MARCH 2012 – Newsletter #6

Greetings and a big shout of hello to wherever you are. It is with great pleasure that we are now able to announce the impending print publication of Touching the World and the story of the first blind person to circle the world by motorcycle.

While our tale will reveal the many struggles, highs, lows, victories and defeats, along with the sorry tales of numerous mechanical breakdowns, we believe the story also acknowledges something else. The ‘else’ concerns an aspect that is often missed, omitted, or plain ignored in life’s rush onwards for many people. In this, I speak of the entire mass of lovely people who, everyday, help others in a hundred different ways all across the globe.

By its inclusion in our tale, some of those real everyday people now sit engrained in words of permanence by their acts of kindness towards two strangers in foreign lands. We hope we did them justice in the telling of their part, of the time they came across a blind woman so far away from home.

More generally by setting out to write of our journey, we wanted the tale to be a link in a long chain stretching back across the decades to those who have gone before, and to those who will inevitably follow. Perhaps many people will read of our miles together on an old motorcycle and then sit and dream. With luck, some of their dreams will become reality as you never know where that will take you. Life itself can be wonderfully mysterious sometimes, as we ourselves have found out.

While we are undoubtedly excited, scared, and everything in between  due to the fact it is no small thing to bare yourself on a printed page, the two of us do hold onto an important fact; it has come about through the support of so many different people. Whether it was while passing through the world or on our return home, this will always remain true. Sometimes this assistance ranged from practical suggestions but also, and never forgotten, it also came about through words of encouragement to keep going. Nowhere was this truer than hearing simple words and sentiments during the loneliness of the writing and Cathy’s long treatment for cancer.

Foremost amongst those people offering encouragement were members of The Ted Simon Foundation of which we proudly bare the title of Jupiter’s Travellers. Through the input of Ted himself along with Dan WalshIain HarperLorraine ChittockSam Manicom, and the two Leprechauns (Norman and Maggie McGowan), all played various roles at some time along the literary way. To them we offer our grateful thanks.

There have also been so many other people offering encouragement in numerous different ways through arenas such as Facebook and Twitter. Again, our gratitude goes out to each one of you. In this statement, we also include those people linked to us by email alone. Sometimes it was such a simple thing like an email pinging into our inbox – asking about the book’s progress – that spurred us onwards when our spirits were low. Anybody who has ever produced 220,000 words will know how lonely life can be as you sit peering at your own hopes and fears on a computer screen for others to read eventually. Scary stuff, truly.

Special thanks must also go to Rollo Turner from Panther Publications. You see it is true that on our journey around this world we did meet people who completely understood what we were trying to do while others mouthed those silent questions involving ‘why?’ Rollo is one of those people who just ‘got it’. This fact alone made everything else so much simpler as sometimes faith can provide a wonderful impetus all by itself.

When you get to read our story I hope you enjoy the tale of, I believe, a very special and inspirational blind woman. Never doubt as you read it however, that it is because of many of you that we got there in the end; no matter how big or small a part you played. After all, you should never underestimate the power of a thoughtful word to rekindle belief.

And What Next?

The book is now due out in September and we are currently working with Panther Publishing to make the story accessible and available in Audio and e-book format. Anybody who has known us over the years will understand that, for us, anything else would be against the very objectives we set out to achieve in 2008; to make the world accessible to a blind person. If our subsequent words allow others to ‘Touch the World’ on the canvas of their minds then both of us will be truly satisfied.
Safe journeys to you all no matter where you are in the world. I hope we will get to meet somewhere, sometime, along the road.

As a final thought – A journalist once told the journey was madness to even attempt.

I can now raise a glass to a little madness…………

Best wishes


Publication of Touching the World: A Blind Woman, Two Wheels and 25,000 Miles’ is due in September 2012 Softback (156 x 234mm or 6 x 9in approx). Recommended Retail Price £12.99, 384 pages approx, some 20 colour illustrations, ISBN 978-0-9564975-8-1. UK postage included in the price when purchased from Panther Publishing, please add £3 p&p for Europe, £8 for the Rest of the World. You can also find the title online at Amazon, and Waterstones or through any bookshop by using the ISBN number above.

Watch this space for further details concerning the the future publication of:

Touching the World: A Blind Woman, Two Wheels and 25,000 Miles.

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2 Responses to MARCH 2012 – Newsletter #6

  1. Mike Whitworth November 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    I found this book so inspiring It really made me think about what is like to be blind and that it is not all negative .
    I found myself being torn between not wanting to put the book down and not wanting it to finish .
    I really feel I know both Bernard and Cathy and hope to meet them one day. But in the mean time I would like to wish you both my “Best Wishes” for what ever your future may hold for you

    Mike Whitworth
    PS I now have a sign above my PC saying
    “what you see mainly depends on what you look for “

    • Bernard & Cathy November 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

      Thank you so much Mike for getting in touch with your comments. It’s been so nice that people have been so positive in their reviews of the book so far – it is going down really well and we are beyond pleased that people have understood the story. Our best wishes back to you. Bernard and Cathy.

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