I just had a good telephone conversation with Richard Burton, the guy who contacted me last week and who is interested in doing some of the journey from the UK to Puglia with me next summer. Here is his picture from his own website! We chatted about different aspects of the trip and why we came to be planning our respective long-distance cycling adventures. We made no decisions about anything apart from meeting up in the New Year sometime – I suggested one of the weekends at either end of the February half term holiday – in London to chat further about collaboration. We discussed how it may be a better idea for him to join me for the bit of the trip from Brussels to somewhere further south but ultimately that depends upon whether he is able to do the bit(s) from Essex to Brussels before July of next year – two long weekends should enable him to get Brussels I would have thought (he doesn’t have the luxury of a six-week holiday in the summer so is planning on doing his UK to Rome trip in chucks over an extended period of time). I’ll leave the decision entirely up to him. I did promise to let him know as soon as possible a definitive date for my departure and that means asking for my three days of extra holiday from school when we return in January. My plan, if you remember, is to set off on either Sunday 18th or Monday 19th July but the school year doesn’t finish until Wednesday 21st. With just over 200 days to go, it really does feel as though my plan is now starting to come together but that means I have to start making decisions; so much of the project to date has “could”, “may”, “might” etc… in most of its sentences.