Sunday, 28 August 2011

Day Twenty-Five: Welcome home

Ahhhhhhhhhh. 


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.


*Archive*

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.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Day Eighteen: And yet when we want them there.

There was no milk when we woke up this morning (I've become and we and will be a we until Tuesday). Since giving up Red Bull four months ago, I insist on having tea within one hour of waking. Just a simple cup of tea, that's all. I'm no diva, I'm not insisting on a dressing room full of hookers so that I can snort cocaine off their thighs. Just a cup of tea. I managed to keep my cool on the promise that I would have tea at some point.


I was looking forward to my Chateau Briand today. When we arrived at the restaurant and sat down, we were giving an A4 sheet of paper with a list of simple foodstuff on it. At the top of the A4 sheet of paper, it said, "Our regular menu is also available at lunch." I requested the normal menu and was told that it wasn't available for Sunday lunch. Sunday lunch being, in my regular-person opinion, the best lunch of the week. I was disappointed as I have been several times with food during this festival and opted for some kind of beer-battered fish I'd never heard of and hand-cut chips. It comes to something when I'm eating at a restaurant that has waiting staff and wishing that I was at the Toby Carvery in Mitcham eating any number (four) of types of meat and a mountain of vegetables. Fuck you for the second time this week The Cellar Door. 


The hot chocolate was very good as advised. Jon asked if it was the best hot chocolate I'd ever tasted, I was unable to confirm that as I haven't seemed to have documented all the hot chocolate I've ever had in my life. I know that it was better than when we were kids and we tried to make it at home with water and no milk... so yeah, why not? It was the best hot chocolate I've ever had. 


Elaine and Justin left us for London (lucky them) and Jon and I went home for a sleep. I went home for a sleep and Jon just listened to me snoring in his arm pit. I woke up grumpy and we went off to see Josie Long down the road.


Josie was brilliant, I didn't laugh out loud as much as I have done but I just really enjoy listening to her speak. A joyful hour. Steve Bennett from Chortle was there reviewing her. She said hi to him when he walked in, I wonder if it phased her. I guess that she has a following and reviews don't really affect that. He took a few notes and I noticed that he turned to look at Tom when he let out one of his ridiculously loud laughs... I wonder if Steve will note that as a good thing or a bad thing. 


We wandered along to Gagstro, bumped into a few comics who were in the standard open-mic downer, wanting to go home and possibly kill themselves. As previously mentioned, I am not alone (I don't want to kill myself, but if I did, I would do it spectacularly on stage. Not in my venue though, no one would hear the audience's calls). One comic who was in a two-hander has fucked off back to London, he's had enough. Good for him.


Mark had a night off Gagstro so it was down to Hannah and I to steer the ship alone. Both of us were hoping that no one would show so that we could pull the gig, we didn't flyer, we didn't do a shout-out in the pub. We were having a lovely time just hanging out with a few comics. Then a hungover stag-do showed up. Bastards.


I was MC'ing, the stag do just wanted to sit in silence, a drunk guy who was talking about the La Liga strike even fucked off after five minutes. Everyone went on, no one got a great response but we got through it and got £5.80 each - not exactly a box of fags but nearly.


Jon and I came home and chatted to Romesh for a bit about the industry and the egos and the struggles. Romesh believes that if you're good on stage and you're reliable, it doesn't matter what you're like offstage. Not many people I've talked to enjoy the networking but then I wouldn't really speak to anyone who did enjoy networking because they're probably wankers anyway. No judgement.


This is my last Sunday night here in this awful damp-ridden flat. I am eating berries, Jon just nibbled the end of some very rich chocolate fudge (that's not a euphemism). Day off tomorrow, three comedy shows to see and my last Monday morning in Edinburgh.


I have a new carpet waiting for me to stand on at home. And a new radiator to look at. And clean drains and pipes. This fills me with joy. I even can't wait to get back to my shitty photocopier and binding machine at work and my uncomfortable chair that facilities have told me must be replaced. I've spent five and a half years imprinting my arse on that chair, I don't want to give it up. Except that I have been 10kgs heavier in the time I've been there and my arse probably doesn't fit it anymore. 


Sunday, 21 August 2011

Day Seventeen: Get off the corners

Day one with Jon in tow. We hang out for a bit in the flat this morning, taking advantage of the sunshine by smoking fags in the garden. Shit, shower, shave and out of the door for lunch. Jon forgot to bring a toothbrush and underwear, I said that he could use my toothbrush and had to draw the line there.


