Archives For James Acaster

The 3rd of May.

I woke up at 5am. Like I’m not going to be sleep-deprived enough this weekend. I couldn’t even force myself to stay in bed as long as I normally can so I was up at half past seven.

Still, it meant things got done. Mommy made some bread, then we went into town where I got some lipstick from Selfridges and a box from Paperchase so I could send Esmée the fox to John and Maddie. We were home by half past eleven. Then Mommy went to vote (I already sent off my postal vote ages ago) and I watched Riverdale.

After lunch, I sorted out some clothes to take to Mach, then sat and watched more of Scandal. I’m nearing the end of season 5 so if I commit I think I will do this. I don’t think I’ve watched so much of anything so quickly before. I also put the luggage tags on the dogs, so all that’s left to do is pack in the morning! I’m so excited.

The 4th, 5th & 6th are pictured.

The 7th of May.

Oh boy, I am so tired. Beyond tired. I think I had about five hours of sleep and considering that’s on top of two short sleeps, I am wiped. We had to be out of the house by ten, so I got up as late as possible, but still spent most of the journey home with my eyes shut, cold from the air-conditioning and in agony from my back. When we got to the services, I had a second coffee and broke out the Pom Bears I bought yesterday which perked me up until we got home.

I curled up in my armchair as soon as we arrived, and we watched Professional Bake Off while having lunch. Then, while the rest of the country was basking in the sun, I went upstairs, shut my curtains and had a ninety minute nap. I am never tired enough to nap unless I am ill, so fingers crossed this is an anomaly.

I couldn’t stay up there all day, so I had an iced coffee to try to make sure I stay awake until bedtime. I’ve put up a bunch of photos and videos from the weekend. I don’t know how to write about it. Maybe just photos.

The 8th of May.

Sleep last night was so good. A solid ten and a half hours, oh it was beautiful. My bed is the best.

It’s been a quiet day – the start of a week of recovery. I have a couple of appointments and a gig on Friday, but the rest of my time is going to spent doing not a lot. I might go to the gym on Thursday, but that’s only if my early morning lung function tests haven’t worn me out.

So, I have been sat in front of Scandal, keeping my fingers busy crocheting nothing of note, resting my back. This evening I had a chiro appointment, and that was incredibly necessary – so much kneading of knots in my neck and stretching out my back as far as it would go. I’ve had the ice pack on my neck since I got home. Looking up for three days straight is really bad for one’s muscles. 

 

The 12th of February.

Where to begin? I have been reluctant to start this because I feel like it might dilute the memory or I’ll forget stuff.

The journey down was nice and straightforward. The chap was even there with the ramp when we arrived at Euston! We got a taxi to Jen’s in Highgate, where I was going to try on fun clothes in order to find an outfit for the show. I was shown into a little room, one wall full of clothes, one full of shoes, plus a rack of dresses, the floor covered in more shoes and bags and jewellery behind me. First I picked some favourites to try one, because I had to be selective. I looked at four or five in the end, but eventually decided that the first one I’d worn was the best. A navy blue midi dress from Libelula covered in sequins with pink piping, plus some Nadia Vodianova shoes and massive clip on earrings and a two-finger ring. I left with a promise to leave it at the hotel reception in the morning.

We had lunch at the nearby Cafe Rouge (saw so many good dogs), then another taxi to the hotel. When checking in, we each were given a fresh warm cookie, which I ate on my bed very messily. Unpacked, then collected what we needed for the show. Next stop, Union Chapel!

When we arrived, we rang a buzzer and were met by Bea, who works the evening shows. She showed us the backstage/dressing rooms, the facilities, and of course the chapel itself. They had built me a massive ramp to get onto the stage, and I met the sound guys so handed over my old iPhone, plus the cable and power pack.

There was no point going back to the hotel, so I sent Mommy and Daddy to get coffee, then it wasn’t long before the Anthony Nolan team and Christine arrived (separately). I finally met Lucy, then she and her colleagues set up all their tables and banners, and I got changed into my spangly dress. I had a practise run up the ramp, then got talking to lot of Anthony Nolan volunteers, remembering some from previous events. Then the doors opened and it was time to meet my public! For a while, I just watched strangers coming in which was brilliant because they weren’t obliged to come, they were just supporting the cause. Then I started seeing people I knew, like Emmer, Charlie, Denise, Amy, Joy, Lauren and Hannah. Mark and Shereen came over and I gave him a huge hug. I’m so glad he could come. Acaster arrived, then Suzi and Flick, and I went backstage with them. Soon Nish appeared, and before long, it was time to start the show! First up, aside from our lovely host, we had James, during whom Sara arrived, and then Felicity. Nish then introduced me, and I drove up (nearly off) the ramp onto the stage, giving a royal wave. The cheer was immense, and I had to tell them to stop because I was going to cry. I said most of what I’d planned, plus I gave Mark a shout out because he deserves to know what a hero he is. In hindsight, there are things I wish I’d said, but no matter. Everyone said I did really well, and I was happy.

