Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fighting the urge to take too much

I had planned that trip from Venice Beach to the shores of North Carolina and then down to the Florida Keys for three years.  Three years.  I had made purchases based on that trip.  I had bought food to plant around the country for various refueling stations.  I bought stuff for the USA.

Wow, I over-bought stuff.  STUFF.  Now I've got all this STUFF to sort through.  Because I can't take all this STUFF.  I just can't.  It literally has to go away.  I have to restock in Scotland.  Some things I will definitely take but what the heck was I thinking????  Clearly the absolute minimalist lifestyle hasn't hit home yet.  Ummm.... anytime now would be great.  Everything will be weight not only for shipping but on the bike itself.  Oy!  I think I need to slap myself a few times to get some reality check here.  Minimalist, Jenny!!!

Must let go of things.  Must.  I've done so well so far.  Must go even further.  Must almost blindly throw things out.  Must separate from any sentiment.  Must travel lean.  

On Monday I will go to the shop up the street and get a couple more boxes to ship any bits into storage with my sister.  Two years from now I may unpack those boxes and wonder why the heck did I keep that stuff???

72 hours and I will be on a plane to Britain... so much to do still, although mostly decisions.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

More things disappearing

I'm sure I must sound like a broken record regarding how my apartment is emptying, but it's absolutely true.  Some things I just couldn't get rid of until I got my last cookie orders out.  Then it was a matter of getting rid of them as fast as possible.  So for example, I had a ton of coffee mugs.  I used the mugs for mixing icing colors, but I had far more than I ever needed, plus I had odds and ends of other china/pottery.  I had use of my boss's car for a few hours this afternoon while she played Bridge, but I wasn't as prepared as I needed to be, and found myself scrambling and sweating in the heat to get rid of things.  Oh, it was a bit crazy.  I did get rid of a lot of BIG stuff that I couldn't carry on the bike to the thrift store, and that was helpful.  However, because I scrambled, things got left behind that I hadn't meant to leave behind.

I've boxed up my camping gear... and I'm thinking... dang that box weighs a lot and I was thinking of taking THAT on the bike????  Well, it's all I've got for now, and I think I'll ship it to Scotland.   But no way am I taking that on the bike with me.  Will definitely be ordering different equipment over there.

There is an ASDA within a mile of my friend's house.  That's good.  I'll walk over there on Oct. 3 and get some supplies for Oct 4/5.  I'd ride the bike but I want to scope it out for safe bike lock up there.  Otherwise I will just always walk.  Can't afford anything to happen to the bike.  I feel like... hey, if the plane lost my luggage, that's one thing.  If anything happened to my bike, them's fightin' problems!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sentiment... a little

Last night someone came by and picked up my three framed original 1-sheets of CAMELOT, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1973 re-release poster).  Okay, I am trying not to be sentimental for anything that I owned, but those three things were very special to me, and I hope that I found them a good home.  I tried to sell them but got no takers and ended up having to just give them away because I had to get rid of them.  I simply couldn't store them.  When I had had them professionally framed many years ago, I had specifically asked the framers to dry mount the posters because I never intended to get rid of them, so any value they held was inconsequential to the sentiment they held.

Of course, they are all easy enough to replace thanks to eBay.  Well, maybe not THE SOUND OF MUSIC, but that's fine.  CAMELOT had the absolutely most beautiful key-art of the three.  Just astounding work.  It was more art than advertising.

But they are gone now, and I have had a very busy evening trying to do laundry and sort through clothing because I have a neighbor driving me to the thrift store to drop stuff off, and I've got one chance to do it, so I need to make certain I have everything gathered up that can be gathered.  My apartment is coming apart at every nook and cranny... nothing soon to be left.  It's all going away.

Basically I am taking 4 pieces with me on the plane - the bike, a large suitcase, a box of camping gear (and even that might have to be pre-shipped), and my laptop.  That's it.  Everything else will be gone from my life.  Everything stripped barren.  I will leave some items in Scotland for next winter when I return, but basically, if I can't put it on the bike, it's not coming with me.