We went down to the Mosque Kitchen and had a buffet curry. Jon didn't like it but he prefers food that burn his taste buds in order to block any further tasting experience. We went to a meeting and spent an hour and a half being moaned about by the Scots. Many of them were moaning about the number of tourists, I think that we (the English) should take our tourists back along with the free education and very ample transport system. (They started it).


I then had to run to cover a spot at a mate's gig via Topman. When I walked in the shop, it took me a few seconds to work out whether I was in the mens' or womens' section - these days, it's not unusual to see a man with a quiff wearing a woolly jumper with a cat on it so appreciate my confusion within the Topshop/Topman vendors.


The gig was good. All of Leila's laughy and slightly drunk friends were sat at the front and laughed loudly. The was a spotlight quite close to my face and I felt like I may have received burns if I had stayed any longer than a few minute. The gig was being filmed and with lighting that bright, there's absolutely no way that my face will show up in that video.


Onwards to Slappers (I'd conveniently got out of flyering again) with a medium-sized audience, quite quiet. ANother of the Slappers team have arrived - Claire Parker from Brighton - fresh blood, not tired AIDSy blood like mine and Darren's. I started slow and didn't get many laughs. Oddly, I got a really good response from my Catholics vs Gem routine - the best I've had in or out of London for a while. That was going to be a routine I was going to scrap saving only the "YoMaMa" line. I think it still has to go.


Elaine, Justin, Jon and I had a slow walk to a terrace restaurant. Jon was getting ratty because he was hungry and I thought that at some point he may have resorted to a deep-fried Mars bar just to fill the hole that the uneaten curry had left. All four of us had steak. Mine turned up well done after asking for it to be medium-rare, I sent it back and another came back pretty much raw steak, I ate it to save the embarrassment of complaining again and comforted myself by deciding that I will never eat steak at a non-steak restaurant ever again. Time and time again, I find myself disappointed with steak. That overdone/underdone fatty disappointed ship has sailed.


It started raining as we were eating (natch) and, as I've left my umbrella somewhere, we popped home for the rape-proof. Out again and onto Gagstro. I was expecting a bear-pit tonight being Saturday an' all but actually, the gig itself was quiet. Once again, we couldn't hear a fucking thing even with the new speaker at the back. Being overshadowed by Venga Boys is soul-destroying. I tried to banter but I couldn't hear the responses of the audience so it was futile. I tried to get an Israeli couple to tell me about their engagement but they were being very guarded. The lady ended up telling me to leave them alone. The first thing that came into my head (which I would never have said) was "You leave Palestine alone first." I can't really back up my argument there. 


Our guest was Jack Samuel Warner, a proficient MC and comic. He abandoned any chance of doing material and fucked about with the audience. He climbed around them and between them and picked on a few people. I think he did well to fill the time though I was unsure whether the audience were going for it as the noise from the bar was deafening.




Tagline: Our guest spot JSW re-enacting Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart video in the middle of the audience. (That's a fucking niche joke)


We left early to go to see the Horne Section again. It was fun except that the audience weren't as "up-for-it" as they were the other day. The trumpeter got injured during a dance routine and had to leave the stage for the rest of the gig so we missed out on a medley unfortunately.


Elaine went to the toilet and came out heaving saying, "How can you shit at the side of the toilet?" The heaving was brilliant because it was genuine. There is something very funny about someone genuinely heaving. I don't understand shitting next to a toilet either. I don't understand shitting in a public toilet full stop. 


Chateau Briand and Josie Long tomorrow, I'm excited about that. 

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Day Sixteen: Three good days in a row Beags?

I write this to the sound of the Friday night sing-a-long to the tune of Living on a Prayer... it's like they're reading my mind. Jon's just worked out that it's a silent disco going on, why didn't I think of that? I always wondered how they could sing in harmony without me being able to hear the track. Amazing. Still fucking annoying though. Silent for whom? Bloody fucks.


After a late one last night, I set the alarm to make sure I was up in time to Skype Jon and make sure he's packed the right things. He had. And onwards to KX for him.


I met a couple of mates for coffee down the road and we discussed how we were all feeling. One, her first Edinburgh, is going terribly too. She's almost packed her bags a few times but her husband has told her to stick at it. The other, more experienced, related her experience of previous years and said that last year, she was so stressed and anxious that she went blind. (She realised it was a migraine but blindness sounded way more dramatic!)


