Up in Stratford thinking about costumes etc

This is my view this evening.

It’s the foyer of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon. Minnie is playing Margaret in a succession of plays here. I’m seeing one of them tomorrow.

It’s easy to be proud of the friends who are doing well. This actor’s life squeezes out all but the most dedicated. I look at my year at Guildhall and I see so many interesting actors pinched off. Minnie has another incredible run of work. I’m here to catch the first part of it. It’s great when there’s something to celebrate.

The day started later than it should have and earlier than I wanted it to, as I laid down a 6.30am self tape. I waited outside Costa in Mornington Crescent as I got there at 6.20 and there’s only instant coffee at my friend’s. Ten minutes was worth the wait, alongside a bunch of HS2 workers who mostly needed a shit.

Nobody wants to try to be fabulous at that time in the morning but it was the only shot I had for the tape. I had made a tentative arrangement with a friend for the night before but all my instincts told me it wasn’t going to work. I was right, so I bundled over to Camden at dawn and did it in one of my regency frock coats from the costume haul. I figured that since I’ve got them I might as well use them…

I sent a bunch of coat options randomly to whoever I was in contact with over the decision making period. How the hell do I have “too many regency frock coats”? I mean… They’re great… But…

Anyway, everybody I asked agreed on one particular piece of clothing for me to wear and nobody said “Al, just wear a suit, or you’ll look like a twat.” I went with the costume… I suit a period costume.

I’ve started to understand the extent to which I’ve lucked out with all these incredible free costumes thanks to Lou. I just need to lose a few pounds so I can close the button on the raw pink silk three piece. But some of the incidental pieces, like the one I wore this morning, are actually pretty damn good in themselves. Lou is a legend. God love her.

I sent the tape. I did a load of stuff about renewable energy. I drove to Stratford. Now I’m just here, next to the big theatre, with no traffic. It’s so quiet. I’ll hear the silence, sleep in it, watch Rebellion, and then tomorrow I’ll drive somewhere that I can do another blimming self tape. Get me in the room!! But I’m happy that things have woken up again. About time.

Busier and Calmer

I’ve been crashing around London again. Here there and everywhere. I woke up in Richmond, a little the worse for wear with a hangover. A cup of coffee and a croissant and a mixture of painkillers. Abdul showed up in a Prius to take me home. He was an accelerator. Swearing about all the other drivers but throwing me around like a bag of mince. I’ve lost my keys, so I had to break in. My head was swimming from hangover and painkillers and Abdul’s driving. It seemed perfectly logical to put my fingers down my throat first and then fall asleep for fifteen minutes. This is what I do when I have a free morning? Hmm.

Up and out again about half an hour after arriving, and I was driving across London in Bergman this time feeling surprisingly better for the empty and the nap. I was heading to Bethnal Green, where two very lovely individuals were waiting to help me make sense of a Vigenère Cypher. I have to know the cipher very well as I’m playing an expert on it in an improvised show with beats. For a while I felt like my brain was too full to process it and then suddenly the wheels clicked into place like the rotating discs on Turing’s machine and I understood. Now I get it, and I can teach my friends how to make one. It involves a chart and a shared secret phrase without which you will have the devil’s own job of cracking the thing. Anybody can make the chart… It’s a very old method – it’s essentially a chart of 26 Caesar ciphers which you navigate using your secret phrase in order to scramble your message irretrievably to anybody who doesn’t have the phrase with which to backwards engineer the message. Tricky stuff to explain. I’ll get better at it. A Caesar cipher you’ve heard of – that’s just an alphabet shift. We did that sort of thing at school… Or I did with my geeky friends. The letter A goes to D, B goes to E, C goes to F etc etc. Easy as pie. This is lots of them with complications.

