Sunday, 28 August 2011

Day Twenty-Five: Welcome home


I set an alarm so that I didn't miss my train outta Edinburgh. Got up, skyped Jon, put my bedding in the wash, showered, cleared up the fags butts from various outside areas and got the hell out of the house.

I'd spoke to Romesh briefly this morning. He asked me if I'd hated Edinburgh, I said that hate was a strong word but agreed that it hadn't been as enjoyable as I'd hoped. I admitted that I came up here unprepared and naive and that if I was to return, I would come back wiser. More about that later.

I got a cab to a tea room that Mark has been banging on about all month. It was 13 degrees and raining today - welcome to August in Scotland. I had a pot of tea with a charming knitted cosy that was too small to put on my head and a chocolate and walnut brownie. I liked it a lot. There should be more tea rooms in London that aren't the Ritz or Wolseley.

Onwards to Waverley Station. Hannah had sold her train ticket to a poet called Richard Double-Barrel-something (that's actually treble-barrelled). He didn't have a sense of humour and I feared a long journey with him talking about poetry. Nothing was going to stop me enjoying heading south, least of all a poet.

The train journey went quickly, Mark and I dicked around a bit. I ran through an idea of doing a character that was the personification of disco called, "I am disco." How old would disco be? How would she feel about her offspring? What would she look like? Something to work on. Maybe a youtube clip.

Once we'd reached somewhere south of Peterborough, the sun started shining. I pressed my face against the window and said, "what is this light? Why do my eyes hurt? Is this happiness I feel inside me?" I then gasped as if it was my first breath after nearly-drowning. Mark said, "It's August 3rd!" "Noooooooo!" We laughed at the thought of it all being a dream and having to do it again. We didn't laugh long though.

Jon met me at Kings Cross but not before I had jumped the barrier for the ladies' toilets. Gemma 1; system 0. I was delighted to be back in the pollution and chaos of London and the drive back was brilliant. "Hello south London, you dirty slut." I said as we drove down the Kennington Road.

I got home to my new radiator and carpet and sat quietly. I haven't said much all evening and feel a bit institutionalised. I feel like I've returned from a war, I expect to wake up gasping in the middle of the night dreaming about the sound of pennies hitting the bottom of a bucket and the sight of faces starting, trying to hide their awkwardness.

Facebook was full of, "I've loved it, I'm going to miss it, I've done 60 gigs, it's been brilliant." I just checked in at Kings Cross and noted it with "Amen".

What have I learned:

  • I am nowhere near as good as I think I am
  • I need to write so much more often that I have been
  • I need to write clean material - and mean it
  • I need to cut down on the shitty gigs and look at getting better ones
  • I am a good MC because I am quite quick-witted
  • I should not agree to doing things that I know I'll not be arsed to do down the line
If I return next year:

  • Write a tight set and WORK ON IT
  • Audition for a package show which I'll get paid for and which will be promoted for me
  • Arrange the lease of accommodation myself and choose who to live with (or live alone)
  • Have a theme if I do a show
  • If I've been allocated a shit venue, turn it down

And that concludes Beagle's Edinblog. Thank you for joining me on this distinctly average journey and maybe I'll see you next year.


Day Twenty-Four: I will NOT queue to smoke.

I write to you from my August bed for the last time Mother. It's late as I thought that I should probably socialise a bit while I'm here.

I packed a little prematurely this afternoon and found myself sat on the end of the bed expectantly like a little evacuee. I did some washing up which involved washing every single fork in the house. I was content listening to Absolut 90s knowing that I would be on a train at some point soon heading south.

I had agreed to flyer and MC a gig for a bucket split this afternoon which I duly did. In the three and a half weeks that I've been here, I've never got the knack of flyering. It probably involves smiling and be enthusiastic which is where I fall short in life not just in trying to give something away for free. The gig was full, there was a 12-year old boy in the front row who looked thoroughly pissed off, he would only shrug, nod or shake his head so I asked him questions and established that he had been dragged away from his X Box to come to some shitty comedy and he was annoyed about it and couldn't wait to get home. I sympathised with him. The crowd didn't really like me much, don't know why. I managed to raise some laughs out of bantering with a scientist who had recently analysed some methadone. I called him Methadone Man, nothing. No Wu Tang fans in then? I got £15 out of the bucket anyway.

