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Saturday 31st July 2021


Dry Januly completed. Is this permanent now? It feels like it might be… cut to…
But not even feeling like my upcoming holiday is a reason to fall off the wagon. I think I’m happier without it.
Almost like alcohol is a depressant or something.

We picked up my son’s first bike today, a momentous moment in anyone’s life (though I don’t think I got a new bike until I was maybe 14, though think I had a hand-me-down one before that. I think my mum was  worried that I would die if I was allowed out on the road, but I only nearly killed myself once, so what does she know?
We took the kids with the bikes to the rec and they whizzed around on the basketball court. Every now and again you look at your children and are suddenly jolted by how much they have grown. To see them both whizzing round the tarmac - my daughter at breathtaking speed and daring and my son, more incompetently but still with steely resolve (and absolute belief that he’s right to push the pedals back and forwards instead of forwards in one continuous motion) was breath taking and terrifying. Ernie managed to come off his bike with stabilisers three times, which is impressive in itself. I noted that my daughter is already much too big for her bike, so there might be another trip to the bike shops soon. (I think we may be able to raise the seat a bit more, but it’s not going to stave off the inevitable for long). We had to buy her a new helmet today and she needs a small adult size. They’re going to be leaving home before I’ve properly realised they’re even here.
I doubt my son will remember this first bike, but like everything in his life it is documented in photos and video, which was not possible back in 1980 or whenever I got my first bike that was properly mine. That bike was a lifesaver (and indeed when I nearly killed myself coming off a bike it was my girlfriend’s little sister’s bike that I’d taken so my girlfriend could ride my bike over to mine the next day. My girlfriend lived in Shipham and I lived in Cheddar only a couple of miles away, but it was up a very steep hill that I got pretty good at cycling up. Hopefully Ernie won’t still be riding this new bike round to the house of whoever he’s going out with when he’s 16. Or at the very least he’ll have taken off the stabilisers and learned how to get the pedals to go round. 

I enjoyed the comedy community’s reaction to so-called “journalist” (He is a journalist - the so-called and the speech marks cancel each other out) Liam Rudden who wrote,  'I’ve also noticed a number of ‘work in progress’ offerings at this year's #EdFringe. Having had the best part of two years to get a show together, I find charging for a 'work in progress' an anathema.’ Great to see people who know nothing about a subject being given the platform to pontificate (they should just give him a blog, where you can say what you like and no one will ever see it). I wonder if anyone can work out why after a couple of years where there have been no gigs and no income from comedy for many comedians why so many of them would need to make it clear that their offering is still in an early form.
I am not a great fan of people doing work in progress shows at Edinburgh in normal times, or at least them labelling them such - my own shows are nearly always brand new and have a lot of way to go before they are finished with (that only happens on the last performance), but you still have to put them out there as a show worth paying money for. But the Fringe can be anything you want it to be and if you know you’re still batting around ideas then it’s polite to let people know that and this year, with a maximum of maybe six weeks of previews (and likely only a handful of performances in front of tiny crowds) then I think it’s fair enough to put this label on stuff. Edinburgh is always a time to knock a show into shape, but this year, for most performers that will be a necessity.
But fun to see Liam being treated with the disdain he deserves for this ridiculous comment. But to be fair, journalists have just been through lock down too, so they’re probably just working out how to have opinions again.
I hope there will be a couple of journalists who praise performers for taking the massive punt of returning to the Fringe in this difficult year, when even now you can’t be certain that the thing will go ahead at all, because they clearly love the thing and want to give it a chance to continue.

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