The truth is that the random affection of a bunch of strangers can be very very helpful. I also knew that there was more in life that mattered than these gigs. So, I just went out there looking to have a laugh, and I created much mirth in the process.
The first gig went reasonably well. I did about 30 minutes. Then I headed from Eastwood, Notts, to Mansfield, also Notts. I thought it was Derbyshire. I was wrong.
I did 40 minutes at the second place, slightly confused about how much material I was just repeated from about an hour previously. Still, the audience responded and this emboldened me. I knew I was running late into the night, but I didn't really care. I would be late home anyway. Perhaps 70 minutes' stage time is worth the long drive and the pre-gig stress.
I came home quite happy.