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Monday, November 29

Well, an interesting layout for this Sunday. I think that I'd spend more of my days like this if it were winter all the time and I didn't have to work.

I woke up early, which is annoying for a Sunday, even more so when the reason for getting out of bed is to stop one's back from hurting. No lying down position seemed comfortable. On the up-side, I didn't waste a moment of the day. I spent a fair amount of it reading. It was probably the reading which had set my back off (that and the tightening of the belt owing to the weight gain), but sitting reading on the sofa didn't seem to cause any problems. Indeed, it was a great way to spend the morning. I didn't eat anything, partaking of the occasional cup of coffee to go with the book.

When hunger eventually set in, I dressed and went to Tesco. I had the idea of buying a cheap toaster. I am toasting a lot at the moment, and the grill is a bit inconvenient. Tesco had their own-brand value toaster, with integrated bun-warmer for under £6. But I wanted to be able to toast two bagels simultaneously and I wasn't certain that the slots would take a half-bagel. So I thought about the four-slice toaster - £13. Then I thought it would take too much space, so perhaps just the nice steel Tesco toaster - £10, but that didn't have an integrated bun warmer. So, perhaps the Breville two-slice toaster - £15, with removable bun warmer. Then I thought that perhaps a bun warmer wasn't as important as toasting the two bagels, in four halves, simultaneously. How about the four slice tefal adjustable toaster with special facilities for bun warming and conditioning the bread, reduced from £40 to £30. Yes. Yes. Yes. No.

I walked away from the toaster section. I only want toast from time to time and the grill works perfectly well. What's the point of wasting money on machine which I've nowhere to keep in the kitchen - there's not a hell of a lot of work surface in my kitchen.

Wisdom prevailed.

I bought a notepad £1.77 - spiral bound, hardback, A5. Rock!

Back home, I finished my book - The Blue Nowhere, Jeffery Deaver - and copied various notes from other notepads into the new notepad. Henceforth, this shall be known as my joke book. It's a list of my jokes. It's only two pages' worth. Maybe 40-50 minutes' material, though. Some of it probably shouldn't ever be used.

I left the house and headed to Sunderland at around 5.40. I had to meet two students at 6.30 at the venue. They were going to interview me for their radio-production project. I arrived at the venue virtually on time, having been stuck in traffic around Gateshead, and having done a dodgy U-turn on a strange bit of Sunderland street, in front of a Police Van. I'm pretty certain that I drove illegally in a bus lane in plain sight of the Police, but perhaps they didn't care.

Arriving at the venue, I met quickly with the interviewers and managed to fend off a bizarre drunken performance poet. We did our interview and the poet collared us just as he left the place. "Can I just say something?" he begged. I let him, since he was going to do so whether with or without my blessing. With seemed the better of two evils. He then launched into a hum-drum monologue about a cocktail party, bristling with ill-conceived half rhymes and peppered with misogyny. Well done Sunderland.

The gig followed and went ok for me. The audience seemed to get enough from it. The comedians had their work cut out for them, mind. Part of the problem is the shape of the room. Part of the problem was that we kept the audience waiting until 20 minutes after the billed start time before the P.A. system was even installed, starting 30 minutes late and with nothing more than the light of a 40 watt desk-lamp for illumination. That's showbiz.

I did ok. I didn't lose my confidence, though I did lose a few too many punchlines and also my train of thought. It took me a while to get going. It's amazing how quickly one becomes rusty.

My next gig is this time next week. Same sort of thing. I'll find a bit more time to prepare.

Right - off to find another book to read. Two books complete in as many days. I like reading.

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