Anna performed on Blue Peter!) and dancing with the world’s fastest cucumber slicer on live TV.
After several years of unadulterated fun and madness at Guinness, Anna became marketing director and then a board director for a luxury bathrooms and aromatics company in Mayfair. Some years later she established her own PR and marketing consultancy with international clients in luxury travel, retail, hotels and spas.
After an impromptu meeting with renowned British explorer, Colonel John Blashford-Snell, OBE, Anna accompanied him on an expedition to Nepal, and for 10 years has served as a trustee and director of his charity, The Scientific Exploration Society (SES).
She is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and continues – time permitting – to participate in tough scientific expeditions to remote corners of the globe. The most bizarre of these, documented by BBC television, was when she and the colonel led an expedition to the remote Wai Wai tribesmen in Guyana in order to bring them a grand piano for their mud hut church. More recently Anna took part in another remote SES expedition to discover the origins of the pygmy elephants of Sabah in Borneo.
She is a keen runner, having completed an international marathon annually for the past seven years on behalf of her favourite causes, SES, and orphanages in Sri Lanka which she has befriended. Her most recent international marathon was in Koln, Germany in autumn 2011. Anna has been a freelance journalist for many years, having written features for the Financial Times, Independent, Sunday Telegraph, Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Daily Express, UltraTravel USA and Tatler among others, as well as several in-flight magazines.
For the past eight years she has contributed a weekly column to the Majorca Daily Bulletin and writes twice weekly for The Daily Telegraph’s Expat section. Anna lives in Mallorca with her husband, Alan, and son, Oliver. She has presented her books at the Times Oxford Literary Festival and been guest speaker at numerous events. Her new title, A Bull on the Beach, was published in early July 2012.