Bienvenidos…. to Chapter 2

Our latest logo…
By Stephen (The Skrynk) Skrynka

‘It was a world that I wanted to record because it was such a miracle visitation to me.’ Laurie Lee

Fittingly, the Second Blog has two parts… Kicking off with Laurie Lee, and the start of his – and our – journeys. (Before getting back to cycling and Spain.)

First edition of this beautiful book

This recording here is me, having discovered Laurie Lee’s childhood cottage, with old friend and Cotswolds lad Mark Anderson. The locals in the beautiful Slad valley like to keep the place secret. So I’m not saying exactly where it is either….

the road on which Laurie waved goodbye to his mum that midsummer morning

‘Spring in England is like a prolonged adolescence, stumbling, sweet and slow, a thing of infinitesimal shades.’ Laurie Lee

We’ll be going back to Slad, and Laurie and Rosie and Annie et al at a later date in this blog. Mark and I explored the Cotswolds valleys, Mark’s own memories of the place, and why young Laurie at 19 left, not to return until he was an older man.

For the moment here’s some wee lines I wrote for Mark’s mum, who loves her Cotswolds…

 Valley Talk
It came as no surprise that the
valleys communicated.
Ruscombe and Slad babbling in
the morn,
or that Painswick gossips misty to
her neighbour.
They speak of the Now before now in
Words before words,
tracks of tears in
Crow’s feet and wisdom etched on
rock face.
Mystery in clay.
But we did not expect
that they talked
in colours.
The burr of perfect
pale pebble,
the gold, rhotic gossamer
tight over evening -
meadow and chalk.
Primrose dialects,
confabs, in colours as yet
that strum and
the soul.

Now, getting back to Cycling (and other demons)

This project, as it rolls along, will have its own wee obsessions – memory, songs, Spain of course, cycling. And friends. I’ve been lucky – hopefully you have too – with the people I’ve known and who have helped me along the way. There will be a series of ‘pen portraits’ in blogs to come (you might even be one of them!) Starting in the next update with, naturally, Liam and Eddie.

The podcast here below was made by Peter Murray. He’s an expert, running podcasting courses, and other forms of journalism, at Manchester Metropolitan University. Pete’s an old friend who gave his time and came out cycling with us, to help us record and make the sound files we’ll be posting here for the next month or so.

Pete’s Podcast

Pete’s lovely wee mixed bag of a podcast tells you, amongst other interesting Scottish stuff, a bit more about the origins and the point of this trek across Spain…

Next update due at the weekend. We’ll hear from more fantastic friends and talented people, including music by Maeve McKinnon. And, at the other end of the scale, perhaps us practicing one of our busking routines!

Aye that’s Eddie behind..
The One who’s supposed to be in touch wi’ his spiritual side!

Please feel free to comment on anything you read.

Click on ‘Follow’ (below, right, on your screen?) and you’ll get automatic updates.   

We are going, as it were, on a series of seasonal journeys, the climax of which is simply returning home’. Oor Laurie.

2 thoughts on “Bienvenidos…. to Chapter 2

  1. Chris
    Every year you take us students on a wonderful journey with you. What the heck! Let’s take the whole world!
    Loved the auld langs song ending but need to know your last supper?! It sounded so homely and scrumptious and cooked with love – something that will be a lovely end to act five I hope? Spoiler alert! Loooking forward to all the other adventures in between and god speed!


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