I'm still so chuffed about the Hertford Theatre and how kind they have been to me.  I have a feeling that after the screening and Q&A, that bicycle magic will happen.  The magic of that day is not over, but what doors will God open for me?  I don't know, but I am prepared for magic and adventure.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Picked up the the Hertford Daily

Wow, I was quite chuffed yesterday to discover that the Hertford Theatre shared my blog with the Hertford Daily, the online news for Hertfordshire folks (and anyone).  The archived link can still be found here:

Needless to say, this little blogger and cyclist was over the moon with it.  Yes, over the moon.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Understanding the Hertford Theatre event 5 October

How weird it is to put the day before the month when writing it out like the Brits do.  Seems odd, but I'll convert to that system.

Fifteen more days and I will land on British soil for the first time in my life, a dream I've had for 40 years, and in three months I will officially begin bicycle touring in Britain and Europe.

Anyhow, it has come to my attention that some people don't understand why I have a "need" to go to the Hertford Theatre immediately upon completion of the 45-mile Prince's Trust Palace to Palace ride, despite the cost of the expensive taxi from Windsor Castle to Hertford (which a generous sponsor has covered).

Well, here's the long and short of it:  I couldn't care less about the screening of the 3rd series episode of the BBC1 show, SHERLOCK called His Last Vow (although for the uniformed, it did just win seven (7!) Emmy's including best actor, best supporting actor and best writing).  Don't get me wrong.  I love the episode.  I have seen this episode probably 30-40 times and certain pieces of it more than that.  I studied it half to death partly because I wrote a fan-fiction time gap filler (there is a six month time gap in the episode - there are time gaps in several episodes), and it was important to me to get all the nuances to fill that gap seamlessly, which I did, thank you very much.

But I have felt very alone in my discovery of SHERLOCK because even despite it's winning seven (7!) Emmys at the recent awards ceremony (more Emmys than any other show), it is not a well known show in the USA.  If you stream Netflix, you can see all 9 episodes.  Yes, there are only 9, and they are each 90 minutes long.  The BBC only puts out three new episodes about every 2 years.  Anyhow... alone.  That's how I have felt.  Oh, I can chat on the with some other Sherlockians about the episodes, but I've not met in person  a fan of the show - a true fan - ever.  Not someone that can sit down and talk Sherlock episodes for hours and never get tired of it.  BBC in America is relegated to PBS, which has numerous types of programming including Sesame Street.  So for someone to be watching Sherlock (whenever it might air!), is sort of rare.  BBC is a tiny little nook and cranny of American television, unfortunately.  I only saw it on Netflix, and I kept putting it off there because I thought it would just be a stupid, cheesy modern take on Sherlock Holmes.  Oh was I wrong.  It absolutely puts American TV shows to shame.  The acting, the writing, the music, the cinematography, the editing (I could write a book on the brilliance of the editing alone) the production values are through the roof spectacular.  They don't make TV with those values in the USA.  They just don't.  My jaw just hit the floor when I started watching it.  I think it's still on the floor somewhere.  Need to find it.

SHERLOCK cast and creative picking up
yet another recent award from TV Choice
Awards for best show.  Also got best actor.
Amanda Abbington is center left.
At the Hertford Theatre event, I will be with probably 400 other Sherlockians whose enthusiasm for the show will be a joyous, shared experience.  Plus, two of the stars of the show, Amanda Abbington and Martin Freeman, will be there for a Q&A afterwards.  Oh, I have questions about the episode.  Yes indeed, and I will make certain I am seen and heard about it.  I even have back up questions in case someone asks my question (doubtful).  My expectations are that the other questions will be about the episode, but I doubt they will be.  Lots of fan questions about the actors, I'm sure, along with the stupid questions about who knows what.  Yes there will be stupid ones.  I seriously feel like telling them, "if you need a smart question about the episode to ask, please see me."  Oh yes, I have a list of questions that have been debated over and over about the episode.  Heck, there are some people who don't even believe the time gap from the episode is 6 months, but the markers are clearly there.  And I wrote a 6 month gap.  That story, by the way, can be found here:

Massive spoilers, so don't bother reading it if you have seen all 9 episodes IN ORDER.

