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Wednesday 17th March 2010

I popped into Chorley this morning to pay my charity money into the bank. The shopping centre seemed to smell like a dirty crotch, but that might have been me. I hadn't had a shower yet because I was planning on exercising later. But I didn't think my own crotch was dirty enough to have created such a cloud of stink, so I am still pretty sure this is just how Chorley smells.
But the fact that the town smells like smegma only makes it more remarkable that they have such a lovely and well attended theatre. Though I do wonder if maybe the Chorleyians only go in there as it's the only place in Chorley that doesn't smell of unclean privates.
Kendal had been a late addition to the tour and I had um-ed and ah-ed about taking the gig because it was an all too rare day off in the schedule and also Thursday's gig is in Aldershot. It also had the psychological disadvantage of being an hour in the wrong direction. I would be backing up on myself. I remember last year at the similar point in the tour the zig-zagging back and forth was quite dispiriting. On this tour things have largely been quite civilised and there have been relatively few long drives. And one has to accept with a tour that the theatre is not always going to be free on the exact night that is convenient for me. I figured that even if I took the day off I would be spending most of it driving home from Chorley, so I might as well do Kendal and have the long drive on a working day. I suppose we will only find out tomorrow if I made the right choice.
The stink of Chorley propelled me at some speed towards the beautiful Lake District (which smelled of sheep shit, you can't have everything - I think that as I am getting older my sense of smell is becoming more acute for acrid and unpleasant odours. Is that normal?)
I spoke to my girlfriend briefly on the phone on one of the rare moments when I found I had a signal. "Where are you?" she asked.
"In Kendal," I told her.
"You should read your Kindle while you're there," she said without missing a beat. She is a lot funnier than me, as time will tell.
"Reading my Kindle in Kendal, yes you're right."
I had some time to potter around town (and the two hour walk became my exercise in the end). The locals treated me with amused bemusement, two sixth form girls laughing at me quite openly and without fear in Costa coffee.
Later as I left the hotel for the gig a man held the door open for me and then when I was just two steps onwards started laughing and loudly telling the women he was with "It's Hitler. Hitler. Ha ha."
I am still surprised that people are so brazen and rude. I actually like it. Both occasions just made me laugh, but part of me wonders what would have happened if I had spun round and confronted the man.
He would probably have just laughed more.
Luckily I am a benign Hitler.
I was not the only show on at the Brewery Arts Centre tonight. Some local kids were putting on a production of Billy Elliot. But it led to some fun in my show when I was able to say, "I don't know if there are any paedophiles in tonight. To be honest probably not, they'll all be in watching Billy Elliot." It's fun when these incorporations occur to me almost exactly as I say them. But I still wasn't feeling quite as sharp and in control as I did in the Perfect Storm that was last night's show. It was fine though.
Back in my hotel room I couldn't quite believe that tomorrow night I will be in my own bed. This little run away from home has passed quickly for me and I have got used to the solitary existence and it hasn't got to me too much. Though tonight weirdly I tossed and turned in bed and couldn't get to sleep feeling slight existential dread. Strange it should come now when home and my funny girlfriend are so close, though maybe also understandable.
When I did drift off to sleep I managed to wake myself up with my own snoring. At least I presume it was me. There was some odd sound that roused me from my slumbers. So unless someone else had crept in and was sleeping in my bed then I have to assume it was me. I managed to spook myself with the strangeness of that and then couldn't sleep for another hour.
Nearly home now.

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