Wednesday, 4 January 2012


See, now I'm stuck calling them by days. I'm an idiot.

The problem with writing a post after the event is you're entirely dictated by your emotions. I suppose a good writer can tap back into the feeling they had and find a way of expressing them to conntact with the reader. Yeah. That's not me. I've woken up in a foul mood. I had a horrid dream about beef jerky and it's made me feel sick. It was a massive hall filled with all manner of jerky and I got a bucket free. I continued my dream eating from this bucket and as I got about 2/3 of the way through, I realised it was quite running at the bottom. Jerky juice. Not a nice thing. SHUT UP BUSWELL!! TELL THE STORY!!!

Alright. Let me try to cast my mind back to a far gone time, and write as thought I am there. It was a time called yesterday....

I have to be honest. I'm in the worst frame of mind to do this. I actually can't be bothered and I'm feeling really low. I walked onto a train earlier and for the first time since starting, I thought to myself "please don't let there be any musicians." I just felt really shy and foolish doing this. Imagine. Being in a bit of a low place and having to talk to strangers and not feel like a weirdo. It's not easy. I went home that day and did the video diary. Whilst filming, I made a bit of a pact with myself - if I see a musician I HAVE to talk to them. Yeah, that'll help with the shyness. Pile on more pressure, why don't I! But I've done this for a very valid reason. After a few seconds, the negative part of the brain kicks in and tells you all sorts of reasons why not to do something. So, by having a backup to push you through, it keeps you more positive. It's about discipline.

With this new found rule, and feeling a little more positive, I went back to the lines and tried a different approach - travel on more than 2 or 3 lines. Before I would go onto a couple of lines and kind of travel back and forth. So now I went from the Circle to Hammersmith & City to Metropolitan to Northern to Victoria to District to Jubilee. Yeah. I did a lot of travelling. Half the way round London. And finally, on the district line -success! I saw a musician!! Finally!!!

There she was, like a beacon of light with her shiny white cello case. A beautiful sight. I felt a mixture of relief and fear. It was finally happening! So I walked towards her. Then.....Yup. Nothing. I just stood for a moment not knowing what to do. Brilliant. I'd spent all this time working out how to find musicians and very little time what to say to them.

I finally plucked up the courage to speak (well done new rule!) and sat down beside her. I panicked and said "sorry, can I bother you for a quick minute. Don't worry, I'm getting off at the next stop" (I wasn't planning that initially but I suddenly felt like a pest). Then proceeded to;

- Ask if she lived in London (no)
- Ask what grade she was (professional)
- Ask where she lived (UK but not London)
- Mumbled something about a project I was doing

Then handed her a piece of paper with the website address on and went "oh, and I have to write all the music and not read a note of it. Bye!"

I walked off the train feeling properly moronic. So I made new rules to myself.

1) Don't ask where people live. It's creepy.
2) Don't ask what grade people are. It's embarrassing and not relevant at this time.
3) When they give you a vague answer, don't ask more specifically where people live. That's serial killer talk.
3) Don't mumble and feel stupid and not get the point of the challenge across.

I have to remember this is a great idea. That lots of people would want to be involved with. One of the points of this challenge is to bring people together. To make them realise we're all closer than we think, and that with a little bit of care and respect in this world, anything is possible (well, not anything. Don't get too carried away, Shaun. It's not Field of Dreams). But I have to remember, this is a good idea. And I'm doing a good thing. Stop mumbling and feeling like a pest. Offer a little nugget of something special to people, then move on. You're not trying to do anything but good.

So, with this new found liberation, and the desperate need to erase my embarrassing behaviour from my mind, I set out again. Got to Westminster and saw a girl with a violin case. So, I approached her (well done new rule). I told her what I was doing, fairly eloquently, explained the rules and asked if she was interested in getting involved. She said yes! And she mentioned she has a lot of musicians friends who would be interested. She was even happy to go on camera and have her face shown. Wonderful. So, I have my first musician! I know it's 343 days until the gig (thanks countdown on the website, ebbing my life away!!) and she may not be around. I understand how this works. But she has shown interest, and given me her number and I will be in touch shortly to give her more info.

I would like to put this new found luck down to my positive attitude. But I think I have to just face facts - the girl was really lovely and open-minded. And I'm blessed to have met her within the first few days of doing this, as she's given me faith that musicians are interested in this, and I'm not just wasting my time.

I said my farewells, and feeling full of hope, I walked proudly down the platform. Then, I suddenly spotted someone with a case. It looks like it might be a bass clarinet case, or a big violin/viola case. Wasn't sure which. And it reminded me I really need to do the test for this and learn my cases. I approached her and, sure enough, it was two violins (yes! mad skillz!). I mentioned the challenge and said all I needed was any contact details. She looked at me like I was a potential pervert (which, to be fair, is a prudent move when someone's contacting you on the Underground) and instead asks for the website address. Not a complete success, but not a failure either.

So, happy with my progress, and thinking maybe I was some kind of mad skillz instrument case guru, I approached a guy I was sure was carrying a french horn. Not english horn. Or cor anglais. Nope. Positive it was a french horn. A little too excited, I approached him and said "is that a horn?". The only thing worse than saying to a guy "Is that a horn?" is then repeating the same sentence when they say "what?" Clearly the "what?" pretty much implies the answer is "no", or requires more clarification such as "is that a musical instrument known as the french horn?". Nope. Not me. I just went "Umm, is that a horn?" He looked at me with eyes I think will become all too familiar during this challenge, and said "sorry, mate. I'm not your man".

After apologies and explanations (me just going "Oh, I thought it was a french horn. You know, like the instrument" what? "Like" the instrument. What was wrong with me!?!) the guy explained it was his work gear.

I didn't have the heart to say to him, well to a French Horn player, it's their work gear too.


  1. really enjoyed this read, felt my heart being pulled all over the place as I read it, a pang of worry, a tear almost, but most of all smiles, keep writing, keep up this fantastic idea, love the rules, you have helped me today :D

    you have so many people behind you!


  2. Keep up the good work mate, at the moment, it's just the first few steps up the mountain but you'll get to the top! :)