Let’s Just Not

Sometimes a gig goes well, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s the nature of stand-up and anything else you might call a gig.

For example, on Wednesday I drove for over 7 hours in a round trip to Plymouth to have fun with a lovely audience.

I came off stage after having had a lovely time with them and said what I sometimes say after such a lovely gig. I know how funny I am, and I know how much more funny they made me appear.

Don’t get me wrong, steering a lovely audience who are doing most of the work for you is still a craft, but only a bad comic claims the credit for a lovely audience and blames a tougher crowd. I’m the other way around. Whether I’m a good comic is not up for discussion, either way.

The long drive on Wednesday gave me a chance to listen to School of Rock the musical and do lots of Jack Black style singing along. I went back to the Tenacious D album and tried to remember enough to sing along.

That led me yesterday to record a short, not brilliant, cover version:

@ashleyfriezecomedian

Throwback to a brilliant tenacious D track. Not heard this in ages. Thought I might do a quick cover.

♬ original sound – ashleyfriezecomedian

There’s a lesson here about learning and rehearsing songs before releasing them to the internet, but this is a throwaway age of fast disposable content, so meh. My claim is that I was testing out a new selfie-stand. Disprove it.

The takeaway message about the evening out in Plymouth is that, on the way home from the gig, I looked at myself for a moment, and felt like me again. For various reasons I’ve really not been feeling myself particularly consistently, and in that moment I felt in harmony with my world.

So What About Last Night’s Gig?

Good point. How can we mention the long, mindful, drive to Plymouth without the shorter drive to Slough last night?

Last night I was due to perform with 4 other acts.

I think the language gives away some of the ending here.

I knew the headline act of old, and realised that I’d already met and had a lovely chat with one of the others once we were in the same room and did that where did we meet, again? conversation. Lovely chap.

The other two I’d not met before, but they were great guys and the right sort of people to team up with in a crisis… which is kind of what we encountered.

Let’s be clear, attending a pub in Slough is not, under most circumstances, a real humanitarian disaster. It’s just something that might not end the way you planned.

In this case, the worst thing that happened is that I set up a PA system in a room that was meant to be turned into a comedy performance space, but which only ever contained families eating, then the absence of those families as I announced the imminent comedy, which cleared the room of people who wouldn’t want to be in there when a grown up stand-up comedy show started.

Turning up to what seems like the wrong room for comedy can be daunting. There’s an existential dread in the soul of most comedians about being asked to go ahead to do a show in a situation which does not afford performing a show. The problem is that this so often happens.

As I had the PA system and was MCing, I also took on the role of show manager. Why not? I promoted myself. Live with it.

I told the acts that we clearly weren’t going to perform in a dining room with families in. Which is why we put a certain amount of effort into announcing what was going to happen, allowing the room to empty, moving furniture around to make it look like a performance space, and then waiting to see if anyone attended.

Quick aside, there’s something absolutely lovely about turning up to some remote location where you see a poster with your name or face on it, and find a room, perfectly set up with an expectant audience to receive you.

In this instance, there was a poster… though somewhat out of date… but the rest was just not there.

I think the worst outcome for a comedy night is to go ahead against the odds and make a nuisance of oneself in a venue. However, there’s a small problem when you show up to a gig, of being paid for your time. If I show up to a venue, take a look at the crowd and go nope, then I cannot expect to be paid.

So, I managed the situation. I worked with the staff at the venue to present them options.

  • Go ahead regardless – to a room with nobody in the seats, but about six people on the periphery who weren’t there for the comedy, but didn’t mind if we did it
  • Get paid for NOT doing the show – because there was no audience
  • Drum up an audience from the rest of the people present

The staff member attempted to drum up an audience and then came back to tell me they’d decided to pay us off.

The other acts and I were unanimous in our feeling that this was the correct decision and that we all got to leave with our dignity intact. We’d discussed how managing the situation and giving such simple options was likely to give us a good outcome. Apparently this is Choice Architecture. I just thought I was being slightly manipulative.

