Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Final Stretch

I'm pretty exhausted. I can't quite believe that I toured this same show by bike last year. It seems slightly unreal. But it did happen.

I'm off to Aberdeen today - and if you need a reason for why this leg of the tour isn't being done by bike surely a London to Aberdeen journey is reason enough. Aberdeen, Glasgow, Dorking, Belfast, Basingstoke - back to London for a day off and then - Leicester and Llandudno. Phew. That's a lot of silly travelling in eight days.

Looking forward to it though. Honest. Well. I'm looking forward to the shows. The travel not so much. I'm travelling sometimes by car and sometimes by train. I sometimes go in the car with my tour manager, Greg - who carries sound equipment and merchandise and stuff with him - but sometimes when it's more convenient I take the train. So today for example, poor Greg is driving to Aberdeen while I'll be on the train with my laptop out doing some work. I hope.

Last Sunday I took the train from Liverpool to Blackburn because it wasn't sensible to have Greg stay in Liverpool while I did the Absolute Radio show. The two cities are only 45 miles apart so I assumed there'd be frequent train services connecting them. Not so. There were a variety of options - changing trains once in Preston or twice in Manchester and Salford - and they all came in at around 2hours. Except that in reality one of the trains ran late meaning a connection was missed and it took me two and a half hours. Meanwhile my Absolute Radio colleagues had taken a train from Liverpool to London in 2hrs 15minutes. And Greg's drive from Liverpool to Blackburn had taken 50 minutes.

I took the train home from Blackburn too. Via Bolton. And Manchester. On the train from Manchester a pair of screaming banshee teenage girls passed through my carriage on their way from the buffet. One of them, aware that they were annoying other passengers with their noise suggested to the other that she keep it down a bit. The depressing response came, "Don't tell me to shurrup, this ain't the quiet carriage I can make as much noise as I want."

She was utterly convinced that she was right too. As if the very presence of a quiet carriage meant that normal manners were no longer required elsewhere. I hope she spent the rest of the journey with someone shining a torch in her eyes. Because, y'know, unless she'd chosen to sit in the dark carriage there'd be no reason not to would there? Harumph.

The remarkable thing is that the gigs are enough fun to make the travelling worth it.

Of course as soon as this tour is over I'm going to work on the next series of Genius. You can send us an idea via the website or - and this is proving to be a great font for new ideas - follow @bbcgenius on twitter and respond to the many Genius challenges being set there.


Gordon said...

Looking forward to seeing you in sunny Glasgow tomorrow! (oh, it's a bit dreich here..)

GaryUFM said...

"The two cities are only 45 miles apart so I assumed there'd be frequent train services connecting them. Not so. There were a variety of options - changing trains once in Preston or twice in Manchester and Salford - and they all came in at around 2hours."

You'd think so wouldn't you? Welcome to our world! Glad you made the effort though, really enjoyed your show.

Unknown said...

We are coming to see you in Belfast on Saturday and can't wait!

Apart from sleeping, if you've not visited Belfast in a while and have any spare time, I'd advise the Crazy Golf course up at Dundonald Ice Bowl, the big wheel before it moves home and the viewing platform in Victoria Square. Reading that back, it sounds like I'm advising you to head to the Craggy Island fair, maybe we could get a park bench rigged up to the H&W cranes?

Emma Spreadbury said...

What is a good font for new ideas? I always tend to use Gill Sans.


Anonymous said...

I despise trains, I really do. I have been commuting for two years and decided to move closer to my job because it drove me nuts.

It was so bad, I decided to have some fun and blog about it:

It seems like no matter where you live, they're always the same ;)

Unknown said...

Great show tonight Dave, thanks for coming to Belfast to entertain us and please hurry back :)

Helen Thornber said...

Yes public transport from one part of Merseyside/Lancashire to another can often be an interesting challenge! Growing up in Southport I could practically wave to my cousin in Lytham across the estuary but to get to her on public transport took a good two hours or so.

I'm presenting at a conference in Chorley in May and combining it with seeing the parents in Southport. When I asked my dad what he thought might be the best way to get to Chorley using public transport he responded with "Don't bother, you'll never make it on time. I'll give you a lift." Bless him!