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Tuesday 29th April 2014


I took 2 minutes off my 2014 personal best for the six and three quarter mile run I do between my home and Barnes Bridge, even though I was not consciously looking at the time or trying to go fast. It took me just 73 minutes. I think my 2004 PB for this route was about 66 minutes, but if I keep this up I think it might be possible to get back to that kind of speed. Today I was more concerned with getting round and still having enough energy to do some writing and drive to Shoreham-By-Sea for my gig, so I had plenty left in the tank at the end. It is good that my fitness is improving. I am running over a minute a mile quicker than I was at the start of the year. There's less of me to lug around, I guess.

On the way back from Barnes Bridge I passed a man, probably in his sixties, running quite fast in the opposite direction. He had a proper running vest on and a race number attached to it with a number 3 on it. I couldn't imagine there was a race on at midday on a Tuesday, so thought he was probably some kind of Hammersmith eccentric, or just had once been in a proper race and decided it would be lucky to always wear his number from now on. Which would be pretty eccentric. So I am saying I thought he was probably a madman.

But then I passed another elderly runner, trotting confidentally and quickly up the path. He had a number on too and I noticed that the event was the Hammersmith Handicap. In all about six vintage runners passed me before I got to Hammersmith Bridge. I had chanced across something rather lovely. A lunchtime race for the older gentleman. I just googled it and although this link refers to a race from a couple of years back, this is clearly what was going on. I love watching life go by on my runs - in fact today at one point I was so wrapped up in my thoughts and my music that I ran across a small, usually quiet road without looking and was beeped by a woman in a 4 by 4 who I had totally failed to notice. At least if she'd hit me then that would have made for an interesting blog.

But the older runners made me smile and gave me hope that I might still be doing this in twenty years time, maybe a little slower than I am going now, but maybe not.

After a really fun gig at Shoreham-by-Sea tonight I drove home listening to Radio 4 Extra. The National Theatre of Brent were on doing an historical show. They mentioned Oliver Cromwell and talked about his warts and it struck me that the only quote I know from Cromwell is the one about painting him warts and all. He is a major historical figure and obviously he said a lot more than that, but for the vast majority of people, if they know anything he said, it is probably just that. It made me realise how little we are in charge of our legacy. I bet Cromwell felt quite pleased with himself when he said that little phrase, but I doubt he would have predicted that it would be the thing that people remembered. After all he achieved he is chiefly remembered for his warts and being happy to have them included in his painting. If he came back now and found this out I think he'd be a bit bamboozled."What about when I said, "I tell you we will cut off his head with the crown upon it ."?"

No one remembers it mate.

"But you must all quote my witicism, "No one rises so high as he who knows not whither he is going."

Afraid not. We know the one about the warts though.

"Surely every schoolboy knows that I said, "there are some things in this establishment that are fundamental....about which I shall deal plainly with you...the government by a single person and a parliament is a fundamental...and..though I may seem to plead for myself,yet I do not: no, nor can any reasonable man say it..I plead for this nation, and all the honest men therin.."

No mate, warts and all. That's all that anyone remembers you for. Your fucking warts. Get over yourself. Most people don't get a single word from their life recorded. At least we know about your warts.

"I was the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth"

You were the Lord Spotector of the Commonwart.

"Fuck off bell-end"

Oooh that's a good quote. We'll add that to the list wart-o.

I wouldn't like to be Oliver Cromwell once this blog come out.

There are very few opportunities to see We're All Going To Die! live now. Check out the dates here. Sutton Coldfield and St Albans are sold out and Machynnleth if very close to selling out. I am also doing a RHLSTP there on Friday.

I'd really like the theatre to be full for the DVD record so as an incentive for people to book for that night (as well as a celebration of the end of the tour) I am going to give everyone in the audience for the gig on the 23rd at the Bloomsbury a free copy of my "10" DVD. It retails for £12 and has nearly two and a half hours of material on it, with my favourite routines from my previous 9 shows. Book your tickets here if you want to take advantage of this offer. Or ring 020 7388 8822 if the website is claiming there are no tickets left as it is at the moment (there are some). And please tell your friends about the these London dates and this offer. It's selling OK, but I'd love to have a sell-out for the last one.

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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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