I then joined Jude for dinner at an awful restaurant. I really haven't eaten well this month, the food here is shit apart from the odd something 'n' chips. I popped home just to feel some warmth (it's been raining again today) and then headed out to Gagstro for the final time.

Hannah was flyering the corner when I got there. We started shouting in pretend languages throwing in the odd English words. I raised a few chuckles by shouting "last chance to see us before we join the dole queue!" There was enough of an audience to get started, Mark MC'd brought me on and I tried to do as long as I could bear as I only did eight minutes last night apparently. The front row were shit but there were definite pockets of audience that enjoyed my set. I asked the audience if there were any feminists in and only one (a regular at my Stockwell gig) said yes. We bantered a bit about what feminism means to us, probably not interesting for the rest of the audience. I'd like to work more on that. And that was it, the last Gagstro, one of the better ones but same old same old.

Tagline: Either painted on smiles or genuine relief. 

I had another gig booked in for an all-female line up at midnight. In hindsight, it was really fucking stupid of me to book it. Anyway, I had a hot chocolate because Starbucks had run out of tea and then headed over to the gig. It started late, as if midnight isn't late enough as it is. There were some really bad comics on some of which I'd seen before. I didn't exactly smash the shit out of it but the MC wants to book me for some of her gigs which is handy. Anyway, my final gig in Edinburgh was luke warm, a beautiful reflection of my whole experience here.

Some of the comics were heading over to the Loft Bar where you need a fucking lanyard to get in. I was given a pass by one of the girls and walked in. I looked at the pass and it belonged to someone in the industry that I really fucking hate. Bittersweet that I should be going somewhere ghastly with a pass belonging to someone ghastly. The place wasn't all that. It was a bar. There were a few comics I recognised but no one very impressive. I spoke with an open mic comic who has had a smashing festival with a show that he's proud of. I'm not a fan of the comic but am pleased for him that he's had a good time. It is possible, I thought. The bar had a one-in-one-out policy to go outside onto the balcony to have a fag so I left. Fuck that.

I went down to the Library Bar where the nobodies are and had a chat with a few people including Phil who is having a similar Edinburgh experience to me. We spoke about sharing shows, living arrangements, horrible audiences, other people being happy. I left the bar happy, knowing, once again, that I wasn't alone.

Into bed for the last time, my flat mate had a house guest by the sound of it but they left pretty quickly. I wonder why.

Tomorrow, I will post my final entry and try to summarise what I've learned and what I'd do differently if at all. Goodnight Mother, see you in that there London.

Tagline: "Come and see my comedy show. You prick."

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Day Twenty-Three: Dave Allen had it easy

"In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey." The captivating yet senseless opening line from Beck's Loser. 

I had trouble getting to sleep last night due to the sexual shenanigans down the hallway and feeling sick so it was a late morning for me. I had tickets to see Ricky Gervais and Warwick Davis talking about their new series "Life's Too Short". When I got the BBC, it was a bit of a free-for-all. I'd won tickets in a ballot and there was a massive queue for stand-bys. I got in anyway. I really enjoyed myself and found it really interesting. I'm a big Ricky fan. He spoke about him and Stephen's writing, about the BBC and HBO and the freedom he has to do what he wants and if they didn't let him have free reign, it would be pointless.

It was interesting to hear him talk about the drama within comedy and how he considered The Office a "Rom-Com". Anyway, the most important things I heard were:

* Re-writing is like a taking a samurai sword and folding it in half, it gets stronger, fold it again and it gets stronger etc. Just keep re-writing.
* Research the realism and then fictionalise it
* Record the reactions of people in dialogue as they're more important than speech - the essence of the Office, what wasn't said
* It's a marathon, not a race
* Do what you want to do and don't let someone else tell you

After that, I headed over to the Bar 50 to open Francis' gig. I'm bored of my jokes, like really bored. Anyway, it went ok then I headed over to Slappers after MJ had guilted me into it. Darren had text me to say that there was a hen party in. Joy. But then he text again saying that they had left and there hadn't been one laugh yet.

I walked in to almost deathly silence. Our guest act was struggling. She managed to get one laugh. They seemed not like Jonathan the compere at all. I didn't hold hope for myself. Darren went on and push his pedals to make sounds and that. There is a bit he does where he records himself doing impressions of Bruce Forsyth slagging Darren off which overlaps and repeats. It's really silly and usually lasts about 40 seconds. This time, it went on for ages. Darren was shouting:

"You're never going to make it as a comedian."
"Why are you doing the Free Fringe? The audiences are rubbish."
"What makes you think that you're funny?"
"No one likes you, why don't you just give up/"

It was hilarious for us comics and the audience didn't have a clue what was going on.

