Archives For James Acaster

The 13th of August. 

I love Zopiclone. I had some last night and for once it actually worked; it wasn’t hours before I fell asleep, and I stayed asleep all night long. Curiously, I remember one of my dreams, which I don’t normally when I have drugs – we smeared Grandma’s head in jelly to make her warm. 

So I slept in, which was delightful, and after breakfast, I wrote up a blog post. And now we know we saw the last race Usain Bolt won. Even if it was a heat. And Mommy is extra glad she’s got tickets to see Mo next weekend at the Alexander Stadium. 

This afternoon, I needed to get away from the horrors of life (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re not paying enough attention), so I went upstairs, and I listened to James Acaster being interviewed by Richard Herring at Edinburgh which made me laugh so much, I can’t wait to see him again this autumn. Then I went to watch the final episode of Orphan Black with Betty, which made me do a small cry, but it was for happy reasons, not sad. 

I have felt much less terrible today. Less tired, less pain, less burping. All round improvement. 

The 14th of August. 

Normal sleep service has resumed, it seems. No drugs last night. Suddenly realised this morning that Becky and James’ wedding anniversary is tomorrow and we hadn’t got them cards. So, after Mommy had been to do the food shop that didn’t happen at the weekend, we went into Sutton to get some. While there, I bought some lip balms because mine is about to run out, and some nail varnish remover, then we got cards. 

Back home, we had lunch, then Becky and Jamie appeared with gifts to say thank you for feeding their cats while they’ve been away. Jamie should have been on his way back to Strasbourg, but he missed all his trains. He should be on his plane now, if everything this afternoon went to plan. We can but hope. 

Since then I have been crocheting a tiny teddy with the remaining pretty baby wool. I’ve actually finally had a good idea for what to give Pete and Sophie for their twins, and after talking to her this morning, I have a very up to date idea for when they’re likely to be born, so I don’t need to rush. 

The 29th of April.

Today has been so exhausting and so good.

I slept less well – super cold last night and no lung capacity to get more layers so I froze until I was too tired to care. This morning, I decided not to climb the stairs so as not to waste oxygen, so I just hung out in my bedroom until it was time for us to go out to see Tez Ilyas. He was great, as expected, i mean that’s going to be the case for every act I mention. I had to help him out at one point because the members of the audience he picked were not answering the question he asked correctly. Not paying enough attention!

He ran over slightly, so afterwards I literally just had time to grab a coffee before heading over to The Youth Wing to see Phil Wang. That was problematic, because the way I went meant I got stuck at a flight of stairs, but thankfully some very kind strangers offered to carry my chair down the steps (without me in it) and then I was back on my way. I got in and parked on the end of a row, and ended up with various members of sketch groups Pappy’s and Daphne to my right, with Tom Parry sprawled across the floor, snorting with laughter. For a work in progress, it was pretty slick, and I’ll be keeping a lookout for the finished product on tour.

I had Lolly Adefope straight after in The Canteen, so I left The Youth Wing the way I should have gone in, so I could get myself some more coffee before making my way back round to the other side of the school. On the way, I bumped into one of the women I hung out with last night, and she was going to Lolly too.

Coffee in hand, I drove down to The Canteen to join the queue. Being in the chair, I got moved to the front, which turned out to be a blessing and a curse. She was due to start at 4, but there were technical issues – there were cables that were needed and I watched people running back and forth trying to get hold of the right ones. This went on for just over an hour, and every time somebody came back, the hearts of the queue lifted, only to fall again when the doors didn’t open. I felt really bad for the guy who was checking the tickets – he knew nothing more than we did, and there wasn’t really anything he could do, I could hear people behind me getting (understandably) frustrated because this was going to impact upon their attendance of their next show, so they were having to decide who they wanted to see more. I was okay to wait, because my next show wasn’t until 7.15, and I was glad I did.

Her show is a reply to her reviews from her last show at the Fringe, in which she was criticised for not referring to her race enough and for talking about it too much. It would be like me doing a show and discussing or not discussing my disability. I have to applaud her too for her excellent singing, and for dealing with groups of people leaving towards the end of the show. Super impressed.

