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Wednesday 13th February 2013
I was in a swanky private members club in Shoreditch this evening surrounded by Nathan Barleys. I still quite enjoyed myself. My wife hasn't been very well and this was our first night out for ages and we got a little drunk and ate some food and relaxed.
We popped to the loo as we were leaving and I had to wait a while for my wife to conduct whatever business it is that women do in lavatories. I was standing in a corridor, but was in the way of a man with a trolley, so I sat in a comfy chair in a little chill out space near the club gym (it's proper swanky). A man in a gown was lounging on a chaise longue. I was checking my to do list on my phone, but being slightly tipsy and sitting in a trendy armchair I suddenly lost my balance and the chair rolled over depositing me on the floor. I apologised for my stupidity, but the lolling (though not loling) man merely sneered a little and with a sense of entitlement that comes with club membership chided me, "This is a chill-out area. You shouldn't be using your phone."
"Well, I wasn't using my phone for a call, I was just...."
"You were just working," he sneered. I was just playing Yahtzee but I didn't correct him. Nice that he thought I was so important that I had to do work at 9pm.
I'd have thought the fact that I had drunkenly sprawled all over the floor was the talking (or laughing) point, but not him. I thought about arguing, but realised he was essentially in the right. I had only moved into this zone because I was being considerate to someone else, but now he'd gone I didn't have to be there any more. I said, "It's all right, I'll stand back over here." He'd paid hundreds of pounds to be a member. He didn't deserve to have me harshing his mellow with my silent phone use.
I went back behind the curtain that separated the corridor from the chill-out zone, but the man now seemed intent on talking to me. The chastisement had just been his way into having a conversation. I thought he wanted to be quiet and chill out. But instead he asked, "You weren't splitting up with your girlfriend were you?"
It seemed an unlikely possibility. "No," I replied, "I am actually waiting for my wife."
"It's just because last time I was in here a guy was splitting up with girlfriend by text." He clearly wanted to tell me his funny story and was quite animated. I thought about telling him that he was in a chill out zone and maybe he shouldn't be recounting stories at all, but instead told him that I couldn't envisage myself breaking up with a girlfriend via text. He really just wanted a chat after all. Maybe he was trying to make friends. But I was embarrassed by the fact that I had been chastised (and also because I had fallen off an arm chair) and made my excuses and waited by the lift instead.
It's another world in private clubs and in Shoreditch.
I went off to a nearby party for a comic who was having her birthday. We were sharing the space with a networking event for video game designers. They were much more my kind of people, a bit geeky and odd. One of them sketched me as we chatted. They wouldn't have told me off for being on my phone (though they might have baulked if I'd said I was playing Yahtzee) and they would have laughed if I'd fallen off a chair. I like the nerds better than the Hoxton Twats.
Pussy Update - The cats are being pretty cute and are settling in nicely. Liono is a bit more aloof and you have to wait for her to come to you or she'll scarper pretty quickly. Smithers doesn't mind being picked up so much and seems to gravitate to my office now they have the run of the house (when he's not trying to climb up chimneys). Today he sat on my desk as I failed to work, quite fascinated by my laptop which he either tried to eat or pawed at. He was confused by the images on the screen, looking behind the laptop to see where they were and pawing at nothing. I called him an idiot on Twitter.
But he got his revenge. I was working in my dressing gown and a few minutes later his attention was grabbed by a new hanging toy which resulted in him clawing at my plum-hammock. I was not best pleased. He hadn't even bought me a drink first. But aside from these crude attempts to perform a vasectomy on me I am enjoying having the cats around and though they sometimes annoy me (I am sure Smithers is going to trip me on the stairs, so beguiled is he with chasing my feet) I love them very much.
Edinburgh update - I have pretty much settled on death being the topic of this year's Fringe show and think I have made my choice of venue too. My top titles so far are "Richard Herring Takes on Death" (which I accidentally chanced upon writing my blog the other day) "Richard Herring - We're All Going To Die!", "Richard Herring - The Blessed Release of Death" (which I won't go for, but which I like because it's the punchline to one of my old routines) or "Richard Herring: Forgotten But Not Dead" (a Rowan Atkinson joke and maybe a bit too self-deprecating and not clearly enough about death). My inclination is to go for the first one. What do you think? It will lead to the better poster I think. I'm getting a few vague ideas for stuff to cover in the show too, though must really concentrate on getting the Talking Cock show up to speed again (I want to make a few additions).
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