I ALWAYS knew there was a reason Margery Hookings was my boss when she was editor of the Bridport News – she was brighter than me.

And now she’s proved it again by winning a travel writing competition run by The Telegraph newspaper and Saga and the prize of a trip for two to Peru.

She wrote the winning piece under her pen name Maddie Grigg and readers may be familiar with her blog The World From My Window, which started with musings about the goings-on in her home village of Broadwindsor.

The winning story was about a Saint’s day in Corfu, where she and husband Andrew lived for a year in 2012-13 after letting their West Dorset home and renting a house in Corfu.

Coincidentally, the house belonged to Lady Glenconner’s family. Her daughter, the writer Emma Tennant, wrote A House In Corfu and used to live in Netherbury, although Margery didn’t know that when they decided to rent the house.

Margery said: “Peru was truly the trip of a lifetime, especially as we didn’t have to pay for it.

“We had a 12-day holiday visiting the Land of the Incas, which included Cusco, Lake Titicaca and, of course, Machu Picchu.

“At 53, I was by far the youngest on this Saga holiday but I was amazed at how action-packed it was, with several 4am starts and one at 3am, seven flights and lots of walking and sightseeing. Our tour manager and guides were absolutely first class and the people of Peru so charming and friendly.

“I also won a travel writing masterclass with a Telegraph travel writer, which hasn’t taken place yet.

“I’ve been writing under the name of Maddie Grigg since starting an Open University course in 2007. I graduated in 2011 after four years, while working full-time, with a first class honours degree in humanities and creative writing.

“I couldn’t recommend the OU more highly – it’s opened lots of new doors for me.”

Obviously, as she’s written two novels – A Year In Lush Places: Tales From England’s Rural Underbelly and A Town Like This – and is currently editing her grandfather’s Great War diaries.

Together with fellow writers Nathalie Roberts, who is also a photographer, and Sophia Moseley, she has just launched The Lady Shed, a new website (ladyshed.com) featuring words and pictures from them.

Margery is also a travel columnist for the Our Place.UK website for older people and does PR for several clients. Curious readers, and former colleagues, can see her winning entry on the sagaawaywithwords. co.uk website.