Tagline: Darren's nervous breakdown. He's blowing up balloons and then putting them down his pants whilst shouting "Brian!" A salute to Darren for trying EVERYTHING that comes into his head.

I was on last, I took a stool with me and decided just to have a chat with them as they were being so quiet. It was nice actually. I felt like an unfunny Dave Allen. The audience did respond and it was nice and conversational. I spoke about the bra fitting the other day, about my idea of feminism after a woman described herself as a housekeeper and about living with someone with a revolving bedroom door. I think they went for it. It was a very non-threatening approach to audience interaction. My last shopping centre gig - Tiffany had much more success with her shopping centre gigs.

I came home via KFC. I haven't really had any take-aways since I've been here. I had a box of something with a bit of chicken and a chicken burger and some chips. The lady behind the counter asked me what side order I wanted. I said beans. She said that they had run out of spoons. I contemplated drinking the beans or lapping them up like a cat that likes beans. Coleslaw was out of the question because I fucking hate coleslaw. I opted for corn, safe in the knowledge that I had floss at home. It was an unpleasant experience, very noisy and full of teenagers just being alive.

At home, I got into bed for a while, set an alarm and had a snooze. I woke up grumpy, shoved my shoes and rape-proof on and hobbled down the road. I am now hobbling due to two callouses on my left foot giving me trouble. It's the boots that are doing it so I'm going to wear pumps for the next few days. The trouble with pumps is that they aggravate the callous on my right foot. I should get some of those built-up shoes that rock while you walk. Or just never leave the house or something. I've probably been walking a few miles a day here. It doesn't seem like much to people that walk but for me, it's a big difference to what I'm used to.

I didn't bother flyering for Gagstro (see the pattern?). We had a near-full room. I opened. It was a quiet room and I did well under my time. I couldn't really banter as Friday night was in full swing behind the black soundproof curtain that isn't soundproof. Also, there were three obese people in the front row which was unusual, I did a lot of jokes to a man's really fat neck, it seemed to enjoy it. Mark did ok and our guest brought it home with a good response.

It was my intention to come home and have an early night watching a documentary on the iplayer about foreign music in the British charts (I know, right?) but I skyped Jon for a while and started this blog. I had a brief encounter with Romesh and his friend Robin. We discussed which Disney characters we fancied. I opted for Aladdin who was based on Tom Cruise, Tasha went for Mulan and Jasmine.

I had a run-in over email with a promoter today. I had received a mail shot asking me to vote for my favourite open-mic comedian and the winner would get paid gigs with them. What a ridiculous idea. I emailed the voting address and simply put "Please stop this if you care one iota about comedy." The promoter emailed back asking to elaborate which I did. I told them that comedy is hard enough with all these competitions without asking us individually who is the most popular. He agreed that I had a valid point but said that it was just a bit of fun and I should cheer the fuck up and come to the party that they've arranged. I thanked him for the banter, wished him luck and turned down the party offer due to it falling within the month of September. Fuck them. I'm a one-woman political fucking party.

Two more nights and mornings to endure and then this whole experience will be over. I wonder how I'll feel on my return about the whole thing. Tasha was talking to me today telling me to get off the open mic scene and I'll feel better. I need to be getting open spots at pro nights. I know this but feel that my ten minutes isn't good enough. Not feel, I know. Anyway, I've taken what she's said on board.

Tagline: I take back my disgust regarding that bloke pissing on me a couple of weeks ago, he was just trying to avoid the £40 fine.

Silent disco, they're singing Song 2 at the moment but can't keep up with the lyrics so it's just a series of "Woo hoo!"

Friday, 26 August 2011

Day Twenty-Two: Velcro is vicious

This morning, I awoke fresh-faced and confident about what I wanted for my future in comedy. Ha ha, not really. I couldn't think of any other way to start the blog.