Don’t get me wrong. Had there been the slightest percentage of a chance of actually performing a show, I’d have taken it. I don’t just go to Slough for fun, you know. However, I think in some gigs you have to weigh up the pros and cons of going ahead regardless, compared with calling it quits.

A Stop and Check Moment

Many of us are eager to please and say yes to things. In our work we don’t want to miss out on being paid for our services. We don’t want to let people down.

This means that momentum and peer pressure can lead us to agree to things we don’t really want to do, or can keep us in situations that don’t promise to work out well for us in the mid-to-long-term.

Stand-up is something I do both professionally and for fun. A good gig matters enormously to me. A tough gig, in the right circumstances, is formative. A tough gig in the wrong circumstances is probably a write off. I don’t need to have my moment in the spotlight. I’m an attention seeker, but not that much of one.

The thing about being this experienced on the circuit (nearly 20 years and over 1400 performances) is that I enter a random situation, good or bad, and quickly go ah… it’s one of these. That experience means I usually know how different options will play out and what the smartest next move might be.

From experience, the likely best outcome of last night was to be paid off, with drumming up an audience a close second. My gig radar told me that there wasn’t an audience to be drummed up. People weren’t at the venue for a comedy night, so any one drummed into it would need working hard to stay engaged.

The thing is, I dropped into Slough last night with a 90 minute investment of time to get there. I didn’t feel under much pressure to do one thing or another. I was chilled out about it. The stakes were low. My only concern was not to compromise the contract between the agency and the venue by being a dick about how we managed the situation. If the acts all show up to perform and the gig can’t go ahead, that’s bad luck, but contractually it’s not the acts’ fault.

However, in most other situations, the stakes are usually higher.

My wife’s setting up a business. I think it’s fair to say that we are setting it up. There’s a lot of cost. There’s a lot to be done. We need to drum up business. Saying no to things is a bad thing to do at this stage. However, saying yes to the wrong things is probably worse.

So, we’ve also been working on what turns out to be Choice Architecture with her business. I’ve been advising her not to give her potential clients a list of all the no she needs them to hear about their impractical requests.

Saying Yes to Mean No

Generally, if someone asks you to do something and you say no, then you’ve got very incompatible positions. They can say ah go on and you can say no some more, or they can say well screw you and that’s that.

This doesn’t often lead to much success for either side.

That said, there’s a lot of failure for both sides in going ahead with something doomed to failure.

So, the trick is to say yes if. In the yes if case, we create an option for yes but the variables are controlled so it can be successful.

For example, we could say I’ve no time this month to come to your house to measure a seat cushion, nor make it. This would leave the customer with no option for their own success and might make them feel like they’re being told off for asking for such a service.

Or, we could say I’ll have time in a few weeks to make that cushion, if you’d like to drop off the old one at your convenience, I can have it measured and the materials ordered in time for when I can do it. In this instance (entirely fictional) there’s a route to yes. The customer may want a rapid home-visit service, but rather than ruling the whole thing out entirely, they’ve been given an option that could work. The available yes may not suit them, but it’s on the table.

Let’s Just Not

However, some tasks that we undertake might still, despite best efforts, prove to be fruitless.

The need to stop banging your head against a wall can be a tough realisation and a grown-up decision to take.

But deciding not to do the wrong thing is as critical as deciding how to do the right things.

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Sorry About The Wait

My work ethic is weird.

I’m quite a naturally lazy person. I need a deadline and social pressure in order to finish things. I can sometimes start them easily (not always), but similarly some trivial jobs can sit on my to do list forever before I get around to them.

There’s a strange technique that one can have around things that must be done. It’s a sort of self-defence mechanism of just protecting yourself from the feeling that it must be done and being comfortable in watching it fail.

Much is the same around my much needed change in eating patterns, which has enabled my body chemistry and health to go in quite the wrong direction over the course of the year, and which I’m now trying to put right… not quite sure how well that’s going to be honest.

