Sunday, 31 December 2006

I Did It

Farewell, then, to 2006. It’s been one of the best years of my life.

On the 14th January I turned 30. This did not strike me at all as a cause for despondency. I wouldn’t go back to my twenties for all the money in the world, and I still consider myself young. But I perhaps have a bit of extra wisdom too.

The 15th January marked an even more significant milestone. I made my debut as a stand up comedian. I’m notorious for starting projects and not completing them, having identified them as the newfound love of my life. But I’ve thrived in stand up, and already made some wonderful friends from it.

This was a splendid year for friendships generally – making contact with ones I’d not seen for a long time, and finding new ones. This quest was helped by being offered a terrific job in February, which enables me to be a part of one of the most exciting things to happen in this country for a long time.

We have a new family member in Hector, our black Labrador. His rate of growth would make a bodybuilder green with envy. He’s a lovely fellow, and I’m looking forward to getting to know him.

I moved to north Oxford, and much prefer my surroundings, although I miss living with my erstwhile flatmate Paul. It’s just a hop, skip and jump into town, and there are some nice places nearby. My favourite is the video and DVD rental store Videosyncratic, which is owned by Jon, with whom I have become friends.

And just recently I have discovered that there is a fabulous gym on my doorstep, replete with weights, machines and very able trainers. One of them, David, is devoting considerable effort to getting me fit. I’ve had too many false starts to make public pronouncements about this, except to say that I want to look and feel very different this time next year. That’s my goal for 2007, along with doing better at work, and taking the comedy to another level.

I think the comedy has to go down as my great achievement of 2006. As 2005 turned to 2006, I watched Comic Aid, a show dedicated to helping the victims of the tsunami. Not being a suitable topic for levity, the tsunami was little mentioned, and so we were left to analyse the performances of some of Britain and Ireland’s most famous comics.

There I sat, almost ready to burst with desire to try stand up for myself, but unsure whether it was something I could do. (I referred to this elliptically in my post this time last year.) I’m so pleased that I took the plunge, and I’ve been thoroughly vindicated.

I am grateful to everyone who has been a friend to me this year. There are a great many of you, and I am lucky. I love you guys.

This is an unapologetically self-centred review of 2006 – it is MY blog after all! But I wish all of you a fun night tonight, and a blessed and happy 2007. Come back and read me next year.

Saturday, 23 December 2006

Happy Christmas

This is just a brief message to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

I also wish you a Happy New Year, but I'll be posting again before 2006 is out. Do try to drop in!

Sunday, 17 December 2006


I am absolutely staggered to read this, via Tim Worstall.

I couldn’t believe it wasn’t some sort of joke until I logged on to the Telegraph site for myself. OK, it’s only a proposal - but my God!

I’m no military expert. But I cannot conceive of any circumstances – other than the creation of epoch shatteringly intelligent yet biddable robots – whereby we would ever want to stop training infantry and special forces in the use of parachutes.

Can you?!

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Paul Maynard, Again

Some time ago I paid tribute to my friend Paul Maynard, who was fighting Twickenham at the General Election.

He has just been selected to stand in the Conservative interest in Blackpool North and Cleveleys. I endorse every word that I wrote back in 2005.

Looks like I’ll be having the pleasure of some more time in Blackpool – a place I have always enjoyed visiting.

Good luck Paul.

Saturday, 9 December 2006

A Better Night

Wednesday's gig, in contrast to Tuesday's, went very well.

It was the first time I'd compered away from Oxford, and only the second time ever. I think I did a pretty good job.

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Oh What A Night

Tonight’s gig will live long in infamy.

It was quite horrific, from the start to my exit at the interval.

The crowd was very small and unresponsive, and everyone in the first half died on their arse. This included me. Moderately thrown by the punters’ ferocious indifference, I tried to be engaging and charming.

I was rewarded with some silent laughter and a few smiles, and a VERY small amount of noise in the middle of the set. But overall, it was a gloriously awful show.

I got the balance between ad libbing and planned material hideously wrong, and committed what I have only recently told myself is for the time being a cardinal sin, in returning to my oldest material (which was poorly received).

I exaggerate a LITTLE – one of the crowd told me after my set that they’d enjoyed it and found bits very funny. But nonetheless, this was not the stuff that dreams are made of. Well, not good dreams anyway.

But I am oddly energised by the episode. It was a useful reminder of the improvements that are needed, and helped crystallise some technical issues for me. Moreover, it really wasn’t that bad an experience – it was my worst ever gig by some margin, but by no means was I the most disappointed I’ve ever been.

And hey, there’s always tomorrow; literally, as I have another gig.

Monday, 4 December 2006

Tommy Two Shows

I have two gigs this week.

On the night of Tuesday 5th December (i.e. tomorrow), I am playing a new Electric Mouse venue. This launch takes place at the Gallery Pub, which is near Bank tube station. Herewith a streetmap link. The show starts at 8pm, but doors open at 7.

The following night (Wednesday 6th December), I am returning to Kebabilarity, this time as MC! Kick off is about 8:45pm. The venue is downstairs at the Cyprus Grill, which is at 193 Fulham Palace Road.

The nearest tube station for Kebabilarity is Hammersmith. It’s just over a ten minute walk, or one can catch the 295 or 220 or 190 bus towards Fulham. The venue is just past the hospital.

You will be very welcome at either or both gigs!

I introduced my friend Silky back to the stage last night. No problems. It wasn’t a gig.
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