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Saturday 7th June 2008

Back in Liverpool, but for less than three hours, so not much time to get in a fight or be involved with the police. I was driving in and driving out, just to be on the safe side.
So the day was dominated by the eight hours of driving that I had to get through and every hour the news would tell me more about the terrible accident that had happened on one of the roads I was going to be on. How lives can be ruined and destroyed in the blink of an eye. How hard it must be to live with something like that and yet potentially it can happen every time you get behind the wheel of a car.
I bought a new sat nav on my way out of town. It not only beeps every time you go over the speed limit (though I quickly disabled that function, not because it was beeping every ten seconds of course, just because I knew I would never need it as I always obey the speed limit). It was a relief to be safely back in the hands of a computer, though at one point it told me to get off the M1 at a point I wasn't expecting, but slave to the sat nav I thought I would see what it had planned for me. After all it is definitely better at navigating than me. But it then just brought me straight over the roundabout and back on to the M1 again. I can't imagine what it was thinking. It is important to use these devices with some modicum of common sense. I knew it was wrong and yet I blindly followed. Imagine how easily I would have fallen under the power of Hitler or Stalin. You want me to do what? OK, I am great at following orders.
I had actually put the wrong final destination road into the computer, but luckily, due to my trip to the scene of the crime earlier in the week, was able to navigate using my eyes and local knowledge. It is good that I am not totally at the mercy of technology.
I had a really fun gig with the Liverpudlians, who particularly enjoyed the story of my fight, but was only doing an hour so had to cut things short. Although one man playfully pushed me in the bar afterwards, there was no trouble and no threesomes (I conceded during the show that if I came to Liverpool twice and failed to have a menage a trois both times, then the fault must surely lie with me - Liverpool was, after all, the safety net at the end of the last tour, where I thought my dastardly fantasies would come true). I signed a few autographs and was back in my car and on the way home by 8.30pm. This felt quite strange. To be leaving a town after a gig in daylight was somewhat disconcerting. Like I hadn't done a gig at all. But I wasn't just getting out of town due to fear, I had to get back as I am going to open the fete at Ingfield Manor School tomorrow lunchtime. It's all go.
I got a bit tired towards the end and almost didn't notice that I was running out of petrol. I was on the M40 which doesn't have any service stations after Oxford, but I knew there was a petrol station in High Wycombe and stopped there, tired, but glad to see that petrol was only (ONLY?) £1.13 a litre, rather than the £1.22 had paid on the way up. It's rather scary how quickly petrol prices are going up. I wonder why that's happening. I am glad I never pay any attention to what's going on in the world or I might have important things to worry about.
I was back in London a little bit after midnight. As I headed through Acton, a mad-eyed man with wild long hair flowing behind the bald crown of his head, was running in the road, dodging his way between cars. I thought for a second he was going to run in front of me, bringing the morbid thoughts I had been having all day about bringing about death behind the wheel of my car, but he darted back on to the pavement. But he was running fast and looked terrified. I wonder what he was escaping from, because it looked like he was running away, rather than to anywhere in particular. Was he in danger? Or had he done something wrong? Or was he just on some mad drug fueled trip? The latter seemed the most likely.
I didn't hit him. Hopefully no one else did either. Unless he was escaping from some awful crime and deserved to be hurt of course.
By the time I was home after this marathon journey, I felt a bit like I might be on some slightly rubbish drugs. Tired, distracted and finding it hard to focus. But glad I'd neither been punched in the head or been in a life changing accident.

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