Bonnet up

I like having a car again. But I forgot how expensive it can be. I needed oil. The screenwash was empty. The water level is low. And I’m going to be doing a lot of driving. £70 gets another tank but I’ve got to watch the pennies now. My usual day job at Imperial gave every single bloody invigilation shift away because I was at festivals and didn’t confirm my availability in time. So – world: Money in exchange for acting, driving or being fantastic. I do all three. I’ve got a pilgrimage to fund. Go Go Go. Also anyone who wants a bed in a happy Chelsea flat with the best flatmate ever and a cute cat, I’ll give you decent rates so the flat stays nice while I’m away. Better someone I know and like than putting Brian through the unpredictability of Airbnb types unnecessarily.

I told my agent about it. The pilgrimage. That makes it official. I’m going. Leaving on or around Wednesday 26th, two days after my birthday and I have a show at The Arcola on the 23rd. Returning on the 9th November. So basically the whole of October. I feel totally sure about doing it, even if I’m a little weirded out by all that time away from anything related to acting. But I think it’ll make me calmer and more honest. And I think I’ll be able to properly and convincingly lay a ghost, and honour it as it passes. I’ve got family about 100km from Lourdes, which i reckon is about three days walk, although I haven’t got my distances sorted properly yet so I might be way off. Maybe I could do it in 4 easy days and call it warming up. I’ll have to break the habit of a lifetime and draw up a proper hardcore schedule. They’ll be good for me as well.

Anyway. Today I tinkered with my jag. I had the bonnet up, getting grease all over my hands.


I looked at the manuals and watched YouTube videos. If I was married, my partner would raise their eyes to the heavens and say “That bloody car. It’s his pride and joy.” As it is I’ll do it about myself. I can’t drive it at night though because all the lights on the left side are smashed out and once I get stopped then I have to expensively replace them. Still, it was nice to get my hands oily. I’ll need to top up the water and do the tires tomorrow morning. Then I’m screaming up north for a day or two.

Having a car, even if costly, makes perfect sense with my lifestyle. I wouldn’t have booked a train ticket until tonight to go up north because I couldn’t have predicted auditions etc. By now the ticket would be really expensive which is why I’m always on the Megabus. This way I can list two seats to Stockport on blablacar at £15 quid each, go in my own time, and stay until it makes sense to come back. If i have to mission home for a meeting I can. So, yeah. I’ll keep justifying the expense to myself and to you, best beloved. And I’ll get my nose to whichever grindstone presents itself from next week to make sure I can keep bleeding the insurance out so I can keep bringing behind the wheel of my swank whip…

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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