A big catchup
It’s been ages since I last wrote. Of course I’ve been very busy but also there has been only really excellent news to report and somehow it feels as though this makes a boring and repetitive blog, so I will try to make the good news at least readable. You could always skip this episode and run forward to the up and coming one that I may have to write later today. SOMETHING has happened. It may blow over and all may yet be well but watch this space. I will tell you about it either way in the next chapter.
Meanwhile all the good news. The launch event of the DVD at Wallingford’s charming and wonderful Corn Exchange Theatre was an unbounded success. The theatre was full and the reception at Wallingford was warm and welcoming, as it always is. My good friend Ralph, having superbly managed all the publicity then ran the evening’s considerable technical challenges from his perch at the back of the auditorium with aplomb, accuracy and acumen. I am very grateful to him and to all the volunteer staff at the theatre for all they did to make the evening such a success. Maff and the band were brilliant as they have always been, providing me with original accompaniment to a number of routines. The new pieces of magic I had prepared for the night on the whole went to plan. We sold quite a few DVDs and CDs so financially we were able to say it was worth doing. The edited version of the film that Rhys and I cut for the night met with universal acclaim, and the introduction section which showed me unicycling at the Great Pyramids, the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House, the Golden Gate bridge and then down Wallingford High Street into the Corn Exchange Theatre was a great way to start the evening. So with such a great filmic start and finish, the night was a sure fire success.
It took me a while to recover but I had to do so pretty quickly as I only had a week to prepare for the Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza. There was still a lot of painting and varnishing to finish so I had very little spare time in the week leading up to the Bank Holiday. Finally I finished the list and loaded it all into the trailer and down the road about 25 miles to Llandudno.
I have always loved this event, though for the last couple of years my pitch has felt a little isolated from the rest of the event. No sign (again) of the George Formby Appreciation Society, so I suppose they will never again be on the grass at Bog Island (named from the location of the toilets) in Mostyn Street. They are missed. My specific pitch is pleasant enough, but without another live act to alternate with, it feels rather lonely.
The first day, the Saturday, it poured with rain all day, as I think it did across the whole country. I tried to do a bit inside the dry part of the stage, but by lunchtime I gave up and watched the World Championship snooker (which was gripping).
On Sunday the sun emerged, despite being rather cold, so I did shows and on Monday it had become a little warmer making the final day a Llandudno classic. Lots of people, excellent feedback and a healthy hat. It needed to be I was down to the final penny and twopenny money bags from last year and an overdraft was looming.
I also only saw one member of the committee all weekend, which didn’t bode well and when I went on the Monday to collect the cheque, there was no cheque and no treasurer. This is always a danger sign. I don’t like waiting for the cheque and my terms are always payment on the day. (You wouldn’t buy a bottle of milk and expect to pay next week, so why is it that certain trades have to wait to be paid?) Anyway I spoke to a man in the booth who promised direct payment by the end of the week and he was a man of his word. I have been paid so all is well. My feeling though is that I may be somewhere else next year. There is a cycle in these events and I’ve reached the end of a cycle there and possibly in other places this year. We will see. Watch this space.
All the best from a road near you,