I was planning on doing lots of work today but all I’ve done is download some interactive whiteboard software that I need for school, and finish moving this blog from its old home on Vox. Ah well, I’ve got the rest of the evening and tomorrow to get everything done. I’ve even got some homework to mark for the first years. It’s like I’m actually a proper teacher!
Welcome to my shiny new blog. I can’t promise the content will be any better but doesn’t it look pretty?
It’s been a pretty busy couple of weeks for me. As previously mentioned I’m on placement in school at the moment. With two weeks done I’m already a third of the way through and it’s going really well. I’m really enjoying the teaching, despite having some pretty ‘challenging’ behaviour to deal with. There’s a lot of work to do what with lesson planning and creating resources, and I’ve not even started on the work I have to do for university but I’ll get there.
Last weekend I was in Glasgow where I met up with Michael Legge who was in town gigging at Jongleurs. After hitting him as punishment for the lies and vicious rumours he has been spreading about me on the Precious Little podcast, we went to see Terry Gilliam’s latest film ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’ (or ‘The Awful Balloon of Captain Twat’as Michael insisted on calling it). I really enjoyed it despite the lack of plot and complete mentalness of the whole thing.
Michael was doing two shows at Jongleurs and since I wasn’t planning on staying out I went along to the early show. Paul Sinha was also on the bill, which could have proved very awkward considering the last contact I’d had with him had been apologising for calling him a dick on this very blog. As it turned out, it was all fine and Paul was very lovely. I had a couple of pints during the show and, with little persuasion from my inner idiot required I decided to get a room at the Holiday Inn across the road where Michael and Paul were staying. I don’t understand why anyone would ever pay full price for a hotel room. The rack rate (which you would pay if you just walked up to the desk and asked for a room) was £120. I phoned Holiday Inn reservations to see if there were any rooms at the Holiday Inn Express next door but as it was full I was offered room only in the Holiday Inn for £99. When I asked if that was the best rate they could give me I was miraculously offered bed and breakfast for £60! Crazy. And then when I checked in I was given the opportunity to upgrade to the penthouse for a mere £30. I kind of wish I had now.
Anyway, after a bit of X Factor I went back to Jongleurs for the late show. Michael was excellent as compere as always and I was very pleased he treated me to the Newcastle story – which he has sworn on several occasions that he isn’t going to do again. I’m glad he did though because it never fails to make me laugh. I really enjoyed Paul’s set too but the headliner the ‘outrageous’ Mandy Knight wasn’t really my cup of tea. She kept calling the audience members poppet and her whole stage persona just grated on me. The opening act Des Sharples had some good bits but I think the audience weren’t really going for him (possibly something to do with his strong Manchester accent). I like him though – mostly because he shared his chicken and chips with me and I’d only eaten a bowl of Cheerios and some popcorn all day. After the gig we stayed and had some more drinks at the bar. When some blokes from the audience came over to say hi and buy the comics a drink, I got one too just for being with them. I could get used to that I reckon. Remarkably I wasn’t too hungover the next day – although I missed Michael and Paul who had left early for their flight back to London. I even managed to get up in time for breakfast, which was served until a very civilised 11am.
This last week has been even busier; on Tuesday I went to see Eddie Izzard at the SECC with my friend Claire. I’ve wanted to see Eddie live for a long time. I hate the SECC though, it just has no atmosphere at all. I was a bit disappointed with the whole night unfortunately. It didn’t help that in the first half a drunk couple were sat next to us who kept on talking all the way through the show, explaining the gags to each other. We managed to move seats away from them at the interval which did improve things but apart from the first 10 minutes, which were excellent, I just felt the whole show was a bit lazy. There were lots of ideas that Eddie has used before and he seemed to spend a lot of time just being ‘Eddie Izzard’ without really doing any material. It probably didn’t help that I was really tired, and I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it but I was just a little bit disappointed. Shame really. The gig was running late and by the time we’d got out of the car park and driven back from Glasgow it was after midnight. And I still had one lesson to sort out for the next day. I was hoping it wouldn’t take long but ended up being up until quarter to three! I never knew I could function on 4 hours sleep.
Due to some pretty bad planning I was out again on Thursday night seeing We Will Rock You (the Queen musical) in Edinburgh we Claire and some people from my old work. I used to be a really big musical theatre fan (and I still am to a degree) but it’s been somewhat taken over by comedy in the last 12 months so I really wasn’t that excited about seeing the show. I’ve seen it before and I was in an amateur production in 2007 which was brilliant fun, but I think this has spoiled the show a bit for me now as seeing someone else do it will never be as much fun as being in it myself. There were some really good performances and I did enjoy the show but I just wasn’t blown away like I would have been once upon a time.
To round off my week of excitement I was in Edinburgh again last night, this time to see my friend Tiernan Douieb at The Stand comedy club. I also met up with one of my Tim Minchin/Twitter friends, Kate, who had been on holiday in Scotland all week. The gig was great. Tiernan’s set was great as I have come to expect and I really liked the compere, Joe Heenan, who I have seen before. Irish comedian Andrew Stanley was really good too, as was the closing set by Simon Munnery. The only low point was the set from Ailsa Johnston who is a new, and unfortunately not at all funny, comedian. Still, 3 good acts out of 4 ain’t bad. We got to hang out with Tiernan for a bit after which was cool, before heading back to the Travelodge we were staying in to be pleasantly surprised by the bar still being open. So a great end to an action packed week.