I felt tired this morning, but forced myself to swim for 20 lengths after I'd wanted to give up after only 5. This was a greater feat of physical endurance than the one from Touching The Void. It just shows what the human spirit is capable of.
But then I seemed to have bags of energy for the rest of the day. Brendon Burns was on time for his podcast interview (unlike last year when he slept in) but also on time was John Lloyd, who was not down in my diary. Somehow the show had got double-booked (I can't find any email confirming he was coming on, but it might well have been my fault), but it actually worked out well. I just did two 25 minute interviews with the stand-up in the middle. I have had so many people wanting to be guests on the show that this is probably the perfect way to proceed from now on. I will do a few solo interviews, but I am going to book two guests for most of the shows. Here's today's pod.
I ran some errands and found myself coming back to this year's flat via the one I lived in 2009 and 2010. And as I walked up the road towards it who did I see - a little black cat. Was it the same one that had become my good luck totem back then? It was in the same place and it was the same colour. What are the chances of there being more than one black cat in this part of the city? I am going to say it was. Some little girl was feeding the cat as if she had a more special relationship with it than I did. The idiot. But she left just as I arrived and I stroked my black cat and said, "Hello again" and I think from the aloof way that the cat responded, pretending that it had no idea who I was proved that he knew me too.
About 150 in tonight and they were quite a quiet crowd, but I did the best performance of the show yet, full of energy and with my brain much more focused than it had been yesterday. The longer routines are really coming into their own and I am finding new comedy in everything still. My favourite thing about the show is when I come on and say, "We're all going to die!" and the audience instinctively cheers in response. I think this might be my favourite thing ever in fact. It's such a funny thing for them to do, but they always do it (so far). Cheering their own mortality. It's like they've learned the lesson of the show before I've even started.
And I did my first Set List of the Fringe, feeling eerily calm about the whole thing. Usually this show (where you have to improvise a 10 minute set from a list of nonsense that you've given as you stand on stage) fills me with dread and I was worried my calmness might mean I did a bad gig. But it went pretty well on the whole and the zen thing worked for me. My topics included "Duck, Duck, Orgasm", "Castration After Party" and "Goldfish Liberation Army". These led to me discussing my desire to have a menage a trois with acquatic birds and explaining that it's odd that all eunuchs want to go to the castration after party, because once they're there no one is having a ball.
As for the Goldfish Liberation Army, I detailed, at length, how it was formed by fish wanting to rescue their brothers from bowls. They came up with a brilliant plan. Unfortunately three seconds later they forgot about the whole thing.
On the way back to the flat, walking alone, two burly Scottish men were approaching. One clocked me and turned to his mate and said in a loud voice, "Famous cunt." I laughed at this brazen insult, delivered as if I was unable to hear him and he proved that I was neither famous, nor really a cunt by then saying as he passed, "What show was he on again?" It wasn't the threat that it might appear, but the colloquial use of cunt as a term of, if not quite affection, then not total dismissive disdain. But the fact that it was all done out loud as if I was on TV right then and thus unable to hear them made me chuckle my way home. Though it might partly have been the relief at not having been beaten to death.
I am sure the lucky cat saved me. Who needs a lucky shoe? Does this mean I will have to go out of my way to see the cat daily from now?