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Thursday 17th May 2012

My diet is progressing well - I have pretty much kept it up for the last four weeks and I've lost about 3kg (and I am 5kg lighter than I was at the start of the year). That's fairly steady weight loss of a pound or two a week and there's been a few days where things have plateaued or even inexplicably gone upwards again, but I am pleased that it's working and that I don't really feel like I am on a diet. I am hoping to lose another 3kg before Edinburgh, though I am really doing this for the sake of my health now, rather than vanity (after all what's the point in looking good now that I am married - there is NO point). I feel fairly positive that I can keep this going and maybe this will be the time that I lose weight and manage to keep it off. You never know. (You do know. I won't)
Losing weight all comes down to patience, not demanding instantaneous results, keeping track of what you eat and understanding that you need to burn off more calories than you consume. It's amazingly simple, and staggering that there is a multi-billion pound diet industry. But I can't really get on my high horse and start knitting yoghurt here (unless the yoghurt is low fat or is guaranteed not to splash into my mouth) because I find it a lot easier to put weight on than I do losing it).
But my body and brain are trying to remind me of how old I am. I have been incredibly weary and sluggish this week and it's because I haven't had a proper day off of doing nothing for a while. I overexerted myself at the weekend by watching football and going on the swings and hiding in a wardrobe, when I could really have done with getting some sleep before the onslaught of gigs I have stupidly taken on. I need to get a bit more selective and have the ability to say no, though even tonight I stepped in at the last minute to help a comedy club that had lost its headliner. I am in many ways an idiot. An attention seeking idiot who will die falling asleep at the wheel of his car.
And I hadn't lolled around all day either, with a visit to the gym, a supermarket shop, a Metro article to write (about Talking Cock being censored in the Fringe programme - it'll be interesting to see if the Metro censor the name as well) and the stress of trying to work up a sketch for me and Sally Phillips to do at the big SCOPE gig at the Hammersmith Apollo on Sunday. We were planning on doing the Girl Who Smelt of Spam, but I had neglected to find someone to play the Stewart Lee role, but then I thought maybe we could do something with the driving instructor. In the end I think we're going for the former (and I found someone to step into the tiny shoes of Stewart Lee - the actor Kevin Eldon). If you want to see this childish but rather amusing sketch (along with some amazing other acts) then get your tickets here.
I think it's hard to spot the funny when I'm this tired and busy - I think things might be different if we were in our house, but I am feeling a bit displaced and hemmed in and the commuting has been getting to me when I have to do it every day. But there's plenty to like about Harpenden. Today I became fascinated by looking at all the really old people and trying to imagine what they looked like when they were young. I found it totally impossible, like old people are a different species to everyone else. I couldn't even picture them as people in their forties, full of comparative youth and vigour or how their faces would have looked then. I find it hard enough to recognise myself in the mirror these days and I've had time to get used to the cruel sculptor's chisel of age, though to be fair it's more like the sculptor has tried to stick some extra bits of clay on to his perfect marble statue, rather than he's taken anything off. Or more accurately we're all statues that have stayed out too long in the park with no one to tend to us and we're coated in bird shit, morphing us into unrecognisable grey blasphemies of ourselves.
I find it hard to imagine a time when I will be 70 or 80 and I wonder if the people who crossed slowly on the zebra crossing today gave it much thought. It's odd because I can just about look at young people and imagine them old, but just like the ageing process itself, I can't reverse it and unbend and tighten up the old to make them young again.
To think that that old fella in the cardigan walking painfully down the street was once a jack the lad who didn't give a fuck about old people or give them a second thought.
Why God, why did you make things so? How could an eternal and unchanging and unageing being even think up such an idea? Why curse us in a way that you could never be cursed? Even if you make us young again in Heaven and able to communicate ineffectually with certain horrible living idiots - why invent this? How did it even cross your mind to be so cruel? You have a twisted sense of humour, oh Lord, like a sort of indestructible and potent Frankie Boyle. Can perfection create such imperfection? Did the devil secretly change your blueprints? Cos that seems like a convenient excuse to me. You knew what you were up to. But why? Why can't we live forever?
I still can't seriously imagine me ever being that old, even as I career headlong towards that my destiny, blindly pretending I am somehow immune. Perhaps if scientists pull their finger out a bit I might have a robot body by the time I'm that age or be able to take a pill that makes me 25 forever. I am going to assume so. So that means I can feel sorry for the old and bent without ever having to contemplate that if I am not lucky enough to fall asleep on the M1 then I too will one day be a crumbling marble statue, covered in bird shit, cursing God for making me this way and not even being prepared to wipe the bird shit off.


RHLSTP #3 (recorded last Monday) with the always entertaining Francesca Martinez is now up on iTunes and at The British Comedy Guide. Two of the remaining show are already sold out but there are tickets to see Charlie Higson next Monday and Nick Frost and new guest David Baddiel on 11th June and a few to see Armando Iannucci and Graham Linehan on 25th June. Get them while you can here.

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My new stand up show, Lord of the Dance Settee will be on at the George Sq Theatre at 10.45pm every night of the Edinburgh Fringe Buy tickets here.
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