Health-wise, I reported a minor skin injury to the medics, who are referring me for treatment. This is a bit of minor surgery, which may be necessary, or maybe the condition will self-limit and it won’t prove necessary. Ideally we’d just get it sorted. Why wait?

Unfortunately, it’s been most of a week already and even the referral appointment letter hasn’t come. Never mind how long the waiting time would be on an already overstretched NHS. I could go privately. Maybe £250 in a dodgy private practice, up to £850 in a reputable one… but why should I spend so much money when we have a health service that we all contribute to? And what a dilemma – weighing up discomfort against a budget!

I don’t like waiting. I don’t like watching the clock go by, unable to proceed with a particular thing.

Professionally, it appears that my life is all about waiting. It’s a stark lesson to me regarding those whom I’ve kept waiting over my professional life too. I’ve occasionally had a period of inertia where I couldn’t quite get to the things that needed my input… but more often I’ve just been too busy… yet the day ticks on by whether I’ve provided the request input or not. It’s not fun being the person who has nothing to do, or who can’t complete their work, or move onto the next bit of it, until the answer comes in.

It’s torture.

I remember when I’d auditioned for Shrek The Musical (spoilers – didn’t get it) that the period of waiting was the worst part. The Waiting, The Waiting… the fucking waiting.

Yet… here I am. Guess what I’m doing.

However, as is evidenced by the tiktok timelapse at the top of this page, carefully edited to remove most frames of pure butt crack exposure, I can get on with it and get shit done. I like to blast through things and make a difference.

I’ll leave this post with a fond memory of my Grandmother from her sick bed, in the last few days of her life.

I said: “You know what, Grandma, it’s been a busy year. Since last December, I’ve got married, bought and house and we’ve got a baby on the way.” She said “It just shows what you can achieve when you pull your finger out.”

Nuff said.

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An Enormous Hill to Climb

There’s quite a lot going on at the moment, and it’s been a very labour intensive few days. I’ve barely had time to eat or sleep.

It’s also the hottest part of the hottest summer. Temperatures have been heading up towards 40 degrees C, which is hotty hotty hot hot.

So last night was the ideal time to do a night of carpentry in the shop:

Which immediately begs the question “What Shop”?

Yes. We’re opening a shop. Which explains the various trips to buy materials to set the shop up, the disassembly of the workbench in the last workshop, and tonight’s assembly of same workbench in the new location.

And it also explains why I was at said shop at 8 o’clock on Sunday morning starting what would become a day’s gruelling painting.

To be fair, I took Monday evening off. Apart from going to fetch timber from B&Q.

The fact that we have a big family party coming up this weekend, so really ought to be focussing on getting the house ready for that is something I’m ignoring. To be fair, I did go to a Tower Block in Coventry last night to pick up a drinks fridge which will be chilling some of the party drinks on the weekend before becoming a shop milk/lunch fridge in the near future.

I can’t even put these thoughts in order.

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The Proud Husband

Sometimes, being part of a marriage is about offering support and/or skills to the endeavours of your partner. I may have edited some of the above video on a frame by frame basis last night, but the credit for the end result is something I can’t claim.

Most of the effort was in making what I believe is described in the trade as a fuck ton of cushions. I didn’t do that.

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Everything That’s Wrong With The Internet

This is my TikTok profile. There are three high-view videos:

  • 500k+ a video where I make a joke about a maths problem
  • 12k+ a video where I take the piss of Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • 8k – the video where I also talk about the same maths problem

Most other videos on my profile have <1k views, and the ones that are between 200 and 700 views are probably the ones I’m more interested in.

So why have I got a 500k video that I’m not that bothered about, but a 238 view video that I’d like people to see.

Here’s the most popular one:

The jadeevice user’s original video was something that I saw and reacted to. She asks a guy what 77 + 33 is. He says 100, as though it’s correct, she moves on. I was about to post some sort of retort that it’s not 100, it’s 110, and then I looked more closely at the video. It’s clearly a joke/wind-up. The maker of the video KNOWS that this is not the correct answer.

So I posted the above stitch in which I jokingly claim it’s 200.

