I’m winning!

Tony Walsh and Cerys Matthews

Hola. Hope you are well.

I am a little achy. It’s largely my own fault. I played  11-a-side football for the first time in I don’t know how many years. After it I remembered why I don’t play 11-a-side, as it was hard work. My cool down however involved sitting down and moaning with the other players as to how hard it was and then going to the pub for a pint. And that is why more than two days later I am still achy.

Talking of football (of sorts) ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ managed to get us Olympic tickets. She said they were “literally the last things left”. Meaning we are the proud owners of slightly over priced Women’s football tickets. We’ve not even got tickets for the final but instead for a random quarter-final. These set of Olympic tickets were allocated on a first come, first serve basis. This caused a whole heap of chaos as the website crashed as demand outstripped their capability to deal with it. I’ve always said that first come, first served was a stupid way of allocating these tickets, surely some kind of ballot system would be better.

Also last week, Thurs, I did my 5 min comedy set, the 3 Prong Attack with my mate Prong 2 (and he is Prong 2 despite what he might say). It was an interesting gig, when we got there we introduced ourselves to the organiser who had no recollection of who we were. As I didn’t  organise the gig I was able to take step back and watch how it all played out knowing no matter what the outcome, blame would not be coming my way. As it happened thanks to modern technology the organiser was able to get on his phone to see he had sent Prong 2 a confirmation email so we were ok to perform. Without such technology I wonder what he would have done? Maybe noted down on a pad who was on the bill. Anyway, we got to perform and it went well, which always surprises us, as we are a comedy duo with no actual jokes. Which in many ways not only summarises our but also our lives.

The only other thing to mention about the gig, kind of reinforces my theory that creative types are no good at organising things. This is illustrated by the fact I sent my friend Colin a musician, a txt on Weds night saying I was doing the gig the next day. Unfortunately he didn’t read the txt til Thurs morning. So on Fri evening I was shocked, surprised and a little confused to get a txt from him asking for confirmation of the pub’s name. I was so put out I rang him, which is a big deal when you are on Pay as you Go. Luckily he hadn’t left his house and had to endure a wasted trip. We did talk about meeting up some time soon but don’t expect to see that happening til around Christmas.

In a vain attempt to prove this blog isn’t all about me, I have been thinking about the potential bailout of Greece by the Eurozone. This would be the second time this has happened within a year. What I really don’t understand by the whole thing is how can I be more solvent than an entire country. Me an unknown comedian in a comedy partnership that doesn’t do jokes, it doesn’t make any sense.

And Finally… Thanks to the power Twitter I’m able to find out all the successes of my poetry contemporaries from the Manchester scene. This week alone I was able to read that Mike Garry was in a French school doing his poems, Tony Walsh was the poet in Residence at Glastonbury and Dominic Berry won a poetry slam at the Nuyorican Poetry Cafe in New York. In fairness due to the power of the blogosphere they will be able to read that I did a 5min set in the upstairs of a North London pub. So to borrow a phrase from Charlie Sheen, “I’m winning!”

Til next week, stay safe!

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Reasons to be cheerful

joss stone

Hola. Hope you are well.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that my passport runs out in August and I am going to be abroad for a few days in July. I was a little concerned that this might be a problem and so I rang the passport office and they said I could ring my airline to see what their policy on this matter is or I  could get a new passport. I had intended to get a new passport, I got the forms and everything but I’ve just not got round to doing it and because you have to send in your present passport when you want to renew it, I thought it would be typical of me to end up with no passport by the time we were to travel. So just before I wrote this blog I rang up the airline and they said I would be fine travelling on this passport. The only reason I mention it, is to let you know that nothing can go wrong from now in terms of the passport.

Last week, I mentioned how I had just started to read 59 Seconds, a self-help book that demystifies self-help books. It’s not yet changed my life but I think it might have  changed ‘Her With One Permanent’s Job’s’ life as I am constantly telling her what I have learnt and taking any opportunity to apply the book’s ideas to our circumstances. For example, when she texted me to say she was a little peeved by her friend mucking her about, I texted back “Think of 5 things you are grateful”, I’m not sure that text was one of the five.

Also last week, we went to see the new X-Men film. We went largely because our close, showbiz friend James McAvoy is in it. I say close, showbiz friend, I’ve played football twice with him and ‘HWOPJ’ met him as part of a previous job but we are still claiming him. I thought it was  very watchable even though it wasn’t my normal genre of film, my normal genre of film being dodgy £1 films from the library.

