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Monday 25th August 2014

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What a month it has been. My heart was full of joy and hope I we drove into Scotland four weeks ago. And the journey home seemed symbolic of the struggle. It took us ten hours to get back to Shepherd’s Bush and there were brutal storms and traffic jams and tears of frustration and sometimes we couldn’t see where we were heading and the journey felt like it would never end. But it did end. We got home. To our lovely house and our massive and comfortable bed. I can’t really overestimate how much the crappy flat contributed to my woes this year. We spent an hour cleaning it this morning, leaving it cleaner and smelling better than it had been when we arrived. Perhaps I should have complained and asked for some money back, but if the landlord attempts to retain any of our deposit he will be flying into a shitstorm (though given he didn’t have a toilet brush before, then maybe he doesn’t mind that). His bed was a strange affair with a low wooden frame that the mattress didn’t entirely fit upon, meaning every time I rolled out of the thing I risked catching anything soft and dangling in the gap between the two. Every time one of us moved the other would wake up. We have spoiled ourselves with a brilliant bed at home, so must take some of the responsibility.
I kept one of the keys that we had cut for the front door, so if the worst comes to the worst I can go back there and squat or steal his TV or set fire to something. That’s why I would always make sure that there were enough keys to the flat to accommodate the number of people likely to be staying there. I thought about giving the key and the address to a homeless person. I attempted one last chin up on his chin up bar. Even after a month I can’t do more than half a chin up. It was so good to leave that it almost made the rent worth it!
As I gave the woman we’d rented a parking space off of (£200 for the month - which gives you some idea of how much Edinburgh makes from this) her key back she asked if I was a performer. I told her I was and she asked how things had gone. I told her I had lost money (though not the scale of the loss) and she looked genuinely shocked and a bit upset. I think the people of Edinburgh imagine that all the acts are coining it in and so don’t mind the idea of skimming a bit extra off the top. It might be time for the performers to stop going along with all of this. At least this woman had only doubled the price of her parking space for the Fringe. I managed to scuff the underside of my car (the first time I’ve pranged this one in 18 months) as I made my way into the temporary car park up the road. Edinburgh was not done with me yet.
I love this city and all it has done for me personally and professionally. But even the most loving marriage can turn a bit sour after 27 years. On the plus side nobody in the history of the world has ever been so happy to drive into Shepherd’s Bush. How great to see our non-plussed cats, Liono was very stand-offish, Smithers a bit confused but he let me hug him at least. But our bed. Our beautiful, non-castrating bed. We watched Doctor Who to wind down from the drive. They’re really let the scripts go to pot. A dinosaur in Victorian London? Bit of an anachronism. And for most of it a completely different bloke was playing the Doctor. He didn’t even look like the other guy. Continuity must be in trouble.
And now I am on holiday. And you know what that means for the blog? That’s right. It will continue ever onwards. Persistent and indestructible like the fucking idiot writing it.



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My new stand up show, Lord of the Dance Settee will be touring from October 2014 to May 2015 All details here.
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