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Monday, November 19

Start As You Mean To Go On

Having had my early start and then gotten a rocket up the arse of the house, and then had some preparation and some important meetings to attend, it was time to get on with the out-of-work-time events.

I left the office in time to get stuck in a huge amount of rainy traffic hell. It was 5.30 when I left and I had two hours to get to a gig in Islington. That's possible. It's harder when the traffic is nose to tail before you even get to the first official traffic jam spot. They're not official spots, but they're consistent and I know where they are. The broken down lorry at the roundabout we were heading to, was not a helpful addition to the road conditions.

I arrived at home much later than I'm comfortable arriving. The rain was lashing down. I couldn't walk to the station - I'd get soaked. I couldn't drive to the station, the traffic was too bad. The bus would take too long. I really needed to get a 6.30 train to be in London for 7 to get to the venue for 7.30.

I hit on the master plan. I'd cycle, with my guitar-bag, which doubles as a ruck-sack, on my back. I would get wet going to the station, but I would not mind being wet on the train. I would get wetter going to the venue, but... the clever bit... I would only get wet in my cycling clothes. If I carried a towel and a change of clothes, I would be able to perform in a dry way when I arrived.

This proved to be a workable plan and I did indeed blast my way through the rain to a train, through more rain at the other end, to a venue and then get dried off after my sound check. As you can tell, I even made it to the venue on time, despite much stress at the fear I would be late at various stages of the journey. I hadn't bargained on the fact that my guitar bag would be clonking me on the back of the helmet (cycle helmet) for the entire duration of the 11 or so miles I cycled tonight. I also hadn't bargained on my new trainers acting more like sponges than shoes. In fairness, I think a certain percentage of the water was entering the shoes via the special method of sock-osmosis. You're not going to read the phrase sock-osmosis very often.

I gave a very damp-of-foot performance, discovering that my stomach was tense, possibly through pre-gig-stress or cold, and the upper register of my singing voice was not really functioning, probably through cold too. And I was tired. They are the excuses. Having said that, I made the audience laugh and I had a few moments of amusement. It was nowhere near as spontaneous as I had hoped. A little bit of going through the script, rather than making it real, I think. This can happen when you're not feeling incredibly connected to the audience. Given that this was in a theatre with most faces almost totally invisible, and given that I had played the exact opposite scenario the previous night - a well lit pub, with no distinction between act and audience, and many fewer people - well, it's no surprise that I noticed a difference.

Nonetheless, I did the combination of the sort of set that I want to do, and what I thought the room would react to at the time.

That gig is done now.

The return journey was wetter. I chatted to a friend while on the train home, got even wetter between the station and my house and then took a shower to dry off. Pretty much.

A small food issue occurred today. I had a fairly modest lunch - salad and a banana, and then I didn't get anything to eat after. I'm exhausted and cold and I can't be going out to get food. There may be a can of soup somewhere in the house, but I'm not really going to go looking for it. So, I'll sleep hungry tonight. I had a litre of smoothie, I'm going to survive the night.

I'm not starving myself to make a point. Honest.

I should probably eat something.

But first, I shall sleep, perchance to misquote shakespeare in my dreams. The start of a typical week for me, methinks.


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