As if by magic, this video starts getting hundreds of views and a huge number of people all commenting, without reading any other comments – “No, it’s 110” or words to that effect.

To stimulate engagement, algorithms, ratios and… well I don’t know what… I reply to them all, insisting they must be mistaken. I also post my 8k views video:

This attempts to convince people that my 200 answer is correct.

I’ve got comedian in my username. Surely people can’t think I’m being serious. Surely they can’t think that someone capable of explaining the maths so concisely wouldn’t know that you don’t really add it up that way.

Nope.

There’s nothing more attractive to people on the internet than correcting someone.

And so the onslaught of people either correcting me, or insulting me for not knowing maths, on the basis of a joke that they don’t get continues on and on.

It’s made me rethink how much I want to correct people.

Though if they get their apostrophes wrong, I probably still will.

Also, please follow me on TikTok and subscribe to my YouTube:

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Things That Can Fuck Right Off NOW

Anyone, for any reason, who in a professional context chooses to use Comic Sans font can go and fuck themselves and their stupid inkjet printers and they insane officious arses.

And that’s who’s using it, isn’t it? It’s the sort of people who want to give you some passive aggressive bollocks, probably on a patronising laminated sign, which is either going to state the fucking obvious, or is going to impose some sort of dick swinging ego trip upon you. They bang on about whatever nonsense is of huge importance to them, but of no meaningful value to anyone else, and then, as though to soften the blow of their own inadequacy, they put it in a silly font to make it seem like they’re being playful.

They’re not being playful. They’re being cunts. I don’t give a shit about your godawful cancellation policy. I don’t need you banging on about how you need to be tough on people who cancel. I’ve no intention of cancelling and little intention of even booking with you, you small minded, power wielding officious prick.

Similarly, hotels who charge for parking in their own fucking car park are taking the fucking piss. I’ve booked a room at your place. I need to arrive in my car. Why do you think it’s reasonable to rinse me for £10 more quid for the privilege of stopping on a small patch of flat ground. What are you going to do? Wash my car? Change the sheets of my boot? Are you going to give my car a friendly wake up call with an autotrader to read in the morning? No? Then don’t charge me for a rectangle of spare tarmac that you couldn’t be bothered to build more of your hotel on.

Then there’s the phone lines who waste your fucking time giving you all the reasons why you should hang up the call and not speak to them. I don’t want to be told to fuck off, and then dealt with as an inconvenience by your understaffed call centre. I expect you to be able to answer a telephone and not give me an hour-long recorded message about how your website can help me, especially when I’m calling you because said website doesn’t work. Have you considered using our website? Have you considered writing to us instead? Have you considered downloading an awful app that doesn’t work? Have you considered fucking off? Have you considered trying to pretend to be grateful when a disinterested minimum wage tosser answers the phone and tries to fob you off to someone else because they can’t be arsed?

No.

I haven’t considered those options because I have a problem to solve. It’s not even about great customer service with a smile… I don’t care if someone’s sunny, especially if they’re about to rob me of a ridiculous parking charge. I care about getting the job done. Simple as that. If there’s a problem, we need to solve it and move on.

So I was delighted by fucking McDonald’s this weekend when I discovered that the kids happy meal boxes didn’t have their burgers in. I should point out at this stage, that I’m happily married and my wife was present. I know that complaining about a happy meal is usually the province of a divorcee dad, but in this instance, it was meant to be a quick practical meal that the kids would enjoy while we were skipping from one place to the next.

Incidentally, my daughter recently described the 2 year dearth of McDonald’s visits, mainly caused by the pandemic, as a crime against (her) childhood. So I was attempted to both please AND feed my children.

