“At the end of each day message me with something you’ve done,” said Brian on the day I landed. Brian is my housemate and friend, and a contender for the loveliest man in the world. I met him in a semi derelict office block in York, where I was being encouraged to howl incredibly loudly in the basement. They needed me to make enough noise to drown out a snow machine. A very noisy snow machine. “How loud can you howl, Al?” said the director. Red rag to a bull. The people upstairs called the police because they thought someone was being tortured. A scared and hesitant officer appeared in the doorway and we had to tell him Scrooge was being dragged off to hell and we were all perfectly fine thank you very much. That night we all we all went to the pub. When the show went on in Manchester and York we laughed and pubbed more, and nobody called the police. A year later the show was in The West End, Above the Arts. Thankfully with no snow machine, although there was a noisy smoke machine. Mercifully it usually overheated. The job has become a feature of my Christmas, and Brian has become a feature of my life.
So when he asked me to write him something every day it germinated the seed of an idea that had been planted a week or so before I flew. I was with Rachel, who is another long term collaborator and friend. We were humping 15 bags of peat out of the basement of The Natural History Museum, as one does on a Tuesday. “I’ve booked a flight to LA.” I told her, trying to make sense of it. “I don’t really know why, where I’m staying, or how I’ll afford it, but it’ll be an adventure.” Words to that effect. I don’t speak like I’m in The Famous Five. Swearier language, fragmented sentences. I talk like I write, fuck it. “You should blog about it.” She said. “I Iike it when you blog.”
So I did. It’s useful for me to do something every day, I’ve discovered. There are nights where I’ve mashed it out in a ten minute rush while someone smoked (wahey etc), one night I had to take myself off the dance floor and find a quiet corner of a party with no quiet corners, another night I where I did it in an uber pool between venues (ooer missus). But people engaged with it. And thank you for that as it kept me feeling it was worth doing. When the forces of darkness kidnapped my car, Lyndon covered the extortionate recovery fee, but it would have put him in a very tricky situation if I hadn’t been able to repay him swiftly. I didn’t know what to do and reached out to you here, and people I would never have thought to ask for help made it possible for me to pay Lyndon back. That was one of the most emotionally conflicted and glorious mornings of my life, as the little pings came in. I am going to find ways to pay back that kindness, and I’m determined to pay it forward. Thank you to everyone who helped and also to everyone who helped by sending positive energy or just engaging with it or smiling. To be LA about it, I’ve been harvesting a lot of positive energy out here.
I’m about to board the flight home. I’m writing this in the airport, but if I get too involved I might miss the plane which would be ridiculously dumb. The point of this blog today is to slap myself in the face with a gauntlet. I challenge myself to continue this for a year. So there’ll be over three hundred more of these. Worth seeing if I can pull it off (vicar). It’ll be hard in London. So that’s why I want to do it. But for now I’d better put this in. Before I get off.
Here’s a picture of the place I stayed in for most of the trip. Happy times. More to come. See some of you in London. 12.30 my place. Message for address, as I don’t want to get crashed by a load of total strangers.