A measure of progress

Artwork for the Highway Cello album

3½ months since this mad venture assaulted my mind.  3½ months until I have to pack my cello onto the little trailer, and set off.  Two thousand miles, on a bike, down the length of England, then France, and over the Alps into Italy.

So I could call this a kind of halfway point.  A good moment, I think, to take stock, and maybe repent me of this madness.

What have I done, then, in these 3½ months, to justify the word “preparation”?  And how much is still to do?  Can I be ready in time?

All readiness is relative, I suppose.  Commitments have been made, haven’t they, so it’s a case of “coming – ready or not” as you would say if this were a game of hide and seek.

Well, I’ve bought a carbon fibre cello – the supposedly indestructible Libre, remember?  I’ve recorded the Highway Cello album.  I’ve booked nearly a dozen gigs between Hadrian’s Wall and Dover.  And I’ve printed a book of suitable tunes.  So cello-wise I think that’s pretty good progress.

What about the bike, though?  Am I allowed to say I’m waiting for the Spring?  Though I have bought a new yellow helmet.  I’ve bought a trailer, too.  And I’ve used it once – to go five miles to the Co-op.  OK, so maybe a bit more emphasis on the cycling in the next few weeks…

In my mind there are three elements to this journey:  the cello, and the bike, of course – and then also the story.  There’s no point doing it if it’s not a good story.

I’ve been working on that, too.  If you’re reading this you’ll know there’s a website (thanks, Corrine!)  There’s also the beginning of a book (hush, not too loud – but there’s quite a lot of back story, isn’t there, to tell, like all the “why” before you get to the “how”?)

And then it gets complicated.  Time-consuming.  The story needs an audience.  So I’m trying to get to grips with all the shameless self-promotion stuff.  Any and all help gratefully received.  Spread the word.  Re-post everything.  Tell anyone who will listen that you knew me before I was famous (haha!)  Team effort.

If you’re within a hundred miles of the route, put the concert dates in your diary!  Tell everyone you know to do the same!  And send me ideas, lots of ideas.

Oops, run out of time.  Got to go.  (Self-imposed) Italian lesson.  Ciao!

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