Once my brain was full I hung around a short while being amenable with cables before sodding off to Brook Street for the launch of my friend’s installation. By this time I was starting to feel the flood again. I have to get this tape in by 9am tomorrow and I’m working from half 8. I don’t want to record it hungover and I haven’t got the time, so I’ve arranged a very dear friend to help me at some ungodly hour of the morning tomorrow. I needed the installation. It’s called “Calmer”. You lie down in a comfy white room full of dry ice and aroma, and friendly lights and music drift you into a dreamlike calm for six minutes or so. I did nothing for six minutes.

Then right back into the OCD hustle – trying to get into places with keys that don’t work and politely networking with lovely friendly humans. A brief moment to catch up with my excellent new friend and collaborator who has had to find out if it’s possible to get something fun written down by me about that testing works in South Bank. (Nothing yet but a blog which crystallises thoughts but is not a script). Then I drove to Wandsworth to see Max and get my spare key and now I’m lying on my back and it’s not quite ten and I’m going to roll over, switch the light off and sail away on a strange dream boat until something buzzes me up before 5am.

“It feels like we are back up to the level we were at before the pandemic, but without the stamina.” I’ve heard that sentiment a few times. Yep. I’m exhausted. Another varied one tomorrow. I’m glad of that six minute art break. Lou keeps telling me I should meditate. She’s right. I should.

One eye open as I write. Goodnight. X

Today has been mostly about trying to get young people to engage with the idea of being an engineer. Good Christ it is such a strange mess. I am moving around the country trying to engage people who would never think that engineering is the career choice for them. I’m trying to help them realise that it is precisely the fact that they aren’t the obvious choice that makes them the right choice. But I’m an actor. My best friends from school are engineers. I’m not. I’m waiting for them to walk into it. There’s some interesting humans. Maybe one of them will change the world.

At lunchtime I got an email from my agent and I’m being considered for a story where I would normally be dismissed. I’ve got a self tape for a part I’d normally be overlooked for. Finally there’s some movement in my industry. “You’re too dark to be posh,” I was told by an eminent casting director while still at Guildhall. I didn’t really know what to do with that, so I just kept trying to make the work work instead of being angry. I’m glad of the patience I learnt. I’ve had a brilliant few decades not quite fitting in. I’ve made things work the best I can. It’s weird though. People often forget that we full time actor type idiots are humans who have sacrificed a great deal to do the thing we consider to be our calling.

I had a major agent tell me once I should learn Arabic – at the time I needed a representation shift so I was very happy to listen. That was their advice during a meeting I felt very happy to get. “With your look, you need to speak Arabic and then you’d never stop working.” It’s fucked. I’m just a little bit swarthy. “Where are you from?” I have been asked pointedly by baddies when I was floor managing at Royal Ascot. ‘No but … Come on ….where are you really from?” “Is it because I’m swarthy? My mother was Spanish…?!?” “Ahhh that explains it.”.

Today has been the perfect expression of what I do. A large portion of my time was spent trying to engage young people in engineering. Then I tried to work out which regency coat works best for the show I’m aiming at. Right now I’m thinking this one:

I love the random. I know it’s fun to wear something like that. I’m not expecting it to be the catalyst to something huge. Plus I’m tired and I’m going to go to sleep no matter what. Aaargh. Sleep well, my lovelies. Xx

Iodine and nukes

My brother is a scientist. He’s reasonably eminent. If I can up my profile a bit we have a clear pitch to make a “Last Chance to See” style documentary overlapping our skillsets. He will do the science and I’ll do the human interest. I just need a spot more profile.

I saw him his evening. He’s a family man so we don’t see much of one another. The children are starting to grow up though. His oldest is richer than you. He works for a hedge fund. The next is at uni. The youngest is year 10 now. All three of them are smart as you like. All in different ways.

