No hangover? Finally I caught a break. Mind you I tried to go for a run before lunch and only got about half a mile. Hopefully I can turn it round and return to the glory days. I am certainly a lot less tired than I was at the weekend.
I gave up halfway down Hammersmith Grove and popped into a cafe. It’s rather a well-to-do little enclave and this particular shop and the restaurant next to it has been through a few different incarnations in its attempt to wheedle money out of the posh, rich locals. It’s been a delicatessen and attempted to sell high-end groceries, but now it’s pegged back to be more of a wooden table cafe for the upper middle classes, selling some salads and expensive organic biscuits, with ironic retro white board signs giving the prices behind the counter. If I had had two minutes to write a sketch for a terrible Radio 4 topical show about the kind of people I imagined would come in here I might have come up with a couple who were slightly less stereotypically posh idiots than the pair at the counter. They were buying wine and talking about their children who again might have been named via a Radio 4 sketch generator and bumbling along with all the casual entitlement and lack of self-awareness that you would imagine (if you were a hack satirist) and talking in unashamedly plummy tones and generally bumbling around. I didn’t think people like this really existed. I just sat back and watched them and the most remarkable thing about them was that they weren’t even remotely embarrassed to be the people they were. I spend my whole life being embarrassed by who I am and I am only a bit of a dick. So how could these people not even care about how other people perceived them? or worse assume that others were looking at them and aspiring to be them?
I should be used to it as at University I was surrounded by people filled with the self-belief that public school drums into you, whilst I assumed I was there by some kind of error and hoped no one would spot that and send me home.
I don’t mind people having money. I don’t even mind people sending their kids to public school. I mean why wouldn’t you if you could afford it? It gives them a huge advantage in life. And I quite like drinking in stupid posh cafes where a pack of biscuits costs £6. But at least I know these things are stupid and they should be done shamefully in private.
I suppose this was all in sharper focus after seeing Boy last night and thinking of how different this affluent world is and how what I was looking at could equally be a play (though admittedly a less ethnically diverse one) highlighting the injustices of society.
At least be ashamed of your good fortune. Or thankful. Just a little bit.
Three more gigs in April and then just nine more gigs on this tour. Cheltenham tonight, which I thought might sell out, but we didn’t quite get there. But I had fun with the crowd back in the Pillar Room as usual, with its inconvenient pillars that block the sight lines for a few random audience members. I flicked my Vs at the people who couldn’t see and then looked round at them and gave them the thumbs up. The larger town hall room stood empty next door. Will I ever be upgraded (I have a feeling I might have been in there once)? Unusually for a town I have come back to many times the level of support in Cheltenham has stayed more or less constant. I really like it here and the voice in my head had some fun taking that particular routine in an inappropriate direction by saying how much child murder would appeal to the people of Gloucester. Anyway, I am back in town in September for one of my first “The Best” shows. And there won’t be a pillar in sight.