Steve's mother, Joyce, died peacefully in hospital in Spain on Sunday, April 8th (Easter). She suffered complications after a third bout of surgery in 10 years to remove benign tumours. She was 78 years old. Steve was able to spend a little time alone with his mother moments before she passed away. The funeral was held at the Denia Crematorium on Thursday, April 12th. Steve led the service and read his own Eulogy. Joyce was described as "a popular woman, modest and humble who placed family above all possessions."
**DIARY DATE**DIARY DATE**
WHO: Bryan Ferry, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, Kenney Jones, Rick Wills, Robert Harris, Mike d’Abo, Gary Brooker and more…
WHAT: Countryside Rocks, a concert in aid of the Countryside Alliance
WHERE: Highclere Castle, Newbury, Berkshire
WHEN: Saturday 19th May 2007. Gates open at 4pm
WHY: To support the Countryside Alliance and help raise vital funds for our campaigning work. The Countryside Alliance works for everyone who loves the countryside and the rural way of life. Through campaigning, lobbying, publicity and education the Alliance influences legislation and public policy that impacts on the countryside, rural people and their activities.
HOW: Tickets, costing £75 per person (£50 for under 19s), are available from www.countryside-alliance.org/countrysiderocks or by calling the Countryside Rocks Box Office on 0871 919 8321 (9am – 5.30pm, Monday to Friday). There is a £5 ticket discount available for Countryside Alliance members.
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"We're now at the end of the trek, lodged overnight in Las Vegas. This is only the second time I've had access to the internet to send this report. But we have trekked and struggled for five long days and most must be feeling tired. I am. And then tonight the adrenalin will recede and the fatigue will kick in and replace it. As I write, at 6:20pm (8 hours behind UK time), I feel that sleep is likely to be the choice after dinner. The tables, through which I'll be strolling as I head for my room, will attract my eye for sure. And I may play a hand or a fist of blackjack. But see a show? No chance. And the truth is that I don't like being in this city. Never have. It is full of fat suburbans with no sense of culture and it is too noisy, so incessantly noisy, for me. After the amazing solitude and peace we all felt through Death Valley, this is a culture shock, and that's the one and only time you'll see me use the word culture in the same sentence as the words Las and Vegas."
"Check your atlas, or go Google Earth and see where we've been. Beatty Junction to Stovepipe Wells and Panamint Springs, and Furnace Junction; tiny settlements in an arid land, all pioneer locations, and off the road, a few miles off, ghost towns once thriving with '49-ers, but run down since the gold rush; and the mines were finally abandoned in the 1920s. There is much to tell of this fabulous trek, but this isn't the time. I shall raid my copious notes when I get back and write in more detail."
"Some of the volunteers here will find it difficult to explain to their families and friends and sponsors what they have been through out here - 60 miles a day on a cycle, uphill for an unrelenting 16 miles on more than one occasion in blistering heat.....It'll take a while for it to properly sink in, I reckon. This is a fine group of people, from all walks. It's been a fine and life-enhancing experience. Next week, Cheltenham; the greatest festival of racing imaginable, and I will be there for the Gold Cup. That'll be something, but little will compare with this trek. Little is likely to come even close for quite some time. I love an adventure. You know what I say: the answer is yes, what's the question."
"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a Heaven for? Many here have probably exceeded their own reach several times over. They will read this (I hope) and know what Mr Browning was meaning. More to come............. SH"
"This is the first time I've been able to connect to the 'net. No mobile signal at all. And NO PHONES in bedrooms in these cowboy hotels!"
"I am fine. It is an arduous trek. 56 miles today for most (some, myself included due to tandem limitations, took refuge in a support vehicle for some time, though never for long and one at least was carrying injuries from a fall) in very high temps. Reached mid-80s mid-afternoon, and no shade. None anywhere. It is phenomenal country. But all is beauty through geography. Little or no bird life - some saw an eagle today. I missed it. It is barren, forbidding land, and several suffered mild sunstroke today. Tom, my pilot, is good and I can cope well through my own brand of insouciance. It is hard, this one. Hard even for some very fit men. The 7 women cyclists are formidable. All have finished the course so far, with great courage, determination and dignity - rather as wise men have come to expect of women really."
"No mistake, this is tough. But so are women. We're not halfway through, but I can be sure this will live long in the mind."
PAUL HORTON original painting, "Onward & Upward", for Steve's MAG trek through Death Valley is completed and framed and the painting measures a substantial 42 x 38 inches. Auction-bidding details to follow. Steve starts the bidding at £3,500