Growing up, Max was my benchmark for many things. He’s only four years older than I am, but that meant his experience was always relevant. We always spoke openly and I’ve learnt through him. When I’m with my full grey beard he loves to play “which of us is older?” He doesn’t do it when I’m clean shaven. He hasn’t partied as hard as I have, but he’s a family man. We are running neck and neck in terms of ageing. There’s rivalry, and there’s great love between us. I trust him on scientific matters totally, just as I go to him on the big cultural questions because his view is clean and uncluttered by influence from media outlets etc. He is too observant to be obedient. He looks at society like he looks at an anthill. His view is frequently challenging, frequently refreshing and frequently correct. He asks me for help on social things. But he has a good clear handle on geopolitics, because we are basically ants.

This is why I’m a little bit concerned.

This afternoon I went to visit Max at the Natural History Museum. Just a brief visit. Catching up. That’s all, but as I was leaving he gathered up some items to give to me. “Oh, and here. I want to give you these. There’s enough for two people.”

My scientific and not particularly sensationalist brother gives me this bag. 50mg triple iodine pills. “That’s enough for you and Lou.”

‘If you see a nuclear blast on the horizon,” Max begins, and in his eyes I see him doing just that in his imagination… “If you see the blast and you aren’t in the radius, take three of these immediately.” 120mg is the recommended dose.

I do my own “research” which as we all know is a new word. “Research” means going on the internet looking specifically for things that support your bias. It looks a lot like the word “research” which means more or less the opposite: the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions. I didn’t do that. I did the version that your angry friend tells you you haven’t done. No new conclusions. I was sold by my brother’s iodine gift. I looked for corroborating evidence.

Here are my findings. A nuke pumps radioactive iodine into the atmosphere. If you’ve already flooded your thyroid with safe iodine it won’t pull the dangerous matter into your organs. It’ll help weather the initial walking dead bit while everybody falls apart. It might lead to some sort of healthy post radiation existence despite the nuke, until fun-Joey from round the corner strangles you for water. “I carry the iodine with me wherever I go these days,” Max continues. I put it in my pocket.

Max is my bellwether. He’s a proper scientist. He’s looked at the chances of a failing Putin somehow sttongarming the people whose job it is to stop Russia committing nukeicide, and he’s decided that on balance it makes sense to carry these pills. This doesn’t mean that he thinks it’s likely the little Tsar will push the button. But… When I leave London for work I often have recently thought “Well, if we get nuked by Putin at least I’m in X place.” Turns out I’d have needed my triple iodine, or I’d have watched the blast from afar thinking “whew” and then my organs would have turned into a cancerous mess anyway. I’m gonna carry these things in my pocket with all the rest of the crap. God though. It has come to this again. This is all so 1980’s. The punks are back in Camden, there’s thatch in Downing Street, and Russia wants to nuke us. I’m not sure if carrying that iodine pushes the global energy a bit more to negative… But I carry so much stuff in my pockets, why not have enough of a supplement to take a clear 120mg to stop myself absorbing radiation. I can have that instead of a bunch of used tissues.


Oh God. The dentist.

I drove from Brighton throbbing with pain. I probably should’ve taken the train, but I couldn’t leave Bergman in Brighton as I’m driving to Hounslow for work first thing tomorrow. So I whizzed up the road. I made it despite the fug of pain. Goodness knows how my driving was. Lesson learnt.

I’ve learnt about dentists now as well. There are plenty of baddies out there. My last dentist wanted to tear all my teeth out and then dissolve me in acid. It took me a while to figure out the extent of his depravity. He was NHS and I was broke so I let him get away with way too much because it was cheap and I thought I needed it. The dentists I’ve found now are trying to help remedy the physical damage while I get on with the business of trying to overcome the psychological damage he caused. It’s slow. I’ve had so much bad and unnecessary work done. I still feel sick when I think of what he did. He replaced all my perfectly good white fillings with amalgam, but misled me into thinking I was just having new fillings. He must have known he was misleading me. Every time he started I asked if he could do them white, thinking they were new. From the question he must have known I thought they weren’t replacing the white ones. But all be did was refuse, then cut out my perfectly good fillings, dig out more of my teeth, and put mercury and lead into my face. It only came out when I said after the final one “So how many fillings must I have now. There’s the white ones and all these new ones,” and he said “oh no sir, we’ve been replacing the white ones.” I believe at the time I said “Why the fuck would you do that, you fucking butcher?”