I wandered up the road to MC a lunchtime gig. It was an almost full room and I cracked on. I made a lovely off-the-cuff joke about no one sitting in the front row and how on Easyjet everyone runs for those seats - it got a suitable laugh. I bantered a bit, discussed what people had been up to over the Fringe, what they had for breakfast and took the piss out of a couple of guys who had driven up here and slept in their car that night. "So what are you looking forward to seeing most? The inside of a hotel room I imagine." Quite the nifty MC today, I tells ya. And I got a big laugh with my JK Rowling stuff including a new, less arrogant bit about the increasing sizes of the books as the series went on.


After a bit of washing up, I headed down to Slappers and flyered for a bit. Darren Walsh was there. One of his flyers blew away with a gust of wind and nearly decapitated a woman crossing the road. "A bit aggressive that one," he said. She was quite cross, it did look like it hurt though, the corner caught her right in the throat.


Slappers was a medium sized quiet audience. I went down ok. There were some old people in the room sat at the front, I often think that comedy isn't for them but, as my mother has told me many times, the olds have seen and done it all, it's probably just the jive talk that they don't understand (yes, I've resorted to jive talk to make people laugh, you dig?) (I haven't).


Onwards, to meet Jon off the train. He needed to smoke five thousand fags as well as change from the winter clothes he seemed to be wearing. It made me think that maybe I've been exaggerating somewhat on this blog. It was lovely to see him and I thought about maybe jumping on the train home together right then and DHL-ing my shit down on Monday.


I cooked a mean dinner in a hurry and we headed out to meet friends Elaine and Justin who are up for the weekend. The four of us sat at Costa in the station and I felt at peace. I've missed friendship since I've been up here. Sure, MJ's around but it's not the same. If only I could have transported my family and friends up here for the month like Mariah Carey does.


Gagstro was set to be wild as it's the weekend but actually, it was quite civilised. The room was full enough. The venue have kindly (read: reluctantly) put a speaker at the back of the room which helped. Except that sat next to it, RADA-trained Mark, was blowing my fucking ears off. When he said, "Pop cyclops" I nearly went deaf. "P"s bang on the speaker like no one's business. Lucky he didn't do the Peter Piper Picked A Peck of Pickled Peppers routine. He might have blown the roof off like Macauley Culkin at the beginning of Michael Jackson's Black and White video. I figured out this morning that maybe Mark isn't more angry, it's just that he hasn't had Botox for while and has expression back in his face, maybe he always looked angry underneath the injections.


The audience were lovely and I did ok. There's a bit I'm trying to develop about pre-judging people and films and books and being convinced that I'd hate them and then actually liking them. It's probably something to try out at my weekly "It's my party and I'll die if I want to" bit when I get back. It needs jokes anyway.


The four of us went for tea afterwards and then went our separate ways. Jon and I sat up talking to my flat mates about theme park rides. I think I'm too old but feel cheated out of exciting times given how far these rides have come since I were a boy. Being swung around by the armpits by a traveller for 20p a-go isn't the done thing no more, not since Sarah's Law.


Looking forward to a few days with the man on my arm. I got told off for sounding so negative on this blog. You know how this country isn't in depression? Yet. I'm not in depression, I'm in recession. But after three good Gagstros on the trot, my emotional economy may be on the up. Just call me the Mervyn King of shit comedy blogs.


Silent disco. What a crock of shit-fuck.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Day Fifteen: You Are Not Alone

I did a bit of brainstorming of ideas today. Even if nothing really came out of it, I felt good to have bothered doing something.


I did a guest spot at a friend's gig. She is having an awful time and can't stop crying. She's drinking to get through this experience, a luxury I don't have. It was an audience of eight people and she did well. I wasn't particularly well received but it's hard to judge. I'm glad that I'm not the only one feeling shit about the whole experience.


I ran off to do a spot at the tail end of Slappers getting lost in John Lewis on the way. I bloody hate department stores. They're like something from Willy Wonka or Hotel California, you can check out any time you want but you can never leave. The Slappers spot went well, the audience seems to picking up there. I only did a short spot of gags and the transvestites routine which went down well. I do like my one-liners, it's just difficult to know where to place them in a longer set. I should really write some more. There is a knack to writing them and it's not overly difficult.


