Monday, 21 March 2011

My brain hurts!

Never in my days of travelling have I had to organise so thoroughly before going away. This logistics of preparation for this next overland trip are staggering. Which in itself would be off putting. Combined with my extremely shifty mood, a pervading lethargy and a constant stream of problems it is becoming a nightmare. And I don't want to sit down and rant onto my blog, which I can be slightly prone to doing. Am I doing everything wrong? Do I have mug stamped across my forehead? Am I a victim waiting for shit to happen to me? I never would have answered any of these questions with a resounding yes. Now I'm not so sure! It is with apprehension that my departure draws ever nearer. It isn't overwhelming, but I've had my moments; being unable to lift the bike when it fell over knocked my confidence somewhat. The occasion also initiated an evening of wondering just what the hell I thought I was doing, only doom and gloom lay in undertaking this forthcoming journey. If I can't even lift my bike off a garage forecourt what hope do I have of riding across Mongolia, round Tibet. I'm under no illusions here, I'm not superhuman, my reserves are low, I can't see how the hell I can cope with anything going wrong.

But I will cope, it's what I do! It isn't as if I could pick up the bloody bike when I dropped it on numerous occasions when riding the Americas. I've started pre-thinking the problems, so I have at least a plan A. I've dumped off the gorgeous Aluminium panniers and top box, I'm going lightweight. Between putting the finishing touches to the book, organising visas and preparing the bike, I'm pretty busy most the time. There's been a gap of a week between the first paragraph and this one, a big difference in my outlook. Things have been put more into perspective, I'd be more disappointed if I don't even try than if I screw up making the effort. Numerous small faults have plagued the bike, it's been stripped naked countless times. Annoying in ways, but invoked a calm pleasure in systematically working out the problems. It's reassuring that I can work so easily on the beast, I know the damned thing inside and out, literally. Alternative bikes have been checked out on ebay, researching specs on different models, seeing what modifications I'd need to do for the trip. None will give me better than what I've got, all are taller, heavier, more complicated. More importantly, if it all goes wrong at any stage, I can kick this one in the ditch and walk away from it.

Can I say I'm on top of everything? No, not really! There is so much to do, so little time to do it, but at least I'm rising to the occasion now. At last the final chapter of the book has been finished, now to proofread it. This has already been done to a certain extent as I originally wrote it, some chapters have been extensively rewritten. Now for the search to get it published, which I'd be more than pleased if some well wisher out there suddenly wrote offering to publish it for me. Then again, since when has life been a fairy tale, Brothers Grimm more like it. Having only just allowed myself to consider the last chapter finished, it's slowly developing into relief, though not jubilation yet. Long lists of possible publishers blur before my eyes, but one by one they are either dismissed or earmarked for reference. I should put the pressure on and make first contact, but I still have to proofread it all, write a quick epilogue (haha) and then a synopsis. There again, I could just pay my dues and self publish. Which I'm loath to do, I want my book published because it's work putting into print. I believe it's worth publishing, on its own merit, I believe it's well written and worth reading. I just want that chance to prove it!

It's strange, for coming on four years I've been writing this blog. It started on such a phenomenal high, held so much promise, yet plummeted to the deepest depths. I guess that was never the real story, it was supposed to be, I so wish it had been. The events and changes during that time are still hard to comprehend in one single train of thought. In my own head finishing my book is the conclusion of those events, the next chapter of my life begins when I set off again, it's another adventure, another story, another life. Though for me it doesn't just change like that, I still continue each day from where I left off the previous night. Whether I write at this web address or another, there is no line of embarkation. I hope there is a sense of a fresh start, but I'm not banking on it. Of course I don't want to suddenly go decimal on you all, so I'd better start thinking of a new blog site and get the address sorted.

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