Anyway back to the “restaurant”. I went to the counter with the receipt from my order, mainly to remind me what we’d ordered, and told the assistant that the burgers were missing from the happy meals I’d collected from her approximately 90 seconds earlier. She didn’t know what to do, so brought someone more senior. By more senior, think 17, rather than 15. He looked at me questioningly. “You say the burgers are missing?”. “That’s right. Please may I have them.” He paused for effect. Then, as though he were the bastard son of Poirot and Colombo with a side order of, I don’t know, fucking Bergerac, he said to me “The thing is, I can’t see how that could possibly have happened.”. I had been prepared for the possibility that I’d be accused of lying, which, let’s be honest, is exactly what the jumped up little prick was doing. “Well, feel free to some and search our table, because they’re not there.” I replied. Sweetly.

An older guy, probably late thirties, with a look of a man who gave up on life when he took the job, and the tiredness of someone who only works with officious prick kids, dispatched the team to make new burgers. I told him it was really no problem and all they needed to do was find the originals or their nearest replacements. By this stage 120 seconds had elapsed and the drama was really unnecessary.

They provided me two full happy meals, redoing the order entirely, which wasn’t necessary and I offered just to take the burgers, but their system doesn’t have a space for that sort of logic, in the same way that it doesn’t cover what happens when some disinterested prick on minimum wage doesn’t notice that they’ve not put a fucking burger in a fucking box.

To be honest, they all need to fuck off, don’t they.

I didn’t go to McDonald’s to be called a liar. I also didn’t especially care that some tosser who’s barely discovered the responsibility of owning pubes, should try to tarnish me as such.

I should point out that they also forgot two portions of fruit from the order too, which in the end I couldn’t be bothered to go and demand since their fruit portions are disgusting and we were probably even on the deal, given the duplicate happy meal items in the second round of ecological disaster that is a McDonald’s order.

What a load of old shit all of it.

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I Said Maybe It’ll Work

Writing new material is something which comedians do. I deliberately and habitually write new material for each of the local comedy nights I MC, and I find it to be a mixed bag.

The stuff I scribble down and don’t learn properly before the show can often crash and burn. In the interval, I write a joke to order – based on suggestions from the audience – and that bit, where I work through about 10 freshly written punchlines, is always fun and usually works well.

And that’s the weird thing. When the stakes are low, the pleasure is high. I can bang out a line I don’t care about, and it will get a laugh. Conversely, when I write a whole song, and try that out before an audience for the first time, it feels stressful and clunky.

There are a few reasons for this. I think that performing musical comedy has become, for me at least, a complex multi-tasking problem. I have to:

  • Play the guitar well enough to convey the music
  • Remember/read the right words
  • Find the right part of my voice to sing those words – it always feels different on stage than in rehearsal
  • Use the microphone correctly to get the right sonic balance to make the words make sense
  • Mess with the timing of the delivery to give the audience room to laugh
  • Convey the message and the humour of the song to the audience in non-verbal ways

In short, unless the song is written a certain way which forces all of the above to be right (maybe that’s a lesson to learn from failed attempts too), then it’s probably 50 times easier to mess a new song up than to deliver a coherent version that the audience can find the humour in.

But my problem is that a lot of my stuff is getting old to me. I’m doing routines that I’ve been doing for over 15 years. I’m probably a better comedian now than I was when I wrote them, so why haven’t they been replaced?

There are lots of answers to that, but they don’t matter. What matters is that I am writing again. As a minimum, this will result in more output on YouTube, but hopefully it will also result in more new material in the set.

Unfortunately, when it goes wrong it’s very sad.

My COP26-inspired song about Brazilians and trimming of “the bush” has provide an unmitigated disaster on stage. I think it’s a well written song and a decent bossa nova. However, it doesn’t work live. So, ok… that’s going to go on YouTube. Soon, probably.

This leads to one of my long-learned dilemmas. Often, the songs that I spend the most time creating are the ones that never work. If I look back at some of my classics, I wrote them almost as a stream of consciousness, performed them, they worked, and then I played them ever since.

Conversely, the ones I take time to craft are the ones which don’t work.

So, why did I record an Oasis pastiche of my latest song idea – “She’s Electric” but in a world where we’re not using metaphors?

I did it because I wanted to enjoy the process.

