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Friday 19th March 2010

It was something of a treat to wake up in my own bed, though annoyingly I was up by 9 when a lie-in would have been nice (and yes, for some of you 9 o clock is a lie in, I know, but I work nights). It was actually something of a pleasure to potter round the house and do bits of admin without having to dash off to the next hotel and venue. Of course I had a gig (I have to wait until Monday until my much needed day off), but it was in Fareham which was only an hour and a half away. I even made it down to the gym for a brief work out.
After my shower I went to dry my hair and was surprised to see that someone had left one of the other hairdryers running and placed it inside their damp swimming trunks. This seemed a profligate way of getting bone dry trunks. There is one of those spinner machines in the changing room which gets most of the damp out of your swimming costume, but whoever had left this hair dryer running obviously felt that it was important that his trunks were as dry as humanly possible, whatever energy reserves that would use up. And he wasn't even polite enough to stay and dry the trunks himself, but was leaving them on the counter. The lazy, wasteful man. When I turned on my dryer the opposing currents of air somehow caused the trunks to fall off the dryer and on to the floor. I was happy about that, even if it was an accident and left them there. Whoever it was who had set up this arrangement was a buffoon and deserved to get dusty swimming pants as a result. I was doubly pleased as I realised that this was an excellent "Herring Rules" for our 6Music show - the inappropriate use of gym hair dryers (I also had the story from a few years back of the guy drying his entire body with a hair dryer). It's getting tough to think of those - and our run has now been extended until the end of May at least (which is of course good news for all but the most devoted of Adam and Joe fans).
The man turned up and picked up his trunks. I didn't apologise or let him know that this was partly my fault. Because it was entirely his fault for being a twat anyway. He might have burned the gym down.
Which would at least have been a good excuse for me not to go.
On leaving the gym a man cycled past me and I noticed that he was wearing cycle clips on his jeans, but had no helmet. It was good to see he cared more about his trousers than his brains. It's rare you see cycle clips these days and it's odd to think that someone would choose to get them rather than a helmet, but when I tweeted about it I got as many remarks saying men's brains are in their trousers as I did from people denying that helmets are of any use in an accident. Personally I would dispute that and think it's worth giving your brain a little extra protection. It's not going to make much difference if a lorry runs over your head, but might just protect you if your head hits the kerb. I don't want to get into a debate about it though, so don't bother emailing me to tell me I'm wrong. I think I will continue to give my head extra protection but remain devil may care about my trouser legs.
Given it was Friday I perhaps left it a little bit late to head to Fareham, leaving the house at 4pm. But my sat nav said I would be there by 5.30 so even with an hour or so of delays I would be fine.
Things seemed pretty clear but I had a Sliding Doors moment at that roundabout where I had to choose between heading directly to the M3 or go on to the M4 and then the M25. Usually I would have chosen the former, but have found the M25 useful and not too clogged up recently and last time I cut through towards Richmond I got stuck for ages. But I regretted my decision straight away, noting that the road on to the M4 looked blocked and the one down to the M3 looked clear. I was thinking of going round the roundabout again to take the more sensible option, but I decided I would be fine.
I was wrong.
This turned out to be the nightmare journey of the week, which is quite a surprise given that there were two that involved over four hours of straight driving. I got trapped on the M25 and on looking up a number to ring to warn of late arrival I noticed that the start time tonight was 7.30 rather than the usual 8pm. I thought I was unlikely to get there in time for the start of the show.
I was feeling super tired and hadn't eaten enough and was zoning in and out a bit. Luckily things suddenly started moving, but I hit more traffic on the M3, and ended up arriving at the venue, flustered and hungry and bursting for the loo at 7.20, carrying my stuff through the waiting crowd.
Amazingly we managed to start by 7.35, and it all went OK, though I felt stressed and had a headache and an annoying drunken woman in the audience was laughing much too loud at the jokes and talking throughout. I tried to get her to shush down a little bit, but with varying amounts of success. After last night I hadn't really needed this additional stress. The rest of the audience were getting annoyed by her and in the end I had to be quite blunt and rude to her. Luckily most of my attempts were amusing and added to the show. But I was slightly thrown off kilter and this isn't really a show that suits constant interruption as the impetus needs to be maintained.
And it was fun when my argument alter-ego go very annoyed with her and the "real" me in the conversation apologised to her for his rudeness.
The drive home was obviously a lot clearer but I was worried about my tiredness and the fact that I had to get up early again and then do another long drive tomorrow night. I have been putting myself through it a bit more than is probably wise and if I can get through this weekend alive I will make sure it never gets quite so relentless again.

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