Thoughts from on the road 

I’m on the road at the moment, with three gigs in three towns over three days in three different parts of the country. It isn’t normally like this. In fact I can go for months on end before there’s anything outside of South Devon.
And it’s the weirdest feeling, because a lot of effort goes into travelling around, and it’s all because I stand on stage and say vaguely funny things and try to make people laugh through poetry. In fact, if you’d told me ten years ago that I’d be doing this, I’d have laughed, derisively.
But this time has been different, and I find myself clinging on to every moment. I don’t know why this is. Perhaps it’s because I’m getting old. Perhaps it’s because I still can’t really believe that spoken word is making me do all these things. So I concentrate on small details, such as the carpet pattern in the venues where I perform, the people I meet, the things that I might not necessarily remember.
Last nights gig was in the function room of a hotel in Bristol. It was the most unexpected space, in an urban environment, looking more like a Manhattan loft or comedy club than the function room of a family pub. As the night wore on a full moon drifted past the window, which only seemed to add to the candles and the fairy lights and I thought, hmmm, this is a good existence. We all came together and made an evening for people to enjoy. This night will never, ever be repeated exactly as it is right now.
I spent the night in Bristol and now I’m off to London. I’m looking forward to having a good old poke around Tate Modern this afternoon before the gig, no doubt enhanced by the anticipation of performing to a new audience.
It’s the people you meet that make the journey worthwhile. That’s where the anticipation comes from. It doesn’t even have to be because of the spoken word, it’s the idea that I, and others, have travelled to a specific place to be sociable and cultural and to share enthusiasm. As I sat on the station at half eleven last night in Stapleton Road I wondered where I would be in twenty four hours time and who I might meet.

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