For once in life the Easyway is the best way. Even better than the hardway. In this blogpost I will skim through events from Sunday 3rd November until this exact moment.
Sunday November 3rd. 10.30am. Live interview with Cerys Mathews for BBC Radio 6 in central London
Then straight to Paddington station. from Paddington to Yeovill in Somerset.
Go for a walk in Yeovil Country Park to feel the sun go down. Then later I read from My Name Is Why at The Swan Theatre for Yeovil Literature Festival. Sold out ages ago.
Wake on Monday 4th November and catch a train to Royal Hotel in Weston Super Mare.
I stay in Weston Super Mare for The day taking random selfies like a wierdo and checking out the town and the people. One of the strange joys of beinng a performer over thirty years is to to see how cities and towns change.
On Tuesday 5th November 10.30am I give a workshop at Winter Gardens Pavillion.
And then at 3pm to 4.30pm I read from My Name Is Why to a rapt audience. Then travel back to London arriving home for 11.pm
Wednesday November 6th at 6am podcast in Clapton. 10am – 3pm business meeting in Clapton. 6pm to 10pm Manchester International Festival Artsitic Advisors meeting on Southbank. Home for11.30pm. Thursday November 7th Clapton 8am meet with lawyer and barrister then to Paddington Station arriving at hotel in Stroud in darkness. It’s beautiful I am told.
The hotel is called The Painswick. It is all kinds of Soho House beautiful. Maybe better. Later that night I perform at the Goods Shed which was designed by Brunel for Stroud Book festival. Book Signing ends 11pm. Hotel sleep. Midnight. Basically it is really difficult to sleep soundly after these events because none of them are the same. They are all deeply personal and I can’t pretend. I can’t trick myself into pretending to be present,
5am Friday November 8th catch 6.15am train from Stroud back to Paddington
Then I arrive at Raynes Park for 10.30am to start a course called EASYWAY to stop smoking. I have paid for this course. It’s important I do it to the end.
At 3.30pm I had my last cigarette then caught the train from Raynes Park to Middlesborough aarriving middlesborough 11pm. There’s been flooding.
6am on Saturday 9th November I get ready and then by 8am I walk to The Curve at Teeside Univerisity for Hackathon and at 9.30am deliver the keynote opening speech at the conference and it is an emotional one. A really emotional one. And rightly so. I am raced to the train station and thankfully I catch the 10.43am
The 10.43am train to London. I arrive at 3pm and get home for 4pm .
At 7.30pm I attend the Artangel Annual Artists Dinner held at The Museum of the order of St John in St John’s Gate. And at 10.30pm I gave the speech. Thankyou Anna Chojnicka for being my guest.
One hundred and fifty artists relaxing in one room. I knew alot of them: The Wilson Sisters, , Grayson Perry, Philipa Perry, Jeremy Deller. I was sat next to Carol Morley and Lavinia Greenlaw and Hannah Berry. But I was tired. So tired and so happy to have quit smoking. My veins were bubbling with new oxygen but my actually body was saying rest Lemn. See these events I have been doing…. I can’t do them by half… and now I am at this dinner…. I have eaten the first course…. and it’s going over time…. it’s 10.30pm…. I have to be awake at 4.30am to get my flight to Sydney Australia… I haven’t prepared for this….. because it’s not a reading….therefore its going to be difficult to know what to say….
I had the most wonderful chat with actor Fiona Shaw and writer Sonali Deraniyagala. I went back to my seat and then stood up at my table. And I gave a speech. I gave a speech to a room of speakers. The only guarentee I could give is that I would give my all. There was some form of standing ovation. Got home for midnight.
News. I will be reading from Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats to launch the recording on 24th November at The British Library in Kings Cross. Then on 28th November Body and Soul celebration of lost Birthdays at The Library on St Martins Lane. Different library. I urge you to come. It’s a fundraiser and it’ll be good. There’s tons of other events and they should be on my website.
I stayed awake all night in fear that if I slept I would miss my plane. I am at the airport ready to fly to Sydney. Posting this. Tell me about My Name Is Why and whom you might buy it for at Christmas. My Christmas present is that I quit. I will never smoke a cigarette again. And I feel wonderful. It is called Easyway for a reason. However the flight is not easy at all. Send me some good news so that when I land I feel the love.