4am. I had to pull myself away from Lou. She was warm and convivial and Lou and I would like to have stayed. But I had a boat to catch.
Driving from Brighton to Portsmouth before 5am made me all to aware of the moment when businesses decide that night has become day. I stopped at three locked petrol stations before somebody let me in to buy a coffee. The night staff can’t let you in to use the Costa machine. Plus the machines are serviced at the beginning of the day. At 5.20 I went to a coffee machine that had just been serviced, on my third attempt stopping at a garage. Fresh milk. I finally got my crack. Adrenaline was doing fine at keeping me awake though as it was still unclear to me if I’d be allowed on the ferry with just a driving licence.
I was second in the queue at the ferry. I was waved to the kiosk having just listened to somebody make about six errors in The Shipping Forecast on Radio 4. Nobody is functioning fully before dawn. I had jacked myself up for fireworks. Somehow I was gonna get on that boat come hell or high water.
“I just need your boarding pass and photo ID,” she said. Not passport. And it was as easy as that. I have her my driving licence. Phew. TNT can go be as useless as it wants. I got on the boat.
I saw the dawn on that boat. I saw the dusk on it. Plain sailing. But the days are just too short.
The ferry had a duty free with some decent prices, but I was immediately put off when I went in. This boat goes to France, but most of the wine they were flogging was from New Zealand. I thought I was gonna get some supplies for Jack and I but there was no way I was paying for the air miles on that booze…
So I went straight to digs. To the little home I am going to be in with JimJack for the next month. We’ve lived together many times, the two of us. Mostly in Nidderdale, in big semi-derelict houses full of bedbugs and empty swimming pools full of frogs. But also in suites across America. In neighbouring tents at festivals. In a brand new student flat in Sheffield. In sterile Airbnb’s outside York. And now in this ground floor flat in St Helier, the town where I was born. Here he is, once again. Here I am once again. And we are going to be making live art once again. With the incredible shorthand we have developed over the long years.
Right now he’s inspecting all the games we’ve been left with. We are here for a month. He wants to make sure we are entertained. We’ve just written some bits together, and then asked each other loads of questions from 1980’s Trivial Pursuit. It’s going to be a busy stupid month. But we can play together just as effectively as we can work together. And we both have a huge bed each.
Christmas. Here we go. A familiar friend. A happy show, and a new view on it. Bring it on. But yeah, I made it.