I can’t even write about it. I still feel powerless and angry and sad and I have to sleep soon. I’m shaky thinking about it. Bastard. Stupid mean weird bastard.

Tomorrow more workshops. This morning I said farewell to the cat palace. I don’t think I’ll be back again. I said goodbye to the little fluffy ones and made my painful way back up to London.

The temporary filling I’ve got takes some of the pain away but it’s still pretty bad, to be honest. I’ll sleep okay though. I’m hoping we can get some work done to fix the fucker as it’s an important tooth for biting. Dentistry is such vulnerable work. I wish that bastard hadn’t made it psychologically difficult as well. Sometimes I am too amenable.

It was interesting and horrible to see the inside of my mouth on his big magnification screen. “We’ve all lost two years,” he told me. “If you’d followed this up sooner there’s more I could’ve done.”

I first went to him just before the pandemic. I would have done more of this much sooner if things hadn’t gone tits up. I’m a bit blocked as well by my experiences with the butcher. All will be well…

Sunday lunch and the cat palace

On Easter weekend and on Mother’s Day Lou and I managed perfectly well at getting Sunday lunch without booking, but today we left it too late and we were both properly hangry. The first place we tried had all the people that think having a vintage car is a way to make friends. The barman gave us short shrift and turned us away. Damn. The hunger-rage was escalating as we rolled around the downs being politely turned away until The Half Moon in Plumpton squeezed us in and fed us beautifully. It’s part of the Middle Class English Sunday Experience, driving from place to place being told they can’t fit you in for Sunday roast. I’ve been turned away from as many excellent places as have made room. One time last year we were so hungry we just sat down anyway and ordered three packets of crisps and a slice of cake. But the English dining experience involves “sorry, no.”

Up above the pub there’s a patch of green, and somebody has banged together a nine hole DIY mini golf course there over lockdown. The fences are all pristine, and it’s cleverly organised to take up very little space. It looks like it’s all been built with patience and care, and I was pleased to see some families making use of it. It felt like a good family pub, The Half Moon. Lively and friendly together. Lots of people of all ages. Room to run around. Things to do. Most of the waiting staff seemed like they must have been at school still and doing a summer Sunday job. Friendly and not fully confident but trying their best. Full time staff seem to be hard to find around here – most of the pubs have signs up asking for staff. You could see they were run off their feet but they still made room for us, God bless them. We were getting to the stage where we would have immolated ourselves and each other out of pure refined starvation rage. I had lamb and my only regret is ordering a ginger beer which was Britvic and made me want a glass of wine instead. I inhaled it and the world shifted back into alignment.

After lunch we grabbed a blanket from Bergman and we flopped down on the grass in the sun. I even took my shirt off. It is finally possible. Oh hell I’ve been looking forward to some warmth in the air. Families were running around playing frisbie. We were essentially in an overflow carpark. But we wanted to lie in the sun and it felt like a rare window to do so without cold wind. When Lou is at the cat palace, her primary focus is the cats so we can never spend too long fannying around looking for the perfect place to languish in the sunshine. So we plopped down on some green and lay there prone, soaking up the prana.

Now it’s back with the cats. One of them has decided to try and sleep on my toes. I’ll attempt to accommodate him but it isn’t going to go well for him. I’m a wriggler.

This is the last time I’ll get here for a few weeks. Damn. It’s a gorgeous place to be.

I should switch off the news

It appears I’m in Brighton again. Up and down like a yo-yo these days. It’s just past ten and we’re already in bed with the lights out. It’s a flying visit again, and the last that will be possible for a while considering I’m starting an evening show shortly for a good three weeks.

