It’s all relative

A cat

Hola. Hope you are well.

I’ve had a relatively busy week since my last blog post.

Last Wednesday I compered a poetry event, my first compere gig since moving to London. Like most poetry events it was friendly. After the gig, the man who booked me said “I’d worked hard for my money”.  I suppose it’s all relative as I didn’t think it was that difficult. I’ve definitely had tougher compere gigs, plus even though the money wasn’t loads it was still more than my daily pay  as a Teaching Assistant, even though the hours in school are longer than my compere duties. It’s things like this that reaffirms my belief that I don’t understand money and that the wages people earn are quite clearly made up.

On Thursday, I met up with Prong 2 to sort out our set for yesterday’s gig (Mon 26th). We only had 2 pints but by the time I got back to the flat it was after 10pm and I had to eat and do some washing up as I was going back to Manchester on the Fri after school, and didn’t want to leave the flat too messy for our return. No one likes to come back to a messy home (unless of course you do). This meant I didn’t get to bed til after midnight and was up again at 6:45 am.

I got back to Manchester at 10pm after a 4 and a half hour coach journey, then I went to my mum’s house, had a little catch up and before I knew it, it was past midnight, which was not good as I was on the BBC Radio Manchester breakfast show, which meant getting up at 6 am. You can hear my appearance on the show here, my bit starts at 1hr 41 mins in and will be available til Sat 1st Oct.

There was no early start on Sunday but I did go to a christening where the priest’s opening gambit was to tell off  congregation for not respecting the church, I don’t know if  he was referring to the level off chat when he first appeared. He then went on to tell off the parents of the children getting christened for not going to the mass prior to the christening and for not handing in some forms, what a way to strip any fun from the proceedings. This priest might want to consider going on a course to work on his personal skills, after all he didn’t do a good job on selling his church. Maybe someone needs to have a word with his boss.

And yesterday I did the aforementioned 3 Prong Attack gig. It was in a pub in the area of London I live. Doing a gig in your area can be a dangerous thing because if it doesn’t go well, you are sure to keep bumping into everyone that was there. Of course if it goes well, the chances of bumping into anyone who was there is minimal. As it happened we had a good gig and got plenty of laughs, which is good considering we don’t do jokes. ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ said it was our most surreal show so far, she didn’t go on to clarify if this was a good thing or not.

Talking of the 3 Prong Attack, we are doing another show this week, 2 in a week, what will the neighbours say? Any way if you are in  Sreatham this Thurs, 29th Sept then pop down to the Railway pub, 2 Greyhound Lane, Streatham, London SW16 5SD, Doors 7:30 pm Show 8:00 pm and it’s FREE. Nearest stations are Streatham Rail St and Streatham Common Rail St.

And Finally… I was reading in the Observer newspaper that the top 3 words people use for their computer passwords are password, arsenal and pussy. Which if nothing else shows we are definitely a nation of cat lovers.

Til next week, (Mon) Stay Safe!

As seen on TV

The nutty professor

Hola. Hope you are well.

I am good if a little achy as I’m back from Newcastle and more specifically back from doing the Great North Run. If this was ITV I would string it out before telling you what time I did it in, but this isn’t ITV so I can tell you I did it in 1hr 40:21, which placed me at 2884, which isn’t bad considering 54000 people ran. I have to admit that I am genuinely surprised at the time. As regular readers will know I was hoping to do it in around 2hrs if only to beat Fearne Cotton’s time from last year and throughout training that was the kind of time I was looking at getting, so when I turned into the final section and could see the clock, I couldn’t believe the time it was showing.

I wouldn’t say I was lucky but on the day everything seemed to go for me and I felt good all the way round, except right near the end, although when I crossed the finishing line my body packed in. It was almost as if it was saying, “I’ve allowed you to run these 13 miles without a problem, but now you will pay for it”. But all in all it was a satisfactory experience and quite addictive, already I’m considering what my next sporting challenge will be. ‘Her With One Permanent Job’  started talking about doing a triathlon, although I’m not sure that is going to happen as she is not good with bikes and I don’t do swimming. I struggle in a pool where there are sides and no waves so I’m not going to swim in the sea where there are waves and a real chance of drowning.

