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Soundtrack Of My Life - Jacqueline Lambert

We are going to be bringing an extra dimension to the blog over the coming months. We will be speaking to authors and those in the publishing and film industries to discuss the soundtrack to their lives. Each author will pick ten songs and explain why the song is so important to them.


We feel it is an opportunity to get to know authors better and give a greater understanding of how their life experiences have impacted their books. It’s not meant to be their favourite songs, rather those that describe a moment of their lives. We will put a YouTube link to each song (where we can), so you can listen along too.  You'll also be able to download the playlist from Spotify. Obviously, there will always be a song somewhere that isn't available, but we'll do our best.


Without further ado, it’s time to meet our first author. Jacqueline Lambert has become one of our greatest friends since we started writing our books. It probably helps she travels the world in a 24.5 tonne truck with her husband and four dogs. We can relate to that. She’s an award-winning author of the Adventure Caravanning With Dogs series. We highly recommend reading them. You’ll laugh, empathise, and feel you’ve been on their travels with them.  


Her latest book, Building The Beast: How (Not) To Build An Overland Camper, is out now. We were fortunate to be given an advance copy. It’s a brilliant read where Grand Designs meets a 30-year-old ex-Army truck. We’re still not sure if the project was genius or insanity. Like most great things in this world. It was probably a bit of both! 





Jacqueline, what was the final push to make you write your books? 


My husband, Mark, and I gave up work in 2016, accidentally bought a caravan, then decided to rent out the house, sell most of our possessions, and tour in it full time with our four dogs.  

 

I have always loved writing, and friends who enjoyed my Facebook posts urged me to set up a blog. It took me two months to work out how to even add the title to WordPress, but eventually my travel blog, www.WorldWideWalkies.com was born. It not only describes our travels, but also gives tips on travelling with dogs, and how we quit the rat race without being millionaires, lottery winners, or beneficiaries in the will of some wealthy long-lost aunt.  

 

My first book came about because Nicola, one of my followers, said, “You should write a book. No one writes like you. Even your blog about toilets was a joy to read!”  

 

She also said that if I published, it would sort out her Christmas presents that year. Faced with such a vote of confidence – and a ready market – I went for it! Fur Babies in France: From Wage Slaves to Living The Dream was born on 2nd December 2018.  

 




Since then, I have published seven books about our travels. I am delighted to say, they have all received multiple 5* reviews, and two of them, Dogs ‘n’ Dracula: A Road Trip Through Romania and my latest, Building The Beast: How (Not) To Build An Overland Camper, have won awards!  





And What is the Soundtrack Of Your Life? 


You can download Jacqueline's Spotify playlist by clicking the logo below.






I have very diverse musical tastes – anything from opera to punk! It’s hard to narrow it down to just 10 tracks, but here is my attempt to do so: 


White Horses by Jacky





Aged 4, this was the first single (45 rpm record) I ever owned. It was the theme tune to a Yugoslav/German TV series of the same name, about Julia and Uncle Dmitri’s adventures with their wonderful white Lipizzaner horses. I was born loving horses, so I adored the series. Radio DJs always introduced the song as ‘It’s Jacky and her white horses’.  


Me (Jackie), aged four, assumed it was always dedicated to me! I often wondered how my parents pulled that off. 


I still find the lyrics magical – they embody the joy and freedom horses bring into your life.  

When I hear the song, it evokes happy summer memories of family caravan holidays at Morfa Beach, Conwy in Wales, where Mum took me pony trekking for the first time. I recall being ecstatic with excitement when she delivered the message, “Mitsy at 2 o'clock, Tuesday.” Mitsy was a white horse.  


My grandfather made me a white rocking horse, and presented ‘Whitey’ to me for my fifth birthday, but I was 28 years old before I got a real white horse – a half share in Colonel, a former event horse who previously belonged to round-the-world yachtsman, Sir Chay Blyth!  

My travels have since taken me to the stud at Lipica, Slovenia, where they breed the beautiful Lipizzaners who starred in the show I loved so much as a child. 


Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen





Aged 12, I remember seeing the video for Bohemian Rhapsody on Top of the Pops and fell instantly in love with Freddie Mercury and Queen. I still love this iconic track. My uncle owned Pink Panther Records in Carlisle, Cumbria. A teenager’s dream! He let me buy records at cost price and gave me all kinds of merchandise.  