I’m feeling quite heavy and slow today. Yesterday I was suffering some sort of mental malaise as I went to bed, and my dreams were violent and concerning. I’m just observing right now and I’m not worried as it’s likely just a short thing – these workshops are draining, and despite a decent rate of pay they are not what I particularly want to be doing with my time. I think the world news is just affecting my state of mind. Why is it always the scum that rises to the top? Is it as simple as the old “Power corrupts” thing?

I can’t really even think about Ukraine. That’s just an ego gone out of control. I wonder how it can end now. I wonder what it means and will mean that we are supplying weapons and training. When will we be too embroiled? How can we not be?

Then there’s the fact that these people with no depth are all milling around telling us they’re in charge of things. You’d have to be willful to continue to pretend that the culture secretary has any culture as she hacks everything to death in her house without books. Boris surely knows the jig is up by now but he’ll never accept any culpability for anything after too many years of being puffed up. Priti… I mean what the hell? Sending refugees to Rwanda? If it was the opening premise of a novel you’d dismiss it as far fetched. The rest of them too. Filthy.

I just watched a bit of a documentary about Monty Python, and it covered Milligan and Cook and Moore too… It really helps puncture the self importance of these empty leaders to have accurate satire pointed at them, to even stuff as light and weird as Python. We don’t really have anything in the mainstream puncturing institutions. They missed a shot with relaunching Spitting Image with most of its teeth pulled. Bearing in mind Doris is taking a sledgehammer to the beeb, maybe they need to throw caution to the wind and do something sharp and funny… But … there’s so much choice these days that it’ll likely only reach the people who already know that everybody who wants to wear the hat is a clown.

At least it gives me something to be angry about. Anger can be a decent creative spur. Mostly right now I’m either on the go and wide open or I’m in recovery.

Right now the latter. I’m warm and relaxed. There’s Lou. There are also two very fluffy creatures. This room has very little traffic noise. The occasional seagull, vague scratchings from mostly quiet upstairs neighbors, the wind on the window. I’m full of healthy food, and my Fitbit hasn’t recorded any weird heart rate spikes for a week or so. I will sleep like a rock, and stop worrying about things I can’t change. It’s either that or run for office, and I’m not going to do that because people with my background shouldn’t be in positions of power. QED.

Workshops in Ramadan

About 4 hours into a day where I spoke pretty much constantly to a group of schoolchildren about energy, I took a massive swig of water from my flask in front of them. Immediately I was asked: “Are you aware that half of us are on Ramadan?”

A lot of people are fasting right now, not even taking in water during daylight. I had forgotten, although in the year that Grenfell burnt I tried to do it myself. Back then I wanted to have an understanding of what so many people have to go through. I’m not a devout Muslim though, and the Imam I spoke to told me I had to do it to the Mecca clock, which involved setting my alarm at like 2.45 am to drink a litre of water and go back to sleep. (I’ve subsequently been told by an angry Doctor Jesus in Saudi that he was an unhelpful Imam.). I had no close Muslim friends to advise me or to share Iftar in my area. I sat on my own in my flat and ate things I had cooked hungry at the end of my fast, clutching a draconian printout of the times in Mecca from the London Central Mosque. It was all a bit stark doing it on my own. There’s a shared hardship and shared joy that goes with Ramadan, but I was just a tourist I guess. I lasted until the Grenfell fire which was only a short way in, and then that morning I went to volunteer in the local area. It was hot. Lots of young men on my team were Muslim, coming into a Methodist Church to help sort clothes. I was seriously impressed by their devotion – to do good deeds in the heat, and to drink no water and eat no food… I began to fuel myself again, telling myself it was exceptional circumstances and I didn’t have a faith. But also it is hard and I’d had enough. It’s a huge thing to put yourself through for your faith. It’s impressive and powerful that people still do it. The other 50% of that class didn’t even mark Lent. I betcha. Most self professed Christians don’t do the difficult devotional stuff these days. They just use it as a club.