Mum and I had breakfast in the cafe, she swapped her beans for mushrooms within the set breakfast. She's such a maverick my mother. We went off to see a play that a family friend, Marc, was appearing in. It was set backstage at the London Palladium at a Black and White Minstrels show. The white actors blacked up for it and my friend didn't - not because he's particularly PC, it's because he's black. Mum enjoyed it but would have related to the cultural references of 1964. I just saw people blacked up, was annoyed at Marc for not being more forceful in his disgust (ok, ok, he couldn't divert from the script). I felt like it could have been set in any dressing room, why did it have to be at the Black and White Minstrels show. Marc said afterwards that he nearly corpsed when he saw the disgust on my face at one point. Glad I nearly made a contribution.

After that, we had tea and then headed out to meet a friend Jude, a regular visitor to the Fringe. I didn't do any flyering for Slappers and Darren, Jonathan and I took the decision to pull the gig at 5 when no one had showed. The first time Slappers had been pulled in the whole run. We were all glad. 

Tagline: Typical Slappers "crowd" - two employees of the Walkabout plus a couple planning to move to Holland after university (l to r)

Jude and I then went for a drink and discussed my Fringe experience and how she is. She said that she had admiration for me that I've "done" it. It still feels like a slog to me.

I went home for my dinner, or "tea" as mother and I were discussing this morning. On the way, I saw a man combing his quiff. I'm not a fan of quiffs as a rule but if someone is walking down the street combing it, it's perfectly acceptable.

I had a bit of time so chatted to new mother Emily on Skype for a little while and Jon on the phone. I walked down to Gagstro, took my position on the Royal Mile and thoroughly pissed off beardy Hagrid man who claimed that corner yonks ago. Hannah said that he'd had a go at her. If he wants a fight, he's got one. On the way, I nearly died. The velcro hook of my pockets stuck to the velcro eyes of my cuffs; the velcro on my rape-proof is strong shit and, needing to run across the road in a hurry, I tried to take my hands out of my pockets, they wouldn't come out and I nearly tripped. Running with hands in pockets is exactly how my dad lost his front teeth. Beware.

We feared that we may have had to pull the gig (I say "feared") but just in the nick of time, a load of people showed up including a laughy front row. We were competing against Hearts v Spurs and Ultimate Fighting Champion. We almost won. I was MC'ing and managed to get some laughs when I did a sort of serial killer top trumps. A guy had said he was from Ipswich like the prostitute murderer, another said he was from Gloucester, home to Fred West, I asked if he had escaped by clawing his way out of the mud. It went well. Mark, Hannah and our guest all did well under the conditions and there's only two more to go. I. Can. Do. This.

I then went to meet an old comedy buddy and we had a lovely time catching up and discussing our plans over pots of tea. He's teetotal too and we talked about how we would do this festival if we were still drinking. Impossible.

I popped into the Library Bar, the hang-out for those who can't get into the Brooks or Loft Bars. Jack Whitehall was in there with his beard and his face. I bumped into my flat mate and hung out with him for a while before we came home via the crepe van.

Tagline: The sacred entry card to Brooke's Bar. It should say "Unpleasant" on it if it were being honest.

News came through that another flat mate had pulled a TV personality and was on her way back with him. I decided that it would be a good time to go to bed. I now have a clean duvet cover and I am pleased. Small mercies.

They've just come back and he's been introduced to the other guests by his full name and what TV shows he's appeared on, I love it! I notice an absence of classic staple TV programmes such as Holby and Eastenders. He can't be that good. I will now try to not hear them at it. Deeply disturbing.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Day Twenty-One: God bless the mother

After last night's bedding fiasco, I awoke in a similar mood to which I went to bed in. My sister and the kids had returned from Italy and were staying at my flat. I skyped them to cheer myself up and to make sure that no one had shitted on my new carpet before I'd had the chance to walk on it. Cath and the kids looked and sounded great and Tilly was asking when I was coming to her house to play. Eva asked me to tell her a story and I told her the story of the night I was telling jokes on stage and no one was laughing until I told her joke about the banana - she was chuffed that her material stormed where mine had failed.

Mum arrived this afternoon by train and I met her at the station. It started raining as soon as the train pulled in. We sat and had coffee for an hour as I whined to her about what's been happening and what to do next with it. She was pretty good, told me to hold-fire on the decision making and crack on.

We walked to a gig I was booked in to help run and MC for a share of the bucket. Once again, I skived with the flyering by standing against a wall smoking fags. The dude running the gig wanted me to flyer for an hour beforehand, it seemed like a long time to have to skive. Anyway, we had a full room with a young crowd, five acts including me as MC. I happened upon a good looking couple with, it seemed perfect lives. I came back to them throughout the gig pretending to be more and more envious of them. The audience went for it.

