Category Archives: News

Silent Northern England

Sadly, I have not had any particular reason to update the website in quite sometime. As I mentioned in the previous post, the Edinburgh Fringe was too hectic to be able to organise any recordings. When it ended, the city emptied and recovered  at a frightening speed. I could only sit there waiting for Doppler to arrive. There was a considerable amount of confusion over the delivery of Doppler to Edinburgh. After having been delayed in Athens for two weeks, he was finally driven to London and as far as the couriers where concerned he needed to go no further. They didn’t bother getting in contact to say it had arrived. Luckily, worried it wouldn’t arrive when they had promised, I called to find out I had to pay a new courier (and an extra fee) to get it to Edinburgh. I had no other choice but accept and sit and wait… I was told it would arrive between 9am and 5pm on the 29th.  By 4.45pm on that day I was slowly realising it wasn’t going to arrive when promised. I called the courier company and indeed, they’d had a busy day and ran out of time for delivering Doppler. The best they could do is deliver the next morning  round 10am…

Tired by not being able to act upon the inefficiency of these companies, as soon I hung up, I borrowed a bike from a friend. I cycled the 15miles in the rain to the depot, got hold of Doppler, had a little cry of relief, put him back together and cycled back with both bikes.  Finally, I was set to leave early the next day.

And now as I don’t have any recordings I thought I’d share a few photo’s from my trip down from Edinburgh to York:

Above. The good old royal mile where the Pinch in Love team , next to a ridiculous amount of other performers, flyered nearly every day through the fringe. Seeing the mile like this may seem surreal for the fringe people who’ve never seen Edinburgh outside the festival.

 

Above. Crossing the border from Scotland into England! First stop, tea with bacon and egg sandwich…

 

Again.. Above. My resting point for the night featuring a beautiful sunset!

 

Above? Doppler in Seahouses’s port.

 

 

Above! After cycling in Croatia, me and Doppler were trying to get used to the idea of tides.

Tomorrow, I shall be cycling to Sheffield where I know I’ve got someone to record! And it’s not just anyone, it’s the Mother Folkers!

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Manic Edinburgh Fringe

That’s it the fringe is finished and I, just like many others, am enjoying the post-festival comedown, the adrenaline drop, the slight sadness yet relief I’m out of that frenzy and budget abyss. Unfortunately, I have come out the other side with no recordings to share with you… It’s not that I didn’t try, it’s that everyone is so busy promoting and performing  their show then running around from show to show to party to party. Result no one has time to sit down to record a few tunes. It was crazier than expected and was so in different ways than I expected – I’ll know better next time!

Anyways, Doppler still hasn’t arrived. Our separation has been disastrous to my moral. There was a confusion in the courier service and should have arrive two weeks ago! Hopefully, it’ll arrive tomorrow between 9am and 5pm. If all goes well tomorrow, I shall empty the Deck Theatre Company fringe apartment and sit outside till Doppler arrives. Put it back together and set of into the beautiful Scottish hills heading for Newcastle. If it doesn’t go well, then I’m stuck.

I have another 2 weeks of travelling then it’ll be back to Oxford! Maybe I’ll see you on the road and maybe you can share the project.

I’ll update you tomorrow when Doppler arrives!

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Down the Croatian coast – Part I

The southern episode began in Ljubljana. After a couple of days celebrating my mothers birthday and an extra night in a hotel watching the Italian spectacular defeat with a friendly receptionist, I set out for Rijeka. It took me two days of beautiful Slovenian country side, an unexpected visit to huge caves – home of an underground river – and windy rocky roads to get to the main Croatian port. I’d been warned it wasn’t a nice place and indeed it wasn’t! Thus, I decided to set out down the coast the same day I arrived.

Before leaving, I met another traveller from Slovakia who’d been busking around the continent with two guitars and a bag. He was waiting for a train to Zagreb when I approached him. I told him about the project and we agreed to record whilst he was busking. He played a mutlitude of songs each one unexpectedly merging into each other. Here are a few snippets from his set:

That same evening I made it to Crikvenica where, for the first time since the beginning of the trip,  I booked in to a camping site. I didn’t stay long as I left early in the morning to do as much cycling as I could before the heat became too unbearable. When it did, I stopped for some food and a swim. Stupidly, I set out again much too early only to find that what lied ahead of me was non-stop uphill… I thought I was going to loose my mind! Just before I reached the top, I started having small hallucinations like wandering/worrying wether or not I had my hat on  whilst touching it.

Luckily, after a blissful race downhill I found a beautiful small fishing town with a single one way road to rest my bones. Again, I got up early next morning and headed down towards Zadar. Lesson learnt, I was more patient during my afternoon break, thus, I was able to properly enjoy the second half of the ride. In fact, it was so pleasurable that I kept on going all the way to Zadar – originally I wasn’t expecting to get there until the next day.

When I got to Zadar, I decided to book myself into a hostel as I wanted some confort to finish some freelance work. It is at the bottom of this hostel situated on the top floor of a five story apartment that Doppler was vandelised…  Anyways, the stay was very nice. I met a Polish traveller who has just set out to travel round the world and write about it: http://guideless.tv/. Instead of cycling, he’s hitch-hiking his way round. It was fun meeting again a couple of times further on down the coast when his hitch-hiking had not been successful…

Although I had no one to record in Zadar, I did have something to record: a water organ. I recorded it on my last day in Zadar at 5.30am before all the other tourist arrive to chat over a soothing background of experimental organ playing. I dedicate this recording to Astrid Willmote who first told me about this strange installation.

