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.