The venue was the labour club in Northampton, which threatened to have no nearby parking, which was mental. However, a bit of trailing around the streets which seemed to fit the word "North" in the name of the place, though it's fairly southern to my "born in Yorkshire" viewpoint, and I found a parking space and went into the venue.
I went through the usual routine. It's pretty much the same thing every time. There's a change of trousers. There's a diet coke to be bought. A guitar is either tuned, or left at "probably sounds ok". There's some faffing with a jack lead. Basically, the ritual unfolds in some sort of order.
Before I go on (and sometimes after) some people go onto the stage and try to interact with the group mind. I stand around, try to enjoy the entertainment, and get a feel for who the group is and what I'm going to have to do to entertain them. Then I go onto the stage and wing it. That's the thing. I wing it. Yet, I also pretty much do the same old hoohah each time. Somehow, though, I try to convince myself that I'm making it up as I go along. This is especially believable with some of the routines where I can't actually remember the words and so have to think about what I'm saying. I know what I'm meant to be saying, but getting the words out accurately is demanding and so, and this is the good bit, it keeps me in the moment.
I had a nice time tonight. There was a guy filming it, so there may be some clips I can use on the net. There was a spirited audience, and that always helps. Then there was me.
I'm not 100% well. At the moment, my cold has blocked my nose and reduced my lung capacity a little. The singing is just about ok, but my voice is getting more tender. I have a nice throat thing going on, which sounds gruff and sexy, but it's not really how I'm meant to sound. I need to recover a bit. Another late night is probably not the cure...
But I can't help it. Even if I'd gotten home at 11, I'd still be up now. This is where my body clock is adjusted and I can't stop myself from doing stuff at night. Plus, I rather like driving about the place being a silly ass. I rather like the bizarre life I lead. So, I'll take my Berocca and Echinacea - despite a recent barrage of articles suggesting that they're just placebos (I know they're placebos, that's why I'm taking them) and I'll plough on through. Ploughing on through is what I'm good at. I should have been a plough-on-through-man. I could have invented a special sort of lunch with chutney, cheese, and a lot of wasted diesel.
This is how my life ticks on by, and it's not a bad life.
But there are darker moments. I was convinced that I was about to hit a deer or some such on the road. I was looking at my sat nav - momentarily - and when I returned my eyes to the road, where they really do live while I'm driving, I saw a yellowy beige object wibbly wobbling itself around the right of my car. I instinctively swerved to the left, but simultaneously, my instinct not to run out of road kicked in, and I started to track my road position and be prepared to take the hit on the right if I had to steer back.
Nothing hit anything.
I got a shot of adrenaline and a sense of wondering what it was that I dodged, but I have no idea and no evidence of what it could have been. In fairness to me, I doubt I would have had any notice of whatever it was since I think my eyes returned to the road before the headlights of my car picked out this figure... which might have been a bit of cloth blowing down the road. Who knows?
It's a good journey if you can safely walk out of the car at its end. I'm fine and I've had a good night. That's the result of all my post-work behaviour. I reckon I'm getting good value out of life at the moment.