Queen was a huge part of the soundtrack to my youth, and seeing a rock star playing a Bechstein encouraged me with my piano lessons, although the most modern music I was allowed to play was Gilbert and Sullivan.  


Queen encouraged my creativity in a number of ways. I won an embroidery competition at a local agricultural show with a black and white scarf on whose ends I’d painstakingly embroidered the coats of arms from my favourite Queen albums, Night at the Opera and Day at the Races, with the Queen logo from Queen II down the middle.


Whole Lotta Rosie by AC/DC





Aged 14. Although I have diverse musical tastes, I was, and still am, principally a rock chick. An adrenaline infused guitar riff and bass track really gets my blood pumping.  


The first band I ever saw live was AC/DC: the original lineup with Bon Scott as front man. In 1978, I had no idea how cool a credential this would become.  


I love live performance and this was up close and personal in a small venue in my home town of Blackburn in Lancashire. I was deaf for three days after the concert.  


We named our Rosie pup partly for the red rose of Lancashire, also her home county – and partly for AC/DC’s Whole Lotta Rosie, for her size and personality!  


Time by Pink Floyd





Dark Side of the Moon was the first Pink Floyd album I owned, aged 15, and I still love it deeply. When I first bought it, I was like an addict. I couldn’t wait to get home from school for my Floyd fix. In particular, the synthesisers on the introduction to Time enamoured me and I still find the lyrics inspiring. They are very perceptive, particularly when you consider how young the band was when they wrote it. Not wasting the time we’ve been given is exactly how Mark and I have chosen to live our lives.   


I finally saw Floyd in 1994 – at Earl’s Court, at the notorious gig when the stands collapsed. It was typical of my life – so often people say to me, “Only you…!” I was, of course, on the stand that collapsed. 


However, I am pleased to say that, although I ended up flat on my back staring at the ceiling amid a mess of scaffolding poles, I didn’t spill my beer!  


I consider Dark Side one of the best albums in the world, ever. Apart from Wish You Were Here… Life without Floyd is not something I can contemplate. 


Private Dancer by Tina Turner





On our first date in 1999, Mark and I were sung to by a Thai lady boy dressed as Tina Turner. Isn’t everyone?! 


It was a wet Wednesday evening and were the only customers in a Thai restaurant in Ealing, West London. As Mark and I chatted, I asked the waiter about what could only be described as caterwauling coming from the kitchen.  


“Oh, it’s my friend over from Germany. He does impressions of Tina Turner,” the waiter replied.  


We expressed interest and moments later, the irrepressible friend was alongside our table. “I’m performing here on Saturday,” he said, beaming. 


“We can’t make it,” we told him regretfully, because his enthusiasm was so contagious. 

During our meal, he popped out a few times, mostly to ask our opinion on various components of his outfit. First, he bounded over wearing a massive grin and a Tina Turner wig.  


Then, a luminous pout appeared beneath his wig and he demanded to know, “What do you think of my lipstick?”  


Finally, he emerged from the kitchen clad in a little black dress, high heels, and fishnet stockings and treated us to our own outstanding personal rendition of Private Dancer. 


It was a very special evening that sticks in my mind not only because of Tina Turner. En route to the restaurant, a French guy stopped to ask directions. I don’t know what prompted him to ask, “Are you two married?” When I said, “No...” he replied, “You should be!”  

37 weeks later, we were!  


My wedding present to Mark was a cartoon montage of some of the one-offs that happened during our short courtship. Our Thai Lady Boy was centre stage! 


25 years on, our life together has had many of these wonderful, weird, occurances and I love it.  


The Flower Duet by Leo Delibes from the opera Lakme





Opera has such power and beauty. I first heard The Flower Duet in an obscure film, which used this uplifting piece of music to envision the most beautiful painting the protagonist had ever looked upon. They didn’t show the painting: it was just a frame emitting celestial light. It took years, but I made it my mission to discover what this stunning piece of music was. Eventually, I heard it on the radio and made my dad remember it while I found a pen to write it down. 


On an early date, Mark and I saw Carmen performed by the Glyndebourne Touring Opera, who gave a stellar performance. On our first anniversary, we saw La Traviata and Aida live in the Roman Arena in Verona. It was an unforgettable experience, with a russet-coloured full moon hanging in the late summer sky, and the power of two hundred voices on stage during the anvil chorus. 