In addition to this we went to the Globe theatre to watch Dr Faustus. From what I could work out, the moral of the play is that if you are going to sell your soul to the devil, try to negotiate a better deal than 24 years of power and knowledge. Twenty Four years doesn’t seem long enough for what he was offering. I think Dr Faustus could have done with Max Clifford sorting out the deal.

I think the oddest story of the week was the fact that two men from Manchester were planning to kidnap, rob and possibly murder pop star Joss Stone. I know she can come across as being a bit annoying but murdering her does seem somewhat extreme. Whenever I read a story like this and it involves more than one person I always think that one of the party should have seen reason and talked the other one out of it. If  one of my friends came to me and said, “I’m thinking of kidnapping, robbing and murdering Joss Stone”, I’d like to think that at the very least I would talk them out of murder. I think the most shocking thing about the story, isn’t the fact that two Mancunian’s could be bothered to travel all the way to Devon but that Joss Stone is reportedly worth £9m.

Talking of shocking news, I’m doing a rare comedy gig this Thurs, 23rd June as one half of the 3 Prong Attack. We are only doing a 5min set but hopefully it should be fun. At this point a normal person would write the details of the show, i.e venue, price, time etc… but I didn’t book the show and Prong 2 is keeping me on a need to know basis. So far I know it’s near Angel tube st. So if you think you will be in and around that area on Thurs eve, email me on emailjuliandaniel@yahoo.co.uk and hopefully I will be in a position to give you more info. Cheers.

And Finally… We have hot water at the flat, well sort of, the boiler is still playing up. It worked straight after the gas plumber left but a day later it went back to being temperamental. To be fair, the plumber did say the boiler was in v.poor condition. But at least it’s stopped dripping water and that’s something to be grateful for. In fact one of the 5 things I’m currently grateful for.

Til next week, stay safe!

Do they know it’s kwanzaa?

rod,jane and freddy

Hola. Hope you are well.

I believe at the time of writing parts of  the South are suffering with drought. I don’t think it’s got to the point where Bob Geldof is rounding up African musicians to record, ‘Do They Know it’s Kwanzaa’. I can’t help thinking ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ and I are in some way responsible for this drought, due to the fact that we’ve had to run a lot of water over the last few days in an attempt to get some hot water, often to no avail. This is because our boiler is playing up. It’s always been temperamental but now it is just taking the p*ss. You wouldn’t think boiling hot water would be so difficult, it’s not as if it’s the heart of winter and the boiler has had to heat the flat as well. A guy from British Gas is coming out to examine it tomorrow and you can guarantee it will work without any hint of a problem. All this did make me think that boilers are one of those things that only get mentioned when they go wrong. So I thought I would be a little different and I would give the readers of this blog the opportunity to say they are happy with their boiler (you can do this via the comments button).

Also last week, I finished the book, ‘A Piano in the Pyrenees’ by Tony Hawks the follow-up to one of my favourite books, ‘Round Ireland with a Fridge’, where he takes a fridge round Ireland, as you do. In this latest book he buys a house in the Pyrenees on impulse and moves his piano into the new property as well attempting to build a swimming pool in the back garden. It was a v.readable book but I couldn’t help thinking, how can he afford to buy a house in France in addition to the his property in this country? Afterall, we are in theory in the same industry, he’s a writer/comedian and I’m a writer/comedian, admittedly he’s a more successful one than me but all the same. we do the same thing and having got my bank statement today I can categorically tell you that I will not be buying a houses in the Pyrenees any time soon. Or anywhere else in France for that matter.

This however could be all about to change as I am now reading a new book, ’59 Seconds’ by Professor Richard Wiseman and he must be good because not only is he a professor but he’s also got the surname wiseman. In the spirit of fairness I should mention that his first name can be abbreviated to Dick. Anyway the premise of the book is that you can change aspects of your life and the way you do things in less than a minute, hence the title 59 seconds. This is my kind of book, little effort for maximum reward. This is the book I should have read 20 years ago (technically it wasn’t out 20 years ago). I’ll be sure to let you know how I get on, although the evidence should really be quite obvious.