Now I am working on a new fan fiction that is in the land of complete speculation since it deals with the aftermath of that episode, the series 4 episodes which haven't been made yet.  Yes, there is a long wait for Sherlock fans between new episodes.  These little bits of screenings and Q&A with the actors feeds that hunger for more.  I honestly have to find a Sherlockian fan in Scotland by Christmas 2015 so that I have a place to go when the Christmas "special" episode airs.  Dang it.

So that's the long and short of it.  I truly feel I must be there.  This is a rare opportunity, and I also know that I am sitting in the 2nd row!  Oh yes.  Oh yes.  God has paved the way for me to be there, and I am going to be there.  The Hertford Theatre has even promised to keep my bike safe for me during the screening.

After the screening I will likely head to the train station and catch the overnight train back to Edinburgh as I don't have a Warm Showers host there, but who knows what overnight door God will open for me if one is needed.

Also, it looks as if I may have a Warm Showers host lined up for 4 October, my one night in London before the Palace to Palace ride.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Lord is paving the way!

Wow, all I can say is that things are happening as if the Red Sea is parting to clear a path for me.

Yesterday I woke up to an email from the Hertford Theater in Hertford, UK that a ticket to the screening of "His Last Vow" on Oct. 5 with Martin Freeman and Amanda Abbington had become available.  Now, I have to think that I was well down that waiting list because that event sold out almost instantly, and I didn't put my name on the waiting list for a couple of days.  So, I had written them an email about my story and that I was doing the Prince's Trust ride in the morning of Oct. 5, and that I had a bicycle with me... I just think I must have gotten bumped up the list out of pity.  Whatever works!  I called them, paid for the ticket, and I am in.

Then comes the mad scramble of how am I supposed to get from Windsor Castle to Hertford?  I had been emailing with a cab company in the Windsor area and was quoted a price of £75 - but that's pretty pricey, yet the only option I have to get there by 1:00.  And a generous person has stepped up with the funds to take the cab.  Seriously!  Now, this means getting a little earlier start on the ride so that I can be certain to complete it in a timely fashion.  

Unless Freeman/Abbington take pity on a lone touring cyclist and invite me to their home for the night in Hertfordshire, I think I will just take the evening/night train back up to Scotland from Hertford and arrive in Edinburgh first thing in the morning.  Good thing is that it's night and I can sleep on the train.  Perhaps my body can start adjusting to the time change faster.  I'll be plenty knackered, that's for sure.  

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Apartment is getting emptier

I have to work on the apartment in some way every day.  Today I got rid of  my every day dishes called "Golden Rooster" and made by Certified International.  Loved them, but not going to store them (plus they were ridiculously heavy).  I think I loved the coffee mugs the best because I got a lot of coffee in each mug!  I also got rid of all my silverware.  So I'm sort of down to plastic stuff or my camping sporks.  Oh well, I'll just make do.  

I got rid the sofa two days ago and in the process smashed one of my little toes on my right foot against a low brick retaining wall outside... think I'll be losing that nail!  Still not sure if I broke the toe or not.  It doesn't hurt to walk on it... usually... but if it tweaks at all, then I'll for sure give up a yelp of pain!

I really, really need to get to the thrift store with clothes and other stuff.  My neighbor said she would take me.  Even so, I haul out what I can when I can in the two rear panniers on the bike.

Four weeks from today I will be down in London trying to get some rest before the big Palace to Palace ride.

I still need to raise support for it, so anyone who is interested in giving, here is the link to do so. Everyone who goes has to raise £120 for the Prince's Trust

So, I still have some niggling things to take care of - like getting all my receipts logged in for my taxes for 2014, seeing my tax guy, and also visiting the WGA to change my address to my sister's address so that my yearly residual checks can go to her house and she can deposit them for me.  I'm low, low person on the totem pole at the WGA, so I can't even change my address online.  I need to stop by in person.  Sort of a pain, but thankfully they are only 2 miles away.  

Oh, and I have 250 hand decorated cookies to make in the next 10 days or so... as I'm making all the cookies for the rest of the year for my one client.  It will help me to leave Los Angeles not quite so broke.

