Born in Leicester in 1945, Gillian was educated at Guthlaxton Grammar School and the Leicester College of Technology.

Gillian Angrave After 3 years working in Leicester as a PA for an architect, an engineering company and The Rank Organisation, she joined P&O as an Assistant Purser in 1967, sailing in CANBERRA and ORIANA until 1974. After a brief spell ashore, she again got ‘itchy feet’ and in 1976 joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office as Ambassador’s PA, a position she held (and greatly enjoyed) for 29 years. Her postings took her to the Philippines, Peru, Guatemala, Chile, Mexico and Hungary. Sadly, she had to retire from ‘The Office’ on 16 April 2005, her 60th birthday.

Single (her love of travel somehow always seemed to get in the way of marriage!), upon retirement Gillian became a Registrar of Marriages, a job she also loves. Now she marries everyone else!

Hobbies: travel; photography; bell-ringing; modern languages; gardening; golf (1992 Hungarian Ladies Open Champion) – and, of course, writing!
Throughout her life, Gillian has enjoyed photographing and writing about the exotic places in which she has lived, and where she has visited, mainly in short articles for societies and other groups. However, despite 40 years of travel, nowhere has captured her imagination as vividly nor had such a profound effect upon her as the ‘water Wonderland’ that is Venice. This remarkable city fulfils everything that appeals to Gillian: atmosphere, beauty, history, stunning architecture, boats, ships, the sea….. the list is endless.

And so, finding herself in such a magical environment, it was only natural that Gillian should put pen to paper to share her experiences, photographs and ever-increasing knowledge with other like-minded travellers. This is the first time, though, that she has ventured into the wider literary world and decided to write a more substantial account of her travels. Every turn of a corner has brought exciting opportunities for photography, amusing incidents, and a greater understanding of what makes Venice tick. She has learned so much more along the way, and hopes that through her books you, too, will get to love this magical city as much as she does (if you don’t already!).

In writing these two Volumes (a third will hopefully be on its way soon), Gillian, as a Member of the Venice in Peril Fund, has been conscious of just how much restoration is needed to maintain and protect the fabric and environment of Venice. To this end, part of the proceeds from the sale of her books will be donated to the Fund to assist with this vital work that they are carrying out. She is proud to help in this small way.

Live your life like a butterfly: have a rest sometimes,
But always remember to fly.

Venice: Volume 1

Venice: Volume 2

Venice: Volume 3

All books are available in hard back:

Click here to view Venice – The Diary of an Awestruck Traveller: From Swamp to La Serenissima Volume 1

Click here to view Venice:The Diary of an Awestruck Traveller: “Betwixt and Between” Volume 2

Click here to view Venice Volume 3: Hidden Gems (The Diary of an Awestruck Traveller)

All three volumes are also available in paperback.

For Further information about Gillian and her books, visit her website at