36. Kirsty Wark; From Newsnight to the Sleeper Train, the Collapse of the Iron Curtain, Mallorcan Cowboy Boots and New York State in a Convertible. - The Big Travel Podcast

Episode 36
September 25 , 2018

36. Kirsty Wark; From Newsnight to the Sleeper Train, the Collapse of the Iron Curtain, Mallorcan Cowboy Boots and New York State in a Convertible.

As the presenter of one of the UK’s most important news programmes, BBC2’s Newsnight, journalist Kirsty Wark is famed for her no-nonsense attitude. She’s arranged her working life around her love of Scotland, was inspired by the Isle of Arran to write novels, accidentally stumbled into the fall of the iron curtain on honeymoon and feels her spirit soar when speeding along in a convertible in New York State. A passionate advocate for working smarter, she feels that overnight trains are the most effective use of travelling time. Covering London, Glasgow, Arran, Istanbul, Budapest, Paris, Edinburgh, Galashiels, Ardrossan in North Ayrshire, The Highlands, New York, Rhode Island, The Hamptons, Long Island and the North Fork, Greenport, Shelter Island, Mallorca, The Baltics, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovenia, Italy and more. 



On this episode we cover:


Working in London but based in Scotland

How not all BBC figures should be in London

Commuting on the sleeper

Newsnight to Euston to an Arran malt whiskey in the dining car

The trick to sleeping on the sleeper

Time efficient travelling

Flying less

The arrival of new sleeper carriages and en-suites

Political cross-party mingling on the train

‘What happens on the sleeper stays on the sleeper’

Donald Dewar and Robin Cook stuck in the snow

The train from Istanbul to Budapest

Honeymooning on a train during the fall of the iron curtain

Paris for a football match

The poignancy of train travel

The Glasgow plaque commemorating the world wars

The emotional side of coming home

By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept

The Beeching Cuts and the return of the Borders Railway – Edinburgh to Galashiels

Lisa’s great Scottish travel shame

The Isle of Arran via Glasgow and Ardrossan in North Ayrshire

The momentous beauty of the Highlands

How travelling on the sleeper is perfect for kids

Bringing up her children in Scotland

Her daughter in London and son in New York

Providence Rhode Island for Thanksgiving on the Amtrak

Cooking up a storm in New York – the East Village, West Village or Greenwich Village

New York State, the Hamptons, Long Island and the North Fork, Greenport, Shelter Island, The Chequered Hotel, West Elm, Sunset Beach.

How automation is going to affect jobs

Her TedX talk about work/life balance and working fewer hours

Changing school and working hours

Culture of presenteeism and poor productivity

Travelling in your own place, OS maps and visualising the topography

How a rainy holiday on the Isle of Arran inspired her novel The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle

Brodick and Holy Isle

Arran during World War II

‘There’s no-one so Scottish as those who don’t live in Scotland’

How the sense of place is very important to her

Holidaying in Scotland

Misconceptions of Mallorca

Her house in Mallorca at the base of the Tramuntana mountains

Suckling pigs on New Year’s Eve and seasonal Mallorcan cooking

Tony Mora cowboy boots – the best cowboy boots in the world!

How liking clothes doesn’t mean you cant like history, literature or politics

The Vivienne Westwood skirt on Newsnight that people thought was tucked in her knickers

Travelling through the accession states in 2002 from Slovenia to Estonia

Being a mindful traveller but not going anywhere she feels unsafe

Her daughter’s violent mugging in Barcelona

How travel and safety is unpredictable

How Moscow made her feel the most uncertain

The Cold War and Perestroika

The series of cultural programmes for BBC4 – The Baltics, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovenia. Italy and how they were affected by the wars

Mornings in Mallorca, sitting amongst the fruit trees and wildlife

Being in the running for the Question Time job when David Dimbleby leaves

Her new novel The Striding Arch, inspired by Andy Goldsworthy’s sculptures in Moniaive, Dumbrieshire, New Zealand and New York

The ‘clearances’ of the Highlands leading to people leaving for the New World

The thrill of driving a convertible from New York to Shelter Island listening to the Killers