I even tried the song out this weekend and it didn’t go horribly wrong…

Here’s me NOT performing the new song

However, though on first performance, the song got loads of laughs, I messed up the playing. For the second time around, I had an audience that were behaving oddly, so I did a remix of the set and played the song later than I wanted to. I also forgot to add another joke in the intro that I had hoped would stage things properly…

… so I think the song’s scoring 1 out of 2. It kind of needs to score 3 out of 3 consistently – positive or negative – in order to have a verdict.

However, I think I’ve created something that’s in my style of writing, and which is a bit daft, a bit rude, and quite funny. So I’m going to definitely, maybe, probably, attempt to make it my morning glory.*

* Oasis jokes.

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You Did What?

As a topper to my Silly Quiz Answers, I did something much sillier with the Lucid Support Services weekly quiz/challenge.

I had threatened to turn their wordsearch into a musical, and so I did.

It’s quite a strange thing to produce an entire song based on deliberately mis-reading a wordsearch and finding words that are not meant to be there.

The above video shows, in its final scenes, how many words I superimposed onto their grid. For those who want a clue about the process behind making this, here’s a picture from the notebook:

GoodNotes page, scribbling on an iPad

My songwriting process, these days, uses a variety of different techniques for capturing the ideas. Sometimes I’ll write on paper with a pen/pencil.

Sometimes I use an electronic pad with an electronic pencil.

I’ll occasionally just type into a Google Doc. And for parody songs I’ll have a spreadsheet with the original lyrics on the left and the new ones on the right… I know… sounds dreadful.

Often I’ll noodle on an instrument and record into a voice recorder.

Interestingly, there’s also a process of trying to remember what I wrote by singing/playing away from the paper altogether, which seems to create something more natural – the process of remembering it acting as a filter on certain awkward turns of phrase, and encouraging minor re-writes.

For a wordsearch song, though, a more mathematical approach was needed and you can see above that I tried to ensure that, when the song was done, I’d have a perfect correlation between every key word and the place on the wordsearch that I’d be highlighting.

That’s a lot of effort to just prove a point.

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DI SEO

One might assume that SEO is a snakeoil/dark ark/buzzword.

But my wife’s upholstery website has literally zero discoverability on Google… so there must be something in it!

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Between the Library and the Green Room

It’s another gig weekend. I’ve done the maths and it is cheaper to stay away from home than to pay for the fuel to go backwards and forwards. Probably.

It does put me again into the strange state of limbo between gigs where I’ve got time to kill in a place far from home with no facilities of my own.

Last night’s gig ran short, so I’ve had even more time in my own company. Luckily, I also have the Beatles Get Back documentary to watch, so I didn’t have any trouble occupying myself between arriving back at the hotel and getting to sleep.

I woke up at 6.30 this morning, though. Rookie error. I was quite thirsty and also needed a wee… coincidence!? I don’t think so.

Anyway, I went back to sleep and ended up leaving my hotel slightly later than the check in time, having done some admin in the room before having a last minute shower.

The Shower Scene

INTERIOR: Shower room

A large man opens the two sliding doors at the apex of a square shower cubicle, reaches in and turns on the shower.

The shower runs as our hero has his second wee-wee of the morning.

He discreetly disrobes completely and tries to enter the shower via the narrow gap left by the doors.

He discovers that he’s wider than this gap and that the water is way too hot for him to hide from it inside the cubicle.

Then starts a dance between a man trying to find the optimum temperature of a shower he’s going to have to squeeze into by half pulling on the shower pipe works, and half rogering the doorway.

Man enters shower.

Shower head is fixed and appears to have a frozen joint… it’s also at the level of his throat.

Man cavorts in shower trying to get washed without making too much body contact with the very close fittings of the cubicle.

Man escapes shower by reversing the process of entry and is relieved to find that the lack of investment in the maintenance of the room was counterbalanced by a high quality large bath sheet.

He dries himself and leaves the hotel.

That’s actually a use-again hotel!

