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Saturday 25th February 2012

The mid tour blues are hitting a little bit, but so was the exhaustion from the stress of the last few weeks. After breakfast I dressed in my running gear, but lay down on my bed and fell half asleep instead. But my half dreams were all about driving, as if I'd been playing a racing car video game for hours on end and it had become imprinted on my retinas. But of course it had been no game.
And after 90 minutes of nearly sleeping I did feel a bit more up for a run and ran out into the Yorkshire countryside (and in fact briefly straying into the Nottinghamshire countryside) and managing 30 minutes of light jogging whilst listening to more of the Dickens' biography audio-book. I was amused to discover that when "The Christmas Carol" first came out, a cheap pirated copy was put out for 2d by Messrs Lee and Haddock. It was so close to turning into an exciting time travel adventure for one of the 1990s least-loved double acts.
You can read about it here and I particularly like the assertion that the pirated version was actually an improvement. Even though Dickens won the case Lee and Haddock went bankrupt and Dickens lost a ton of money anyway. It's a good job that Dickens didn't live to see the liberties I took with his brilliant if sentimental tale in "Richard Herring is Fat" (and I think AIOTM - it's all a bit of a blur).
I do like the way that Dickens wrote his novels in instalments, releasing them as monthly episodes, being able to respond to pubic reaction to characters. In this internet age, with Kindle self publishing, this seems a very viable way of doing things now too. It would certainly suit my work ethic and is not unlike how I have put together my podcasts and blogs. Releasing a chapter at a time over the course of several months might be a viable way for me to finally get round to writing some fiction. I already write about two books worth of material every year in this blog. Maybe I should channel my efforts into fiction instead of this never ending diary. I have a feeling that the ten year point might be a good time to move on to something else. But I said that about the five year point.
I feel it is my fish surnamed duty to steal an idea from Dickens, but confidently argue that I am doing it better.
It also seems that time is ticking away and I am not having much luck getting my stories on to TV (Gorgeous is not yet a dead project, but early signs are not entirely positive), so maybe I need to expand my self publishing empire. Or to describe it more accurately my round robin newsletter to the few thousand people who dig what I am doing.
I've had a go at failing to be Pepys, so maybe it's time to fail at being Dickens.
I should really have stayed in Sheffield for these last three nights as it's slap bang in the middle of last night and tonight's gig. It was great to be in the same hotel two nights in a row, but the drive was a little bit further than I had anticipated, particularly on the way back, when once again the driving Gods had transpired to shut a motorway so that I needed to negotiate perilous country roads, which I hate doing at night time. As if to point up the danger I did pass a fresh accident in which a car had connected with some force with a sign at a mini-roundabout (there might have been two cars involved- it was hard to tell). The emergency services were there already and I don't think there had been any serious injury to the person or people involved, but I had to drive over broken glass to get on my way.
I had been anticipating trouble in Barnsley, but aside from a few slightly merry and loquacious fans in the second row (who were very much enjoying the show so I let their light chatter pass) it was a trouble free night. My timing was still a little thrown off from the night before - feeling anxious about leaving too long a pause in case some other idiot chipped in. But I am sure that will pass.
It was (for this tour) a smallish crowd of about 100 and the roof was high so it felt like they weren't enjoying it too much - but I could see them laughing even if I couldn't hear them sometimes and I know enough now to carry on unperturbed in any case. You have to play every room like it's full of laughing people, even if it's empty and they're smilers or frowners. Sometimes it's just the acoustics of the room that give you the impression you're doing badly (or well). I am confident enough with this show to believe it will win most people round eventually - though not women obviously as it's clearly man's humour.



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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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