The day jolted me awake in Brislington at our friend Isobel’s house. I’d had 3.5 hours of sleep. The previous night, I’d had words to write, video to edit and files to transfer. I’d also had hours of deep chats with Isobel, a friend who is so constant and so ready to offer help and company in the happiest and darkest times that it’s more accurate to say she is family. And at the end of the night I just had to spend one last hour luxuriating in a warm, soft bed, on a solid floor, and all alone with a book.
I regretted all that luxury as I stumbled out of the house, but by the time I reached the boat laden with bags and found Sam nestled in a sleeping bag with the hatch open, excitement began to take hold. I woke him up and we spruced ourselves up in time for a sheepish BBC Bristol radio reporter to arrive with a piece of kit that refused to work. After missing our live morning slot he jumped into Lexia to perch between us and do an interview, focusing mostly on how small she is. At the end he asked if there was anything else to say and I launched into a lengthy treatise on the motivations of our trip, including the economy, climate change and peak oil. It became a 5 second news item, 1:28:24 here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/p00whzjq Ah well, he tried!
After that the heavens opened and we sat staring at the walls, less than a foot from our faces. Trying to imagine this as our actual home. By the time we’d had two pots of coffee it all seemed possible, and when the rain slacked off we headed off for a crazy dash around Bristol- picking up parcels, dropping off the final remnants of our stuff, paying final bills, taking and making calls. At 4pm I met two friends at the Watershed and we put the final touches to the edits for the launch.
Now time for… The Launch Party!