Thursday, 9 October 2014


Three years ago this week, the 8th October to be precise, I returned from a momentous cycle adventure across the USA. I've been looking back at the three years since, at what has happened as each year rolled round.

In the same week of 2012 I was in the midst of sending out the film of the journey, Sleepless 'til Seattle, to various film festivals and had started cutting a trailer. I entered quite a number, from small town festivals in the likes of Fargo, North Dakota, to the major players such as Sundance. The latter attracted over 12,000 entires, each paying as much as $100US per film. That's quite a business for them. Very quickly I realised that I was up against much higher budget films and the category I had entered, feature documentary, had few slots available. Suffice to say I was unsuccessful in getting in to any festival. Following that disappointment I went on to produce my own DVDs and sold over 200 copies online in the USA and at home in the UK.

Moving forward to the same week of 2013 and I was working once again in film, this time at a local school, Liberton High, teaching the students film making in a three hour workshop each week. Two of those students have gone on to study film at university when they left school the following year.

The USA adventure continued to be a part of my life as Pauline and I had just completed out last show, an illustrated talk of the adventure, a tour of eleven theatres in Scotland starting in April.

That week also saw me on a short cycle adventure with my friend Vince to Glen Ogle. As we camped in a small clearing of a forest that night we came across a red deer, a young male stag, that had died just hours before we arrived, probably as the result of a fight with another stag, as it was the middle of the annual deer rut.

I had just started renovating a large apartment outside if Dundee for a friend, a project that I thought I would finish within six months.

And so to this week, 2014. Once again I am teaching film to a bunch of students, this time to a much wider age group of six to eighteen. 

That property renovation is still ongoing, and though I'd like to say that I will definitely be finished by Christmas, I don't want to tempt fate again.

By coincidence there's every chance that at the end of this week I will return to Glen Ogle, just as last year, this time with Pauline.

And finally, that USA trip continues to raise its head: this month I will be putting the DVD of the adventure up on Amazon to see how if it can attract more sales.

It seems surprising when I think about these events, and I feel that they have all actually been within just the past year. The USA adventure continues to be a very special memory for me, even though I've done many things since.

How I long for that long open road on my bicycle.

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