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Sunday, 22 January 2012

Winter blues (planning everything I still need to do for the trip!) have just disappeared !

Maps all over the floor this weekend, calculating the crazy distances of all the places along the route and still needing to budget for essentials like getting a new phone (mine went down the loo!) to take pictures and blog along the way and of course while I'm at it why not the new GoPro Hero 2 to film the trip .... keep on dreaming !

Steve McQueen, the true King of Cool and James Dean, Rebel without a Cause ...
Iconic heros of mine on their Triumphs ...  Winter blues have just disappeared ! :)

And yes, why the link? Well love the music, the cool dudes and I also took part in the 50th Triumph Bonneville Anniversary spectacle up at the Heritage Motor Museum in Warwickshire with friends - lots of fun ...

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

New Year Wishes – happiness, health, music and adventures

The trip will definitely have music and these 3 amazing American artists I’ve recently discovered will definitely be part of the mix tape/i-pod under the helmet ...

Aloe Blacc -  wow ... what a soul singer, rapper & musician from California 

and ....
Gregory Porter – Grammy award nominated jazz vocalist with blues, gospel and soul influences

Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three - From St. Louis, Missouri, their creative mix of early jazz, string ragtime, country blues and western swing rings  makes them among the most innovative of all the purists performing American roots music today. It’s wonderfully infectious, and all laid down in front of a big, big swingin’ beat.  Thanks Jools!
And adventures ... just read this amazing book of a trip across America in the 60's ....
"When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch.  When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age.  In middle age I was assured that greater age could calm my fever.  Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ship’s whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping.  The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of the stomach high up under the rib cage.                                                                                                                                          
In other words, I don’t improve; in further words, once a bum always a bum.  I fear the disease is incurable.  I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself.

When the virus of restlessness begins to take possession of a wayward man, and the road away from Here seems broad and straight and sweet, the victim must first find in himself a good and sufficient reason for going.  This to the practical bum is not difficult.  He has a built-in garden of reasons to choose from. 
Next he must plan his trip in time and space, choose a direction and a destination.  And last he must implement the journey.  How to go, what to take, how long to stay.  This  part of the process in invariable and immortal.  I set it down only so that newcomers to bumdom, like teen-agers in new-hatched sin, will not think they invented it.

Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process; a new factor enters and takes over.  A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys.  It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness.  A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike.  And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. 
We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.  Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip.  Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the-grass bum relax and go along with it.  Only then do the frustrations fall away.  In this a journey is like marriage.  The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.

I feel better now, having said this, although only those who have experienced it will understand it.”     John Steinbeck – Travels with Charley (not forgetting...The Grapes of Wrath / East of Eden - Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 1962)

Monday, 2 January 2012

“...and they brought him Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh”

And the wise man said “The Seller has travelled!”.

Yes he was right; I remember clearly – my travels in the Far East weighing the yellow 24ct earrings from the gold markets in Hong Kong and Bangkok, a hallmarked piece from the traders in Hatton Garden, a gold ring from Tiffany’s in New York to what I thought at the time was a trendy 14ct gold nugget ring from China Town in Frisco!   And all kept in a box doing nothing.

So Christmas brought me unexpected money for the trip.  The markets may be topsy turvy but as they say gold rarely looses its’ value particularly at times like this.  Family members said why not take any items you don’t want and see what’s offered at our local jewellers!   They were right – it was a good time to sell!
I love the idea that I’ve traded and sold gold sourced from exotic places to help fund the trip – gold is still a commodity - wild, basic and intrinsic to the pioneering spirit of the trip. 

I’m already excited and very positive about this New Year! 
Even the Bonnie started up today without any problem ....