I left my house at about 9.05 this morning and due to a bit of luck with a train running late enough for me to catch it I was at Oxford Circus by 10. The journey isn’t always that quick, but when it is then living in the countryside seems like a genius idea.
My day was very nearly ruined though. I got off the train at Finsbury Park for the Victoria line switcheroo and remembered I needed to text someone, but as I stepped off the train I couldn’t find my phone in my pocket. There’s no way I could have left it behind because I am not a fucking idiot, so rather than risk getting stuck on the train I very nearly made the assumption that I must have put it in my bag.
But in that split second Sliding Doors moment I went back to check my seat and said to the woman who’d just got on, “I didn’t leave my phone behind, did I?” I saw that she was holding it in her hand and she said, “Yes, I didn’t know what to do.” I had clearly left her in the middle of a dilemma as to whether she was going to hang on to this £1000+ piece of tech (and I can’t really blame her) but she handed it over.
I would also have lost my train ticket, my driving licence, my dry cleaning ticket and about £30 if I hadn’t turned back. And would have had to spend the day trying to find the phone and ringing the phone company and also being unable to tether my computer for the work I had to do.
I am very glad I live in one of the infinite time lines where I turned back, though would prefer to live in one of the infinity timelines where I didn’t walk off a train without my fucking phone. I hope it’s parental tiredness rather than my brain turning to mush that is responsible for the current crop of clumsiness and forgetfulness.
Luckily the sliding doors didn’t shut me on the train (or out of it without my phone) and I got to do two very enjoyable jobs (luckily enough as neither was paid), making a couple of podcasts: one with TV genius Richard Osman, which will be out later in the year and one with podcast genii - the No Such Thing As A Fish team, which will be out later in the year. The first was a quiz with a prize of a chocolate cake (which clearly wasn’t much of an impetus to me as I don’t consume that shit no more, even if it’s made in the shape of a caterpillar) and the other was a regular Fish podcast but with me sitting in. Weirdly I had been listening to their show the day they asked me and thinking what fun it would be to take part and imagining what I’d say and then I got the DM saying it’d be cool to have me on (we’re making a crossover of it as the gang will be on my podcast on the 24th July, so this goes out the Friday before).
I was a bit nervous about being part of this show as it’s one of my favourites and they’re all so sharp and clever, so I’d used the six hours between the two projects to research the subjects and try and find some stuff that they might not have. Which didn’t seem very likely.
But it turned out OK I think.
It’s a wonderful thing to make a living doing quizzes and talking rubbish and I seem to be living that dream. And the lack of money today is unimportant. Firstly I would do anything for Richard Osman - anything - because he is a quizzing and entertainment marvel and always fun to hang out with (he’s also appearing on my unpaid Edinburgh Fringe podcasts, so quid pro quo Clarice) and the Fish podcast gets around 7 or 8 times the downloads of mine, so even if it wasn’t worth it just for the fun of taking part (it was), it’s an opportunity to find new listeners for my stuff. They had made a phenomenal and deserved success and it was an education to chat to them off air about how they’re made it work and also to see the swanky QI towers, right in the heart of London. I don’t know whether the podcast bubble will burst, but these guys show that if you have the talent and put in the time you can create something that is your own and can compete against the big broadcasters.
The RHLSTP they did was really excellent too, by the way, being the last of this 15th (and best) series and sending us out on a high.
Mainly though this was a day of laughter and thanking my lucky stars and killing time in cafes whilst I looked up facts about animal clitorises. Not for the podcast, just for my own fun. Plus I got an excellent story about Anna’s rock n roll drunken antics on tour, which I hope they will tell you themselves one day.
And I didn’t lose my phone.