Monday, 1 August 2011

Shut Up, Gilbert O'Sullivan.

This is it! Today is the day that most performers make the journey up to Scotland for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. So many bright, young hopefuls are packing up their dreams, ambitions and stilts and taking them on that fun, song-filled train journey to Waverley Station where they will show the world that they’ve got the goods, mister. Each one of them fresh-faced, energetic and alive.

Not me. I’ve been up here for a week already. On my own. Going mad.

Glasgow is a great city but Glasgow is Rotterdam and Rotterdam is anywhere alone. When you’ve spent the bulk of six days on your own in a hotel room, your mind wanders and breaks. Only someone who has spent six days alone in a hotel room with a broken mind could find it clever to throw in a Beautiful South lyric. That’s me. Hello.

I’ve brought DVD’s and work with me. Lots of DVD’s and lots of work. So far, I’ve done a thimbleful of work and I’ve watched one DVD. I just can’t seem to concentrate on one single thing this week. There’s so much to do in preparation for Edinburgh that I’ve decided to do as much nothing as I possibly can. That means a lot of looking out the window, a lot of pacing and a lot of doing things that never need to be done. I spent a couple of hours on Thursday deleting phone numbers from my phone. Who’s Brian? I don’t know. Delete. Hmmm…am I ever likely to phone Carol again? Last time we spoke she said that she liked my sitcom idea and would send the first draft to the head of her production company and then she said she hated Doctor Who. Delete. Every time I pressed delete I imagined that person immediately disappearing off the face of the Earth. You can see why that took a couple of hours, surely? Then I decided to find out how much German TV I could stand watching. The answer is 72 minutes. Das ist gut, ja? I did do a lot of reading which I think is healthy. Reading every day keeps the mind fit and strong. There wasn’t a single day when I didn’t read that soy sauce packet. Sometimes aloud. “Wok and Walk soy sauce. Fermented soy beans, wheat, water, salt. Recyclable packet”. I didn’t even look at that, I know it off by heart.

Do you talk to yourself? Me neither. Why would I talk to myself when I have Mr. Curtains and the Cup twins? Sadly, I’m not lying when I say I really did start to talk to inanimate objects this weekend. On Saturday I turned to the kettle and said “What are you actually made of?” He said nothing so I made two cups of tea that I forced to compete for my affection. One was called “Welsh Blend”. It was from a hotel in Machynlleth. The other was a posh rooibis tea from a hotel in Hong Kong. That Welsh tea never stood a chance. I remember sitting on the floor naked just laughing at it and thinking how pathetic it was.

Finally, last night after the gig I went back to the hotel and actually watched a film. It was Bananas, the Woody Allen classic. I decided it would be great to watch it with the commentary on. My commentary on. Turns out, although I’m quite critical of a lot of the production values, I know a lot of behind the scenes gossip from that film. “He shagged her. That building used to be a brothel. That car’s in jail now. That was Woody’s own spoon. I remember him punching Charles Joffee in the dick for touching it”, I said while sitting alone in bed eating eight vegan sausages. Actually, it was seven. I found one under the duvet this morning. I had it for breakfast. It was warm, so that was nice.

The gigs have been great fun, though I was shit in Falkirk last night, but the absolute highlight for me this week was when someone pointed at my Peter Davison badge and said “Jesus Christ! Is that the Norway bloke?”

Normally the cracks start to show near the end of the second week during the festival run but I’ve come ready prepared. I’ve gone as mad and broken as I can be this week. Or perhaps this is just the beginning. Edinburgh, here I come.

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