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Sunday 2nd March 2014


I wasn't in the highest of hopes that I would do a good show tonight. I was feeling very tired and run down. I'd woken up with a bit of a sore throat and a headache, but nonetheless decided I needed to go for a run to make up for a late night sandwich and whisky that I'd had last night.  The cold rain was again smacking me in my stupid face. I've got a slightly niggling pain in my foot, which I can usually run off, but it got bad enough that I had to walk the last half mile home. And on top of all that the skin around one of my finger nails has got infected and really hurts. All in all I felt the kind of constant discontent and discomfort that I imagine accompanies you all the time when you are old. And then I realised that I am old and that maybe it's going to be like this all the time from now on.

But I was only irked by all this. I'd been out for lunch with my family and as I left realised that I had to give up the rest of my Sunday for work, but what mainly struck me is how I never really think of what I do as a job. Other people might relish the chance to escape their workplace at the weekend, but for me (as much as I miss my wife and cats), my job is something I would do for fun Especially when people are coming to see me. I am a very lucky man.

I then got caught in the rain again when I went to buy a sandwich for my dinner, finding a ridiculously circuitous route to the shopping centre in a city that I should know better than this. Bristol also seems to specialise in those booby trap loose paving stones that shift to squirt cold rain water all over your shoes. It happened to me four times in a 20 minute walk. By the time I was back in my dressing room drying myself with my jumper I was really wishing I could lie down and sleep for four hours, but I had an interview with some local students booked in. Oh and also a show.

I had been surprised how well I had been coping with my work schedule up to now and how sprightly I was, but this weekend it seems, it's begun to take its toll. Perhaps I should have had a tour manager with me for these last few days.

But remarkably I got some energy from somewhere. The interview was a lot of fun (and went on for ages), with two funny and cheeky young lads asking me some good questions. And somehow in spite of my sand-papered throat and rickety joints I gave one of the sharpest performances of the show for a while. The Lanterns at the Colston Hall doesn't quite have the atmosphere of the Tobacco Factory (where it sometimes feels as if the audience are about to tumble on to the stage), but we had a good time tonight.

By the end of the drive home, unloading the car and putting out the bins I was pretty much ready to drop. I ached all over and my brain was in need of a reboot. But I was home in bed with my wife and a Lemsip Max. I'd complain that I have to get up and do loads of work tomorrow, but my job will be to spend two or three hours chatting with Alexei Sayle and Greg Davies. So yeah, poor, poison fingered me. I can probably make my finger travel through time to an era where they can cure it immediately (it might be 2014 but I don't have the time or the compunction to go to the doctors).

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