February 22, 2010

UnPlaned For Real

Cor. J-D’s and Lentilmen, you’ve done us proud. Only a week has gone by since we started fundraising, and we’ve already had $750 in donations for the UnPlaned project. It’s only a dent in the $8354 (£5330) total we’re aiming to raise, but it’s a dent nonetheless. A dent is as good as a… It’s good, anyway. Massively, thank you to all the godly folk who have donated so far. And on we roll.

I’m getting heated and hyped about Big Up Your Mouth, our fundraiser, which is happening THIS WEDNESDAY, 24th FEB at the Passing Clouds in Dalston. It’s at times like these I realise how many very talented (and generous) friends I have. The line up is ridiculous! Bellatrix and the Boxettes will be completely phenomenal, for a start. Cosmo is a genius, and I can’t wait to hear a full set from him. Infinite Potential must be one of the best production teams working in UK hiphop today, and to have a DJ set from them will be a treat… and to top and bottom that off, some of my favourite spoken word artists will be sharing the stage. In addition to Angry Sam and MC Angel, I’ve just now confirmed Yap, who’s a fire-bellied Irish accelerator of a man. I promise he’ll make you weep, ponder and giggle in equal measures. Yerr. I’ve also got the astounding Circus Kinetica to come up from Brighton, armed with their ragtag, cobbled collection of windpowered instruments and sculptures, all made from recycled junk. However much or little money it manages to raise for UnPlaned, it will be a majestic evening. A good opportunity to connect with people, too, over the questions we’re trying to raise.

The more people I talk to about UnPlaned, the more enthused I feel about the idea of creating this story as an inspiration for eco-logical personal choices: a lot of eyebrows raise, and a lot of brows furrow when you say you’re going that far overland. And then a little light breaks over the horizon, and it dawns on the person that well, actually, as mad as this decision seems, it’s something very close to common sense when you think about it. And then people start talking about their own travel, and the fact they’re flying to Spain next week but now they recognise they could’ve done it on trains and maybe next time…

Trains trains. Billy and I have got our trains booked as far as Vienna, so far- that’s about all we can afford for the time being. 8am, 15th of March, St Pancras International. From Vienna, we’ll hitch to Budapest, spend two days discovering the Hungarian perspective, and then hop on the Balkan Express train as far as Sofia, in Bulgaria. Close to Sofia, a friend I met on my last overland voyage has set up an organic farmstead in the hills, with wild horses he’s half-tamed and a steady stream of Willing Workers who lend a hand. We’ll stay with him and hear the story of his personal ecological project before moving on, across the border into Turkey… Sperlendid. I can’t quite fathom that it’s really going to happen. The whole palava has been created so last-minute, with so many sleepless nights in the mix, that it’s taken on an air of unreality. But it’s becoming realler, even as I write. The donations trickle in, the itinerary takes shape, the trains await. And in 3 weeks time, we really will be speeding down the length of the Rhine, on the first crooked leg of our bonkers exercise in common sense.

3 weeks!


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