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Thursday, October 23

Not Early, Earls Court

There is a time for going to gigs and that time should not be "a bit late". However, work will demand its share of my time, and I always put the gig second. I had a deadline to arrive at the gig by 7.30, though, and things were cutting rather fine.

Snarled up in traffic, way off the intended location of Stockwell, where I might pick up the Northern Line to go to Charing Cross, I gave up and discovered some miraculous free parking in Earl's Court. I hot-footed it to the tube, having had a relatively pleasant, though not entirely unstressful journey thus far. The stress was from the lateness, the pleasantness was from catching up with a friend in Edinburgh while doing it - the wonders of the handsfree kit.

But, as is often the case, the timeline at the actual gig is running in a different way to the one on the journey there. I arrived all harried and feeling late to find I was in plenty of time and could relax and get set up. The audience were a private party - a bunch of bankers, solicitors and real-estate agents (all that made up estate is so passé), all of whom wanted some comedians to cheer them while they tried to forget about the total collapse of the western money markets. Cheery cheery cheeryness.

It was actually an okay gig if you ignore the bizarre sound problems and the slightly awkward way the audience sometimes held back and sometimes tried to push a laugh out. Such is the nature of polite company. I felt a bit foolish doing my usual brand of shite in front of a room full of people in suits. However, there were some nice moments, and there's one of my new lines which I'm very proud of... even in intelligent company.

I left the gig fairly early and returned to Earl's Court. I temporarily forgot the way back to the car, but good old Google Maps, along with a vaguely GPS aware phone (I'm told you can upgrade it so it is totally GPS aware) meant it didn't take long to find the car again. Then I headed back to Reading.

With such an early night return, you'd think I'd maybe go to bed early, or even get some extra painting done. No, not me. I went to Tesco - the beacon of consumerism in a dark economical climate. I had a massive shopping list in my head of things to get for the cooking I planned for the weekend. In fact, on the way to the Tesco, a friend called and, after I'd guessed the solution to his broadband problem - a very accurate series of guesses, involving going to the exact options that were wrong and fixing them - he and I then guessed a recipe together. Though I don't normally cook, or even buy the sort of food that could be classed as ingredients, I like the occasional forays into home economics and this weekend had a particularly important recipe to be tried, one which I've made twice before, one as the principal chef. Last time I made it it was singularly not appreciated, but I decided to try it again, as I concluded that it wasn't appreciated owing to the tastes of the other person, rather than the quality of my catering.

And this is how a Thursday night can pan out. Running a full trolley's worth of goods through the self-service while people tut behind you and the woman has to intervene every so often. Whatever happened to the teamwork where she beeps it and I pack it? Not at the late-night Tesco, apparently? It's self-service or die.

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