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Sunday 23rd February 2014

Sunday 23rd February 2014


My first dieting target has been hit. This morning I weighed in at 89.8kg. I have cracked the 90kg barrier. Now to see if I can get that down to 70-something. I do seem to have the necessary determination and staying power this time, so you never know. I'd be pretty happy if I could lose another 5 kilos and maintain that weight, but my mission to prove to the medical establishment how awful I would look at their proposed 72kg might drive me onwards.  Not far off two months in and 5.6kg lighter than I was on January 1st (and 7kg lighter than I was at the doctors in December), if I can keep that up then I could be 80kg by June. We'll see.

I slept in past 10am for the first time for ages and still felt pretty wiped out, but despite my relentless schedule my energy remains high. The wife and I did a five mile run down by the Thames. The river was as low as I've seen it for a while and yet the detritus of the recent high tides was lining the riverside road. I sprinted the last 100 metres, running faster than I probably have in ten years. I can't understand what part of me it is that allows my fitness to slip away after a diet and exercise spurt. It's probably Me4, the self-destructive element of my psyche who hates me and wants me to die. I can't wait until he gets his shot on the snooker board.

Talking of which, long-term fan Andy McH recommended that particular podcast to an American podcast-reviewing podcast and they seemed to like it. Even though they clearly don't know what snooker is (they don't even know how to pronounce it - I love the way she say snucker). The lengthy clip they played (from about 32.30 in) made me laugh a lot, partly because it went on so long and partly because I was imagining the bemused Americans tuning it to this and wondering what they'd make of it. But I don't ever listen back to these and sort of channel them, so don't remember what I say and I really enjoyed it for what it is. Commentator 1 is very sincere and professional and does his best to describe what's going on. My wife, who hates the podcast and thinks (for some reason) that it makes me look genuinely mentally ill, came into the room and was laughing at Commentator 1's disgust at the state of the snooker board (cat-hair needed to be removed) and at the lay-out of the room. She seemed to understand that it was funny that he was appalled by all of this as if none of it was his fault. And yet still she knocked the podcast. I sincerely believe it is the greatest thing I have ever done in comedy. If you don't like it then maybe you should go and try out the safer and more mainstream TV comics like Stewart Lee, who think that 30 or 40 minutes of doing the same thing over and over again is enough. I pity him.

I mean, in many ways I would have liked Andy McH to recommend one of my more accessible podcasts, like RHLSTP, but he knows full well that that wouldn't be as funny a review. If you don't know anything about snooker or me then what would you make of this odyssey? I don't know, but welcome along, new confused US snucker fans.

I went to see some experimental theatre tonight. It was a show about the end of the world and death and angels so in the same ballpark as my latest show, but with less stuff about bumming and wanking, which for me was a disappointment. There was some very fine acting in it, but the script and the direction left me a bit cold most of the time. I was tired from my week and my run and there was a heater under my seat and when one langourous scene was played out in near darkness I almost fell asleep. I feel the fault is within me rather than the play though, this stuff is not really my cup of tea any more. But though some of it washed over me, other bits engaged or made me think. It took place in a cavernous church and there was great use of sound, so it became hard to tell whether there was really a storm or police cars outside, or whether it was all happening inside. At one point, apropos of nothing, I imagined a plane flying through the stained glass window at the end of the church and killing us all. So the Apocalyptic nature of the piece was clearly affecting me one way or the other, though in parts because I was hoping the world might end!

Early on in the play one of the actors snuck up behind me and put some deely-boppers on my head. I kept them on just in case it was intergral to the plot. And then I forgot I was wearing them. After an hour I thought I was probably safe to take them off. They were butterfly wings. I had, perhaps aptly given what I talk about in my show, been turned into a butterfly. The actors became angels too and one of them shouted "We're All Going To Die!"

I was glad I went to see it and enjoyed it more in hindsight than perhaps I had at the time, but in spite of my own experiment in theatre and boredom in my snooker hall I am old now and prefer more story and character with my plays. But like I say, I felt the fault lies with me. I was glad I went. It's great to experience stuff that is outside of your usual remit, even if it doesn't set your world alight (even though the play was partly about the world being set alight). If you don't take leaps into the unknown then how can you discover new things that you might actually love. And I still loved the fact that this weird and esoteric performance was taking place and the way that this working church had been adapted into something new.

How would you react if the world was ending? I fear it might be something that we get to find out for real one way or another.

I had enough calories left to have a pint of beer after the show and opted for a pint of Budvar, one of my favourite lagers. But it turned out to be a beer I'd never had before, Budvar dark, a very tasty stout-like ale. It was enough booze to make me feel happy and though it slightly activated the sectors of my brain that crave more drink I was happy to leave it at just one glass.

I enjoyed this day off. Back to the grindstone tomorrow. You'll be able to buy tickets for this week's RHLSTP on the door if you fancy it.

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My new stand up show, Oh Frig I'm 50 is at on tour from February til June 2018. There's also a new series of RHLSTP with recordings every Monday from February 5th to April 2nd All details of shows here.
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