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Meet Leigh Turner, the Former British Ambassador to Austria - AKA Robert Pimm.

Leigh Turner CMG British Ambassador of Austria -
Leigh Turner CMG - British Ambassador to Austria

In 2020 I wrote a blog asking how many previous lives have you had? I wrote this partly because I am a firm believer in the concept and the worth of transferable skills. Those of us who have worked, brought up children, or travelled the world have so much hard-earned experience which is worth its weight in gold. With all these skills and knowledge we have amassed, juggling our different and sometimes competing personas is more straightforward because we have the building blocks to work with ready to hand.

I used to worry that I had had too many careers because, by the age of 39, I had already worked for the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as having a few little jobs to keep me solvent in between. Then, having retrained to become a curator, I ran the Holst Birthplace Museum in Cheltenham. During this time, I was lucky enough to get some advice from a work colleague who was in his fifties and about to take early retirement. He told me something very useful: "some people are really great at working on something for a few years, at making their mark and moving on, taking new skills with them. Some people work in one field for most of their lives and never waiver. Some work on several careers at the same time. All of these ways of working have value."

I would like to tell you a story about Leigh Turner CMG, the former British Ambassador to Austria. He is one of those people who has had a glittering and exciting career - he has worked all over the world, from Argentina to Vladivostok. He is also a journalist, a writer of articles and blogs and a successful author of thrillers – using the pen name Robert Pimm until he retired. So he has managed to have at least two or three careers.

I met Leigh Turner in Klagenfurt, Austria, during those uncertain "will it, won't it happen" Brexit years. Leigh held workshops for British Passport holders across the country helping those of us living in Austria who were worried about our situation. He certainly gave us some good advice and made us feel much calmer.

Leigh Turner as the British Ambassador, pictured in Klagenfurt, Austria and the Mayoress Dr. Maria-Luise Mathiaschitz conducting official duties
Leigh Turner conducting his official duties in Klagenfurt

I met Leigh again, at the opening of an exhibition in our local town of Wolfsberg a year or so later. I didn't introduce myself, but on both occasions, I enjoyed listening to this erudite and gentle gentleman, I had no idea at that time that he was also a writer.

Our paths crossed again in 2021. When even more lockdowns and my colleagues and I could not work as English Trainers in Austria, we launched a Crowdfunding Campaign to raise funds to pay for the translation of my English book Walking into Alchemy to bring out a German edition as Alchemie des Gehens. I sent out invitations to potential supporters and with great trepidation and solemnity I addressed my letter "To The Honorable Mr Leigh Turner, Ambassador of United Kingdom, British Embassy.” A few days later, I received a message via LinkedIn Messenger: "Hi, Amelia, we are connected now - how can I help?" I was genuinely surprised by his willingness to engage with me personally. Even though it wasn't possible for the Embassy to support our campaign, his message gave us a real boost. This response is a clear example of someone who has a strongly developed sense of Emotional Intelligence. I like to think that Leigh hones this skill not only through working as a diplomat but through his writing. As I mentioned, I believe in transferable skills.

Last September, Leigh left his glamorous career in the Diplomatic Service and is now working full time on his writing. I have been following his career, and last week I signed up to receive an advanced copy of his next book Palladium with a view to becoming a reviewer when it is published in May 2022. A link to Palladium is in the Useful Links section at the bottom of this blog.

Leigh Turner sitting on The roof of the “Valide Han” which features in Leigh Turner's forthcoming book “Palladium”
“Valide Han” which features in the book “Palladium”.

Leigh Turner Hiking
Leigh in Happy Hiking Mode.

Whilst visiting his website I took a peek at Leigh's many fascinating blogs. I came across his blog about clouds - I have been fascinated by clouds since I was a child - I remember the first time I really started to love them - lying on the grass one hot summer and watching them float by is one of my earliest memories. It seems that Leigh and I also share a passion for nature and for walking.

Read Leigh Turner's Blog about The Cloud Appreciation Society:

I am therefore delighted that Leigh has given me permission to publish his blog about the happiness that can be found from simply looking up and appreciating the clouds here for you on my site. Click to read Leigh's blog here - The Cloud Appreciation Society (


Images published with permission from Leigh Turner.

Useful Links:

Leigh Turner’s books:

PALLADIUM, an Istanbul thriller:

ETERNAL LIFE, a “what if?” satirical thriller about immortality:

OTHER LEIGH TURNER BOOKS, including those written under the pen-name of “Robert Pimm”:

Find out more about Writers and Emotional Intelligence:

Do you want to become a Guest Blogger on my site?

Or simply click on the image to go to the link and find out more.

Find out more about my writing.

Help me raise money for Holst.


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