I do not miss these things that I am giving away.  That's all they are - things.  I am stripping my life pretty much bare.  Some day I will rebuild from the bottom (or maybe not!), but for now owning things is not important.  Having things and being sentimental about them has never been important to me anyhow.  Things are perishable.  Even cases of old writings hit the trash bin.  No way was I going to pay to ship that stuff into storage with one of my sisters.   Out it went, no regrets.

Sometimes I'm sort of wired with the "no regrets" personna.  One of the most memorable times of it was when I was just getting into Girl Scouts after having gone through Brownies, and there was a girl scout meeting at the local scoutmaster's house, and I didn't go.  They called me up wondering where I was, and I said that i would rather play with my brother and his friends and that I wasn't interested in scouting.  I never regretted that.  It wasn't that I was particularly tomboyish but that there weren't a lot of girls my age in the neighborhood.  My brother and his friends were constantly off in the woods building forts and having adventures, and that was far more interesting than earning some silly badges in Girl Scouts.  

Relationships have come and gone in my life too, and sometimes it's like flipping a light switch off.  When it's done, it's just done.  No tears, no weeping.  Just done.  Well, except for the one guy.  I think if he were to ever walk back into my life, I might find myself  falling in love with him all over again, but it would be just as unrequited from him as it ever was.  Thankfully, I doubt I will ever see or communicate with him again.  I'm sentimental a bit for him, but that's partly because I suspect he'll be the last one I ever fall in love with.  From this point on, I just really don't have the energy or time for that falling in love nonsense, and to be honest, I'm not very good at it anyhow.  For me, being single is the safest, most secure position in life that I can have.  Being single as a lifelong lifestyle is not for most people, but it sure is for me.  That is not to say that there isn't a part of my soul that has desired a more permanent relationship, but part of me has always known that I prefer to be alone.  I remember when I was sixteen that I told my mother that the perfect marriage for me would be to a Navy man who was gone on a submarine for nine months of the year.  She retorted, "That's not much of a marriage!"  But I knew even then that my private time and downtime were so precious that I did not ever want to sacrifice them to someone.  It never would have mattered to me if I were a "football widow."  I'd be pushing the guy out the door every chance I got.  Go fishing!  Go hang out with the guys!  Just go!  Okay, so, now I've gone a bit too far sentimental, and that's probably more than anyone wanted to know about me - but maybe it will also help you to understand why bicycling solo doesn't frighten me.  I prefer alone.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Oh sweet logistics

Oh sweet logistics, this may be a bit of crazy but I'm going to do it anyhow.

So I arrive in Edinburgh at night on Oct. 2.  Well, evening.  But still dark.

On Oct. 3 I have to get the bike put back together and make sure everything is working right.  If not I'll have to pay a visit to the local bike shop.  Plus I have to make sure I have the sports drinks and snacks for the ride on Oct. 5.

On Oct. 4 it's back to Edinburgh to catch the train to London, which will have to be a fairly early train so that I can get there while it's still daylight and can find my host - a host I don't have yet, but I will get some connections through the cycling world.

On Oct. 5 at 7:00 AM I have to be with the bike at The Mall - that's that wide, wide, wide entrance promenade road that leads to Buckingham Palace.  Well, actually to somewhere there by St. James Park which is where the ride starts.  Hopefully by 7:15 I'll be off on the ride with lots of others.  Woot!

I think I may need to give up on that afternoon thing at Hertford.  But God may yet open the doors.

After the ride there is the logistics of getting either to my Warm Showers host which will be another hour's ride away or returning to London via a ride with someone (probably the best plan), spending the night, then returning to Edinburgh on Oct. 6 via the train again.

I will be knackered for sure, but it will all be brilliant!  And then I will collapse, no doubt.  But I should be able to sleep on the trains some.  No, I don't want to sleep on the trains.  I want to look at everything and take tons of pictures!  And I want to talk to people!  Hopefully I will be coherent!  And if i arrive early enough in Edinburgh, I'll just ride the bike back to my host.  Have to look at all the routes for that too.

And then I'll collapse.