You couldn’t do a proper Ramadan fast and not come away with a strong handle on your urges to consume. I tried to look after those young men who gave their time sorting things next to Grenfell. I tried to find places for them to work that were comfortable, because they’d have worked hard anywhere and that spring was HOT. The vicar of that church was absent the whole time and I ended up organising things. I kept hearing people apologise to me. “I’m sorry I haven’t been to church lately, vicar,” they said. The part of me that was literally almost a vicar just smiled back at them: “Jesus will always be waiting. You’re here now. Thank you. We’re open for you.” I suspect some of them came to services afterwards and were surprised I wasn’t there. I stopped coming in to go manage a restaurant floor at Royal Ascot. With my beard and my ability to quote bible verses, I could probably have passed as a good fire-and-brimstone preacher if needed. Hell, I’d have even done a sermon with 24 hours notice, but it might have been my downfall as I honestly haven’t got a clue what the nuance is about Methodism. It’s likely just a scripture quibble, but millions of people have died over quibbles. “The bread is literally Christ’s body!” “No it’s just a helpful metaphor!” “DIE HERETIC! AND YOUR FAMILY!”

“I’m sorry,” I replied to the student in the first sentence of this blog. “It’s thoughtless of me to drink water in front of you.”

AndI meant it. I loved the school I went to today. Often with these urban schools the students can be angry and distracted. This lot were like that, but they somehow kept their sense of fun within it. The mischief they were making could include me – it wasn’t just to try to puncture a notional authority figure. I enjoyed myself but… It’s exhausting. The teacher even commented on it: “We never have to radiate the whole day like that.”

I’m knackered. Day is over though. Sweet sweet bedtime and some sort of weekend coming up. I’ll enjoy what I can get. Hope you do the same.

Lovely picture of a boat… Want it? It’s not for sale. Ha.

Another flat full of valuables

I emailed Diane at Tennant’s Auctioneers.

She’s been the patient recipient of numerous inquiries since I processed much of the loft contents here through good old Tennant’s – a family run auction house with beautiful premises up in Leyburn. I still maintain that they’re the best auction house in the UK. Honestly, I’ve tried a fair few over the years. Chiswick sent a total arse round my flat who was more interested in showing me what he knew than helping me sell things that sold well at Tennants years later after I got over how demoralising he was. Bonham’s needlessly messed me around selling a whiskey bottle, putting it through twice and hitting me with double insurance when I would have been very happy with the discretion of the high bid the first time. On the flip side, Gorringes sold a £200-£300 auctioneer discretion picture for £50 when the guy I consigned it with had been told I had been offered £120 on eBay. I got just over £35. Lots Road actually ignored my request to drop the minimum for a cabinet I was selling to test them. They had minimum £150 with discretion when I asked for £100. It went unsold at about the price it sold at the next time round (£130 ish) – they wanted double fees so made sure it went round twice. Roseberys are very nice but haven’t got the audience. Plus they flogged a picture of mine for bollocks all where I’d have made much more on eBay. All of the above places have their areas of expertise and use of course. I’m not telling you to avoid them. Don’t sue me etc. This is just my experience, and in my experience none of the above are easy recommendations. Christie’s and Sotheby’s aren’t interested unless the item is worth a few grand minimum – I did have a good experience with one item at Sotheby’s when I was on Camino. But I emailed Diane. I like and trust Tennant’s. They’re good because they’re in North Yorkshire, but they’re hard to get to for the same reason.