And finally…. Last week Roy Skelton the voice of Zippy and George from Rainbow died. I was a little surprised he did both of their voices as they seemed so different but I suppose that was his genius. I wonder if Rod, Jane and Freddy will be at the funeral? I always thought it was brave of Rainbow to introduce us children to ‘an alternative relationship’. Even with the oddities that was Rainbow, i.e. a talking hamburger, a camp pink hippo and a talking bear, even as a 6 yr old, we were all aware that Rod, Jane and Freddy, were the weird ones.

Til next week, stay safe! 

A tale of two coats

steve ovett and seb coe

Hola. Hope you are well.

Hello to Simon Cowell. I know he reads blogs with his name in it, mainly to inform his lawyers about any libellous comments made about him or his shows. That’s why I’ll leave it here.

Due to the minimal lifestyle that I have adopted over the last few years, I only have two coats here in London, a summer jacket and a winter coat. Such was the inclement weather this morning I had to wear my winter coat, which is ominous when we are only at the start of June. It was so wet and muggy here that I could have been in Manchester. One way I knew I wasn’t in Manchester is because it was rent day today.

I had a week off last week and managed to do a few things, nothing too major but enough for me to be getting on with. For example I tweaked my CV. I’ve not sent it to anyone but it’s definitely been tweaked. I should really be sending it to places because the 6 weeks school holidays are fast approaching  which basically means potentially no income for me, which isn’t a favourable prospect. I do however have an idea as to how I will secure work over this period, word of mouth. My plan is to tell anyone I meet and strike up a conversation with that I am looking for work over this period. My thinking is that someone will either say, “Have you tried so and so…” or “My friend is looking for people to …”. I mentioned this plan to ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ and I’m not sure she was that convinced by this strategy, it was her saying, “I hope you have other options” that gave me this inclination. So if anyone reading this knows of any work going, for an unknown comedian, please let me know, especially if you are Simon Cowell.

One of the things I got round to doing on my week off was meeting my mate Colin. Despite us living only ten minutes from each other it has taken us 6 months to eventually meet up. This is even more remarkable as we talked about meeting up before I’d moved. We have tried to meet up before this but it had never worked out as one or both of us couldn’t make it for what ever reason. In our defence we are both arty types, he’s a musician and I’m what ever I am and arty types are some of the flakiest people in society so it’s no surprise we hadn’t got round to organising a meet up. I often think that if governments want to topple terrorist groups they shouldn’t try to take out the leaders, they should infiltrate the groups with arty types, in that way they’d ensure nothing gets done, making the world a safer place.

Also on my week off I rang the passport office as my current passport runs out in August but I am due to travel to Spain and back in July. I had heard that if you have less than 6 months on your passport you can’t travel to certain places. So I rang the passport office to get some advice on this matter. They said they couldn’t tell me  but my airline will know, it did make me think but you are the PASSPORT OFFICE! They did however say I could buy a new passport, surprise surprise.

We also  found out last week that we didn’t get any Olympic tickets, admittedly we only put in for 4 events but still. This ballot system does seem like the worst system for getting tickets ever. Some people got more tickets than they actually wanted, whilst others who put in for loads didn’t get any. Apparently Lord Coe said they spent 3 years looking into the best system for allocating these tickets. It would appear that the committee must have spent the first 2yrs 11 months and 3 weeks fannying around and then came up with a plan. In other European countries you could book your tickets on a first come, first serve basis, what a novel idea. The system we had,was similar to going into your local shop and being told you can order what foods you want but you won’t be guaranteed you’ll get them all or any. They also advise you that you will have a better chance of getting what you want if you put in for more than you want and on top of that they will take the money out of your account before they tell you what you’ve got. At that point you’d say, “stuff this I’m off to Tesco” (Other supermarkets are available). All I will add is Steve Ovett would definitely have done a better job.

And Finally… on to Ryan Giggs. Now I have to be careful what I say here but after he was named by an MP as the footballer involved with Imogen Thomas, this weekend he was alleged to have had an affair with his brother’s wife. To me that is a proper no no. It’s things like this that tear families apart. I’m not saying it happened but the only thing that could cause his family more upheaval is if he’d had an affair with his sister’s husband. It does seem things have snowballed for Giggs as ‘HWOPJ’s dad said of these allegations surrounding Giggs,“what next, the family dog”?

Til next week, stay safe!