Day 33 & 34 – Dublin
On the train to Dublin along the coast. Pounds turn into euros, and my phone signal disappears altogether. As well as that I can’t seem to use my cash card (then realise they aren’t all link machines, doh). Last time I was in Dublin it rained all the time, but today the sun is out. I try to remember how life worked before mobile phones, and use a pay phone to call Mike Landers, Manchester comedy forum patron currently living in Dublin in a converted hotel apartment overlooking Tallaght. His gaff is the nuts, proper nice. With Mike as guide we all go for a pint in Kehoe’s.
The last gig of the tour is the next night at the Sugar Room, my finance’s mum and friend turn up to come and watch and it’s nice to have a familiar face in the crowd for the last gig. It’s an interesting room, like a dinner theatre, and full. I have a solid one and Charlie rips it…and we’re done. I had envisiged a massive drinking session after the last gig, but it was all very measured, and considering the amount per night over the course of the month, probably just as well. Big hugs all round, and we go our separate ways.
Flew into Manchester Airport. Got a train to Burnage. Walked through Fog Lane Park onto Wilmslow road. Got a bus to Fallowfield. Bought a pie and some bread in Sainsburys. Got a taxi home to Whalley. It made sense at the time.
Day 25 – Aberystwyth
The final day of the Welsh trilogy takes us to Aberystwyth university, and possibly one of the most gorgeous views on the tour as we decended the steep incline of the A44 and the road – cut into a vally lined with trees opened up, to reveal the rooftops of the whole town in the distance, beyond which was the sea. At the time of day we entered the sun was low in the sky and reflected across the ocean throwing the rooftops into silhouette which was quite simply breathtaking. Then I crashed the car. No I didn’t.
The University was pretty amazing too. Cream bright walls and Big glass windows looking out onto the sea made it feel like starfleet academy, full of new student in the 2nd week. The gig didn’t disappoint either, great numbers and they all lapped it up – especially one lad who claimed to have ‘everything’ on his ipod. A great way to end the Welsh dates, certainly after Brecon. Did I mention I was repeatedly interupted by a kid with downs? I gave him the benefit of the doubt as he shouted out random words – while his friend/carer found more humour in his outbursts than my set. Bless Brecon. Finally got around to doing the interview with Charlie for SFX.
Day 26 – Guildford
Guildford isn’t London, but I think of it as London. From the you-can’t-park-anywhere attitude to the big haired posh woman who after 10 mins of driving round in the chock-a-block car park, stared at me, looked at the car and felt need to comment “That’s an interesting piece of parking!”. I looked at the car. It wasn’t straight, but it was perfectly acceptable. Obviously she didn’t know that I’ve spent the entire month driving and parking and driving and parking and driving and driving and parking and moving and driving and parking and parking. So I didn’t mean to be too aggresive when I dug down deep into my thickest mackem sensibilities and spat out “AYE PET, IT’LL DEE!”.
I got a ticket and decided to re-align the car, not because of anything she said, but out of pure dick-ishness. The second I got into the BMW and reversed a little, two cars appeared. “Oh good, Are you leaving?” quipped a fop from the window of his Audi. “No, I’m not.”.
The gig went ok, quite quiet.
Day 27 – Lincoln
The Theatre Royal in Lincoln was a lovely old place, and the crew were very pleasant. I was knackered so did a lot of sleeping in the dressing room. Over the tour my sleeping pattern has become very irregular. (I’ve just written that as ‘speeling pattern’, which sounds a more accurate description.) Lots more sleep of the dreamy imaginary kind, where I think I’ve done something, or been somewhere when I haven’t and vise versa. My phone internet has stopped working, which is interesting as I forked out for the ‘unlimited’ package. Turns out Virgin mobile’s idea of ‘unlimited’ is 1GB, which sounds like a lot but isn’t. One of the features of the phone as sold was the BBCiplayer application, so after two episodes of Merlin and one of Spooks it’s all gone. Boo Hoo – I hate you virgin mobile. Oh no, I’ve fallen asleep with it turned on.
Another quiet gig, but I kick a good bit of energy into them.
A far too brief stop off at home beckons, then off to Ireland.
John Cooper, Comedian & Improviser. Public speaking workshops and training for UK businesses. Dealing with public speaking nerves and providing confident focus through unique and entertaining workshops