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Thursday, September 25

Huh? Everything?

A while ago, I tried to write a song that had everything. I liked the idea of a totally overproduced song which straddled different styles, but, more importantly, had a load of musical tricks in it This display of gluttony is very me. Indeed, I think I'm leading a very over-crowded life, a result of trying to pack everything in. And so, I find myself, sitting writing late at night, with a myriad of things I could possibly say and practically no time in which to say it.

I'll try to recount the course of today's events, but it's not going to make sense.

Firstly, I woke up to ring the Doctor to see if I could get an appointment with him for this morning. I was told that I couldn't. They don't allow advance bookings, so you have to ring in early to get an appointment, which is a bit of a lottery. I also had an appointment at the same venue, already booked, for an eye screening test. So, even though I couldn't have an appointment with the Doctor, I still got dressed and went to the surgery for an appointment for other purposes.

The eye screening is a side-effect of having been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This, in turn, is only an academic diagnosis. To the best of my knowledge, though I had a phase where I was deeply out of control of my blood sugar and cholesterol, I have since improved significantly, owing to a lot of weightloss. I've been pretty much the right side of problems for a few years, especially in the last year.

Anyway, the problem with the diabetic screening treatment in Berkshire (this already sounds like a big discussion) is how disjointed it is. I have to go to the hospital for a blood test, the results of which are sent to the GP. I have to go to the doctor's surgery for a retina photograph, the results of which are not even calculated until the laptop is returned to the hospital where someone decides whether I can see or not and, if I can't, contacts me urgently, where they leave it about 3 months if they're happy. For the general diabetic health check, I have to see the nurse at the GP's surgery. None of this joins up.

I didn't realise how lucky I was in Newcastle when I went to a clinic which saw me, did all the tests in one sequence, and could bloody well interpret the results of a photograph when it came on the screen. Well, really! It's stupid to have to go to the hospital for a blood test, too, when the nurse could take bloods and drop them off.

I've had better. That's all I'm saying. I don't think health care should be a safari.

Anyway, my experience in Newcastle had fogged my vision over what happens after eye drops. Oh the irony. The eye drops dilute the retina and last a couple of hours. Usually, I had the rest of the battery of tests to undertake before I was let out, so I didn't recall that it was unsafe to drive after the retina photo. I realised it today and had to walk to the bus and then take a bus and train to work, organising a lift for after work so I could pick up my car and drive to my gig this evening.

It was a bit of a to do, to be honest. However, I did get to listen to Amy Winehouse on my mp3 player as the train took me to work. I also got to find out what it would feel like to be old and long-sighted, as my close-up vision was totally fogged. I was also wearing my sunglasses to reduce eye strain.

After my vision cleared and I could stop squinting at the screen, the work day progressed apace and it was suddenly time for home. Then it was time for driving to the gig. I left the breadmaker with a payload of wholemeal bread to sort out for me.

I arrived at a student union in Northampton to be surrounded by kids. These people weren't all born in the 80's. In fact, some of them were born deeply into the 90's. That's just wrong. Plain wrong.

The gig was good fun, though. The audience were spirited and I did quite well with them for much of my set, though it started to get a bit patchy and low-energy towards the end. I overran too, and ended up finishing sooner than I would have liked. If I'd realised how close to finishing I was, I would have done something different to end on. Never mind. It was good fun.

Home involved another 90 minute drive along the A43 and M40 (I didn't mention the roads for the outward drive so as not to overexite you, dear reader). I chatted along the way. I had a whispered chat with my lady friend - she was whispering not to wake anyone up, I was whispering in sympathy. I also had a chat with a fellow comedy person about the possibility of a show we might write.

All was well.

So, quite an action packed day.

I arrived home to find my breadmaker had delivered the goods. That's what made me feel so much older than the students in the student union. I knew they were thinking about either going out to another night out, or possibly going back to their room, their laptop and their iPod. I knew I was going back home to my breadmaker and a fresh loaf. That's a big difference in outlook, really.

But I've not told you other comedy news today. It looks like the sketch show I worked with in Edinburgh will also be running in London in November. Adverts to follow.

Plus, my experience listening to Amy Winehouse on the train must have inspired me. I've written a song about her undocumented love of toast. It makes me laugh.

That's all for now.

Something of an everything day, I'm sure you'll agree.


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