I’m bemused, bewitched and bewildered by Kirsty Barnby (see here for her website). She’s an auburn haired beauty with freckled skin who belongs in the shades of the far north and yet she has embarked on a career in the searing sun. She’s an eco-warrior who wants everyone to go everywhere by bicycle and yet has set up a tourism business which you can only reach by crossing the globe in a jet. What’s more, her fledgling enterprise is in a place which has a climate and a political setup which is as unstable as anywhere on earth. But there’s no doubt that Kirsty knows what she’s doing. She’s young, she’s brave, she’s full of optimism. Her new business is in Fiji and it’s a little unfair of me to say you have to fly round the world to get there because her target audience is in Australia, from where Fiji is a mere hop, skip and a jump. She’s offering “adventure holidays” in which young people can do things like coral gardening, building fish houses and planting mangroves.
Kirsty and I have something in common in that my late grandfather, Fred Gresswell, was her great-grandfather. A hundred years ago Fred Gresswell left his job as a grocer’s assistant and embarked on a career with nothing but hopes, dreams and determination. He achieved his dreams and went on to publish the story of his success in a book called Bright Boots, which became a best-seller. I think Kirsty has her great-grandfather’s genes and nothing will stand in the way of her success.