Mum started speaking to the headliner, who I'm not particularly keen on. She said to him that she wanted to see his show and he offered us complimentary tickets and to meet us outside his venue. I didn't want to go and was rather keen on seeing Ed Byrne of Carphone Warehouse fame. We opted for Ed Byrne but went for a steak beforehand. Mum had the same conversation with the waiter about how she wanted her steak cook. "I don't want any blood." The waiter, just like the other thousand, explained that past medium, there is no blood. He managed to negotiate her down from a well-done to a medium-well. We'll get her down to medium-rare one of these days.

Ed Byrne was Ed Byrne. He's been around for a long long time and survived the "comedy is the new rock 'n' roll" era the first time around in the nineties. He had some good stuff about pet cats. I should write reviews, shouldn't I? Ed Byrne, stuff about cats.

Into a taxi and on to Gagstro. We opted for flyering the corner again after last night's success. Mum helped. She had her own corner just like Bodie in the Wire. Like Marlo's people over Barkdale's people, we've taken over the corner from a man that looks like Hagrid (I'm ashamed to know what Hagrid is) and I bet he opens with that, "Hagrid: the post Harry Potter years." Hilarious. 

Tagline: Moooooother, you don't have to put on the red light.

Gagstro was packed to the rafters. Our guest is very dark (his humour, he's not swarthy). He went in the middle and I followed him. I really hate following him and have struggled in the past. This is because either people love him and they want more of the same or they hate him and he's put them off comedy for life (maybe not life but probably the evening). He's talking about murdering prostitutes after anally raping them and then I come on with a sort of "hey, that guy huh? Am I right? Ladies? Is this thing on?"

So yes, I struggled. I started bantering with an American in a Beatles cap at the front. I asked him who his favourite Beatle was and he said Ringo, we all had a laugh about it and I came back to referring to it for the rest of my set. A woman shouted from the back that she hated Ringo because he slagged off Liverpool. "Look what you've done!" I shouted at the American. We all laughed and I looked like a clever dick.

The bucket was healthy with that many people and I earned enough today for four packets of fags. 

I bought Mum a crepe on the way home, lemon and sugar FYI - she's such a 50s child. 

As far as bedding-gate goes, I sent a passive aggressive tweet to all my flat mates asking if they knew where my bedding had gone. I got a text message from the culprit apologising and grassing up her guests. Tonight, one of the guests apologised profusely in such a charming way that I had forgotten about the whole thing. I still have no duvet cover on this spider web-esque material quilt but it's ok. I will wash and launder my original one tomorrow and all will be well.

I have just four nights in this bloody place and then I can forget that I ever knew it. Like Men In Black without dancing aliens. Much the pity.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Day Twenty: Livid

At the end of this entry, there will be a rant. I'm not sure how lengthy it will be as I may have calmed down by the time I get to it though knowing me, I may very well get myself wound up again by recalling the anger I felt historically. Be warned that there will be strong language in the closing paragraphs.

Today was Jon's last day in Edinburgh, lucky Jon. We went to the cafe again and then went to Pound-something to get a small suitcase so that he could courier some clothes that I had stupidly packed that I will never wear and despite Jon not bringing underwear, there was little room left in his bag.

As I was queuing, a woman lifted a suitcase and asked me if I worked there. I was upset and replied, "Erm... no." I instantly changed my tone as I didn't want to offend the person stood in front of me who did work there.

I sent Jon packing with two summery dresses, a pair of leggings, two books and a pair of flip-flops - and some things of mine (fnah). I don't know what I was thinking packing flip-flops. At my venue, they are giving away flip-flops with every bottle of Bacardi Breezer. Seems utterly pointless in this town unless there's a call for people who work in swimming baths who also enjoy sugary alcoholic drinks from the early noughties.

It was horrible putting Jon on the train, not only did I feel alone again, I was jealous that he was going to be sleeping in my bed with no one else in the flat very soon. 

