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Wednesday, January 30

Double Header

"I know what I'll do" I exclaimed one day at work on the toilet - in my mind at least. "I'll organise a comedian to come to the office and entertain people." This was inspired by a book which we were told to read. There then followed a lot of planning. In the end, I managed to get my comedian to the office. It was Norman Lovett, who I knew as a stand-up before he went into Red Dwarf as the computer - Holly - but who I best know from that role.

I'd gigged with Norman during the fringe, and I had the pleasure of MCing him onto the stage in November, where I asked him if he'd consider doing a work gig. As it happened, he would consider it. So we booked him.

I was worried about a gig in the presence of my work colleagues. I decided to MC it straight, allowing humour to arise if necessary. This proved a formula I was comfortable with. All I had to do was introduce the act, then sit back and worry lest they didn't find him funny. After about 90 seconds I relaxed. This gig was going to fly. The room filled with laughter and the show was great fun to watch. He was doing his Edinburgh Fringe show for us and it was worth watching a second time.

After all was done, I helped pack up and then got my own stuff together and zoomed (legally - I'm not risking my licence for anyone or anything) to Kidderminster where I was due to close a gig.

On the journey, I spoke with a friend whom I've always got time for a long chat with. We set the world to rights as I drove into the heart of the midlands and she wandered over to a shop to buy some snacks. I think my journey was longer, but hers was colder. Mobile phones are ace!

The Kidderminster gig is one I've played before. It's not a paying gig and first time I went there I planned to just try out some new material. However, seeing that crowd made me want to bring out the big guns. So, my last visit there was a highlight. This time I had some new material I wanted to try out and I also wanted to do my usual stuff. When I hit the stage it was quite late. After a 30 minute set, it was 30 minutes later. However, I'd had a really comfortable half hour with the audience, during which I'd first-timed a new song, which I've written and even done a studio recording of, but had never heard an audience react to. Their support made the song work. I guess I'll get to see whether it was a one off when I next try the song.

I had a really good gig and I even listened to the recording of that performance a couple of times on the way home, gleefully recalling some of the stuff that just spilled out of me during the blether I do when I'm off script.

Before I left the venue, the landlord, a very pleasant man, who is a big laugher, and also techs the show, offered me a drink. He knew I was leaving, but was offering me something to take home. A lager, cider, or maybe a glass of whisky with some clingfilm over it. I was touched and agreed to the bottle of Magners. This accompanied me home for later consumption.

What with two gigs and a busy day, I'd not had time for an evening meal. The plan was to get home, park, and then make some food. When I arrived home, though, the parking plan had a problem. The nose-to-tail parking outside my house can make getting into the drive quite tricky. It's even trickier when there is no more than the width of a car between the nose and the tail of the cars covering your drive. With my housemate's help, we proved that neither of our cars could fit through this gap. In the end, we devised a system for driving along the pavement, into the garage, and then reversing into this gap so that one of our cars could get onto the drive. It was very hard work, but both of us got a parking space on site that night. Lucky that he was up, really.

I had my food and I had my cider. Then at a ridiculously late hour, I got to bed. I'd crammed too much in!


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