After a productive start to the day where I wrote my Metro article and caught up on the audio version of this blog (you know about that right, you can hear me reading this out on soundcloud - thanks to my producer Terry, who you know has done a good job when you don't even know he is there), everything ground to a halt again and I lost the will to move. I had planned to do a 7 mile run (the runs I have done this week have been hard work, though I managed a 4 mile run a couple of days ago where I was tired from start to finish, but at least pressed on with it) and to get on with the myriad of things that I have to do, but after lunch I got distracted by the news and then the football and then just wallowed in front of the TV until bed time. It was most disappointing and slightly self-destructive, but also completely in character. Of course I will leave all the work I have to do to the last possible minute. This job has to hurt or it's no fun at all. What good is being prepared?
It is hard to make a start on things and all the projects I am involved with at the moment are at the stage where I have done nothing for them at all and that's when they are at their most overwhelming, of course. But there was plenty of stuff I could have done, not least done a bit of work on the extended version of "We're All Going To Die!" or at least listen through to the Edinburgh version to see if I remembered any of it. I hate myself. I am a prick.
Next week I am off to Armenia with David Baddiel to record an episode of a new TV series for Dave (I just want to be on the telly). It sounds like a fun project but it will eat up the whole week and I don't think I will get much down time and then a look at my diary confirms that I am straight back into it with a Leicester Square Theatre podcast and my first tour date in Braintree. I guess I am only an idiot for thinking that I could change my ways, but also I should know by now that if my brain isn't in the right place for writing there's no point in forcing it. I just wish I had at least gone running. Or out of the house. I was too zonked out to even have a bath. Once again it proves that if my wife wasn't here to force me to have a life I would turn into a stinking, naked, hairy ape-man within a week.
But no one can say I wasted my time as I watched The Great Escape for the hundredth time and loved every minute of it. And then watched City Slickers, which unbelievably I have never seen, though it made me feel old to discover that Billy Crystal's character is just 39. For some reason my brain expected the characters to have aged (in the same way that I still hoped that this time Steve McQueen might jump the fence on his motorbike - spoiler alert) or just still thinks that I am in my 20s.
I did read up a bit about the Great Escape as I was watching it and discovered tht Peter Butterworth, who was in many of the Carry On Films, was a prisoner at the same camp and played a role in the famous "Wooden Horse" escape (where a tunnel was dug under the exercise yard, the diggers concealed under a vaulting horse), but that when he auditioned to play himself in the film he was told he didn't look convincingly athletic or heroic enough. That had to hurt.
I don't know what it is that makes me love stories of POW escape so much. I am not one of these people who is obsessed with war history and tanks and fighter bombers and guns. But I can't get enough of upper crust officer types inventing ingenious ways to escape from the Nazis. These men are so admirable, both in terms of their courage and their inspired and innovative schemes. I suppose I like the anarchy of it and the way that it's almost a game, though one with deadly consequences. What the true life prisoners of war acheived in Stalag Luft III and Colditz was truly remarkable. So always good to see this fictionalised account of what happened that night. I just wish they'd shot an alternate ending to the movie and kept it secret for 50 years and then someone just switched the tapes so that I could have my mind blown on the next casual viewing. It would be the best prank ever. Imagine how freaked out you'd be if everyone got away the next time you saw it. At least if they'd had the foresight to make all that extra footage at the time, then someone could put together a great new Great Escape:Sliding Doors version.
Which proves my point that all films are Sliding Doors, they just don't bother showing you the other version. Because in a good film you end up imagining it yourself.
Anyway, now I am going for that fucking seven mile run. I will imagine I have just escaped from a POW camp and thus have to keep going.
The first "We're All Going To Die!" Podcast has gone to #1 in the iTunes charts. It's packed with stuff that I couldn't fit into the live show and contains practically no spoilers if you haven't seen the show yet. And there's a surprise celebrity guest. Please tell your friends about this and the other podcasts. You can subscribe to the WAGTD! pod here. Or get it at the British Comedy Guide. And if it makes you want to come and see the show, then all the details are here.