My friend has a large amount of beautiful old stuff inherited from his mother, who was asset rich cash poor with property. She long ago flogged all the value she could bear to flog so the place has been stripped. My friend is convinced with the certainty of grief that everything remaining is worth about eight times what its worth – an attachment pathology I totally understand and empathise with. Partly he’s adding the sentimental value to the item – and so he must as when it’s gone it’s gone. Partly he’s an optimist. Partly he’s thinking about what he would pay for it if he wanted it and if he went into a boutique shop in Kensington to buy it wearing one of his expensive suits and showy watches. “Ah yes sir that’s worth a hundred… I mean a thousand pounds to you sir special discount.”

There are a few things he’s bought on the shopping channel stashed in with the antiques. Terrible modern rings with big shiny certificates. “This is a guaranteed real ‘I love you oh so very very much much ™’ ring, and you pay for the quality real true honest goldyish material.”

If you haven’t got the platform you can’t sell things easily or quickly at the top of their potential value. You can sell terrible rings to late night shoppers by starting them way too high and dropping them to still too high. But … that’s a platform. I don’t have a shop.

I’m going to try to raise good prices for him if he lets me. There are some wonderful things. I’ve had so much fun photographing them today. There are some beautiful items gathering dust. He’s cash-broke too. He’s trying to move to selling the flat they’re in. It needs to be emptied.

So I emailed Diane. Just two big vases for now to see if they are worth bringing up. Maiolica from Italy. Impressive pieces. My friend insists they’re 17th century. I reckon they’re 18th. Diane, on a first glance, worried they were 20th… If that turns out to be the case I will be told by my friend that Diane is just wrong. I will then have to take them into Bonham’s or somewhere similar for a second opinion and a letter on headed paper and even then if they don’t think it’s what he thinks it is, the expert will be thought of as incorrect. I’m hoping they really ARE truly old and can sell well. If they are it’ll be a shot in the arm for my friend. But … I’m so used to people thinking worthless things are valuable. It’s the easiest mistake in the world when we have old things with provenance.

Some real delights here. And a bunch of attractive pictures of Chelsea by Kathlyn Beddall. I might buy one of them as it’s my manor.


This is the interior of my key-rock.

My nerdy delight in Geocaching led me to it. Geocaching is something I’ve written about before where nerds hide things for other nerds to find. It’s delightful. I am very much one of those nerds, and even if my Geocaching stats are not very high, I try to find at least one thing in every place I go, so long as I remember to look, which I frequently don’t… I got one in Saudi though. And one in The Azores…

I’m writing about the “rock” because it alerted me to the existence of things like it. I’m sure I’ve dismissed caches in the past thinking they were rocks that were actually these things. Cunning cunning nerds. Nerds with disposable income. You have to pay to buy something you’re just going to leave for other people to find…

Sometimes things look like nothing but actually have great meaning. If everybody had key-rocks like this one then you’d just look at the top and think “oh, a key-rock”. Right now, they’re rare enough that you think “oh, a rock”. Nerdmoney well spent as a geocache. I took a photo of just the interior in order not to hasten the dissipation of the illusion.

I bought the key-rock online. It wasn’t expensive but it still cost money, just as a subscription to the Geocaching site costs money. Last night before I drove to Peterborough I left the rock out for Tom. I’m using it to hide my key, not a cache. This is what it was made for. If you try to buy something like it through the “official Geocaching website” it costs much more. The market etc etc. I bought it thinking I might make a cache. But for now it is a practical item for times like last night when an old friend is staying in my vacant flat.

I thought about giving him riddles and cryptic clues to find the thing. “First you must answer questions three!” Time got the better of me though, and I wasn’t sure what sort of state he’d be in when he got here. He’s living in York these days so chances are he was taking in some London theatre and very possibly some alcohol thereafter. I left him very clear video messages instead. Merciful, but also practical as I wanted an early bed and didn’t want to be woken up by panic calls.

It worked. I just retrieved the key for myself and I’m safely installed at home again. Sad to miss Tom, but we all have to make money. I’m back on the workshop grind, as you might have noticed from my emergency blog yesterday. Why else would I spend so much blogspace expanding details of a keyholder that looks like a rock…?