In the interval, I gave Josh the bear for his baby, and met the Anthony Nolan patients who’d come backstage and lots of photos were taken. Josh opened the second half, followed by Suzi and Sara. Everyone was brilliant, it went better than I could have hoped. I said goodbye to the people who had waited at the end, and Nish, Sara and Suzi.

So many hugs. And it was all over. I put my socks and boots back on, and we made our way back to the hotel. Pyjamas, Graham Norton, wind down, bed.

The 13th of February.

I didn’t fall asleep until about three, and woke up at seven. Made myself a cup of tea, and got everything packed back up. I left the garment bag for Jen at reception, then we had coffee next door at Saint Espresso. Breakfast was required, and as it was pancake day, we went to The Diner nearby. We went past The Breakfast Club and its huge queue, but found The Diner nice and quiet, where I had buttermilk pancakes with bacon, maple syrup and whipped honey butter. So good, but I couldn’t finish them.

A last cab back to Euston, where I got another coffee, and we trundled home. This afternoon, I have put all my warm clothes on, curled up in my armchair. So happy.

 

The 19th of November.

Argh oh god the back pain. I cannot wait to see Dr. Blaney on Wednesday, hopefully he will be happy to organise a date for steroid injections and soon.

This morning was the usual – Sunday Brunch, blog post, coffee, then worked on the crochet until lunchtime. I need to start thinking about Christmas shopping, spending some time looking at what’s available.

After lunch, I went upstairs to brush up on some classic scrapes before this evening, put on my face, and take a lot of selfies while listening to Sia’s Christmas album.

Once I’d decided I’d done enough, I was back to work on Hank’s fleece. Irritatingly, I have run out of wool from the kit before he is finished, so I’m going to have to buy some more to complete his head. Maybe I’ll ask my instagram friend who works at Toft if she gets a discount on scraps.

The 20th of November.

Last night was much fun. I saw Paul and James before the show and they’ve been all over the place, must be exhausted. I know I was knackered by the time I got home. We heard about Al Porter resigning from comedy before it started and ended up having a chat about how some people are terrible. The show was hilarious – I do love a classic scrape.

This morning, we took the kittens to the vet for their first jabs. They were very screamy and scrabbly, but tolerated the injections. Carlton had to have his twice, because Katie went in his skin and out the other side. Whoops! He didn’t seem to notice, though. We will give them lots of treats tonight, especially Clarrie, because she’s 200g less than Carlton!

After bringing them home, we picked up Grandma and went into town. I went off on my own and had a lovely festive time! I got two pretzels from the German market – one salty, one with cinnamon sugar. My favourite. I bought two glass animals to go with my collection; a little grey cat and a black Scottie dog. Then I went to Paperchase to get some Christmas cards, and I had a nice chat with a girl about my glasses so I recommended Piccadilly to her. Then I went to Selfridges to see the Huda Beauty counter, and I bought a lipstick. While there, I saw a teenage girl opening the drawers, opening new lipsticks, trying them on her hand, and putting them back, which I thought was disgusting and rude. I couldn’t say anything to the staff at the time because she was right by me, but I have tweeted them and they were suitably horrified. I’m sure they will get lockable drawers quicksharp.

Then I was pretty much done, as were the others, so we came home and I have had a very restful afternoon.

The 23rd of August. 

Another disastrous night. I seem to be incompatible with sleep right now – it might be time for Zopiclone again. 

Not a great deal to report today. This morning, I had a bit of kitten fun time before writing up a blog post. That took considerably less time than Monday, because I used a different app to upload the photos. Mommy and I had chiro appointments, so went out at half past twelve to be stretched and crunched. There was a lot of tightness in my lower back, probably from my long days in the wheelchair in the time between visits. I can’t wait to see the pain man again. Steroid injections please. 

Came home, had lunch, checked on kittens. Mommy went to Grandma’s, and I spent a couple of hours writing, then watched the season 3 finale of Buffy, realising the similarities between the Mayor and Trump. It would not surprise me if he wanted to become a demon. 

The 24th of August. 

I had Zopiclone and it was good. I slept until half past nine, and this morning I did some kitten petting – Henrietta didn’t hiss at me, and she even gave Mommy a friendly headbutt! Definite progress. Denise is coming round this evening to meet them and pick up paperwork, and Penny is coming home this weekend so she’s coming to meet them too. 

This afternoon, I had a hairwash, which will hopefully stop the green rubbing off on my pillowcase, as I discovered was happening last night. I had a quick look at my copy of James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes which arrived from Amazon, and I am very much looking forward to seeing him again in the autumn. Since then, I have been finishing off the doily, which now needs starching or something, to look how it’s supposed to. 

Sorry for the lack of words. Life is pretty banausic right now. 

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.