Got a couple of days to catch up on here. I've been pretty busy too, so I'll try to keep it down to 25 paragraphs or so.
Tuesday morning when I went to get in the shower, it seemed like the hot water was taking an awful long time to heat up. After several minutes I decided to test the hot tap in the basin, and not a drop of ANYTHING came out… so off to work it was with towel & shampoo. After some brief investigation with Ruth and Eugene it seemed that the hot water was in fact stuffed, and they'd contacted the landlord. Situation under control – plumber coming around that night. Cool.
Tuesday night I went to see the Reduced Shakespeare Company and their production entitled “The Complete History of America (abridged)” with Nicki. In 2 words, “bloody marvellous”. I was actually expecting it to be a little like Sound and Fury, and I guess if I'd seen RSC's Shakesperean show, it may well have been… I don't remember SnF having much musicality about them, but I only saw them once… But yeah anyway – RSC sum up the entire history of the US in 90 or so minutes, and for ignorant so & so's like me who didn't know any better I think it was pretty good. It was a little disconcerting how many Americans were in the audience, given that I'm in England and all. Then again, there's usually a ton of Aussies in a Walkabout Inn too, so there ya go.
The show itself was your expected mix of surface interpretation, contrast of modern ideas with historical concepts, puns, wordplay, physical comedy and other such nonsense, and on the whole came off a fair gigglefest. One line which I think I'll remember for the rest of my life: “I wanted to make love to her in the worst possible way… standing up, in a hammock”. About the only weak point of the evening I thought was the “Question & Answer” session, where the audience were invited to ask the players about any aspect of US history they hadn't covered. There were a few questions (mostly about the upcoming election, which I can't say really qualified as questions about History, as such), but nothing that the players could really make anything out of. I can't complain too much, cos I knew bugger all about the topic…
After leaving the theatre, I got an SMS to say that the hot water wasn't fixed yet, but the plumber was coming back Wed night to finish the job. Apparently it was a “hot water valve” that needed replacing. Whatever.
Wednesday night I went to the Hammersmith Apollo (the place I saw Jack Dee and Ross Noble a few months back) for an evening's audience with Billy Connolly ! I'd been really looking forward to this, as I always do when I'm going to see him. On the way there I actually started thinking about the first time that I saw him – back in 1994 at the Festival Theatre, when I was going out with Karen… that's almost 10 years ago !? I was starting to zone out a bit and think about how life had changed in the last 10 years, and about all the crazy stuff I've done, and all of that type of introspective behaviour, but I arrived at the venue and excitement took over.
One thing I've gotta say straight off the bat – I love the way that he doesn't mind airing his views at a crowd, and if they don't like it telling them to f*ck off. He started off about foxhunting, which is a pretty contentious issue here at the moment. He claimed that foxhunting had taken up more media time/space than the Iraq war, which is probably pretty accurate, and his verdict was “f*ck the foxes”. They only catch 6 of them a year anyway, and he'd never personally met a fox that he liked (I assuming of course that he wasn't including the Mighty Basil). Over the next 2.5 hours, it occurred to me that even though this was the 5th time I'd seen him live, and taking into account the hours of video & DVD footage I've seen, he only managed to repeat one story that I'd heard before ! It really is amazing stuff, and at 61 how he remembers all that crap I'll never know – I'm only 28, and I have a far worse memory ! He tended to hover around the fairly consistent themes of not belonging in the ocean, dead people, mucus and (medical) people sticking their finger up his arse, but even so it was like a whole new set of stories. Amazing. Of course because of the wandering nature of the way he talks, and because none of it has punchlines, it's virtually impossible to recount any of the stuff here I'm afraid.
I was pretty amazed to hear that there hadn't been any major advertising for the tour, either – essentially it was just word of mouth, and the usual kind of “What's On” news you find in the press… and yet STILL he's managed to sell out an 18 night stint at the Apollo, which has GOT to seat at least 3000!!
Probably the one thing I noticed was that he wasn't as barbaric towards latecomers as I've seen him be, but then godammit there were a lot of them. And they all seemed to be seated right in the center of a row ! I'm not kidding ! It was so weird.
Anyway, when I got home there was a note from Eugene saying that the hot water wasn't fixed, and the guy was coming back to do it Thursday night. Yee haa. Another shower at the office.
Thrusday Tim got back from his European Tour, which I haven't really heard much about yet – last night conversation seemed to focus around how knackered he was, and how cranky he was that he'd had his wallet stolen in the train station in Lyon. Aside from grabbing a bite to eat and getting totally lost trying to find a pub that Waz was gonna meetin us in, not much particularly happened last night.
This morning after chatting with Eugene & Ruth it seems that the hot water valve problem is actually a pump (although it was pretty obvious that the hot water pwoered radiators were working perfectly well last night… and that water's pumped around, so who knows ?). If I meet this plumber it's gonna be EXTREMELY difficult not to start shouting “Yeeee HAAWWWWWWW!” and making lasso motions, and generally inferring that he's a cowboy. Ah well, MAYBE we'll have hot water this week ?