MJ and I headed over to the same meeting we'd been to the week before. The Weegie secretary spoke at length again and I found it difficult to understand him, again. It was a meeting full of laughter and that was welcomed. I was talking to BFF Emily yesterday and was telling her that actually, all this stand-up comedy, all these gigs, watching all these wonderful comics, there's actually nothing more satisfying than having laughter with friends. It's not contrived and (mostly) egoless. 


Tasha had booked a table at a lovely restaurant with surprise menus. For starter, I had mackerel on couscous with a ginger something. They asked us if there was anything that we wouldn't eat, Tasha had said that liver was that thing. Our main course arrived, liver and bacon and ratatouille. Why bother asking us? Tasha and I heaved down the liver laughing and wondering whether the waitress had thought we'd said, "We definitely want liver." Over dinner, Tasha, Romesh and Robin were punning around food. It was great fun. Robin's "Rich people can shout but I'm too Portobello (poor to bellow)."... that was remarkable. I love punning, it's a favourite past time of mine.


I had to sprint to Gagstronomic and nearly threw up my treacle pudding on the way. I was MC'ing. There was a small audience but they were all sitting towards the front. I bantered a bit with a Californian called Chris who worked for Global Poverty (against not for but you know what I mean), a structural engineer from Manchester and (wait for it) someone who worked for the Tory party. "What the hell are you doing at comedy?" I enquired. We all had a laugh and the Tory shared that he had recently helped a Pakistani student stay in the country for her exams. Well done the Tories. Needless to say, he wasn't laughing much during the show.


It was a good show I think. People laughed including a load of Americans that were in. I was making them laugh by stopping my routines to translate certain words. 


After a second consecutive Gagstro, a few of us went out for a drink. More comics showed up and it turned into a bit of a gathering. It was good to catch up with so many people and hear how shit a time they're having too. There are certain people with the same miserable attitude to me and so I always welcome their agreement. A load of us headed up to another bar where comics hang out. I didn't stay in there long as it was busy, a wanted to sit down and I was being ignored in the trusty rape-proof jacket. I went outside for a fag and chatted to a few other comics about our jobs and missing our partners/kids/families. I thought that the whole festival was going to be more like that. I stayed too long though.


I headed off, watched six police tackle a drunken yob to the floor and arrest him as he was shouting, "You've broken my fucking shoulder." All this in the medieval-themed beer garden, you know how I feel about medieval-themed anything. I bumped into Marc Small, an ex-boyfriend of my sister who is doing a play and we chatted and laughed for a while.


And then I got home. The kettle is broken which is bad fucking new. I need my tea in the morning else I get a little bit shitty. How does a kettle break? Stupid bloody student digs.


Jon is arriving at 18.23 tomorrow. He has promised to help me flyer and be my security guard for Saturday night's Gagstro. I'm going to be dragging him round shows, he better have comfortable shoes.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Day Fourteen: YoYo

I had a wonderful night's sleep last night and slept late. I pottered around the flat for a bit, did someone else's washing, clean the bathroom and kitchen a little and did some washing. I amaze myself at how happy I am to do housework in someone else's house and very reluctant to do my own housework. I think I want people to like me. 


I headed out for a curry lunch at the Mosque Kitchen. It's canteen dining, they have it up here too. I will be going there again. They do force you to have more food than you've asked for. The man behind the counter looked at me with disgust when I insisted that I didn't want a samosa.


Next up was the Daniel Kitson gig. It's not the best I've seen him. Even his banter was thin on the ground. He talked about some ideas that he'd had and made notes to himself like "there's definitely something there." He said that he flicks through the Fringe Guide saying, "that's for cunts, that's for cunts, that's for cunts, that cunt is still doing that when it didn't work last year..." It was very funny. There were a few comics in the room who, in my arrogant opinion, are the cunts he's talking about. 


Josie Long was wonderful, doing a little play about the Brontes in which she plays every part. It was very funny indeed and I'm looking forward to seeing her.


Maz and I then rushed across town for me to open Mae Martin's gig. She had a full house and my stuff went down well. She had a great gig. Everyone was having a good time and I think that Mae was having more fun than anyone. She had a reviewer in from the Gay Times so let's hope that he enjoyed it as much as we all did. Mae loves me because the first time she saw me, I managed to banter with and calm down a couple of drunks at the beginning of a gig. Well, I am good at that.


We had booked tickets for Bob Downe from ITV in the 90s. It was awful. He is an overtly camp Australian who sings songs in a funny way and wears polyester. There were loads of old people there. It reminded me of Barrymore, the old dears laughing at the crass Larry Grayson type jokes. I think Bob would do well at the Slappers gig in the shopping centre.