One final thing about the race and a regular reader and contributor to this blog (Simon) thought he may have seen on the TV coverage, which is good news as it means I can advertise myself as ‘as seen on the BBC’. It might not have been ‘Live at the Apollo’ but it was still a BBC programme.

You might have thought the race would have been the true test of endurance this weekend but no, that was the coach journeys to and from Newcastle. The first took 7hrs and the one back 6hrs. But in defence of the coach companies at least they didn’t bump their prices up like the train companies did. Sixteen pounds is definitely preferable to two hundred, even if at times you lose the will to live.

Despite only being in Newcastle for 2 nights it was enough time for a drunken man to shout, “Oi, The Nutty Professor” towards me. In no way is this a reflection on the people of Newcastle but in just over a year I’ve been told to “Butt out MC Hammer” outside a gay club in Edinburgh and told, “I’d taken all the sun and left none for the rest of the people” by an old Spanish lady on a beach in Valencia. As insults go they are not too bad, but it has made me wonder why this keeps happening to me. I’ve come to the conclusion that because I’m not an intimidating looking black guy, people feel they can direct their insults in my direction, rather than a black guy who looks like they might kick their ass. Tis just a theory.

In other news  I have a few gigs and one radio appearance coming up. Tomorrow, Weds 21st September I will be compering a poetry event at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, it’s Free and starts at 7:30pm. More details here.

On Saturday morning, 24th Sept, 7:30am, I will be on BBC Radio Manchester reviewing that days newspapers.

On Mon 26th Sept, I will be performing as part of the 3 Prong Attack. We will be at The Hob in Forest Hill. It’s a new act night and is £3 in, Show 8pm . Due to this gig being on a Monday and me also working earlier that day, next week’s blog will most likely to be on Tuesday. I hope you can wait for it.

And Finally… Last Friday I got stung on my ear by a wasp or bee. I presume it was a wasp or bee as I didn’t actually see it but I did it hear a buzzing news right next to my ear. I admit I panicked a bit as it felt so close, it was almost as if it targeted me (I’ll resist saying it made a bee line for me). In all the commotion, which was basically me flapping my arms around and yelping, the so and so stung me. I do think there’s something a bit wrong about an adult getting stung, surely that is the preserve of children. Feel free to let me know if you’ve ever got stung as an adult, it might make me feel like I’m not alone. Luckily for me I didn’t suffer any severe reactions to the sting, of course if I had swelled up, then the Geordie lad would have had more justification in calling me The Nutty Professor.

Til next week (probably Tues), stay safe!

Mother’s Pride

david walliams

Hola. Hope you are well.

I am back at school and today was my first day. Getting up at 6:45 was a jolt to the system. It was also my first time in a mainstream secondary school, and my first time in a faith school. As first days go, it went pretty much without incident. Although in the last lesson of the day, English, the class were checking in dictionaries the origin of words, one of which, was brother. Who knew brother, was so close to brothel?

On last week’s blog post I used the phrase, ‘jean destructive testicles’ .When ‘Her With One Permanent Job’ read it she said that must be a Googlewhack and although it’s not technically a Googlewhack as there are three words in the phrase not two, it is however the only site on the web with the phrase ‘jean destructive testicles’. My mum will be so proud.

Also last week, I mentioned how the coach I was booked on was 59 mins late. Since then I have booked another journey with this very same coach company. I think this is an example of the optimistic side of my nature, or that I am broke.

I also found out last week that a potential opportunity for me to do some writing workshops in a prison is unlikely to happen as the prison doesn’t want to be seen to be paying poets when they are cutting jobs. Even though it affects me, I can fully understand their standpoint. For example, if it kicks off at a prison, who do you want dealing with it, a prison officer or a comic poet? I suppose that is the realist in me.

I did however do some writing workshops at this prison last year, where for our final session we recorded a poetry show, where the inmates read some of the work they did with me in the sessions. This recording was put in for a literary competition against other prisons and it won Gold. As I win so little, especially for my writing, I’ve decided I’m going to bask in the glory of the prisoners. That’s the kind of bloke I am. My mum will be so proud.

