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Friday 25th February 2005

Back to Bath for another gig tonight. All the travel and late nights and the adrenalin stopping me from sleeping is taking its toll and stopping me getting much work done in the day, but I am enjoying life on the road. And it's interesting to readjust to doing stand-up after all the Hercules gigs.
I am still doing a mixture of old and new stuff in the gigs and weirdly, but kind of gratifyingly the new stuff is going miles better than the bits from Talking Cock now. Maybe this isn't so weird - after all I am probably more committed to the yoghurt material and enjoying it more than the stuff I know better. But the stuff didn't really come alive until my rambling fifteen minutes on yoghurt and I found myself ad-libbing around it freely, enjoying the fact that it was confusing and upsetting some people, whilst making others laugh more than they had all night. Midway through the routine I conjectured that the disaffected people might be thinking, "Shut up about yoghurts. Do more stuff about cocks. That was funny. Not yoghurts," and then asked for a vote from the audience about which they would prefer to hear jokes about. Tonight the penis got a slightly bigger cheer than yoghurts. "But who would have guessed beforehand that it would be so close?" I commented.
Strangely after the continuous rolling laughter of the yoghurt routine (and it eerily operates in patches around the crowd, different pockets finding it amusing at different points) the more gaggy Talking Cock stuff did not really work so well. But that's a good thing really, as it's getting to a point where I should lose the crutch of the safe old material and do more new stuff.
I was staying in Cheddar tonight and drove through the light mist atop the Mendips and descended through a dark Cheddar Gorge. It is a spectacular geological phenomenon and winding down the road into town brought back lots of childhood memories.
In a parking spot right near the top a car had stopped and some youngsters were up to some kind of shennanighans. I didn't get a chance to see what had brought them to such an isolated spot (I suspect drink, drugs or sex rather than murder or espionage though), but chuckled to myself thinking of the nights we spent up here (before we had cars admittedly) drinking nothing more potent than Woodpecker Cider (Hereford Lightning).
Were I am poor pretentious novelist I would possibly compare my journey down the gorge, returning to my childhood, to my journey down the birth canal. There are very limited similarities. I did not, for example, pass a car full of Somerset youngsters up to no good on that initial journey out of my mother. Well not that I remember. It seems unlikely as we lived in Yorkshire at the time and it would have been a long way to travel.
Luckily I'm not even good enough to be a poor novelist and too self-conscious for pretension (though not too self-conscious to discuss my mother's birth canal - yet still too self conscious to call it anything other than a birth canal. Come on, it's my mum I'm talking about here. Let's think of her parts as a canal rather than anything more disturbing. And I like to think I was born emerging regally on a barge wearing a straw boater bedecked with ribbons and gay flowers, than have to contemplate the horrible truth of what I actually came out of and in what bedraggled state) so I'll just say, it felt good to be home.

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