One week in the UK and I am lonely, busy, overwhelmed and excited.
I'm lonely because my girls are wrapping things up in SA and they very sad about leaving. And I am alone here in Knebworth, a village north of London, sorting things out like bank accounts, a car, insurance and of course, looking for a house. It's keeping me busy.
My first few days were overwhelming. If you think Jozi is fast-paced, think again. Everyone even walks fast.
And I am excited because of doors that are already opening and new opportunities presenting themselves.
Before I packed up, I decided to have one last stab at a TV series in SA for 2013. I sent proposals to eight vehicle manufacturers, namely Ford, VW, Mercedes, Isuzu, Jeep, Land Rover, Suzuki and Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Jeep said 'No', I think without it even being given a second thought. Mercedes at least asked questions. Isuzu, VW and Land Rover also appeared to give it some serious thought. Only Ford hadn't made up their minds by the time I cancelled the project. Toyota was not approached because they had already donated so much to my other projects, that I planned to shoot two programs for them at no charge.
What did they say no to, you may ask?
For the price of a just two ad pages in a magazine, I would produce and broadcast for them, on YouTube and Ignition-TV, two half-hour programs, with their vehicles having complete exclusivity. It would be shot in a remote and spectacular part of Southern Africa like my other shows. I pointed out that last year's series, excluding the South African TV broadcasts, had been viewed by over 200 000 YouTube viewers. Now these are serious numbers, and the funds requested paltry by comparison. For me, the amounts asked for would not even be enough to cover expenses.
What it did for me is vindicate my conclusion that doing what I do best, in South Africa, is no longer viable. I can always return and do more, but it has to be paid for some other way.
Yearning to do something TV wise before leaving , I went to the Kalahari to shoot a mini series called, Overland Workshop. It’s a series of discussions between myself and Paul Marsh, and we discuss in detail over-landing and all that it means. There will be at least 10 episodes, all about 10-12 minutes long. Subjects include security, border posts and officialdom, containers, food and cooking, maps and GPS, solar energy, tyres, overheating problems and many more. Half will go on YouTube and half will be for 4xforum subscribers only. The first ones will be released toward the end of August.
In addition, the trip was to prove that it is not necessary to go into Botswana’s very expensive National parks in order to find animals and solitude in the Kalahari. I succeeded beyond measure. Actually – doing it this way, there is more solitude and for me, it’s much more enjoyable.
We ended up on the hard-to-get-to South Island in the Makgadikgadi Pans where I shot my new showreel for the UK.