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Friday 25th April 2008

Being in Edinburgh makes me happy. Just ridiculously, stupidly happy. I don't know why that is; I have probably been depressed for a greater proportion of my time in this city, than I have in any other. But I love it, even though it has repeatedly punched me in the stomach. I am its loving, battered wife, who still loves it despite those beatings.
In truth, the last few years here have been much more pleasant and with the anesthetic of time I look back on the earlier days with fondness. As my cab drove me through the centre of town, as usual, every corner of almost every street had a story attached to it. There was Dundas Street, with the flat above the unicorn where I lived for two Fringes, with Jenny Eclair, Stewart and Simon Munnery. Look there's McSporran's, where Al Qaeda is surely preparing its next ineffectual attack on Scotland. That pavement down there has been sprinkled with my frustrated tears over many years, and probably, if I am honest, with my urine as well. Even the sad and/or embarrassing memories filled me with warmth and happiness. I love this town. Its pummelings have just made me respect it. There's a lesson there for us all. Hit your wives, gentlemen and over time they will come to thank you for it.
No, that is not the message.
Most metaphors do not work across the board. And though the punches that life throws at you can help you learn and grow, actual punches are only a good thing when thrown by a man defending a woman against a drunken University lecturer. And only then if the man throwing the punches has no idea how to fight and is flailing around like a windmill and so no one gets hurt. Any other form of violence is unacceptable.
As I am sure I have remarked before, it is slightly eerie being in Edinburgh out of Fringe time and I constantly expected to see familiar faces of fellow comedians looming out of the crowds and have leaflets pointlessly pressed into my hand, but it was all the better for this not being the case. Despite my understanding that life is meaningless and that all my ethical systems are formed out of a misplaced egotistical belief in my own significance, I was feeling really happy. God is dead, love is an illusion and everything that I strive to achieve with my life is ultimately pointless, but man oh man, I love the fantasies I have created to get me through the night. And being alive is pretty good, even if the Cathedral I have created around me like a protective bubble would seem comically ugly to an impartial observer, it still works for me. I am glad it's my job just to take the piss out of everything, rather than have to do anything genuinely constructive. It really takes the pressure off!
Feeling this happy in this strange and exquisite town is an odd sensation in itself, but these feelings are less to do with the place and more to do with myself I think. I like the perspective that comes with the passage of time.
My hotel is very conveniently placed for the gym and I went for a swim. Something seemed out of place as I ground my way up and down the lane of the impressive Virgin Gym pool. Finally I twigged. I was not hungover.
I don't think there is another occasion that I have been in this pool without the fug of alcohol clouding my brain. Usually I managed 10 lengths of slightly gruelling swimming before giving up and going back to bed, but today I swam for 35 minutes and did 42 lengths. Which helped this feeling of well being. As did stepping on the scales and seeing I was around about 12 and three quarter stone. I knew that I have been under thirteen stone for a while now, but this was the first scales that I had been on which had stones (rather than kilos or pounds) and it was inspiring to see how well I was doing. As well as to realise that the 94kg I was before Christmas was approaching 15 stone. It was a real incentive to keep pushing on with the healthy lifestyle and see how close I can get to being the 12 stone I was the year I did Ra-Ra-Rasputin (1993?)
I am sure most of my new found well being is down to feeling healthy. And the endorphins released by exercise are better than any drug.
Apart from heroin, which is brilliant. Though its own downside is that it does tend to put you off wife battering. But that's OK for me, cos I'm not married.
So take heroins and hit your spouse (and women, feel free to batter your husbands - I am all for equality). Those are the messages you should be taking from this entry. Or at least they are the ones that the more cretinous of you will take from it, so might as well pretend that is what I am saying.
Enjoy your meaningless lives everyone.

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