I paid for the full four hours parking in the morning, 8.30 to 12.30 so I could sleep it off. Last night I literally passed out halfway through writing a sentence.
At 12.25 I was wandering up to the van still feeling awful when a traffic warden sprinted past me. It’s the Chelsea Flower Show at the moment so they’re out in droves, and evidently they’re competitive with each other. I watched him as he ran up to the van only to be disappointed by another warden already waiting by it. They stood together in silence watching the clock, armed with their machines, twitching like Samurai before a duel. There’s probably a thing where if you manage to start the process quicker than the other guy you get to issue the fine and the kids get to eat. I was almost sorry to disappoint the pair of them as I slouched up to move the thing and wished them a cheery “Good morning.” They looked crestfallen. Thank God I’d remembered to bring the key.
Now I’m back home running a bath and still feeling rancid. I’ve got about three hours now to go from grotbag to fabulous. It’s an award ceremony at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and I’m presenting it. I know I can switch it on but oh God I don’t want to have to. Can’t I just lie here and occasionally swear out loud?
Well. Adrenaline is a wonderful thing. Strode out of the hotel with head held high having had the client say in her closing speech that it was “the slickest award ceremony in London” and then caught me as I was leaving to ask me to do it next year. I forgot all about the fact that I wanted to die for most of the afternoon. Lord knows I’ll probably crash out spectacularly once it wears off, but right now I’m on the tube looking a million dollars and grinning from ear to ear, despite a niggling sensation that I might have run that whole award ceremony with my flies undone.
As much as anything else, it was the band. Bamboozle. They were bloody marvellous. Sat up on stage with me the whole time providing drumrolls for the sometimes interminable “short lists” and little funky riffs to underpin the bit where you have to wait as they come up to get their award. It’s nice not being on your own up there. There’s often a lovely complicity on stage between MC and band, and that was the case tonight. A somewhat niche award ceremony had four skillful craftspeople to make it look and feel sexy and fun. They’re playing now. The frontwoman pulled out a double bass. I kind of wanted to stay for their set but there’s a crash coming and I’ve got auditioning to do tomorrow again. It’s going well. Jobs are rolling in. I’m converting them. This summer is already looking good and I have an honest sense that it’s only going to get better. Cue the music.
Not tonight though. Once I finish processing all the crazy thyroid juice I’ve been sucking on like a crackhead I’m going to fall over. I reckon I’ve got about an hour left in me. Home, James, and don’t spare the horses.