I wandered down to Bravissimo to spend some vouchers I had received for my birthday last year. The last time I was fitted was when I was 10kgs heavier so I went for a re-measure. The girl in the shop did that sucking through her teeth and tutting thing that make women feel ashamed around their bras. I explained that the bra did fit me at some point during 2009. She looked at the label to see what size it was but couldn't see as it had faded; once again, I felt ashamed to have underwear with faded labels. Bravissimo have made a market in having incorrectly sized bras and specialise in selling bra sizes that don't exist anywhere else. Let's say that Bravissimo have fitted me with a 32F, if I go to Debenhams tomorrow, I will be laughed out of the shop as a dreamer or someone that doesn't know their bra size. 

Anyway, I walked out with three bras and a pair of knickers that will only fit me if I wear them over another pair of knickers (you're not allowed to try knickers on unless it's over your knickers). I felt fixed and not alone for five minutes.

Over to Slappers where I started flyering and the skived in the pub pretending that I had an important phone call to make. I played Boggle on my phone for a while and then headed out again to give away the rest of my flyers with personalised calls for everyone but nice this time..."Free stand-up for people in red jumpers." "Free stand-up for bearded people." (And that was just the women).

We had four people in, I would have pulled the gig but the others seemed ok with it. More people came in as the afternoon went on. I was MC'ing and made a lack-lustre attempt at learning about the audience. It ended. We got a pound each. A pound. The least I've received so far.

Mark and I walked to Tescos and bought some food to cook at mine. We talked about our short-term comedy plans. He wants to act more. I don't want to be on stage ever again. Sorted. See you at Christmas for catch-ups.

Onwards to Gagstronomic. Mark flyered in a busier street which brought in more and a better audience. It was possibly the best one we've had tonight. There were pockets of the audience that really went for my material and I saw one guy spit his drink out at my medieval jokes - I think that's a compliment. We got a decent bucket, enough for fags and then some.

You may notice that I am saying less as I move towards the rant. I'll be there in a minute.

Romesh and I went to a BBC gig which was ok I suppose. It was long. I watched in boredom a lot of the time. Some of these comedians do not interest me in the slightest with their tales of gigging here and gigging there. The last guy was Hannibal Burress from a place called America (I think that's how you spell it). He writes for 30 Rock and I had met him briefly yesterday and shook his hand. I've shook the hand that shook the hand of Tina Fey! He was odd. Very quiet and had nothing to say. He was a bit taken aback by me saying that I loved his stuff, like I'd said that he'd stolen my car. In the end, I kind of had to walk away without any definite end to the conversation. Very uncomfortable indeed. I had the opportunity to speak to him tonight but heeded by own warning.

Dane Baptiste, an open mic comic from South London was around. We talked about being the plankton and being ignored. We looked around and every person in the vicinity

And then I came home. Deep breath.

I failed to mention that earlier today, I washed my bedding. I hung it out on the washing line to dry, taking advantage of the wind. It was nearly dry before I left for Gagstro for brought it in and put the duvet cover on the radiator for a final drying session. On my return to the flat, I went to radiator and found a sheet and a duvet, damp and drying on the radiator. Someone (and I fucking know who) had decided that as their duvet wasn't dry yet, they should take mine. I was livid and can feel myself getting more livid still.

I went into my bedroom to decide what to do, put my unstolen bedding onto my bed and came back out. This time, someone (I fucking know who) had removed the sheet and the duvet cover from the radiator. I guess because their guest may have needed something damp to sleep under. 

What a fucking piss-take. In 2010, I got a bonus at work, I spent some of it on new bedding. My duvet at home is a 100% Hungarian Goose down king size duvet 10.5 tog. It lies on top of the best mattress I've ever slept on and it is lovely. I really love it. Whilst I've been here in this fucking awful town, I've been sleeping under a 100% polypropylene Ikea duvet 4.5 tog that, according to the Ikea website, costs £2.99. Even reading the word "polypropylene" makes me itch and is probably causing me cancer somewhere in my body. I am under it as I type with no fucking cover on it. Yyyyyyyyyuk. This is fucking bullshit.

Duvet-gate is the third consecutive "-gate" after two nights of drunken shouting and screaming. I haven't been into the living room for weeks now as the last time I went in there, it stank of wine and the tables looked sticky. However, loud and drunken merriment is one thing, you're drunk blah blah blah but actually consciously taking a washed and dried duvet and then replacing it with a wet one and then taking that one too is an act I find so heinous, I can do nothing but cry.

