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Friday 20th January 2023

7352/19872

I am mainly enjoying not working, though there’s a sense of unease behind it all. I am so used to having things that need to be done that it feels slightly wrong to not be trying to do something. If only I’d had kids earlier I might think about retiring all together and spend half the year on holiday.
Even no work is still a bit of work though. I am reading books for the Book Club and trying to book more guests for RHLSTP. I started Fern Brady’s book ahead of her appearance in just 10 days (shit, it’s starting again) and it’s a boldly written and gripping account of her slow realisation that she is autistic. I’ve always been a fan of her comedy and her personality - I saw her at a Taskmaster party a few weeks back and the first thing she said to me was something along the lines of her having forgotten how short I was (or maybe her questioning if I’d shrunk). I don’t mind that. I thought it was funny. The book is similarly blunt. Others might have spent some time scene setting or delving into the past, but this just hurtles straight at the subject and it’s all the better for it. It’s very readable, very well written and I think it’s going to help a lot of people.
It seems that every day a comedian is discovering that they are neurodiverse and suddenly they understand more about themselves. It shouldn’t be that surprising that comedians’ brains work differently or that many of them don’t act as society expects. Despite my obsessional blogging and stone clearing and general neediness I am not sure that I can join their ranks. I am shy and socially awkward and undoubtedly a bit weird, but I don’t think I am compelled to be obsessional, so much as think it’s funny to be obsessional. Maybe I am fooling myself, although online tests I’ve taken have shown me to be embarrassingly average and conformist. I may have to content myself with being a rare one-balled aphantist. Maybe I was lightly touched with the neurodiverse brush or maybe I have just watched enough comedy to know that that kind of behaviour creates fine comedy. Fern struggled with anger and smashing up her own possessions and not understanding social cues or how to respond in meetings with executives. Aside from feeling awkward socially and in meetings I can’t claim to be anything like that. But maybe being the one not neurodiverse comedian will become such a big deal that I can make some capital from it nonetheless.
We also started watching Reboot, which is a very smart and funny sitcom on Disney, though another in a long line of shows obsessed with looking at the real life world/behind the scenes of a crappy sitcom/comedy show. It’s still very good though, with some neat twists and observations and a terrific cast. Give it a whirl.
I also watched Death in Paradise and this series has already featured the actor Kevin Eldon and Robert Webb., When do I get my turn? When?

Love doing these RHLSTP Book Clubs and it was really fascinating to talk to Rebecca Wragg Sykes about her book Kindred, Neanderthals and magical archaeology. Listen here.


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