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Thursday 6th February 2014


I had a meeting about the Edinburgh Fringe 2014 this afternoon. Didn't we just finish the last one? It looks like I will be coming back Scotland, so if you could prepare some massive sporting tournament to herald my return then that would be nice. I won't be doing any more RHEFPs I am afraid, as it just proved too exhausting and time-consuming. Instead I am going to exhaust myself and consume time by writing a play and a stand-up show. We just need to work out where they're going to be on and how I am going to pay for the experience - putting on a play is an expensive enterprise. But then this is a year of expensive enterprises and I just have to hope that the 14 year old who is controlling me in the video game that is my life will somehow find the gold coin bonus that is hidden somewhere on this level. Even though I don't believe in fate, I have still chosen to trust in it this year. It's a big leap to commit myself to writing a play, especially given this idea is quite complex and not entirely comedic, but I am excited about doing it. Future me is going to be furious with Present-Day me for commiting him to so much, but this is the way for me to get stuff done.I can't wait to see what he has to say about all this when he's right up against it. I hate Future Me, he's a prick. He regrets everything I commit to, yet without me he'd be just sitting around in his dressing-gown watching Countdown.

And fate/the 14 year old computer game playing deity/coincidence gave me a little push on the way home. Due to the tube strike and being slightly too ill to go to the gym I had walked up to my manager's office in Ladbroke Grove. On the walk back I stopped off to look in Daunt Books for no reason in particular. I browsed aimlessly, but then at one of the tables at the front of the shop I stopped and had a feeling that there would be a book somewhere nearby that would help me with my play. I was really messing around with myself. I had heard of no new book about Rasputin or Yusupov and it was pretty unlikely one would just pop up in the vicinity. After I had scanned the table in front of me for a minute or so I suddenly noticed a small book about Rasputin right at the edge. Yeah, maybe I had noticed it out of my peripheral vision as I had walked by it or maybe it was just a silly coincidence (after all the thought would have been unremarkable had there not been any relevant book nearby and I would have just forgotten I'd had that feeling), but it gave me a little start. I opened the book and more or less straight away found a passage about Yusupov which gave me a couple of details that I had not known about him (apparently he wore a bullet in a ring that he said was from the assassination - and Oswald Rayner the English secret service agent who is now suspected of being involved did the same). Also that Yusupov loved to tell the story over and over again and was disappointed if a social event passed by without him being given a chance. I was going to have him reluctant to talk about it in the play, but the truth is actually much better. Especially given that the story he told is clearly a lie.

Let's take it as a sign that I am doing the right thing. It isn't anything of the sort, but if I believe it is then it might push me onwards. I bought the book. I think the only sensible conclusion to all this is that the ghost of Rasputin in looking over my shoulder and willing me to write the play that will finally tell the truth about his death. Hopefully he can tap me on the shoulder and tell me the truth about his death. Though if he does I might decide to take a bit of time off.

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My new stand up show, Oh Frig I'm 50 is at on tour from February til June 2018. There's also a new series of RHLSTP with recordings every Monday from February 5th to April 2nd All details of shows here.
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