d e v o i d

00:54 thursday 8 june – sandhurst , gloucestershire

the desk at the end of my parents’ sitting room . mum asleep upstairs . dad away in salisbury .

my powerbook sits amidst evidence of several weeks of my habitation . piled letters and documents . boxes of slides . a quarz-banded pebble from cornwall . a left-over ten dollar note from australia . were it not for these signs i wonder if i would believe in my travel , my activity .

this has been the longest interval between despatches since i began them sixteen months ago . several have been started and abandoned . i am not even certain as i write this that it will be completed and transmitted , but i hope both will be achieved .

perhaps i grow more self-conscious ? all the time i am over-brimming with thoughts and observations , things i yearn to share . yet i remain silent . impotent .

since my last words i have not been static . in cornwall i celebrated my sister’s birthday , met with warren langley and ann tonkin , walked gloriously free of my crutches . in glasgow i attended the launch of the latest school for social entrepreneurs and was newly inspired . in london i planned the next steps for the sse learning web and the circus organisation , caught up with friends old and new . in cambridge i discussed my potential involvement with virt-u , a project to develop a european virtual university . i also dropped in on ray jobling , my old tutor at st john’s , and on ann cotton , a fellow-student from the sse who runs a charity working to increase educational opportunities in sub-saharan africa . ann’s charity , camfed , is funding me to spend a month setting up a project in northern ghana .

indeed , i should have departed for ghana on 6 may . but my project is reliant on a stable electricity supply and that in turn is dependent on the completion of a new building . work on this building is somewhat behind schedule and the rainy season arrived before its roof did . consequently my project cannot begin until october .

it is odd how unsettling this shift has been . i have grown comfortable living with almost complete uncertainty about where i will be and what i shall be doing from month to month . but it threw me off balance to have something which i had regarded as certain suddenly become fluid .

the new timetable is a blessing , though . apart from my ongoing commitments most of my attention is now wrapped up in trampoline and there is a lot of work to do over the coming months. progress seems agonisingly slow , but probably my perspective is distorted . i am typically impatient . the truth is i feel greatly intimidated by the hurdles which lie before me . most of my weaknesses will be exposed by the kinds of task i face : distilling a set of concrete proposals from my maelstrom of ideas , expressing these proposals in a succint and accessible fashion , constructing simple financial models , undertaking structured market research . i have another mountain to climb in my learning about venture finance and investment . somewhere in the midst of this i must try to keep hold of the ideas which sparked the whole thing off . i am unquantifiably grateful to warren langley , james smith and everyone else who’s helping me proceed .

for the months before i leave for ghana i’ve been thinking about taking a house in cornwall , though i’m also considering spending the summer in milan . i’ve scarcely seen my friend bobo since he returned to his roots there and i’ve wanted to learn italian for ages .

in the meantime i’ve been very glad to spend these weeks here in gloucestershire with mum and dad . it’s a long time since i saw so much of them and i certainly don’t remember it ever being so harmonious in the past . the last year hasn’t been easy for them and they had some news from me about my sexuality just before i left for australia . so all in all it was a good time to be with them .

this feels complete so i shall send it before any second thoughts creep in
. i doubt it’ll be such a long time before the next one .

: cH

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