Dear friends old and new.
With much joy I sit here this misty Klaipėda Friday morn with a strong cuppa coffee (Dutch style), jazz music and my tired laptop to endeavour to offer some kind of report from the aforementioned poetry tour.
The tour stared with the warm-up gig in a well coffee’ed Klaipėda cafe, moved onto to Dublin, Coleraine, Glasgow, Liverpool, Walsall, London, Bristol and finally finished of at a University back in Klaipėda.
Not only was it a trip of poetry, but it was also for me a trip of people and relationships. In Dublin I stayed with a friend of whom I had not seen for fifteen years, in Coleraine I met for the first time the wives of some dear friends. Glasgow provided hearty hugging old friends and good Lithuanian friends. In Liverpool everyone and everything was new, Walsall was back to old friends from ten years past. London not only produced old friends and Lithuanian friends, I also got to gig with my brother-in-law. Bristol was all new friends followed by a lovely Somerset hill walk. I think this naturally shy village kid liked the people side the most.
God was extremely kind to me with all the travelling. Thanks to all of you who actually got me to the stations, much earlier than most people need. I had trouble from Birmingham to London where I found my self on the wrong train to the right place and again in London where I was asked where I wanted to buy my ticket too and sheepishly answered “I don’t know”. But other than that I loved the trains and the space to re-charge.
To the gigs. I was so so nervous in Dublin and Coleraine, but was blessed with very warm and enthusiastic crowds. Glasgow, loosed me up as Glasgow does, the raucous laughter spurring me on. My first ever poetry injury took place in Glasgow, I woke up with a blister on my tongue and had an interesting time explaining this to a West End chemist. By the time I got to Liverpool I was in my stride, but was rather hampered by that blister, or specifically the side affects of my blister ointment, a rather numb tongue.
Walsall had me excited, this was a double gig day. My Dutch friends must have been praying that God give me a good audience, because the entire afternoon gig was populated with glorious, focused Dutch students. This was definitely a highlight. The evening gig saddled me up with a couple of rappers and a very good poet. Then the country kid ventured onto the big city, London. In London I was relaxed, enjoyed old and new friends and a great venue. Finally onto the official final gig in the beautiful city of Bristol. The gig went very well, I think God was up to other things here, perhaps a knitting of relationships with compatible people.
My warm-up gig in Klaipėda was absolutely horrible so with some fear I turned up for my unofficial final gig at LCC international university. This gig went really well and I was blessed to have a very warm international audience.
One of my fears was running at a loss. I can happily say that not only did I cover costs, but I also managed to buy a cheap ebook reader. This was much needed for the viewing and creating of my ebooks. Also I found myself with enough money left over to buy some school art supplies for a friend and hopefully some good Lithuanian teenage books for some other friends.
I am presently in the throws of cutting my mp3 tracks, before starting on the video clips, some of these may be available soonish. Would anybody be interested in a ‘Bristol or Bust’ ebook? I am not sure if I should create one or not.
The tour was a fantastic experience where I learned heaps. Thank you so much to all of you who hosted, performed, turned-up or prayed, it really was a blessed trip. I still feel very called to pastor and be a friend of orphans and will not be chucking in my day job, however I think it is possible that I will tour again, perhaps this time in Belgium and The Netherlands. I also have a dream of a Berlin gig.
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Also pleaseclick here to see some of the photos.
Again thanks very much everyone, I enjoyed your company very much.