I thought about leaving an aggressive note that read:

To whomever stole my fucking duvet cover, 

I had the gumption to wash and dry my bedding this morning so that I could sleep with it tonight, if you chose to wait until later in the day then fuck you. By stealing my clean and dry bedding from the radiator and using it yourself, you are a cunt of the highest order and I'd ask that you leave the duvet cover that has been washed, dried and unused outside my room so that my mother and I have something to sleep under that isn't going send my mother's psoriasis into chronic mode. 

Plus another paragraph which I published and then edited out that is way too offensive for internet publication but if you're interested in it (it's pretty funny) then contact me on the twitter and I'll let you know. 

But I couldn't find a pen.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Day Nineteen: Into the last quadrant

OK, enough now, seriously. 

I'm sick of thinking of how to start this bloody blog, I'm sick of drying myself in the smallest bathroom I've seen since I had a doll's house, incidentally, I don't think doll's houses have bathrooms do they? Hmmm... note that Beagley. I guess that most of them were made when no one had indoor toilets, like pre-1979 and currently in the north.

Last night, I didn't sleep particularly well. A number of my flat mates came in late and loud. One was outside my bedroom door on the phone shouting, "Bring drink! Bring drink!" It felt like penance for my behaviour between 1997-2006. I deserve it I suppose. So, indeed, I didn't sleep well. When I got up at 9.30 some people were still up, I was tempted to make some noise but couldn't even if I tried, I am naturally a quiet person, I eat quietly, speak quietly and even in my shouting, I'm pretty subtle. Wilting violet, me.

Romesh described last night's household as Hollyoaks - spot on.

Jon and I went to a cafe for breakfast, seeking decent food. It comes to something (I need to find a new way to express that) when I'm going to a greasy spoon to find decent food. We found it. I had a selection of fried goods and beans. Jon had everything in Scotland and was so pleased he photographed it on his phone but not after deleting a video of my stand-up to make room on his phone. I imagine that the food on the plate is better received and more consistent than my stand-up.

Tagline: Jon doing nothing to break the stereotype of builders enjoying fried food.

We came back to the flat for a kip for a few hours and then headed out to watch 5-star reviewed Adam Riches. I enjoyed it but am not sure if I'd pay to see him again. Jon hated it because it was heavily reliant on audience participation which Jon hates. Jon often gets picked on in comedy clubs because the lights reflect off his bald head and as someone incredibly self-conscious, he dreads it. 

I had misread the AA meeting app on my phone and thought that there was a meeting starting near-by at the Salvation Army. The homeless (assumption) people outside told us that it started at 8pm and that perhaps, we could wait in the pub. Ha ha! Brilliant. The pub. Because we can't... ha ha! In my five years, I've never...

Off for dinner, back to the Cellar Door for this fucking Chateau Briand that I've been promised (I haven't been promised). The Chateau Briand materialised and it was very good except it was served with coleslaw - fucking Scottish. We also had a chocolate cake for dessert which was excellent if not way too big for a dessert portion.

Onwards to the Gilded Balloon where Jon, Tom and I were due to see Daniel Kitson's best friend Claudia O'Doherty at 8.15. Tom had mis-remembered and the show was actually starting at 8.45 meaning that we had to choose between seeing CO'D or James Acaster who started at 9.45. Exciting decision. We went for James Acaster and Tom forfeited the tickets he'd bought. He said that it was revenge for me making everyone miss the train to Edinburgh exactly one year ago today. That's some long grudge. Well done Tom.

We watched James Acaster who had been hotly tipped before the festival. His reviews hadn't lived up to the hype but I decided to book tickets anyway. The room held 55 and has sold out most nights. At 55 seats per show, this isn't a huge achievement but I guess it's part of the hype. I enjoyed it but felt that he didn't have enough to fill an hour. I'd like to see his 20 minute club set, I'm sure it's very tight.

My feet are a mess despite wearing proper shoes to walk in most days. I've had trouble with the bottom of my right foot for a while due to the divvy way I stand on stage (I think) and the stupid cheap pumps I wear a lot but my feet have swapped and my left is worse than my right has ever been. A trip to the chiropodist is required on my return.

Six nights to go. I can't wait to take September off. I may very well take October and the rest of my life off. MJ text today to say that he wants to take a sabbatical and have a rethink when he gets home too. I'm sure this happens to everyone after their first full run. Anyway, if I never look out at an audience ever again, it will be too soon. That's right, I said it.