April has proven to be the cruellest month for my diet and I am in danger of ending it heavier than I started. So I have three days to try and drop a kilo to make things respectable and keep me on track. As I am sure you are aware (obviously this stuff is fascinating for you and I imagine you are finding it difficult to sleep with excitement) I was 86.9kg at the start of the month, but since then things have been yo-yoing. I got down to 86.1kg on the 10th (and then again on the 17th), but by the time I went to St Petersburg I was back up to 87.6kg. Despite my beer and potato based diet I did remain steady at 87.6kg by the end of the jaunt, but imagine the humiliation if I don't shift at least a kilo of that by 1st May. I am still over 15kg from my impossible and unrealistic goal. But if I allow things to sneak upwards, even gradually, then all the cynical fuckers who predicted that I'd end the year at the same weight, or higher than I started it would be vindicated.
So this has given me the impetus to redouble my efforts and keep the graph heading downwards. The suspence is unbearable. But this morning I was down to 86.7kg which would count as a tiny reduction if I can hold on to it for the next few days. But imagine if I can take off even more!
It's just thrilling.
But I am glad that I have kept things on track for four months and am still keen to continue. The diet remains realistic. My wife and I shared a pizza and salad at Pizza Express tonight and then walked part of the way home from the centre of town to burn up the additional calories. But I think I am going to stop drinking for a bit, partly because of the calories, but partly because I have so much to get done in May that I don't think I can afford the hangovers. I am happy to be feeling healthier and lighter, but although I am thinner I am certainly not thin. The fear of early death spurs me onwards. The Grim Reaper running after me with his engorged AIDS filled penis attempting to violate me is a better incentive than a carrot dangling just out of reach ahead of me. Maybe an Etna pizza dangling just ahead of me would do the trick.
We had been gigging in a members' club in central London beforehand. As we waited in a corridor to go on the fire alarm went off and the fire doors at both ends of the corridor automatically closed. For a second I worried that we were now trapped in the passageway and whilst protected by the firedoors for a little while would be unable to make our escape, but luckily they opened when I pushed them. Locking doors would probably be quite dangerous, but I feared it was like a Titanic situation where the paying members would be saved at the expense of the plebian clowns hired to entertain them.
We've all been taught that when a fire alarm goes off you should vacate the building immediately and yet on the occasions when I've experienced this all that happens is that people look at each other, ask if this is real or a test or an accident and wait to see what happens. In fact I was on my way to the loo as the alarm started and decided to carry on with my quest to urinate, even though the alarm still rang. I wondered if I would not live to regret that. The guy who has set up the room passed me and said "I am just going to check to see if this is a real alarm" and I went up the stairs to the loo. These valuable minutes of complacency could be my undoing. But I did quite need a wee so you have to balance that up. I was going to look like an idiot if I came out to see the staircase on fire and didn't even have any wee left to douse a path to safety.
But it was a false alarm - the smoke alarm had gone off in the kitchen due to some overcooked salmon. We'd been right to play it cool and stand around rather than running out to save our lives. Nearly every fire alarm I've ever heard has been a test or a false alarm, so statistically I am fine. There was one occasion where the fire alarm was real, when I was doing Camp America in 1986 and one of the houses burned down and threatened to set fire to the Redwood Forest we were in, which was over an hour away from the nearest fire station. You'd think that experience might have made me more cautious when it comes to fire alarms, as it was pretty scary to be caught up in the middle of it and see Redwood trees exploding into flames in the near distance. But, come on. None of the other fire alarms have been real ones, so I'll probably be OK.
Luckily the only fire tonight was me, on stage, on fire. Not literally on fire. Nor figuratively. I did OK. It was fun though.