Almost half the year gone and I’m knackered already! It’s been really busy in many respects, musically, mentally and physically too. Lots of driving take quite a toll physically, (I average more than 3,000 miles each month). Problem is I hate being driven and so am more exhausted on the odd occasion when other people do drive. I also do enjoy driving so it’s a double edged sword. Also I hate hotels. 40 years of spending two thirds of every year in hotel rooms finally took it’s toll 5 years ago and I said to myself “Enough is enough” and from that moment on, I decided that if any round trip was 700 miles or less, I would drive home and that’s exactly what I’ve done. There are advantages. Roads are much clearer of course and I wake up in my own bed with a full day in front of me.
Mentally it’s more exhausting these days too, but I quite like that. It’s great to have so many things on the go with the radio, the books, the publishing, the music, (of all different kinds), the different shows and of course planning for the future. I’m in my music room / office no later than 6 every morning, (after feeding the cats and taking my morning walk around the garden), and I still enjoy every moment of every day.
Looking at the diary, the rest of the year is looking extremely busy and so I am making a really strong effort to shift some more weight as I am aware that will play an important part in working through the manic schedule to come.
May was a fun month with quite a diversity of things going on. It started off with a charity evening for Cancer Research at Moor Park Golf Club and I was part of an evening with Roger de Courcey and Nookie Bear and Joe Pasquale amongst others.
The following day I delivered a lecture at the London College of Music, which was great fun although I’m not sure if it was the sort of lecture they normally get! I’ll know if I get asked back again!
I actually played golf the following day for the Comedian’s Golf Society of which I am a proud member. I don’t play as much golf as I would like and that was pointed out by the captain of the society who mentioned to me that the last time I had played in a Comedian’s Golf Society Day was July 1986.
Two days later I was at the Parc and Dare Theatre in Treorchy, and what a fabulous old theatre too. It was a really enjoyable night and everybody made it a very special evening.
I got home about 5am and got up at 6am to drive to Pinewood Studios where a plaque was being put up to commemorate the great Sir John Mills and straight after drove into London for a meeting with The Grand Order of Water Rats.
The next day I performed a short spot at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the celebration of the end of the conflict of the Second World War. The first half was all Russian performers who were magnificent. The second half were UK performers and included Jethro Tull amongst others.
The rest of the month continued in a similar vein with loads of additional meetings to discuss the future and plans for 2011. There was another concert at Southend Westcliff Theatre, which again was great fun. (I much prefer doing the shows as one-offs as they really do seem fresh every time).
Then at the end of the month came The 4 Churches Festival and undoubtedly, for me anyway, this year was the best yet.
Roy Hudd sold out his evening on the morning that tickets went on sale and we could have sold his evening at least three times over. He did 2 and a half hours and had the audience spellbound throughout.
The second night was two performances of Call My Bluff which was nothing short of hilarious and enjoyed by all with yours truly as the quizmaster and the two teams coming from BBC Radio Norfolk and Hi-de-Hi.
Saturday was the Acoustic Strawbs who performed 2 shows and received a well-deserved standing ovation. I know I’m biased, but they were terrific and it was great fun to join them on stage to do The Hangman and the Papist and Glimpse of Heaven.
You may have noticed that I have neglected to mention one other event that took place in May ….my 61st birthday …..well when you’re 61, you tend to try and forget another year has just gone racing by! Thanks to everybody though who sent cards and good wishes, it was much appreciated.
June is as busy as ever with the Happing Festival in Norfolk on the 12th and a three day trip to Estonia on the 17th. The latter being a golf tournament in aid of Sparks with a donation of £10,000 going to the charity.
On Sunday 20th I am at Barnstaple playing the one man show at the Queens Theatre and on the 24th I am performing at a private function at Buckingham Palace.
The following day I’m playing at the Grassington Festival and it’s very possible that I fly off to Rome straight after for some television, but with the Icelandic volcano still playing up and BA strikes, nothing is certain!
There are currently lots of negotiations going on, some at quite an advanced stage, for performances of the extended Journey to the Centre of the Earth in both South America and Australia. More news as it happens.That’s about it for now…..I’m knackered just reading it back!
More next month!