The title of the book comes from a song that I wrote. You can listen to the song here:
I wrote the song when my then girlfriend was working in Australia for six months. The lyrics betray my worries about how the distance was going to affect our relationship. The idea was that love reaching to the other side of the world by airmail (this was before Skype, and before emails even!) is like A Bridge Of Straw. There seemed to be a way across stretching between us, and yet will it bear the weight of our love?
My then girlfriend is my now wife, so I guess the song worked!
Me and a few mates recorded the song over a few memorable weekends. My brother, Matt, was a sound engineer in a recording studio in London, and as a birthday present booked some time when it was free so that I could record one of my songs. Not being the type to look a gift horse in the mouth (or, to put it another way, unafraid of taking advantage of my brother’s generosity!), we stayed for the weekend, and several more weekends, recording five or six songs before choosing three to finish. A Bridge Of Straw has always been the most popular of them. The other two can be heard here https://soundcloud.com/chirs-budd
I play the main riff on A Bridge Of Straw on my Ovation Legend guitar, and friends Andy Bridgeman and Mike Milton do the singing and various guitar parts. I even let Matt play some bass.
They were a wonderful few weekends, the culmination of a few years of writing and playing songs with Mike. I have an abiding memory of lying on the floor of the studio in my sleeping bag at four in the morning drifting off to sleep whilst Matt and Mike played the guitar and bass parts at the very end of the song. As Mack observes in the book, feeling happy for a fleeting moment is attainable, but maintaining a state of happiness is rather like trying to balance a chicken on your nose. This was such a moment.