That is all for the part-1 of the Croatian coast!

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Croatia

I’m looking for contacts in Croatia! If you have any please email me. Otherwise, it would be great if you could share the project inviting people to share it with east Adriatic coast people! 🙂

thank you!

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Quick update

Yesterday, I arrived in Poznan after a fairly eventful cycle ride! The sun is shinning and I don’t feel like being in front of a computer! So I’ll update the website sometime in the next couple of days – I’ve loads of interesting stuff to share!

Also, I’ve decided to take a bit of break from cycling. I feel that my body needs a bit of a break. My right knee isn’t fully recovered and was a constant worry the last few days. I don’t want to over work it  and then regret it. So I’ll be riding round Poland by train for the next week or so and resume cycling when I get to Prague or Vienna. We discussed it with Doppler and think it’s the best thing to do for the time being but we’ll definitely and are already missing  the cycling…

 

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Express update

When I arrived in Berlin last Tuesday, I cycled around doing all the touristy stuff with all my luggage. This was a stupid thing to do as I put a lot of strain in my leading  knee by having to stop and start at every other junction… My right knee was alright for a few days but then a little tingling pain arose. It didn’t worry me too much as it quickly disappeared again. However, yesterday, when it reappeared and prevented me from walking properly I started to get worried. So I was planning on leaving for Poznan today but instead I’m going to give my whole body a good days rest.
I’ll set out tomorrow and will compensate by taking the train for part of the way between Poznan and Warsaw.

The positive side of this day’s break is that I have an entire day to go through all the recordings I’ve been doing for the past week and share them with you!! So look out for a series of updates!

 

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Quick update – Celle, Hamburg and Berlin!

Before taking the train to Hamburg I wanted to repair my poor little Doppler who had broken spokes, slightly loose brakaes and an unhappy luggage rack… The main repair was obviously the spokes and I desperately needed a good bike shop who could either give me a pair of spokes or a new wheel. The first shop I took Doppler to greeted me with strange looks as I wheeled him in. They seemed utterly surprised when I asked if they could help. After telling them what needed to be done they said “Sorry that’s impossible! The standards for your bike are at least 20 years old! Nothing can be done unless we change the whole peddling system! Even then, no.. it’s impossible”. Although I was expecting that answer I was frustrated as I knew very well it was possible and it wasn’t as disastrous as they were acting it out! We didn’t insist and went looking for another shop.

The second shop we found had none of the corporate look the first shop had. It had all kinds of bicycles standing, hanging, old and new – the complet opposite of the overly clean, tidy with a small variety of new and up to the current perfect professional standards bicycles of the first shop. Here, the workspace was the first thing you saw when you walked in. I briefly told the man working there what I needed and after a quick glimpse at Doppler he turned to me and said “That’s fine leave it with me come back tomorrow at 5pm”. I didn’t know what to say so thanked him and was about to leave when the friend who was with me told him about this project – I gave the bicycle doctor a sticker with the address to the website and left.
The next day I arrived slightly late but found Doppler in perfect condition. He’d adjusted the spokes, the brakes, my gears and the luggage rack! When I asked how much I owed him said “Nothing, save it up for your project”. I didn’t know what to say. I asked if he was sure, he didn’t understand the word ‘sure’. He smiled and asked me where was the next stop. After a very brief chat, we left happy and in an amazingly good mood! I promised I’ll write him a postcard and I think you should all do! The shop is called Zweirad Schollmeyer and the address is Am Heiligen Kreuz 17, 29221 Celle, Germany.
And next time you need a bike repair in Celle you know where to go!

The next day, I took the train to Hamburg where I recorded a german singer songwriter (the recordings will be up soon). I stayed two nights then set out for a three day ride to Berlin!

The cycle ride was beautiful, flat and easy! On the first day I followed the Elbe cycling along variably well looked after cycle paths. I overtook and mostly was overtook by other cyclist following the Elberadweg, a route running for nearly 1000km from the start of the Elbe to where it reaches the northern sea. It was fun crossing the Elbe as the divide between East and West Germany used to partly run along it – for two days I freely crossed it on bridges and ferry boats, 20 years ago this would not have been possible and no one would have imagined doing it unless they were some sort of clever spy!  Anyways, the first night I spent not far from a beautiful little town called Dömitz on the eastern side of the river. This was my camping spot:

By the end of the second day, I left the Elbe and started to follow an other river for a bit, the Havel. It flows past Berlin, however, following it all the way would have taken me on a long detour. So I decided to swim in it then leave it. I got carried away that day and cycled 40-50 km over the 100km I’d initialy planned to do. I slept next to a field and got to the outskirts of Berlin by 10.30am the next day!

So there you go. I am now in Berlin and already have lots of recordings lined up! First one is tonight! So I’m going to be busy, I also have a last series of recordings from Amsterdam coming up in the next hour! and don’t forget to send a postcard to the bicycle shop man! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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