It felt a bit like I was being rebuilt today. Or at least madeover, as I spent the morning at the hygienist (the dental one - I don’t stink) having my teeth overhauled and then after lunch had my first haircut in six months and risked going relatively short and thus removing an unwieldy clump of hair thick enough to stuff a child’s mattress. Then I went shopping for a suit for this year’s Edinburgh show. The 38 inch waist jeans that I bought this time last year have ben hanging off me, but I was still amazed to find out I was comfortably fitting into 34 inch trousers. Now if I can just grow my legs by four inches then I might be able to buy clothes off the rack. And if I can do a similar trick with my penis then I will have a 48inch penis.
Having also shaved off my beard and almost having a jawline again I am looking like a different person. If I was on the run from the police then this would be the perfect disguise. It feels good to be able to see the results of this five and a half months of dieting and exercise. If only I had timed this better and had my hair cut and my teeth cleaned whilst I didn’t have a wedding ring then I am sure my life would have turned out very differently.
Tonight I was gigging in Balham, the part of town that I lived in for most of the 90s and then on til 2003. I experienced an unexpected wave of nostalgia as I drove down the high street, freaked out by both the familiar and the unfamiliar and as I had a little time to kill before the gig I decided to drive up to my old flat for the first time in 11 years. Amazingly I found it slightly difficult to find. I had remembered it being much closer to Cavendish Road than it actually was and I took a right too early and then had to drive around for a bit. Even when I got to the right connecting road I was still unclear of which turn I was meant to take and the end of Cambray Road was not familiar at all. How weird that I could have forgotten. I did remember my address though (though not sure I could do the same with the Balham flat that I had shared with Peter Baynham - where he’d told me that he was delighted that my grandfather was dead). I pulled up outside the house and looked up at my flat. The new owners had sensibly converted the huge attic space into a new room. I should probably have done that. I wondered if the old couple next door who had lived there since the 1950s were still there. I decided not to ring the doorbell to find out.
A few memories were drifting back, but they felt like they were from someone else’s life and in a way I guess they were.
I was delighted to be following Paul Daniels at the Balham Comedy Festival tonight. Coincidentally I had just been enjoying Christina Martin’s blog in which she selects highlights from Daniels’ autobiography. You may recognise Christina’s name from the Viz Letters’ Page, but she also used to be a fabulous stand up comedian (I hope she’ll be back doing more soon) and she does some fantastically funny stuff online. I had hoped to get a photo of myself with Paul, but he slunk off into the night, magically disappearing without coming up to the dressing room, so I didn’t get a chance to brush his inner thigh to see if he would break my finger, or go on a boat trip with him. I did see a bit of his act though and he was very laid back and funny. He was once the biggest star in the country and sometimes it can be difficult to adjust to fame’s fickle finger when it points at someone else (I am guessing, it’s only really managed to flick the Vs at me), but he looked like he was enjoying himself in this medium sized comedy club (the Balham Banana is probably my favourite London venue). The crowd were certainly loving what he was doing. It’s easy to forget what a good comedian he was (and is) because of the magic and Debbie Magee. I hope there is still places that will let me perform when I am his age and an audience that still wants to see me. Otherwise I’ll just have to do my no trousers and pants act on the top deck of a bus.
I had fun with my set, pretty much managing to get through it without really looking at the script for the first time. People liked it.
Not a lot, but they liked it.