8 Oct 2011

Post 311: A monologue, but not that of a super-villain

It's October and finally starting to behave like October despite the bizarre heatwave we had last weekend. It actually was rather fortuitous as I had a rather nice visit on Sunday from a bunch of my former colleagues and their families. Now usually a Sunday lunch has us bound for the Bear but muggin's here had neglected to book. Imagine my shock when I phoned up 30mins before wanting to eat and them saying they were full, a table for 4 adults, two hyperactive kids, a baby and a wheelchair bound moron who should have booked wasn't going to happen! Who do they think they are? Anyone might think they're easily the best pub in the area and it wasn't a surprise that they were full on such a glorious day! At this point we noticed the absurd unseasonal weather and decided that takeaway Pizzas and beer on my terrace was the order of the day, Paul
observed 'it's like something out of men behaving badly' – it was this sort of lateral thinking and laddish humour that made Paul stand apart as a merchandiser at John Lewis but particularly his bufoonish sense of humour that attracted Anna to him, that, and deep beneath that Brummie exterior he is capable of some unmatched classics like the best closing line I have ever ever heard to a grooms speech at his wedding to Anna
(another John Lewis Merchie) in December 2009 , Their original boss and mantend of mine (not something dodgy, a cross between mate, mentor and legend) Simon Dawes had also come along with his gorgeous (and ginger) wife Yvonne and their two kids Joseph and Isabel
(who are hilarious). Paul and Anna have just had their first, Emily,
and Simon had said on email that he was going to bring along his slightly older examples as a warning of the dangers that lay ahead. Now, I'm not the most positive person about noisy children but Simon and Yvonnes two are so funny. The bit when Simon made Joseph stand in the corner after he tried to make my office chair on wheels
into a rollercoaster was priceless! So that ended up being a good day! Given the amount I have spouted about these guys it's small wonder I didn't/couldn't put this in last week. This week has been about trying to get a replacement driver to take me to the Albert hall on Wednesday, where the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra were playing a Tchaikovsky portrait.
Now, I would describe the music of Tchaikovosky as like turning up to a knife fight with a machine gun, or turning up to a pub quiz with Stephen Fry, whatever happens it'll be a good result! I'd originally persuaded an old University mate (and concert pianist) Richard Rous and his wife to take me to listen to 'a bit of gay Russian' but it transpired after closer inspection and due diligence of the itinerary that the timings were never going to work, so I hastily assembled one of my panic emails which was heroically answered by my university friend Tristan,
sadly his wife was busy so given my utter antipathy towards wasting tickets I hastily invited the kindly, random Aussie girl who applied for the role of weekend housekeeper , Sadly my reliance on email meant we misunderstood the timings and missed each other so the ticket went to waste. Gah! You can't win 'em all, a subject I'm an expert in. Finally, I had further evidence last night that in my pre-stroke life I can't have been all bad when I had a visit from Gav. He maybe a bit far away these days (living in Norfolk with his wife and 3 children) but between us we worked out we had been mates for 20 years and in that time we have had some ridiculously ridiculous times, from meeting because of our mutual family friends the King-Holfords back when we were 13, (sadly it was Ian King-Holfords funeral last week) to our twenties when I would frequent the clubnight that him and Cathy (his wife) ran and the hilarious skiing holiday in Italy in about 1998 where so much booze was consumed we were lucky not to acquaint ourselves with the Italian police, we were saying last night how many people met their lifelong friends or partners through the clubnight and the ripple effect
it had. Basically, it rocked a lot of peoples worlds, mine included -I played my first gig there. Even though I was so tired I could barely speak we still managed a few glasses of fine wine and a way above average amount of laughter. Usually I crash into bed at a rather pathetic 8pm, instead I prevailed till 10 and last night I went to see my favourite comedian Daniel Kitson do one of the London shows (at a sold-out National Theatre)
of the dramatic monologue he had performed at this years Edinburgh Fringe, here is a review I found that will give you a pretty good idea of what this is. It's not stand up comedy, instead it uses his skill as an orator and his lexographical athleticism to completely capture the audience's attention for well over an hour as he tells a fictitious story he has totally written himself. This is the third one of these I've seen him do and without exception, they have been brilliant. I would go as far as to say this could be a new form of expression. I've probably overstretched my genre defining credentials there but given what I've seen in my life, I'll sit by it. I have Jose to thank for driving me and his sister Sue to thank for coming along too, sadly another ticket got wasted because of yet another communication blunder. This sort of cock-up would have been standard fodder before my stroke, now it feels like a painful waste, luckily it wasn't the driver. The other thing I am glad about is that on Friday morning my Dad and my sister popped in en route to Heathrow and got to see most of one of my thrice weekly training sessions which I'm pretty sure convinced them how hard I work. I may have changed the structure of my physical training but I'm far from allowing myself to start letting people down.

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