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Monday 5th May 2014


I tried out some material for Lord of the Dance Settee at the fantastic new material night Old Rope tonight. There are some promising new routines, which ironically puts me further ahead with my Edinburgh stand-up preparation than I have been for some time (maybe ever). The rest of what I have to do is sometimes overwhelming, but today rather than fearing the mountain of work I was relishing it and feeling grateful for having the job I have. My mind was pinging in the morning and I wrote a couple of solid scenes for the sitcom script I'm working on. I swam for over 30 minutes and more ideas zapped themselves into my brain without me even trying.

After lunch I was less productive, but caught up on some admin and had a bit of a think about Rasputin.

And then headed out to Old Rope to do some stand up. The variety makes life interesting and it's actually quite nice to be able to flip from one project to another. I haven't really got anywhere with the last episode of Meaning of Life, but think I am going to try and write most of this at the last minute in the hope it leads to something interesting and new. Once I can get that and the sitcom done then I can mainly just concentrate on the play and the stand up show. It's by no means an easy task and I had a little jolt when I realised that the Fringe is just over 12 weeks away. But today at least I feel thrilled by, rather than terrified of the prospect.

After the gig the afternoon tiredness was swept away and I had intended to walk part of the way home to get a bit more exercise, but I had so much energy that I thought I would run for a bit (I was wearing my running shoes) and then as I pounded down Oxford Street avoiding the late night shoppers I felt so good that I considered running all the way home. At one point a young girl aged about 8 ran alongside me, laughing at her game/parody of me. She kept pace for a little while, giggling and I smiled back at her. I wanted to say, "This is all very well, but are you going to keep this up for five miles?" but I just laughed. It was a nice moment though. What I was doing wasn't the normal way to behave, she recognised that and wanted to join in the playful subversion. But it would have been a bit awkward and weird if she'd come all the way home with me.

I put on a burst of speed to cross a road where the lights were about to change and realised that the surge of energy I had felt was down to post-gig adrenaline. Tiredness was starting to return and I realised it was crazy to push myself this far on a day when I had already exercised and worked hard, but I had run to Marble Arch at least and it's good to know that on another day or night that a run home is a possibility.

I haven't had a drink since St Petersburg and have exercised pretty much every day and kept within my calories, but my weight is still sticking resolutely between 86 and 87 kg as it's been for a month now. But I am pleased that this plateau is not making me lose my resolve - the opposite if anything. The child in me that enjoys running down the high street at night when all the adults are walking sensibly might help me push onwards.

I got the tube and sat opposite an attractive young couple. They were, I would guess, either not yet dating or just in the very early stages of that, but were both hoping that things might be going that way. And who can blame them, both of them were gorgeous. But they were still trying to impress each other and find out stuff about each other. The young woman said that she would really like to visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum as she was a big fan of the TV series. The young man, eager to show that they were compatible said that the TV series was brilliant too. I am sure he thought that, but it would have been a wise thing to say even if he didn't. But he wanted to impress her and show that he was deeper and more committed than other fans and said, "I love the old Sherlock Holmes films as well."

It slightly amused me that that was his go to place to show depth though. I might have been tempted to show I was a true fan and had hidden intellectual qualities by saying that I loved the original books. But that's probably a generational thing. For him, watching some old films gave him integrity and authority. Alas for him the girl said that she didn't like the films so much and that it was the exciting drama of the modern TV shows that she enjoyed. There was no backing down now for the man who quietly just reiterated that he liked the films, though slightly despondently. He hadn't blown it. I suspect that if he had mentioned the books he might have done. This is why I didn't have many girlfriends when I was his age.

It didn't really matter what he said though. He was good looking enough for her to not mind about this minor disagreement. They would be together (for a while at least) regardless of what they said. This Sherlock Holmes conversation was just part of the intricate ballet of seduction, although the outcome had surely been decided when they first set eyes on each other. The conversation was a place holder, only a terribly wrong comment from either of them could have derailed things at this stage. The woman told the man that the actors who play Sherlock's mum and dad are Cumerbatch's real mum and dad. He looked impressed at this piece of information, as if he didn't know that. Maybe he didn't. Or maybe he'd worked out that that was the best way to react, to allow her her moment of having revealed an incredible fact. I wouldn't have done that, partly because I knew it already and relationships should be based on truth and partly because not knowing that would surely make me not a very good Sherlock fan like I'd just claimed. This is why I didn't have many girlfriends when I was his age.

This was all just blah blah blah. It didn't matter what was being said. I mean look at these two! But what's the point in that? Who'd be able to make love to either of these physically perfect, sexy people if you knew that they thought watching old films makes you classy and that such an obvious and much repeated factoid was worth saying out loud. Not me. That's for sure.

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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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