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Thursday 26th June 2014


I was in hospital early this morning. There's nothing wrong (hopefully), it's just my platelets are a bit low (first time I've heard them called that and it happens to all men with age - oh sorry, apparently it's something to do with blood), so they wanted to do an ultrasound investigation of my liver.

"Have you had any pain in your liver?" asked the doctor as she applied a sticky lubrication to my side. "Not if that is where my liver is," I replied, "Which I am guessing it is, or otherwise you don't really know what you're doing." Even if she was lubing me up for her own pleasure, then that little bottom right quadrant of my torso is one of the worst bits I've got. There was always the chance that some other patient has just wandered into the cubicle and was wondering how much lube they could get on me before I twigged.

My liver has taken a bit of a battering in the past from my stupid actions and I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise to it. Initial investigations suggest it has come out of the three decades of processing alcohol (or whatever it does) without any obvious signs of problems. I have given it a good rest recently though. It's two months since my last alcoholic drink. I am not missing it at all this time, or even really noticing the fact that I am not drinking. Just every now and again I think, oh, it's been quite a long time. I might just not bother to go back.

I was left after ten minutes to wipe all the sticky unguent off my stomach. For some reason I was quite adept at this.

I left the hospital to see patients sitting by the doors, smoking. I thought that if that's the saddest thing you've ever seen then you should probably get out a bit more. I'd seen a sadder thing inside the hospital when an old man was wheeled out of a lift on a bed, looking very ill. Whoever wrote that song should have gone into the hospital or just watched the news.

I've never really smoked, because I am not cool, and also I didn't enjoy the few cigarettes I tried. Even as a teenager I thought it was a stupid to wilfully damage your body. It's not even as if the money you're spening isn't going to some multinational business. How does that make you cool? It was this kind of thinking that made me uncool. But seriously. Cool people are pricks.

But drinking booze was exactly the same thing and I did that. So uncool people are pricks as well. And any teenagers who neither smoke or drink are pricks in a different way.

But the young smokers and drinkers get away with it. It's their old selves that they are damaging, in a massive swinging punch to the guts that takes fifty years to hit its mark. I think hospitals should employ a bloke whose only job is to pop into the room as people get their cancer diagnosis and say, "Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you very slowly hitting yourself?"

I went straight from the hospital to my personal training session, from being amongst the unhealthiest people in London to the fittest. My energy levels are certainly improving and I enjoyed this session a lot. But halfway through my 6 week quest to get a six pack, that's one pack a week. I haven't got a three pack. I've just got a one pack and it's been packed quite hastily and clumsily.

Annoyingly when I got my stuff out of my locker my phone fell on the floor. I was relieved to see that the screen hadn't cracked again, but then noticed odd ghostly lines up the image and basic dimness and realise I'd screwed it anyway. It's still just about usable, except that I can't type the letter "p" on the keyboard (though of course I can use landscape in most apps). Will I put up with this for the four or five months left until I can get a new phone or should I replace the screen again? Or should I just buy a brand new phone? I suspect that the replacement screens are not as hardly as the new ones. So it's quite a tough call.

Then I had a meeting with my nutritionalist got a bit more new agey than last week. She was impressed by the amount of veg I had packed away though. I had to lie on a massage table whilst she prodded and pulled at me a bit and put stones on my chest. Well at least it's good research for my Rasputin play. Though I think my time might have been better spent writing it.

The exercise and the vegetables are giving me lots of energy though and I was able to work from 3pm til midnight before flaking out. We've got four of the six parts cast now and I reckon I will have a good first draft for day one of rehearsals on Monday. I suspect the script will change a lot after that, but we're on the way. I will be rolling into Edinburgh in about a month. It's going to be a very busy and vegetably month. Though if I eat anything with a p in its name then I might not be able to add it Myfitnesspal. I wonder if that's a viable diet plan.

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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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