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Thursday, March 10

As with many of the days I spend in the UK, I managed to pack a lot into this one. Since I was on holiday from work, perhaps it is good that I made the most of the day in question. Since I was also at risk of falling asleep if left to find the tiredness and wallow in it, it was also probably best that I kept moving... and moving did I keep. Oh yeah.

Off the plane, I made my second attempt at spot-your-own-baggage-and-then-fail-because-you're-a-moron. I succeeded in the game. I then played the find-your-baggage-was-there-all-along game and left a winner. I'm such a loser. I shall be marking my bags a lot more carefully in future. I think a big silver spray-painted emblem which reads "This is your bag, don't ignore it big boy" may help. Or perhaps I'll get a bag which is not a black faceless generic copy of most travel cases on the market.

Anyway, out of the terminal, I played a game of "where's the ticket machine for the car park" - the answer was "back in the terminal". I then paid for my ticket. They have a special system. The price is - "about £40" - but it goes up by about 50p per day once they have got to "about £40". So everyone pays pretty much the same, but people who have been there for only a few days get to feel that it was quite steep.

I paid and retrieved my car. I was glad to see it. Once therein, I called a certain person and we chatted as I found my way out of the car park and then onto the various roads that lead to Leeds. I was off to see the folks - also known as "The olds", "Les Parents" and, surprisingly, Mr and Mrs Frieze. Spot the family resemblance. We all have the same surname. Coincidence or what!? It must be something in genetics.

The day in Leeds trotted along gracefully and I was due to leave by mid-afternoon in order to get to Liverpool for the gig which I'd been prompted about on Monday while I was Central Parking around the place... well, I was wandering nonchalantly through Central Park at the time. It was a few seconds before I encountered a woman practicing some roller skating. I didn't mention that in Monday's post, but here it is now, in all of its glory, unlocking itself as a nugget of memory which is true but has no great meaning in the grand scheme of things. She seemed a good skater and was quite graceful in her skating. I couldn't help wonder why she was doing it. Perhaps she was going to audition for Starlight Express at some point? Perhaps not... not everyone turns everything into a musical.

Anyway, I left Leeds on time and, with virtual telephone company, travelled to my gig. They may have felt the need to remind me of my commitment to it, but I'd long-since planned the route, with the aid of the internet, and already had directions sitting in my car, ready to go. These directions took me to within 2 minutes' walk of the gig, but I had no idea of exactly where it was. It's always the last half mile that's the hard bit (unless you know what you're doing, in which case, the last half mile's the easy bit).

Anyway, I made it to the gig and was, overall, treated very nicely by the folks in Liverpool. The gig organisers were efficient and friendly. My soundcheck when well. The audience reaction was pretty good. I stumbled over a few words here and there, which isn't a great surprise, since I was jet-lagged and a half. I don't think it got too much in the way. I enjoyed standing on the stage and felt like the room were listening.

As a bonus, I got to see a headliner I've not seen before, and he did a very good job on the room. It was a good night of comedy.

As if my virtual travel companion hadn't had enough of me, I headed to Newcastle from Liverpool in conversational company and got myself to bed at an unreasonable, but not ludicrous hour. The jet-lag hadn't beaten me. I'd survived my bizarred merged two-country two-day Wednesday/Thursday. I'd done a reasonable gig, and I'd even received a call that indicated that the gig I'd previously done at the Comedy Store, before I left for the U.S., had gone well enough for me to get an invitation to go and do another. As a bonus, the person I was speaking to on the telephone was due to visit me the following day in Newcastle. All I had to do was go to sleep, wake up, go to work and all would be sorted. I'd survived the hard part and I'd returned home intact.


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