Saturday 7th January 2012
I was anticipating a difficult day of post Guinness fug, but somehow I woke up feeling pretty perky and aside from a slight energy dip at about 5pm (which I corrected with an injection of pizza) all was well. It will remain one of humanity's great unsolved mysteries - Who built Stonehenge? What became of Atlantis? Where do the planes go in the Bermuda Triangle? Now, how did Richard Herring not have a hangover on the 7th January 2012?
Who cares? I got a day of my life back. And I decided to live every second of it to the full. By getting a train to Belfast. Carpe diem.
I had forgotten about the fact that Guinness can be as much fun on the way out as on the way in and there were some interesting bathroom visits during the day. I am pretty sure my Belfast hotel room might have to be closed off for 10,000 years as an environmental hazard. I hate to think that the Southern Irish had used me, without my knowledge as a chemical weapon to take out their enemies in the North. Even if they didn't do it on purpose, it might have started up all the problems again by accident.
It's been a while since I've done a tour show in the North of Ireland too. I did Headmaster's Son here back in 2008, also at the Black Box where I would be tonight. It's only 180 seater room and I sold it out on both the last two occasions I was here, but perhaps showing how my fortunes have shifted in the last few years (and the podcasts I do have to probably take the credit, apart from the snooker one which might send me in the other direction again), tonight's gig had been sold out for weeks (whereas the other times I might just have sold out on the day). I could easily have done a venue twice the size. But I like the Black Box and it was good to be here. Another friendly cab driver told me that it had been in danger of being shut down, but it had just been announced that the place had been saved. I like to think that I was responsible for that. It's not true, but I like to think it.
I was much more on top of the show tonight, though the reaction felt a little more muted to begin with, but I liked to think it was the acoustics in the room (I liked to think it and this time I think I was right) and I know enough nowadays to not let such things get to me and carried onwards. I knew I was doing it well so had to trust that the audience liked it more than it seemed. There was a point where I tried to adlib around an idea and said that I was "paraplegic with love". I couldn't quite work out what I was trying to say, though in hindsight I was probably stretching for "a paroxysm of love". But I managed to cover myself quite well by admitting that that was obviously a mistake and describing this as my Ricky Gervais moment. Being paraplegic with love would be doubly annoying of course as you'd have no feeling from the waist down. It would be a poor choice for your body to make biologically speaking if love did that to us.
The show continues to develop, though after a short gap, part of my job at the moment is reconstruction, recalling the bits and links I've forgotten. But I've been collecting examples of my girlfriend's odd, alien like behaviour (I think she might be a 21st Century Mork, sent to Earth to observe us, armed with most knowledge, but with odd little gaps in her research). This seems to be going well. I have til May to attempt to perfect the show. It will never be perfect, just abandoned.
After the show there were plenty of people wanting to go out for more craic, but I managed to restrict myself to a pint and a half at the venue bar before heading back to my hotel. I watched Top of the Pops 1977 whilst commentating on Twitter (I will be using the social network to wind down and make me forget about tour solitude a lot over the next few months, so unfollow now if you don't like it or follow me now if you do). Before nodding off to sleep I watched an interesting BBC4 documentary about the origins of life and the likelihood of intelligent life existing anywhere else in the Universe. I couldn't quite make it to the end, but it's a fascinating subject. When you think that in the millions of years that life has been on this planet only one species has gained the ability to become over concerned about Actimel, it does make me wonder if we are just a ridiculous chance one off. I'd always assumed that there must be others out there somewhere, but the Universe is a dangerous place and it's easy for worlds and populations to be wiped out. It took us a long time to get here and we might not be here for long. There could have been someone else out there, but maybe they sprung up at the same time as our dinosaurs and got similarly pulverised by an asteroid or their own ingenuity.
I might be able to tell you, if I hadn't fallen asleep just as they got to the denouement. But if they have any real evidence of alien civilisations then I doubt the announcement would be made at 1am on BBC4, but you never know.
All the dates for the Talking Cock tour can be found here
Buy the Talking Cock book here
Tickets are now on sale for both my Edinburgh Fringe shows. "We're All Going To Die!" is on at the Pleasance Beyond at 8pm Book here
Richard Herring's Edinburgh Fringe Podcast is at Stand 1 daily at 14.10. Book here
You can get video downloads of Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast from Go Faster Stripe
A video explaining the idea can be seen here
You can buy tickets to the shows from the Leicester Square Theatre website
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