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This week I did a couple of nights of talking, playing and singing to sum up The American Trip. It was great fun – very different audience reactions each night, the first was chatty all the way through, the second lot sat quietly while I spoke and then wanted to talk all night afterwards…
It reminded me above all that I really enjoy interacting with a small group of people in this way, the form, of me talking, with comments from the floor, punctuated by bits of ukulele or other stuff is something that I’d like to do much more of.
Now then. The lease on my flat ends at the end of June. I’ve been here nearly two years. I’ve been thinking over the possible next moves.
Continuing to live on my own in a 1-bed flat in Central London doesn’t feel like the way forward. I simply can’t afford to live in areas I’d like to live in and don’t want to live in the areas that I could afford. So I started looking around for flat- and house-shares, perhaps it’s time to live with a bunch of people again, but then as I look it becomes clearer to me that city life, at least, this city, all the time, seems to have run it’s course with me for now. Perhaps I’m tired of life, but I feel in need of a break from full-time London.
So I looked at alternatives, where would I like to live, outside London but within easy enough reach so that I can keep doing cool stuff at #C4CC and see my kids regularly. Hmmm… lots of places appeal and are full of lovely folk that I know, but paying rent, even outside-London rent *and* commuting into town regularly makes things almost as tight as living in zones 1-2. Perhaps I’d have to just go and not come back very often.
Then something else occurred to me. What about the way of living and travelling I’ve just been waxing lyrical about this week? I’d talked about a possible UK-wide wander as a preparation for the American journey, but there’d never really been time to do it. There are certainly plenty of interesting questions about social capital still to answer. What if, rather than the UK being a warm-up for the USA, perhaps it was the other way round. Perhaps it’s time to go on a study of this stuff right here at home? So how about I don’t take on another place straight away, but get on the road again.
It would have to not just be about saving money, it’s not about becoming a hobo 2.0 rather it’s about seeing what happens when you give up the need to have a “permanent” base and use the value of your network to give you that support. However, the net effect would be that I would be spending money on things other than ongoing accommodation.
It would need some other, light, structure than for the US. It wouldn’t be about getting from one side to the other, it would be just about moseying along, meeting up and staying briefly with folk, doing some house gigs, some village hall versions of the #plate11 show, doing some work with people I don’t usually get to work with because we’re too far apart. I’d love to do some busking outside of London and perhaps stream it live… See what happens!
I like the idea of doing an evening at #C4CC perhaps every fortnight to report on what things I’ve been up to. Of course there’ll be lots of blogging and content creation. There are quite a few interesting projects that I’ve been itching to work on but which require me to travel outside London and I haven’t found time or funds for them because I’ve been working hard to find ways to pay the bills.
In the middle, stripes and red wellies.
I don’t look like that on the outside much anymore.
But on the inside… yes.. pretty much all the time.
“I met him on the internet…” That was the innnuendo-laden way that I was introduced to many people in the US by my hosts – it usually got raised eyebrows and giggles…
It’s the alternative title to my Please Look After This Englishman show at C4CC on 24th and 25th May.
The evening will consist of a series of stories and songs (with ukulele!) retelling the journey and pulling out some general themes but also shining a light on what I learned about America, Americans and social capital.
Do come along, it’ll be fun! I’ll be selling tickets for cash (£10) at #tuttle (or anytime you bump into me actually…) which saves you the whopping online booking charges
I want to clear something up from this post that I wrote a few weeks ago about how things are going.
This is my blog, it’s my way of talking to the world. It has been since 2004. A lot of the value of it is that I’m myself here, I talk about what I really think – many people contacted me privately to say they were going through or had been through similar experiences. That’s why I write about such things, it helps me understand what I’m thinking better and it helps other people through identification.
Some people consider blogs to be just another media outlet or a marketing tool. This blog is those things but not in a traditional way. To me, the marketing function it serves is about building relationships and key elements in that are honesty, authenticity and a willingness to show vulnerability.
When I write about having very little money and the difficulties that causes me and then I write about the ways that you can support me, it can become a bit confusing. I realise that to some people it can look like I’m begging and using emotional pulls to get you to bung me a few quid.
That’s not my intention. When I suggest you might like to be a micropatron, I’m still suggesting that you do so for the reasons I outlined when I started it. I’m not asking you to pay me because you feel sorry for me or because you’re worried about me (though I know that that’s an effect for people who care), but because you value the work that I do and you want to support it above and beyond paying for stuff directly like my music or coming to see my show.
Today is just as good a day as any to sign up or make a one-off donation
Twitter is functionally dead to me at times like this – and “times like this” seem to be happening more and more frequently.
Another day of dstraction and misdirection takes over the space that I’d mistakenly hoped was democratic. On Friday two members of a privileged elite got married and broke twitter for me. This morning a member of one privileged elite claimed responsibility for the death of a member of another privileged elite. And the crowd goes wild.
I want to be clear – I am as much a sucker for boy meets girl and good guy kills bad guy as anyone else. I’m glad to see two young people celebrating their love. I can’t celebrate anyone’s death, but I also know and love people whose lives were directly, painfully and irreparably damaged and disrupted by 9/11. I understand the need for romance and the need for revenge.
The wedding is irrelevant to the day-to-day living of my life. The death of bin Laden is not. It is not closure, it’s the completion of one cycle of violence that will begin another. I don’t believe that the death of the “head” of al Quaeda will mean a reduction in the risk of individual terrorism from that group, any more than I imagine that after the death of [insert your least favourite tech pundit here] gadget fanboys will stop having a fit of the vapours over the release of shiny, shiny preciouses.
I’ve seen lots of tweets crowing over the ability of twitter and other social media to spread the news, but if it just spreads the mainstream news agenda and whips up hysteria then it’s failing for me and I don’t want any part in it. I want something else. I want connection with others through something other than what I can find on the BBC or Fox News.
And I just can’t help wondering what “bad news” is getting ready to be “buried” today.