Ready to go on

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Monday - Malvern

The final week of the tour before we have a week’s holiday and we find ourselves in Malvern. Not find ourselves in the hippie sense of the word, of course, but this is where we are, so if we need to find ourselves we won't have to look too far.

I'm staying with a group of people from the company in a house. This is the first time I've done this on this tour and I'm quite looking forward to the company, particularly after the show. It can be a bit soul destroying heading back on your own to a small bedroom in digs, knowing that you are probably not going to chat with anyone else until you get to the theatre the next evening. Some people seem to cope with it well; they are probably better practised than me; I don't do well on my own. That may explain my use of this blog as a source of chatting. At least, it sometimes feels like that. I hope it does to you?

As a result of my inability to survive without human contact I am also a great twitterer and I strike up conversation with strangers at the drop of a hat. You would be surprised at the number of people who are willing to strike up a conversation if you are willing to take the risk of starting one. You have to choose your moments, obviously. Suddenly bursting in to conversation in the middle of the street will get you some very strange looks. I know, I've tried it. Shops are a good place, as are pubs and cafes. You will never get a very involved or detailed encounter but it is better than walking around all day in silence; at least I think it is. You will have to ask the people I accost if they like it or not? If you can find them? They are probably hiding somewhere making sure that they don't bump in to the weird bloke who looks like Jon Snow, just shorter.

So, anyway, I've been to Waitrose in Malvern, a disturbingly quiet shop until I put a stop to that. I've bought several bottles of nice wine and some cheese and biscuits which I will share with my fellow house stayers when we get back tonight. If they all just head for their bedrooms and leave me alone be prepared for a very sombre, depressed, hung-over blog in the morning, bemoaning the lack of sociability among actors these days. I doubt that I will be disappointed, though. I may still be hung-over, but I doubt I will be disappointed.


Blimey! Four in the morning talking bollocks and listening to my very extensive ipod collection. Good night!

I do a ridiculously eclectic collection of music on my ipod; mostly because I have this strange obsession with number 1's. Obviously not going for a wee, although at my age that can be an issue. No, I mean the chart No. 1's. I have them all. Really. I was bought a copy of the Guinness Book of Hit Records some years ago and discovered a list of all the number ones up to that point. At the time it was under a thousand since the chart had begun in 1956. I was amazed that there were so few and casually stared searching to see how many of them I had as mp3's. Not many, as it happened so I bought some more. And then some more. Until I had filled all the gaps. I now go to iTunes every few weeks and update the list.

This has kept me in touch with the more modern stuff, a difficult thing when you don't have young children or teenagers around to force their music on you and to stop you listening only to songs from your youth and developing this ridiculous attitude that 'music isn't what it was'. .

There are now well over 1200 number ones and I have them all on my ipod. Weird, I know, but it means that I am able to make birthday presents for my friends that are fairly unique. I search for the number one songs that were number one on their birthday and compile CDs of the 'hits of their years' - the songs that were number one on each of their birthdays. It is a brilliant gift for people who are around fifty as their list just about covers the whole of the charts and, because people tend to remember the songs that were around on their birthday, it brings back many happy memories to the recipient.

There is also a, sort of, hidden secret reason why I wanted to get this strange collection. I am one of the very few artists that is on that list. Not the greatest song in the world, but mine own - I sang the lead vocal on the Spitting Image hit, The Chicken Song. Therefore I am part of a very small club that includes The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Madonna, etc. Alright, my one is one of the crap ones along with Grandad by Clive Dunn and Ernie by Benny Hill, but I'm in the club so that's what counts. (oh yes, and The Stonk, by Hale and Pace)

Please bow down in adoration, or hide your face in shame, now. xxx


  1. Well, as one 50-something who has 'Ernie' on the iPod (and knows all the words), I'm in no position to knock your membership of the club! Didn't the HBGBs get into the charts?

    Please carry on waffling at us throughout your tour - if nothing else, it's an entertaining vicarious geography experience!!


  2. Mike
    Is it ok if I bow down, WITH my face hidden in shame, at the same time?
    Like your idea of birthday gift made up of timeline #1s.
    I can relate to your explanation of retiring to your room each night away from others......work takes me away from home regularly, to numerous motels, where the solitude can quickly become tiresome.
    Sounds tough to lose yourself in Malvern, but give it a go anyway!