Ready to go on

Monday, 28 February 2011

Monday - Bath time!

Blimey! I've fallen on my feet this week! Beautiful Bath and The Lodge as my gorgeous lodgings.

Bath is even more beautiful than I remember. The last time I was here was about three years ago to do 'With Great Pleasure' for Radio 4 with the fabulous Sir Terry Pratchett. We were in a barn of a theatre called the Forum. That's still there, but everything around it is different. New bus station (all very 21st century) and the colonnades of the old town have been extended right to the station, all built to the same design and with the same stone. It looks amazing.

My lodgings are five minute from the station and are in a beautiful, detached lodge. I have a classy bedroom, satellite tele, wifi, own private entrance, parking and en suite bathroom. From my window I look out on parkland sweeping up the hill to a manor house with a church next to it. I think it's probably their own church, you know the sort of place.

So, it should be a good week? I'm in the dressing room and the show is about to start and I am listening to Al Green on the ipod speakers. 'Let's Stay Together'.

Why then do feel a bit down? Maybe it was the rather rushed Sunday at home? Certainly wish my wife were with me. You just settle in to being home again when you have to pack up and head off again. It's weird this touring. I know some people do it all the time but I doubt you ever really get used to it? I'm not good on my own. I like company and conversation and, despite their being quite a few of us on this tour we're often only together to do the show so you do still have to be pretty self sufficient. I'm not, sadly.

Still, snap out of it, for goodness sake! You could be down a mine or digging a ditch in freezing weather or unemployed or, worse still, in the Mousetrap for a year.

Have you noticed how British people never really say what they think? They always temper what they say with a 'I suppose' or a 'Well, I don't really have an opinion either way but if I was pushed...'. I've been trying to be more direct recently in my answers to questions like, 'How's your dressing room?'. Today I actually said what I was really thinking. 'It's very large and has a toilet and shower but the tele doesn't work and it's up a lot of stairs.' I'm doing this because I don't want indecisiveness to cause a repeat of the story I'm about to relate to you.
A friend of mine (i know that sounds like the start to an apocryphal story but it's actually to save their embarrassment) was supposed to be going to a funeral but the work they were doing became impossible to leave. They work in advertising and when a client says they want more work done on something then you do it or lose the client. Realising that they were not going to get away and be able to attend the funeral, my friend decided to try and get some flowers sent with a note. It was the funeral of the father of a school friend of hers and she hoped the thought would be enough? 

She rang Inter flora and asked if they did a same day delivery service, which they did, so she asked for a large bunch of white roses to be sent to the church where the funeral was being held. The girl on the other end of phone asked if she would like to send a card with them and my friend said she would. 'It will have your name on it,' the phone girl said, 'would you like to add a message?' 'Erm, well, perhaps, condolences, I suppose?' my friend answered.
When my friend phoned the next day to apologise for not making the funeral and to check that the flowers had arrived she was disturbed to hear that the card had not gone down well. 'Why?', she asked, perplexed. 'Because of the message.' said the upset daughter of the man who had been buried. 'What was wrong with it?' my friend enquired. 'It said, 'Well, perhaps, condolences, I suppose.'. What sort of message is that?'

I'm going to try to be a bit more direct with my answers and a little less Hugh Grant. I advise you to do the same.

xxx I will add some photos from my phone when they finally come through on my computer x

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