On Tuesday evening I drove up to Manchester.
I didn’t really want to have to get up at stupid o’clock on Wednesday morning, to drive up to the Comedy Conference 2011.
Registration started at 9.30am and I wanted to arrive at the venue feeling relaxed and chilled.
Or what passes for being relaxed and chilled in these altered times.
Because I’ve had a total shit couple of weeks, Perp had encouraged me to push the boat out, give myself a real treat.
‘Fuck it’, I thought. ‘I could be dead next week. Let’s be miserable in comfortable surroundings’.
So I did as he advised.
I took a suite at The Lowry.
The Lowry doesn’t need free advertising so I’m not going to bang on about it. And besides, for the amount of money that suite cost, the advertising needs to be paid for, baby!
But it was nice, yes.
The restaurant was excellent, I had a little forage with the wine-cellar and the Jameson’s White Label I had before, during and after the meal took the edge off the day.
Breakfast, the following day, was taken in my room, as I nestled inside a bathrobe the size of Newport.
Fuck it, it’s only money, right?
I may come to regret thinking like that, especially as I had resigned, with immediate effect, from my job the day before.
But fuck it anyway, right?
I’ll do the Comedy Conference in a separate post; I don’t want to get the subjects mixed up.
At the end of the day, when I was done with both Comedy and indeed Conferencing, I met up with the lovely Vicola and her puppy.
Vicola is absolutely gorgeous.
She is, honestly, one of the nicest, coolest, most straight-thinking, clear-cut people I’ve had the good fortune to meet.
We had a very long chat, during which I told her everything around why my world suddenly turned to shit.
I didn’t leave any single detail out, and even passed on a couple of pieces of information that I haven’t published here.
Yep, she got the full, complete and unexpurgated truth.
I loved the way she listened, I loved the way she talked, I loved the questions she fired at me and I loved the compassion and sympathy in her voice when I nearly fell apart in front of her.
That foul-mouthed, intolerant, irascible, highly-opinionated blogger?
Well let me tell you, my friend, that yes, in real life, Vicola is absolutely delicious, and unfuckingbelievably nice.
It helped, talking to her, it helped a lot. Her questions were keen, searching, testing, but always delivered with sympathy and understanding.
Vicola cleared areas in my head, gave me new thoughts to think and new questions to be answered.
I pulled myself together, we hugged and I drove down to Worcestershire where a mug of tea, a sympathetic shoulder and a fried-egg sandwich were waiting for me.
I spent 3 hours with V; it wasn’t of the same high quality counselling as Vicola, but it was still nice to get emotional support from another friend.
By the time I got home it was late, but I dashed off an email then fell in to bed.
Despite not having an alarm, I was wide awake at 06.00 this morning.
Today I’ve pottered hither, thither and indeed, yon.
I had a phone call asking if I was free to judge a dressage section at Saturday’s Broadway One-Day Event.
Which was nice, obv.
I’ve said yes to it, but I have a house-guest arriving from Germany, for a week, on Saturday evening, so I’m going to be doing lots of last-minute rushing around, to get the house ready.
And that’s it, really.
I’ll do the Comedy Conference in a distinct post; it deserves it.