Monday, 15 August 2016

Lifetime underachievement award # 14. (1996).

Doing stand-up comedy could be a strangely unpredictable experience, although with practice I gained more control over how gigs went. I once did an open spot to what felt like a huge audience near Hampton Court. There was a stag party in on the night, who heckled me relentlessly. I ploughed on regardless.
Afterwards, 18 people came up to me and congratulated me on my performance. Even now I remember counting the well-wishers off in my head as I made my way home, which is how I can be confident of the number after all this time.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Lifetime underachievement award # 13. (1995).

I did stand-up comedy in my spare time from late 1994 to about March 1996. I'd sometimes do an open-mic spot at the Samuel Pepys pub, in Hackney. It was inconvenient to get to but it was one of the few such nights that ran on a Monday.
The pub was rough. At the time it was the only pub I'd been to where street homeless people actually came round begging inside the pub.
The bloke who ran the night always wore a blue sequinned cape, and seemed a bit spaced out. I read some while later in Time Out magazine that he was a traffic warden in real life, who was in recovery from some major drug problems, which might have explained his befuddled demeanour.
The acts were a peculiar bunch. There was an elderly gay poet who did a poem about fucking men in the armpit.
Another poet used to regularly do a song that heavily featured the refrain, 'Theresa the vegan chef!' He'd accompany himself with his rudimentary harmonica playing. This song would often go on for a solid fifteen minutes uninterrupted.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Lifetime underachievement award # 13. (1995).

I did stand-up comedy in my spare time from late 1994 to about March 1996. I'd sometimes do an open-mic spot at the Samuel Pepys pub, in Hackney. It was inconvenient to get to but it was one of the few such nights that ran on a Monday.
The pub was rough. At the time it was the only pub I'd been to where street homeless people actually came round begging inside the pub.
The bloke who ran the night always wore a blue sequinned cape, and seemed a bit spaced out. I read some while later in Time Out magazine that he was a traffic warden in real life, who was in recovery from some major drug problems, which might have explained his befuddled demeanour.
The acts were a peculiar bunch. There was an elderly gay poet who did a poem about fucking men in the armpit.
Another poet used to regularly do a song that heavily featured the refrain, 'Theresa the vegan chef!' He'd accompany himself with his rudimentary harmonica playing. This song would often go on for a solid fifteen minutes uninterrupted.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Family business #19. (1970).

There was always a firework display for Guy Fawkes' night at the local recreation ground. I remember Brother M buying a mug of Bovril at a stall there. I'm not sure if he'd come with me and mum, or we'd just bumped into him there. I suspect it was the latter. Even then, he was very much off doing his own thing.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Random access memory # 53. (1968).

On top of Barclays bank in my home town there was a dome, which must have been made of copper. It always looked bright green against the sky, however dull that sky might have been. Mum explained it was verdigris that caused this. The word verdigris appealed to me for some reason.