In other news, David Walliams, has been swimming the Thames, for the charity Sport Relief. Even though we’ve been told the Thames is cleaner than ever and Walliams has had loads of jabs, he still got ill, surprise surprise. Can I just put it out there now, that if I ever get to the level of fame that charities feel they could make money of my efforts, there’s no chance you’d get me to swim the Thames or any other river for that matter and it’s not just that people of my skin colour don’t do swimming. Don’t worry I’m not without some charitable spirit, I’ would send them a cheque, if cheques still exist when I reach that level of fame.

This Sunday I will be enduring my own sporting challenge as I will be taking part in the Great North Run. Part of me is quite looking forward to it and another part of me will be glad when I can say it’s over. I do think I’ve been more focussed training for this half marathon than anything else I’ve ever done. I’ve definitely been more focussed than when I was at Uni, although that probably doesn’t say much. I didn’t think I’d be saying this but I think a bit of me will miss the training. There’s something quite addictive about putting your body through the pain of running 10 mile sessions. Or is that just me? One thing the run will mean is that this blog will be on Tues next week as next Monday I will be travelling for 7 hours on a coach, lucky me!

And Finally…Yesterday I righted a wrong. Some regular readers might remember a few months ago that I went to the Greenwich Planetarium where I fell a sleep. Yesterday, I was back there, not because I’m obsessed by stars but because ‘HWOPJ’ had to do something to entertain her sisters (and she also has a friend who can get her in the planetarium for free). I tagged along where I managed to stay awake for the whole talk, which as it happens was only 30mins, which does beg the question why couldn’t I stay awake for it all last time. All I can say is my mum will be so proud.

Til next week (Tues), stay safe!


Trouble down below

Lord Sugar

Hola. Hope you are well.

I’m good, I spent a few days last week back in Manchester, apologies to any friends I didn’t get to see, which was all but 4, but you know how it is when you are only back home for a few days, you can’t fit everyone in. Plus if people want to know what I am up to they can check this blog every Monday.

As you know if you read last week’s blog post, I decided to travel to and from M’cr by coach. I used two different companies and had two contrasting experiences. On the way there, I used a company that was, let’s say a national coach company that gets you around at express speed. That company left on time and arrived on time. On my way back I used a coach company that is big, some would say it was a mega bus company, this set off 59mins late, with no explanation as to the delay. I feel an email maybe winging its way to their customer services. My experiences although mixed, hasn’t put me off travelling with either coach company, mainly because they’re cheap.

Talking of public transport, in my absence where I grew up now has a tram system. This has caused a lot of excitement (probably more than it should) as talk of this tram has been going on for about 10 years and at times it looked like it would never happen. As last week was my first opportunity to use it I took it, (plus it was cheaper than the buses) and after living in London for 9 months it was just nice to travel above ground.

Also whilst I was at my mum’s I took advantage of the fact that she is skilled with a needle and thread and I have problems down below. Don’t worry my mum didn’t do some kind of DIY vasectomy, that would be weird on a number of levels. No, I presented her with some jeans to mend as they had a hole in the crutch area. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to do this but it is numerous. I don’t know why my jeans end up like that, I don’t know if it’s the way I sit or if I have jean destructive testicles but something is going on. Feel free to let me know if you have similar issues, cheers.

Also whilst I was back home I bought some new running trainers and discarded my old ones. I thought it might have been an emotional occasion as I’d had these trainers since the summer of 1998, so effectively 13 years. But in the end it wasn’t that emotional, after all they are only trainers, and they were properly battered trainers, part of the soles had come off so I was running on the plastic, possibly not ideal, but despite their condition I was considering leaving them at my mum’s should I need to run when I’m back there but I decided against that when I smelt them and thought these have to go.

In other news, I read that a think tank, would like ex soldiers to work in schools as teachers to sort out discipline in schools. I would suggest that there is more to teaching than barking instructions at pupils but it did make me think that it could be good news for Colonel Gaddafi should things not go his way in the next few days. It’s always good to have a back up plan.

And Finally… a few week’s ago I mentioned how I got some passport pics taken at a photo booth but they were rejected by the passport people and so the photo booth company were kind enough to reimburse my £5. Well last week I put that cheque in to my account. I know what you are thinking, why didn’t you do that sooner, think about the interest you are missing out on? You are probably correct, I imagine Lord Sugar would have already made a million pounds out of that fiver. I suppose that’s one of the differences between me and Lord Sugar,that and I bet he doesn’t have holey jeans.

Til next week, stay safe!