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The Road Trip (from Plymouth to Dundee) continued... / 26 January 2012

photo of a disabled woman with a belt to hold a sound recording device

Me with my 'edirol' contraption, for making easy recordings. Unfortunately it did not work as it kept slipping down, so I would have to talk to my crutch!

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I am in my hotel room in Dundee, I have been here since Wednesday and I am so relaxed. I have had the best time ever. With so many crips here I can relax and be myself, because I am not the only spac, no one looks at you as if your strange..and even better than that we are all artists trying to succeed and, dare I say it, change the world!

So much has happened that I am clambering over my letters as I try to get all the 'golden nuggets' out in haste but I will try to make it as clear and unrambling (a word?) as possible.

Now where did I leave you before?  I was going to Manchester....

Right, im going to write down bullet points, and elaborate on them at a later point (bite sized chunks), and so I remember when I pass out from exhaustion!

• The Frog and Bucket, Manchester
• Jon and Madeleine, Leeds
• The Drive to Bonny Scotland
• My hotel Room
• The Spaccy Symposium (Pathways to Profession, Day 1)
• An Evening of Disability Arts
• The Spaccy Symposium (Pathways to Profession, Day 2)
• Abso-bloomin-lutely knackered........and it is only Friday!

I managed to find the pub, Smithfield Hotel and Bar, but that is a somewhat of a misnomer, as it was quite old, small, and rickety but I liked it, it had the basics, it was £20 a night and, as I soon discovered was a minute away from The Frog and Bucket, Comedy Club which was my next stop. I was tired but this was to good an opportunity to miss, I had no idea what to expect but I knew that, if I had the chance id be up there making a tit out of myself.

I had been told it was just on the corner, so I crossed the road and walked but couldnt see it. I asked some young lads if they could 'possibly point me in the direction of the Frog and Barrel?' “ Y' mean The Frog and Bucket? The Comedy Club? Its reet over't thur love ! pointing to the illuminated building right across the road.. 'cheers I chirped. I was quite excited...

I walked in and discovered that the dealio was this. It's an amateur night. There were 11 comedians (prebooked unfortunately) who have about 5 mins to wow the audience. There are three cards given to three audience members. If these three cards are held a loft during their set they are off, stripped of their dignity. If they last the alloted time they come back at the end and the audience votes by clapping, stomping, cheering etc (not wholly reliable sometimes).

It was a really good experience, I spoke to some of the comedians, asked for advice, got to watch some funny guys and also some bloody awful acts. The greatest thing is that I know some of my comedy is going to work. I talk about U.S.P. (Unique Selling Point) and how we all need to fit into boxes so we 'belong', 'the nerd', 'the spac', 'the muso', 'the hippy', 'the raver'...

We put a negative spin on 'boxes' but when we are no longer in them, we need another way to make us stand out from the crowd, so we jump in another box to find like minded individuals or straddle a number of boxes, why not, be a greedy box hogger.

“ Stop putting me in a box!”
“Why dont you stop moaning, put your slippers on, and make yourself at home in the box.”

The point. Know your self. Simple. (I wish!)

The guys at the comedy club were rolling in U.S.P's.  A dwarf, a ginger, an indian, gay, black and a transexual, to name but a few. Some of them were painful to watch and I sure as hell didnt take a card, thats a lot of pressure and I may meet them again one day!

But some where very good, when I saw Mark Restuccia, I found myself making notes and we talked through some of the jokes briefly at the end (when I apologised for being disabled basically, I shouldn't do that really.) I felt like I knew what I was talking about, when did that happen?

I went back to the place I call home feeling satisfied and like I was on the correct path and now I have done another reccy. I'm feeling all warm and centred, I have a crafty one and a cuppa and go to bed.

Interval: Home is a strange concept, especially when you are on the road. I am a home bird. I love my flat. I miss my flat, my cats, my bed. I need comfort. So on this trip I am calling everywhere I stay 'home'. My temporary home. This way it's not that scary. BUT I am prepared for sleeping in my car if needs must. I have a sleeping bag, my quilt, a big burgandy pillow (there's a colour you don't here often) and a big fluffy coat but I dont think i'll need to stay in Guinevere (that my car, she's a Skoda Roomster, she is also burgundy and, like my mind, a complete mess!)

I know it sounds strange but my mind is my home, my security, my favourite company, in fact I'd say I would rather be with myself than anyone else...which is quite handy considering this road trip, we've been writing a song today, my brain and I, we have a verse but the rest is shit.)