Home   The Trip   The Plan   The Route   The Reasons   Links



I have sung in choirs in England for 27 years (since age eight!) and have sung solo for much of this time too. I currently sing in several choirs and groups including Harrogate Choral Society, Beckwithshaw Church Choir, and Good In Parts, a community choir in North Leeds with whom I visited Iceland last year in an exchange with Kvennakór Kópavogs, a Ladies choir from Kópavogur near Reykjavik. We all had a wonderful time in Iceland, we were humbled by our hosts’ hospitality and thrilled by their sense of fun, and we all made dear friends in Iceland. I vowed to return when I had the chance to visit for longer, and to seek to repay some of that hospitality by doing something in return.

The two charities I am supporting are Ljósiđ Endurhćfing, a rehabilitation centre and support organisation for sufferers from cancer in Reykjavik, and The Carers’ Resource, which supports those who care for others when they need help, with offices around Yorkshire but based in Harrogate.

So that I did not end up spending all my savings on accommodation en route, I asked for people to get in touch if they could offer me a meal and a bed for the night along my way. In return I would put on a solo concert in the evening for them, singing for my supper to say thank you! In this way people could help make my trip possible and help me to help these two wonderful charities. Apart from buying provisions along the way (and people asking their friends and families if I could stay with them further down the line), this was the only support I had during my trip and I had to take everything I needed for two months with me.

I also had to organise all the publicity, create this website, a Justgiving page, a Youtube video so people could hear what I sounded like and see what they were signing up for.. design posters, flyers and flags, contact everyone I knew by phone, letter, text or email or in person to encourage them to donate, and write copy for it all.. as well as trying to find out as much as I could about touring in Iceland, getting to Iceland, Iceland itself, planning a route, and learning Icelandic! (I never quite managed that last one, though I can say a few things.. Ég tala bara svólitiđ íslensku, fyrírgerđu! ?) It’s fair to say this was a full-time job both while I was riding and for the month before I left the UK – it’s even now taking up much of my time six weeks after I got back!

The singing bit? Well, it went very well – though I may need to get a few more songs in my repertoire to suit all tastes! My choices seemed to go down well with pretty much everyone, but for the odd occasion I was singing to folk of my own age, children, or groups of bikers, having some of the pop songs and rock music that I think I know as ready to hand, and to performance standard, as my ‘classical stuff’ might be a good ambition for the future! I did break my Italian backing tracks CD, but my trusty voice recorder (Thank you, Olympus!) and excellent mini-speaker served superbly to accompany my singing where necessary – and confidence and chutzpah saw to the rest. I ended up singing on maybe forty occasions, to maybe 300 people - families, hotel staff, fellow travellers - and to tens of thousands on TV and radio, thanks to Águst Ólafsson of RUV and Andri Freyr and Gunna Dís of Rás 2’s workday mornings show (Virkir Morgnar). What’s more, people were impressed enough to pass the good word on to other friends of theirs and spread the news of my trip! Very good for my performance technique – there’s little that should hold any fears for me after a trip like this!

My audition video