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In Sickness and In Health


I rarely take a day off of work due to sickness, I can’t bear the thought of all the emails mounting up ready for my return like some kind of corporate punishment for being physically fallible. Similarly, I have never pulled out of a gig due to sickness. (Actually I’ve never pulled out of a gig at all, I’m far too needy and desperate for attention and stage time).

I’ve found, so far, that the adrenaline seems to keep me going for long enough to perform my set and sometimes a good gig can make you feel better when you’re the worse for wear.

However, my day job is quite a responsible one where I’m expected to think and that and look after million pound decisions so, if I’m not 100%, mistakes can be made.

Which leads to my problem. If I’m sick today and I have a gig tonight, you can bet your arse I’ll be dragging myself down to the basement of a backstreet pub to entertain an audience of single figure numbers. You can also bet your arse that someone will tag me on Facebook at said gig. It doesn’t matter how good my privacy is on Facebook; I live in Devon, meaning that eventually and inevitably someone at my place of work will see it [insert joke about inbreeding, they love that in Devon].

So, no matter how sick I feel, I have to also drag my arse into work and perform without the aid of adrenaline or alcohol (which is, unreasonably in my opinion, frowned upon in the office).

Good job I keep myself in tip-top shape with all the exercising and healthy eating and stuff…

Creative Block

I’ve had a creative block for about a year. If ‘creative block’ means ‘too lazy and too busy procrastinating’.

This hasn’t been a problem to date as I’ve been performing to different audiences trying to improve my set and work on my performance. However, next Friday I’m M.C. for a gig in my home town and I can’t get away with it any more.  I’m terrified.

I’ve written down ideas, I know I need to work on them to get them in some kind of structure, so why am I dicking around on Twitter and Facebook?

I can rely to a certain extent on the fact that the audience know me and want me to do well. I can also rely on my local knowledge and the fact that I know 80% of the audience personally. But that’s not enough, is it?

I’ve always been the sort of person who works better under pressure so I’m hoping this will be the case here. Won’t it? The hardest part is that it’s my fault. I should be working instead of watching Cake Boss or sitting in the pub getting updates on the state of the landlord’s ass (which has now confined him to the hospital).

My saving grace is that my daughter is now home from University. She’s not a comedian but she is an artist so understands how difficult and personal the creative process is. She’s also one of the few people in my every day life who can make me laugh. We’ll drink wine until 2 am and say motivating things at each other until we feel like we’re ready to take over the world. The next day we’ll drink coffee and talk about how crap we are at getting things done and how it would all be better if we just won the lottery. Then we’ll watch Say Yes To The Dress and wait for the commissioning editor from BBC3 to pop round.

I’ll be ready next Friday. I have to be.

Sleep is for losers.



No one Gives A Fuck

Sometimes people don’t write anything in their blog for a while, maybe a year. Then when they come back to their blog, they feel they have to do a post where they say “sorry, I haven’t been writing in my blog for maybe a year. I’m really going to try to be better at telling you about my meaningful life from now on. Really. I’m sticking with it this time”

No one cares.

No one missed you.

No one is going to chance across your sudden online reappearance and text their friends “Hey, Tarquin! Have you seen?!!! Jane Blah Blah Blah has started writing her blog again! I know, it’s awesome isn’t it?!! What? Yes, of course come round. I’m making Houmous right now – bring prosecco. And tell Jonty to bring his anti chafe cream!”

I’m blogging again.

No one gives a fuck.


The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that I have failed at my 365 challenge almost before I started!

This is no surprise to me – which is probably why it failed in the first place.

It’s not that I’ve had nothing to say; it’s having the time to say it. When I have gigs (especially during the week), I’m rushing from work to gig to bed. I don’t find 2am the most conducive time for writing.

The other problem is the theme I’ve given myself – to find something funny about every day. How depressed was I to realise that I could go for at least three days without anything remotely funny happening?! Don’t get me wrong, there were things that made me feel happy – they just weren’t that funny.

I’ve been reading Richard Herring’s blog which he started for exactly the same reason I set myself this 365 – to spur him into creativity for his ‘proper’ writing. He does it first thing in the morning, reflecting on the day before.

So I’m going to do just that – if I find something funny, so be it. Otherwise this will just be my ramblings of what happened yesterday. A diary, if you will. Commonly known when executed online as a ‘web log’. Or blog.

A Funny Thing Happened Today – Day 3…..

As expected, I’ve got a bit behind with my ‘365’. Initially, this was due to having gigs last Wednesday and Thursday so I wasn’t home until around 12 am both nights – not really a time I feel like writing a blog.

Of course, once I was two days behind, it started to feel like a bigger job to catch up so now I’ve gone a week without a post.

However, my daughter (365 expert) tells me that it’s legitimate to catch up; otherwise I’ve fallen at the first hurdle. What matters, apparently, is that I keep to the spirit of 365 pieces of work (I use the term loosely) by this time next year.

So day three was Wednesday last week.

You would think that, since I was at a comedy gig, there must have been hundreds of funny things that happened. Not necessarily so.

The gig was in Bristol (in a lovely cafe bar called The Lazy Dog), and I’d made the two hour drive straight from work to do five minutes of my set. It wasn’t in the main drag of Bristol so I had relied on Google Maps to get me there – and by the time I did my phone had run out of charge. So, I arrived tired and panicking that I wouldn’t find anywhere to charge my phone so I could get the hell out of there after the gig!

The gig itself was a friendly, intimate affair to begin with and I had a nice early slot which meant I could leave before it got too dark (I’m not good on the M5 in the dark).

I’d say the thing that came closest to amusing me last Wednesday was a man who was sat in the garden of the Lazy Dog, drinking red wine and talking constantly on his phone. I was there for two hours and, every time I went out for a ciggie, he was still talking and topping up his red wine. He seemed to be randomly calling people from his contact list so that he didn’t look like a sad, lonely man drinking wine alone in a trendy cafe bar.

I was very impressed by his battery life.


The Lazy Dog, Bristol