It ended just before six, and I was starving, having only had coffee since my crumpet at breakfast time. I got myself a smoky sausage in a bun (relatively easy to eat and no danger of spice) and ate it while watching all the fun dogs around. I even met a famous dog, Rosie, who is regularly heard on Rhod Gilbert’s Saturday morning show. She is a very good dog.

My next show, The Griefcast with Cariad Lloyd, was up stairs, but when checking the venues yesterday I’d been informed that there was a lift I could use. Today there was a worry because they had put an Out of Order sign on the door, but that was just to put able-bodied people off using it. Sneaky.

It was a small room and VERY HOT. Lots of people crammed in. The guests were Phil Wang, Kiri Pr’chard-McLean and Nish. Usually, the show is Cariad interviewing a comedian about a particular death, but today the topic was just death in general. In an amusing fashion. The last topic was “last words”, and Cariad asked them all what theirs would be. Phil missed a trick with his answer, and Cariad asked if there were any questions. I put my hand up and Nish pointed me out. I could have asked something poignant, but I had to say that surely, Phil’s last words should be “Wang out.” I saw the pun and had to say it. I don’t know if it’ll be on the podcast but I hope so. The only time I think my brain has worked that fast.

My next show wasn’t until 11.30 and also included Nish in the line up, so he met me back downstairs and the rest of the evening is a blur of faces and saying “Nice to meet you.” I did mean it each time, I just met a lot of people! We went to the bar in Y Plas where pretty much every comic at the show was.

Honestly I couldn’t tell you what we talked about, I just remember that for once, I wasn’t telling the story of my life ten thousand times, people just treated me like I as part of the gang and that pretty much never happens with people who don’t know me. It was just the most fun.

My oxygen ran out in the middle of Beat This, so I had to text Mommy and get her and Daddy to come and swap it over for a new one. I thought that might be enough to tide me over, but thinking about getting the taxi back on my own, having to deal with the chair, I just knew that it was going to be horrific. I cancelled the car, and sneaked out the side door. Knackered, but elated.

The 30th of April.

Going home early. It’s fine, we just don’t have enough oxygen for me to do another night.

We had to get into Mach earlier today, because there was a massive cycling race that started in the town and was going to close the road that we use to come in on. We got in at about eleven, and I sat in the car while Mommy and Daddy went to get coffee and some sort of breakfast pastries. I ate my co-op cinnamon swirl, then set off to Y Tabernacl for Pappy’s Flatshare Slamdown. Matthew and Ben said hi on their way in, and when the queue started to move, I went over to the lift to go up half a floor so I could enter the hall. There was a step down to the pews, so I just parked my chair at the best vantage point. Josh was a guest, and he saw me so he came over. Kiri was meant to be on the show but had yet to arrive, so other comedians were being texted en masse. Who turned up but ol’ Nishy Kumar? Kiri appeared shortly after, so we just got an extra person’s-worth of funny for free. I had a joyous time, particularly enjoying the quickfire round jingle that Tom and Ben recorded with Nish and Josie last night at Y Plas when Josie was full of Pinot Noir. I can’t wait to hear it when it goes out.

They ran over, as one has to expect, so then I had to bomb it down a rather steep hill to The Mach Arena for Josh and Friends. The wheelchair view in there was less good, but enough that I could just about see. We had stand-up from Josh, Matthew Crosby, Nish and James Acaster, then he read out some classic scrapes from his book which are all hysterical.

Upon coming out, I bumped into Amy, and we talked while Mommy and Daddy went to get food. I informed her of the racist attack Nish had just endured (Josh threw a massive ball at him but he was not injured), then they went to get lunch and we went to eat ours. We discussed oxygen levels, and we only had one full bottle left, so came to the conclusion that I only really had one more show left in me. Mommy and Daddy went back to the house to pack up, and I went to get more coffee and see who I could see before it was time for Sara Pascoe.

Happily, a lot of my lovely pals were still around, so there was Nish, Josh, Fin, Tom, a whole host of people. We whiled away the time together until everyone had to beetle off to our respective shows, and I left loving my wonderful gang.

