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Saturday 6th July 2024

7880/20821
I am not having much luck with curtains this tour - having already smashed a lamp in one hotel when closing the curtains, this morning I opened the drapes and one curtain came off its thread and fell to the floor. I don’t feel this one was my fault, but it’s possible that I am too vigorous when it comes to curtain management.
Day four of five days away always seems to the toughest psychologically and I was flagging through the afternoon. It was a longer drive today so no time for more sightseeing. And there was some kind of carnival going on in Worcester that made it very difficult to get to our lodgings, though some cool and illegal driving from Bollings got us there. It’s like having James Bond as your tour manager.
The football had the opportunity to fuck up my gig one way or another. If it went to penalties we’d have to decide if we were going to delay the start and if England lost then that might affect the atmosphere. As it was we delayed by 15 minutes, England did the impossible and scored 5/5 and I was able to introduce myself saying England were winners and thus entered to an undeserved huge ovation. I then apologised for the late start but said I’d been called up to take one of the penalties.
Maybe it was the carnival, maybe it was the football, maybe it was the new government or maybe I am an amazing comedian, but the show rocketed along and this might have been the best one yet. I am not sure I remembered last night’s ad-lib correctly, but the thing I pieced together got the same big laugh where once there had been a small laugh or eggy moment of confusion. I love it when you patch up a tiny hole in the comedy balloon like this (and actually manage to pump in more air - air is laughter in this this metaphor).
Lovely to be back in Huntingdon Hall after some time away and with 260+ in it was definitely the biggest audience I’ve ever had here. On this five day run where I thought I might sell 300 tickets in total I have done over 1200, which is great news and the feeling amongst long term returning customers is that this is the best show I’ve done. One of the nice things about my modest success in this career is I’ve never been able to rest on my laurels. And whilst I do want to do a great show and hope people enjoy it, one of the good things about this post cancer, older man life is that I am relaxed enough to not let it bother me if they don’t. When expectations are too high or you want to succeed too much then things can stiffen up a bit, as the England team demonstrates, but when you relax and care but don’t care, everything is looser and funnier and more enjoyable for all.
Anyway what I am saying is that although I didn’t actually take a penalty, my belief in England, apart from in the last five minutes of the Slovakia match, is what has got them this far.
But my own successes are my own and nothing to do with your belief in me.
Walked back through Worcester after my gig, through the throngs of drunk Midlands people and the clouds of weird smelling cigarette smoke (they must have different tobacco here). Glad to get back to my apartment (we’re staying in a rather nice complex here with no staff and key codes to get to your rooms) and not be out drinking and taking drugs with the scantily clad inhabitants of this town. That would be awful. It was a nice comfy bed and the apartment was quiet (in two of the last five hotels I’ve been able to clearly hear conversations in the next room, and thought about joining in sometimes) and I watched a bit of the football highlights and then went to sleep.
Getting very close to the end of the tour now and the end of my 57th year. Loving the former, not delighted about the latter, but better than the alternative.



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