So... first off, some things you ought to know - or at least things I ought to tell you - on the Genius front.
I'm going to go to work on the next series as soon as this tour is done and dusted but Team Genius have already assembled and are beavering away, filing and categorising the ideas we've received so far. (This is why it's a bad idea to send your ideas directly to me and a good idea to send them to the show! I'm a busy fool whose head is elsewhere.)
To make it even easier to send ideas in to the show Team Genius are now on Twitter. They're @bbcgenius and there's also now a facebook page for the show too. You can sign up for it here: www.facebook.com/bbcgenius.
I'm really enjoying chatting to people after the shows on tour and one of the things I hear a lot is, "I'd love to send something in to Genius but I never have any ideas!" Well, this is where the twitter/facebook side of things might help. Because while ideas just come to some people, sitting down and trying to come up with an idea can be a bit too abstract. But Team Genius are going to be offering challenges to people and that might well inspire you. Yesterday at lunch time they asked twitter folks to tell them what a Genius Biscuit might look like and later in the day they asked for Genius suggestions of genetically modified animals.
There were loads of ideas for both. Personally, I liked @jimmyshoey's suggestion of a mug made out of Hob Nob, with choc-coated inner lining. That way, you finish your tea and the mug is not only edible but also pre-dunked. Sounds like Genius to me.
Meanwhile @_Blaggins suggested crossing dogs with people and also cats with people in order to better distinguish between, um, dog-people and cat-people. You see? You don't. I see. I think.
Well anyway... get along and follow @bbcgenius and see if you can answer any of the challenges. The more the merrier. And making merry is after all what the show is really about.
Now... after my two-days-of-rest-that-wasn't-really-two-days-of-rest-at-all-because-I-had-to-do-five-days-worth-of-admin-and-meetings-and-stuff(I'm-not-complaining-just-saying) it's back to the tour with the run of gigs: Cheltenham, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Brighton.
One of the things I'm being asked on Twitter a lot myself is "what kind of sadist is scheduling your tour?" The journeys rarely make a lot of sense. But the truth is, this is what most people's tours look like. When I did the cycling tour, I don't think many people realised how much work went into the logistics. Simply finding gigs that were 50-60 miles down the road in the right direction each day was an incredible feat. It's also why several venues I wouldn't normally play were on the schedule. Sometimes, playing a village hall or a smaller theatre was the only way of keeping the momentum going.
It stands to reason... venues aren't all standing empty just waiting for my agent to call. If we agree to do a gig in Town A on a particular Friday night, there's no reason why the appropriate venues in Town A+50 should be available on the Saturday that follows it.
So inevitably touring journeys are between the venues that were available on those days rather than the venues that are the most convenient to travel between.
On my bike ride, I did 32 gigs and cycled just shy of 1600 miles. On this leg of the tour I did over 1600 miles in the first ten days. It was much more efficient by bike. In every way.
Still at least this week offers something more sensible.
I'm off to Cheltenham tonight - that's not too bad. See you there. Then Cardiff on Thursday. Quite a sensible stretch. See you there. Then Cardiff to Birmingham. Very doable. See you there. Brum to Manchester for the Lowry Centre. Easy. See you there. Then... oh... Manchester to London overnight in order to do the Absolute Radio show on Sunday morning? Oh.
Oh dear. Oh hell. Oh help.
See you in Manchester. Tune in on Sunday morning to hear me pressing all the wrong buttons. If ever a man was going to take the station off air by accident... this'll be it.
And from there to Brighton for the Sunday night. Yep. That's okay. I'll go by train. If I fall asleep - I will fall asleep - at least it won't be a train that goes on beyond Brighton so I can't miss my stop.
So yeah... Wednesday Cheltenham, Thursday Cardiff, Friday Birmingham, Saturday Manchester, Sunday: Absolute Radio and then Brighton. Easy.
Oh... and by the way... thanks to everyone who's been downloading the podcast (it's here if you're an itunes bod or here if you're not) The number has increased in the last few weeks... which might be down to people becoming more aware of it because I'm touring, or, in the last week it could be down to Absolute Radio's poster campaign... with it's oh so flattering picture: