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Friday 28th May 2010

I am definitely taking on too much. I was up at 6.30 this morning for another early flight and was back in my own kitchen having breakfast at 11am, which just seemed freaky. The modern world is ridiculous. Had I even been in Belfast?
I could have been home earlier but I had wasted 20 minutes at the airport waiting for a cab that wasn't coming. I had had cars laid on for me for every other part of this journey, but not for this last leg. Not that I minded much: it was easier to get the train and the tube, but it felt a bit like being dumped at the last minute, once I had outlived my usefulness. I had been sitting around hopefully looking for a man holding a sign saying "Richard Herring", but there was none to be seen. Some of the drivers were holding signs, but with the reverse showing and being somewhat nonchalant about letting anyone see. Maybe they just knew who they were picking up so didn't need to show their signs, but in that case why did they really need a sign? Were they just going to flash it at the right person to reassure them that they were the proper driver? Not that you can trust someone just because they have your name on a piece of card. I saw an episode of the Real Hustle where they managed to steal someone's bags that way.
I had come out of departures a bit early as it was, so worried that the drivers would think I was just someone waiting for an arrival rather than an arrivee myself and maybe that's why they weren't showing their sign. Should I go up and ask them and in the process say "You know why you have those signs? To hold them up and show people who you're waiting for. So bloody well hold them up." But I managed to sneak a look and one of the men was waiting for a couple and the other's sign said "Tam Dalyell". Could I manage to convince this driver that I was in fact the 77 year old, Sir Thomas Dalyell Loch, 11th Baronet who had attempted to claim £18,000 for three book cases that he had bought just months before retiring from parliament?. Had I been an edgier and madder comedian, with more of an eye on creating an entertaining blog I would have tried. But instead I waited a bit and then sent off an email and discovered that there was no cab for me and got the train. Perhaps if I could have slipped Tam a few thousand pounds he might have dropped me off on his way.
I was pretty spaced out all afternoon and thinking about going back to bed, but instead I frittered time away before having to leave at 3.30 to drive to Coventry for a charity gig. I was closing the show, but was giving a lift to one of the other acts so had to get up there early. It was a weary battle through the hoards of people inexplicably heading north for the bank holiday, but we made it on time and it was an enjoyable enough gig, but we didn't leave until gone 11 and I wasn't back home until 1.30am, and knowing I had to get up early again for the 6Music show. It was like I was back on tour again. I may well be too old for all this shit now. Or at least need to organise things a little so I am not driving for two hours unsure of whether I am awake or asleep.
But in very exciting news it was on the journey home that I passed the twin (almost literal, but in fact still metaphorical) milestones of 99,999 and 100,000 miles driven in this car. My passenger Francesca Martinez seemed less impressed with this than I was, almost like these were just two random numbers, given some kind of false meaning by their symmetry or roundness. Which is ludicrous. Of course they are meaningful. And it's unlikely that I will hit too many more significant numbers in this car. Sure, I am not too far away from 111,111 which might be achievable. But then I will really have to wait until 200,000 and 222,222, which would mean that both the car and I have to survive another decade at least. And the odds on that must be quite small. The way I am putting myself through things I think the car will probably outlast me. But we shall see. For the moment let's celebrate the years lost and the miles traversed and the countdown of breaths and revs until the rest is silence.
Was genuinely sad to hear of the death of Gary Coleman (who I can't believe was actually a few months younger than me) and in tribute will simply quote (to the best of my recollection) the last line of the Christmas Simpsons that he appeared in, "Whatchoo talking 'bout Willis? Whatchoo talking 'bout everybody?"

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