Josh thinks (and who could argue) that being in a tent is no reason to only eat rubbish food, but he also realises that we are not all genius chefs, so he has set out to help us all eat well while camping. He is a member of The Guild of Food Writers, with a degree in Arabic with Middle Eastern Islamic Studies and he also has a Masters in Professional Housing Studies.
Josh writes and illustrates a monthly column as the Guy Rope Gourmet in Camping magazine, as well as writing the odd feature every now and again. He likes to illustrate his work with drawings.
He is currently writing his second book
And so I quizzed him. Starting at the beginning..
Why did you start writing?
I came to writing relatively late in life, having attended further education and then my first degree as a mature student I discovered that I thoroughly enjoy the process of research and writing. The food and travel writing that I do is just an extension of that really.
What 3 things (not including paper, computer, pens) would you like to facilitate a good days writing?
Coffee, a clear head and a looming deadline always seem to get the words flowing.
Do you write to a schedule, eg every day or three times a week, set times, etc or do you write as and when the mood strikes?
I have a study at the top of the house with an amazing view over the surrounding countryside. I usually park myself up there after the school run in the morning and after an hour or so of messing around on social media, I get down to the project at hand, unless of course I’m on a research trip. In which case I will find a local library to sit down in. ~~ I'm slightly disappointed to hear you don't pitch a tent in the garden and write there to be honest ;-)
What are your favourite biscuits?
I rather think I ate my fair share of biscuits in my, let's say, more hedonistic days. Boasters were a favourite back then, but nowadays I’ll settle for a Rich Tea. ~~ back to the simple life eh?
What book are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading ‘Common Ground’ by Rob Cowen. I caught him reading from it and talking about the book at The Good Life Experience this summer. I was captivated. It’s a wonderful read.
Do you use social media (facebook, twitter, instagram etc) to engage with your readers, do you think it helps sales and do you find it fun or a chore?
I spend a great deal of time on social media, twitter in particular and I do enjoy engaging with my readers. I has most certainly helped with gaining commissions and getting my name about. I was a long time in coming to Twitter, and I frequently wonder whether everyone has moved on to a new cooler social media site that I don’t yet know about. (Follow Josh on twitter at GuyRopeGourmet )
What was your last dream about?
I turned fifty very recently and organised a huge party for all my friends. I fed seventy six people over a weekend. Just a few days before the do, I dreamed that one of my pals organised a separate party in another location and no-one came to mine! ~~ooh the old anxiety dream, mine have become increasingly surreal as I approach 50 I have to confess!
If reading and writing were banned, what would you do instead?
Play guitar and tell stories ~~ round the camp fire?
If you could cross a fruit or a vegetable with an animal what would you pick and why? I am going with an ant/chestnut this week, annoying to find you pitched a tent on a nest but at least you could make nice soup with them.
I would cross a lemming with a hot potato, in the hope that it would kill and cook itself. ~~yummy
Where is your ideal holiday?
Camping in North Wales. It’s a magical place and I never get bored. Spain is also pretty close contender. I would love to spend two or three months driving around Spain with my family in the camper van. If only I could get someone to pay me for that gig. ~~ food in Spain is amazing, I'm just back from a holiday in Wales and having put on 2lbs in a week I can vouch for the fact the food there is pretty good too!
Do you prefer eating or cooking?
I prefer cooking. I love the idea of looking after guests and feeding them well. Guests will constantly approach me in the kitchen saying "can I do anything to help?” and my answer is always, “yes pour yourself another drink and see if anyone else needs one!"
Massive thanks for taking part Josh. And thank you reader (yes you) for reading. I hope you enjoyed it an if it's given you an appetite why not pop out and grab a copy of the book, you could try recipes like Smokey Bonfire Pasta - appropriate for this week!
You can buy Josh's Book from Amazon : Guy Rope Gourmet a Camping Cook Book
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