Sara was fantastic as always, and I look forward to seeing the finished piece when she takes it on tour. I didn’t have time to hang around to see her afterwards because Daddy was coming to pick me up. We returned to the house, packed everything into the car, and we set off on the long drive home. I am so happy and I’ve had such an incredible weekend – definitely going again next year. Hopefully without any extra oxygen.

The 5th of October. 

I spent as much of today as possible with the tiny fluffball because Shaki texted this morning to say she’d be picking her up at half seven, while I was out. Probably a good thing as I wouldn’t have wanted to let her go. 

I wrote up a blog post, then went to let Olivia run around a bit. We had to set up a barricade of sorts so she couldn’t get anywhere she might get stuck. She runs and jumps like a tiny bunny and it is probably the cutest thing I have ever seen. I would like to keep her forever but have her remain the same size, and neither of those things can happen. 

This afternoon, Mommy and I wound a skein of wool into a ball which took nearly an hour – much longer than I expected. I think for the other four, I will have to use some kind of apparatus so she doesn’t have to kneel on the floor for that long again. 

She then went to Grandma’s, so I went and played with Olivia for another hour. I occasionally had to stop her from climbing down behind the bed, but for the most part we had a lovely time playing with newspaper. My back started to get pretty bad, so I popped her back in the cage with some food. When Mommy got back, we decided to make some muffins, but then Jonathan wanted to come and see the kitty, so Mommy baked and I sat with him and Olivia. She has had a whale of a time. 

At five, I needed to get ready to go out to The Glee, so he went home and I went upstairs to make myself slightly more presentable. We then had Jamie at the door returning some keys, and he got to see Olivia too. 

I arrived at The Glee to see James Acaster shortly before the doors were due to open, so I got myself a glass of wine and found a place to wait. Looking around, I realised the girl next to me had been in my class at school, and I had not seen her since we left nine years ago! We had a quick catch-up, and Sandhya is a doctor now, although it is unlikely I’ll bump into her because she works at Sandwell Hospital, not the QE. She wasn’t aware of everything that’s happened, but thankfully, being a medic, she understood everything I was saying. 

It was allocated seating, and for once I was actually in a decent place! A few rows back from the front, just to stage left. I had a nice chat with the chap on my left about James and other comedy gigs we’d both been to, then my fish finger sandwich was delivered so I ate that and he went to get a drink. It was really tasty! Excellent home-made lime tartare sauce. Capers, all sorts of business. 

The show was excellent, as I thought it would be. He had to cope with some curveballs, like coming onstage with burgers that the front row had ordered, a lady called Sarah who stood up because her back hurt, unfortunately right in the spotlight, and me and the lady next but one to me getting utterly hysterical at James’ praying mantis impression. Not sure why it tickled us so much, but it was glorious. My face hurt from laughing so much. We had a chat about it in the interval and ended up having a very jolly time along our row. Much more fun than the intervals usually are!

Daddy picked me up at the end, and when I got home, I considered watching Bake Off, but decided to leave it until the morning. Bed. 

The 6th of October. 

Tired today. Too much laughing. First thing I did this morning was watch last night’s Bake Off. Very pleased that Tom went. He was superfluous. I don’t know who will be an acceptable loss now though because I like all the rest!

I wrote about yesterday, which was a lengthier exercise than I originally anticipated. Jen rang to discuss our next cat delivery, which was determined to be this afternoon. Five kittens and their mum. 

After lunch, we waited for Jen to arrive with the clowder. She said between two and three, then I was going to go to the gym afterwards. Well, that was the plan. She arrived just before three, then by the time she’d left (we love a chinwag), there really wasn’t time. Nevermind!

We let them settle in, and I did a bit of crocheting before Becky came round. I introduced her to Amy (mum) and Archie, Alfie, Ava, Angelica and Amira. Obviously they are all still very unsure so we left them and had tea and muffin/hobnob chat in the living room. I haven’t seen her for weeks so she had a great deal to bring us up to speed with, what with her having moved to a new school. Much less stressful, or at least in different ways. We allowed ourselves a tiny bit of Christmas excitement. 