Breakfast, Movies and Walking

With the car back at the hotel, I walked down into the centre of Newcastle under Lyme to get something to eat and drink. I wandered into Wilko where I bought a litre of fizzy drinks and some of the deodorant I’d forgotten to bring with me. I might have been able to go a day without it, but I’m a large man and it’s good to be on the safe side.

I occasionally forget which particular variant of the Sure deodorant I use, so I use a little mnemonic rhyme to help me:

Green is Good
Purple smells of Piss

I hope that helps other people too.

Then to Caffe Nero. That wasn’t my aim – I was hoping to find a small independent cafe, but none made themselves visible and attractive before I hit Nero, so the corporate megaliths win again.

Newcastle is a nice enough small town centre… with nobody in it… this makes me unsurprised at the lower audience numbers we’re expecting this weekend in the shows.

Coffee, a sandwich, a chance to use my nero points. All was good. I did various bits and bobs of admin over breakfast and went to get a second coffee. This is when the voice behind me introduced itself as last night’s opening act. I’d not noticed him when I joined the queue, and he’d not recognised whether it was me until I spoke to the staff.

We’d made an arrangement to maybe go to the cinema between lunchtime and the gig tonight. After a chat in the queue, he said he was going to go away and work out his plan, and message me online. This involved him sitting round the corner from my table. So we sat at our respective tables and messaged each other.

This might seem anti-social on either side, but to be honest, I think it was a good way to do things. We’ve only met once, and we both have our own admin to do. Distant but together is a good thing.

You Can’t Get Better

After catching up on some complex admin around eBay for other people, and exchanging messages with a few people, I had to go to get my car across to Kwik Fit for its scheduled air conditioning regas.

It turns out that middle aged day activities are a bit bleak.

This map shows pretty much the entirety of my movements within Newcastle – mainly moving from the top right to the bottom left… backwards and forwards.

From the hotel down into town (Wilko for the drink), then back up to the hotel, then down a street to Kwik Fit… then, with the car dropped off at Kwik Fit, I dropped into the Library.

You Can’t Get Better Than A Library

I did so many things in the Newcastle Library between 1.30pm and 4pm. Libraries are definitely my favourite remote town hangout place.

To be fair, I’m only vaguely present in the library. They’re just a location in which to plug into my laptop and do whatever it is I want to do, so long as it doesn’t make noise to the public.

That said, I can make noise in my own earphones.

As a result, I clipped out some moments from a recent gig and posted them on some of the socials they need to go on. It turns out that the library WiFi was really fast!

The YouTube clip at the top of this post came from one of these activities.

I also booked cinema tickets for the family, who are now watching the film I had tickets emailed to them for.

I did some of my article editing, eventually clearing up the backlog of articles waiting for my input. That was a mixture of different sorts of feedback, with different articles needing quite a different sort of review. In one case we had an article that wasn’t wrong, but seemed to have gone quite shallow, compared to an article which seemed very deep, but was hard to understand, because all this information seemed to serve only the existence of information.

Anyway, sadly the library has a kicking out time.

Unfortunately the original idea of going to see a movie didn’t work out between myself and the other act. I wasn’t too interested in the available options once we’d narrowed them down. Rather than going along to be polite, I decided to fill my time some other way.

Back in the Green Room

So I asked the staff at the venue if it was ok if I came upstairs to the green room. That’s me, using this very computer from the aforementioned green room.

In fact what I did was approach one of the staff from last night and ask them if upstairs was locked. She didn’t recognise me as one of the acts at first… she was cagey and asked me why. I said I was wondering if I could drop into the green room early and do some writing. Then she worked out who I was (that’s showbiz kids) and said yes.

So, I’m here in a comedy club I really like, in one of the nicest green rooms in the country. The picture doesn’t do it justice. There are comfy sofas and it’s decorated in a warm colour, with interesting things around. I suspect it was like this when the club was built in this upstairs room, rather than it being some sort of design affectation… but it’s lovely.

The plan for the next couple of hours is to play around with a bit of writing. Maybe comedy. Maybe other projects. At least I’ve had a warm up article in the form of this one.

Then the gig, and the long road home.

That’s showbiz.

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