It all started so well .....
Thursday I was booked to do some meet-and-greet in Preston for the council.
I drove up north on Wednesday and stayed, a la Alan Partridge, in a Travel Lodge - and very comfortable it was. Thursday morning I was up bright and early for the 10 miles drive to Preston. The sat nav let me down and I couldn't find the town hall; even the three people I asked didn't know where it was!! However, a couple of phone calls and I was guided through the one-way system to a nice parking spot close by. The rest of the morning passed with much hilarity in the company of Claire Chanel and Etienne as we terrorised the locals heading for Qwik Save.
Thursday evening I was booked to do a Ladies' Night in Stockport, some 45 miles away. Finishing in Preston at 2.30pm I had an afternoon to kill. I drove into Manchester and decided to go and see the renowned Trafford Centre, a huge shopping mall which, on first sight, reminded me of the V & A in Cape Town. Very nice but way too big to spend on my feet for long.
I arrived in Stockport at about 5pm, found a convenient McD, ordered coffee and settled down with a book.
The venue at Stockport was very welcoming and we soon settled in for what promised to be a good show. Well, it was a good show for me; the poor strippers came off rather the worse for wear. The dressing room resembled a field hospital as the boys patched up the scratches, bites and bruises from the mob of girls in the audience.
Friday night and things got steadily more bizarre. I was in Scunthorpe in a club that has a monthly gay night. The show started on time but 4 minutes in and I had to call a halt while a rowdy element was removed. At the door the police were called and one drunken woman starting screaming assault. To be honest, if I HAD assaulted her then they would have seen the stilletoe sticking out of her head! So, there I am, sitting in the dressing room waiting for it all to calm down when I had to be interviewed by the police sitting in my tights and shoes. How embarrassing! Eventually it all calmed down and I carried on with the show. Unfortunately half the audience had left but it all turned out OK.
After all that I thought that the weekend could only improve so it was back up the M6 to Liverpool for another Ladies' Night. Well, what can I say about the venue? It adhered to every stereotype of scally scousers. It was rough, neglected and dirty. The punters were all staples of Bread or Harry Enfield. The walls were filthy, the ceiling ingrained with decades of cigarette smoke, the windows were more dirt than glass. In this atmosphere we were expecting to be slaughtered, chewed up and spat out. How wrong can you be. It was by far the best gig of the weekend. We had a great time with only a very small audience.
In the early hours of Sunday I staggered back down the M6, along the well worn path of the A500 and down the final 20 miles of the M1 to my bed.