Got to get these kitties to be my friend. 

The 30th of October.  

A rather bland sort of day. I didn’t have a very good night after James Acaster, the cough was just too near the surface for me to sleep properly. 

This morning, I did a blog post and learned that some people who watch daytime tv have already got their Christmas trees/lights up and I think they are mental. I love Christmas more than most but putting one’s tree up now means it’s boring by the time the actual day comes. 

After lunch, having said all this, we went into Birmingham to pick up my advent calendar and a chocolate pumpkin from Hotel Chocolat. The calendar is going up to my bedroom until December. Mommy went to Primark to return some jumpers, and I wove my way through the masses to go to Benefit to buy some Watts Up! highlighter. It was so busy, it was horrific. I will not be returning to the Bullring on a weekend or holiday ever again. 

Having returned, I went and watched Into The Woods with the kittens. I am very sleepy – I should’ve had a coffee after lunch but there wasn’t time, so I’ll have to prop myself up until the end of Have I Got News For You.

The 31st of October. 

Oh I do not love Halloween. It was just the start of a very difficult time seven years ago and I don’t really have many great memories of it. 

I had a better sleep, assisted by a Zopiclone, and then had a very traditional Saturday morning watching James Martin and reading the paper. I had some very brief kitten hugs after lunch, but that’s pretty much all I’ve seen of them until now. Neve keeps climbing up my right side and down my left so she catches my neck with her claw. Speaking of kitty-inflicted wounds, we’ve decided to take the dressing off my arm because it really needed to dry out. It looks less gross now. 

This afternoon, Daddy and I used my free CineWorld tickets to see Spectre. They have the slowest wheelchair lift in the world – if someone could invent a quicker one, I’d be grateful. The film was what one expects of a Bond, lots of gratuitous sex and violence, good wins out in the end. My favourite part was Ben Whishaw in the cable car. I love a man in a good sweater. 

Got back to see youths wandering down the street. Thankfully they haven’t been at our door, just some very cute little girls. I think I’ll be eating Haribo and Maoams for weeks. 

The 28th of October. 

It has not been a great day. I definitely have Mommy’s cough so I just keep drinking which is the only thing that helps. It’s just a stupid tickly one, which is fine, I can cope with that. 

Came downstairs to find one or both of the kittens had thrown up and there was a poo on the chair, and they hadn’t really touched their food from last night. I rang Jen, and she said to starve then until about four o’clock, just give them water. We cleaned everything, and Jen actually came to see them this afternoon. She checked them for dehydration and was satisfied that they were okay. We feed them and they ate it, and I’ll feed them again this evening. 

For the rest of the day, they’ve been behaving completely normally, sitting on my lap and sleeping while I watched Dexter. We were having a lovely time until someone nearby decided it would be a good idea to set off some fireworks which scared the shit out of both sleeping kittens and resulted in Neve’s claw making a deep gouge in my arm which is currently seeping through the dressing. 

Fuck knows what we’ll do if we’ve still got them on Bonfire Night. 

The 29th of October. 

Still coughing, still constantly drinking water. I painted my nails this morning so stayed away from the kittens until after lunch because last time I did it, the smell freaked them out. 

This afternoon, I was watching Harry Potter with the kittens when I had a phone call from Sheila. A couple had been having a home visit this morning in regards to possibly adopting Neve. That had all gone fine, and they wondered if they could come and actually view them both right then, as they might want to have them together. I said that was fine, and an hour or so later, they arrived. They were very nice, younger than I expected but I think that’s just because the last couple were older. They loved Neve, thought she was so pretty, and I think they were also quite enchanted by how soft Nick is. They were certainly not averse to having both, and I’m just now waiting to see if they contact Sheila about wanting to arrange an adoption. They don’t want to take them until next week if they do, so I have a little more time with them. 

Tonight I’m off to see James Acaster, and I’m just hoping I’m able to control the cough enough so I don’t irritate the rest of the audience.