So what happened last week
I have missed out blogging for a week, this is due to a lack of lengthy train journeys , though I have had many shorter, pretty train journeys. I tweeted of enjoying the beauty of the stretch from Southampton both because it had a wonderful English pastoral look or hedgerows and parish churches seemingly without parishes, and because I knew that writing about beauty and contentment would make one of Michael Legge’s feet swell with fury and confusion.
In brief –
Sunday – Nuffield Theatre, Southampton
Ate too many Marks and Spencer marshmallow teacakes to make up for lack of coffee, cigarettes and alcohol. They made a nice candied mess of my brain and I enjoyed the gig which was frankly self-indulgent.
Returned to the Southampton Park Hotel which is one of my favourite hotels for no reason whatsoever (some sort of projected anti-glamour I have draped across it).
It feels like a polite salesman’s hotel, thinks work and are practical. It does not dirty its fingers with glamour (which as we know from many seaside towns can only fade).
Watched a film, no memory of what it was. Then worried that Spooks may actually be rather silly.
Monday – Cheltenham Literary Festival
That train journey I mentioned with the churches and empty fields.
Bumped into Marcus Chown (author of many excellent science books, why not start on We Need To Talk About Kelvin). He insisted that Alastair Campbell had been so lovely on stage the night before everyone had fallen in love with him (stomach acid problem suddenly reoccurred)
Good charity shopping – Novel on Yellow Paper by Stevie Smith, The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo , Selected Writings of Ruskin, Sexual Politics by Kate Millett, News from Nowhere and other Writings by William Morris, Routledge Introduction to Film Studies and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Very happily sit in authors’ green room eating quiche and potato salad while reading the opening pages of each book.
Martin White, Neil Edmond and Richard Wiseman all appear. We plan our reasonably unplanned show. it seems to go fine, all the time safe in the knowledge that when we return to the Green Room the cheese board will have been laid out.
Richard and I go to sign books after the show as Neil and Martin haven’t bothered to write any. We look enviously as the huge queue that leads to John Simpson. I am lucky. They appear to have forgotten to have ordered my book, so the very few copies they have are soon gone. They’ve ordered some of Wiseman’s increasing his shame. I win in a loser sort of way 9remind me to tell you the joke about the peasant, the Mongol warrior, the rape and the dusty balls some day).
Sit around the hotel and Neil tells very funny stories. Best punchline is “ROY!”.
They drink beer, I drink J20, so much sucrose and fructose I am almost driven to booze.
Tuesday – BBC7
Record links for BBC7’s comedy club. Guests include Natalie Haynes who talks of Juvenal, Helen Keen discusses Satanism and Michael Legge shows me his big swollen foot. It is the foot of a man twice his age and quite hideous to behold and yet disappointing too, like an obese bearded lady with alopecia
Meet my literary agent in a café that would like to close for the day. We ruin everything by ordering toasted sandwiches.
The final judgment for the Royal Society Book prize.
The long hoped for argument about multiverse theory over fruitcake fails to occur.
To Morley, the town that has become a huge charity shop thanks to another out of town shopping centre crushing elderly independent tailors and grocers with pride in their apples. This is the first time I have performed in a fifties style diner. The smile of Dime bar saturated milkshakes and fries fits well with the readings.
To be continued (barring sudden death, I mean I feel alright, but you never know)