I set an alarm so that I didn't miss my train outta Edinburgh. Got up, skyped Jon, put my bedding in the wash, showered, cleared up the fags butts from various outside areas and got the hell out of the house.
I'd spoke to Romesh briefly this morning. He asked me if I'd hated Edinburgh, I said that hate was a strong word but agreed that it hadn't been as enjoyable as I'd hoped. I admitted that I came up here unprepared and naive and that if I was to return, I would come back wiser. More about that later.
I got a cab to a tea room that Mark has been banging on about all month. It was 13 degrees and raining today - welcome to August in Scotland. I had a pot of tea with a charming knitted cosy that was too small to put on my head and a chocolate and walnut brownie. I liked it a lot. There should be more tea rooms in London that aren't the Ritz or Wolseley.
Onwards to Waverley Station. Hannah had sold her train ticket to a poet called Richard Double-Barrel-something (that's actually treble-barrelled). He didn't have a sense of humour and I feared a long journey with him talking about poetry. Nothing was going to stop me enjoying heading south, least of all a poet.
The train journey went quickly, Mark and I dicked around a bit. I ran through an idea of doing a character that was the personification of disco called, "I am disco." How old would disco be? How would she feel about her offspring? What would she look like? Something to work on. Maybe a youtube clip.
Once we'd reached somewhere south of Peterborough, the sun started shining. I pressed my face against the window and said, "what is this light? Why do my eyes hurt? Is this happiness I feel inside me?" I then gasped as if it was my first breath after nearly-drowning. Mark said, "It's August 3rd!" "Noooooooo!" We laughed at the thought of it all being a dream and having to do it again. We didn't laugh long though.
Jon met me at Kings Cross but not before I had jumped the barrier for the ladies' toilets. Gemma 1; system 0. I was delighted to be back in the pollution and chaos of London and the drive back was brilliant. "Hello south London, you dirty slut." I said as we drove down the Kennington Road.
I got home to my new radiator and carpet and sat quietly. I haven't said much all evening and feel a bit institutionalised. I feel like I've returned from a war, I expect to wake up gasping in the middle of the night dreaming about the sound of pennies hitting the bottom of a bucket and the sight of faces starting, trying to hide their awkwardness.
Facebook was full of, "I've loved it, I'm going to miss it, I've done 60 gigs, it's been brilliant." I just checked in at Kings Cross and noted it with "Amen".
What have I learned:
- I am nowhere near as good as I think I am
- I need to write so much more often that I have been
- I need to write clean material - and mean it
- I need to cut down on the shitty gigs and look at getting better ones
- I am a good MC because I am quite quick-witted
- I should not agree to doing things that I know I'll not be arsed to do down the line
- Write a tight set and WORK ON IT
- Audition for a package show which I'll get paid for and which will be promoted for me
- Arrange the lease of accommodation myself and choose who to live with (or live alone)
- Have a theme if I do a show
- If I've been allocated a shit venue, turn it down
And that concludes Beagle's Edinblog. Thank you for joining me on this distinctly average journey and maybe I'll see you next year.