Anarchy In The UK by The Sex Pistols





I said my musical taste spanned anything from opera to punk. I love the energy and innovation of the punk era and it doesn’t get better than the opening riff of Anarchy. I grew up with the likes of The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Stranglers, and The Damned. I remember listening to them broadcast by Radio Luxembourg on a fuzzy transistor radio in my bedroom.  


When my brother and I played our secret copy of Never Mind the B******s, Here’s The Sex Pistols (whose cover we kept carefully concealed), Mum used to do her best to annoy us. She did all the typical parent things in response to our music. “Is it a man or a woman?” she’d ask about my beloved Freddy, or, “It’s just ‘thump, thump, thump,” about AC/DC. But her worst transgression was the day she asked, “What are they singing about? Pretty Bacon?” To this day, whenever I hear Pretty Vacant by The Sex Pistols, I can’t unhear Pretty Bacon. Thanks, Mum!  


The Rain Song by Led Zeppelin





I doubt my rock chick credentials would be complete without including Zeppelin. I love energetic rock music, but also appreciate the soulful, and lyrical ballads. In my 30s, I gave up work to backpack around Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia. The teenage gap-yearers on the backpacking circuit viewed me as a sad old maid, until I answered the winning question in a female vs male quiz. The boys had set what they thought were impossible questions for girls to answer. I don’t know why they thought I wouldn’t be able to name all the band members of Led Zeppelin!  


The Elements by Tom Lehrer





I do love a comic song with clever, witty lyrics. My dad introduced me to Tom Lehrer and, as a biochemist, I must choose The Elements – in which mathematician and musical humourist, Tom Lehrer, cleverly recites the Periodic Table of the Elements to The Major General’s Song from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance. I suggest you also check out Kit and the Widow, Tim Minchin, and Fascinating Aida, all of whom I’ve seen several times. What impresses me most is that, besides having such sharp lyrics, they are musically brilliant.  

 

I did write my own version of Tom Lehrer’s song – The Elephants, which goes ‘There’s Indian and African... That’s it.’  


Dad and I used to write each other silly poems. For his birthday, I once presented him with The Periodic Table of Pasta.  



lyrics to The Periodic Table Of Pasta
The Periodic Table Of Pasta


Drop Kick Me Jesus by Bobby Bare





Country music is not my favourite genre, but I first heard this track in a remote Lake District cottage where Mark and I got away from it all for the millennium. We had gas lights and a pot-bellied stove, and cooled our champagne in the stream outside the back door. Surrounded by lofty peaks, our only connection with the outside world was the Irish radio station, RTÉ Radio 1. One morning over breakfast, they did a feature called, ‘Tracks that make you want to shout ‘YOWZA’!’  


Drop Kick Me Jesus featured, along with another track called Teddy Bear – a tale of such woe, it not only made Mark and I want to shout YOWZA! The tracks made laugh so uncontrollably we nearly expelled our breakfasts through our noses. 


If ever I’m feeling down, I play Drop Kick Me Jesus. It never fails to cheer me up! 


Thank you, Jacqueline, for giving us such a great playlist. 

 

A reminder of Jacqueline’s latest book, Building The Beast: How (Not) To Build An Overland Camper, is out now.  

 

Find All Jackie’s books on Amazon: https://author.to/JLambert 

Follow her travel blog: www.WorldWideWalkies.com 

Visit her author website: www.JacquelineLambert.co.uk  

 

Jacqueline (Jackie) Lambert is an award-winning travel writer, adventure traveller, and dogmother, who loves history and curious facts.  


BC (Before Canines) she rafted, rock-climbed, and backpacked around six of the seven continents. A passionate windsurfer and skier, she can fly a plane, has been bitten by a lion, and appeared on Japanese TV as a fire-eater. 


AD (After Dog), she quit work in 2016 to hit the road permanently with her husband and four pooches. Initially, they were Adventure Caravanners, who aimed To Boldly Go Where No Van Has Gone Before.  


Now, they’re at large in The Beast, their self-converted six-wheel army lorry, with Mongolia in their sights.   

 

All her books and the anthologies that include her travel stories are available on Amazon: https://author.to/JLambert 



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