Onwards to Gagstro. The dreaded Gastro. We had a front row of bankers who were ready and raring to laugh which encouraged the rest of the room. And everyone had a good gig. I did some material and a little bit of banter. We were competing against European football which was fucking noisy but we got through it successfully and got £40 in the bucket - the most we've done.


Up and down, up and down. I don't know what to think of myself. I know what I need to get rid of once I get home, I certainly know that much. If only I had fifteen minutes of "armbands" jokes, I'd be fixed.


Here is a photo of a cat that was meowing and exposing itself outside my window this morning.



Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Day Thirteen: Oh right, the GOOD show was a fluke

The rain came back just in time for me to head over to the Assembly Gardens where I had been invited as a token woman to do a spot at the launch of the Leicester Square New Comedian of the Year. It was in a big top but a small one. A tent essentially. Throughout the gig, you could hear the rain hitting the roof and the audience were sat on cushioned benches. The floor was made of slats of wood which I don't like. I've always been fearful of being able to see beneath. As a kid, I thought that I would fall through the railway bridge steps. I never did.

The audience were bored by the time I'd come on and I didn't have a great one. I was performing in front of some big acts who I'd like to have seen me have a good gig - and there's you thinking that it's about the audience, not about what other comics think of you. Wrong.

I headed off to Slappers and flyered for a bit. I actually did it with some enthusiasm today and we had a fuller room than we've ever had. There were a bunch of Edinburgh ladies in who were up for laughing and I didn't have too bad a gig there. Possibly the best I've had there so far (that's not saying much in that room). Darren Walsh did really well too. He's using Slappers to try new stuff rather than his own gig (fair enough).


Tagline: There are three punchlines in this photo of Darren, can you spot them?

Maz arrived after Slappers and we walked down to Pleasance to see David O'Doherty who was brilliant. I was quite sleepy and drifted off a few times but he had some brilliant stuff. I'm hardly ever a punter these days and am always watching the styles, material, timing and themes of pro comics and relating them to what I do. There is absolutely no use in comparing myself to anyone, from the new comer doing their first gig all the way up to Izzard and Pryor. But I find it interesting. 

We then headed down to Gagstro reluctantly. Maz flyered for us and got a few people in. The bar was quiet despite football being on. It was ANOTHER typical Gagstro. Quiet audience just staring, Mark getting angry and me bumbling around trying to get laughs out of talking to them. They were pretty unresponsive. One guy walked out because (Mark found out later) I had told off the other acts for talking at the back: "You shouldn't slag the other acts off." What does he fucking know eh? 

Once again, I struggled through. I asked them if they wanted me to do some material a few times to which they all said yes. I then started and stopped a few times just because it was hopeless. Someone from the crowd ("crowd" is an optimistic word at best) said that the best thing they saw was someone that clashes with our show, I called it and said that we would clash every day except Mondays. 

"Why not Mondays?" said someone.
"Because of the volume of the laughter, for the protection of our ears, we have to take one day off in seven. Any more questions." That got a laugh as did my bankers.

Our guest, Kishore didn't do badly. He didn't refer to the quietness at all. I wondered if that was the best thing to do or not. Really, I call it because I feel awkward. There is the possibility that these people were enjoying it but just weren't laughing and so to call it is confusing for them. I need to speak to someone more experienced about that really. 

Before I talk about me more, I went to see Nellie Wight's One Handed Show, the History of Pornography. No need to ask what it's about. It was 40 minutes long, it was interesting and funny and there were only four of us in the audience. There was more laughter from this audience than one three or four times the size at Gagstro. The four of us and Nellie had a lovely chat afterwards about porn and other fringe shows and what makes someone choose what shows to go to. That was a great hour to spend. 

So, they say that Edinburgh will make you or break you. I feel more of the latter. Dying on a daily basis is hardly esteem-building stuff. But maybe I need to be broken so I can build something else. Maybe it's time to put everything on the back-burner and start afresh. That's what Mark Stephenson did last year after Edinburgh.

All I know is that I'm happy to have buddies around at the moment and I'm happy to be seeing a load of good stuff. Tomorrow is Kitson and I may be reviewed by the Gay Times. I know, right?

Tagline: Happy birthday to the cutest flat mate ever! Romesh's kid, Theo is ad.dor.a.ble.