I've just finished booking a stupid-load of travel. Before I bore you with it, have a bit of this...
David Tennant and the cast of Doctor Who 2009 do an end-of-term video
And I will drive 500 miles, and the rest of it, in the next week. I was hoping I could take the train for my next week's work, but it turned out to be unfeasible. If you can work out a better way I could have done this, tell me how (bearing in mind you're too late, it's booked).
So I need to be in Ealing on Tuesday to do a Comic Art Masterclass at a school (this involves carrying a big bag of comics and pens and a portfolio of artwork), then on Wednesday night I perform the Scottish Falsetto Socks in St Andrews, Fife (this involves carrying the Socks props in their oversized bass guitar gig bag + another bag of props, and of course disposing of the bags from my Comic Art Masterclass which means I can't take both sets of bags with me on public transport and have to pay extra for any flight with the Socks props, I hope you're keeping track). Then on Friday I do the Socks in Aberdeen, then Saturday the Socks in Bishop Monkton a small town near Harrogate in Yorkshire, then on Monday morning at 9am I need to start doing a Comic Art Masterclass in Cork, then Tuesday in Dungarvan, then Waterford on Wednesday, then home to Bristol from where I have to get to a Socks show in Halifax in Thursday, Keighley Friday and Stafford Saturday.
So, how would you do all that? While you're working it out, enjoy this...
The Ballad of Russell & Julie by David Tennant, Catherine Tate, John Barrowman and the Doctor Who 2009 crew, another party video for the retirement of Russell T Davies & Julie Gardner
So the only solution is drive from Ealing to Preston (4 hours), stay overnight there (£39 inc breakfast and wifi) then drive to St Andrews (4 hours). The alternative involved driving home to Bristol, flying to Edinburgh, getting a train to Leuchars and a bus to St Andrews. Oh, that's the easy bit.
Then Aberdeen's easy enough, all the more so with my car. Next is the drive to Bishop Monkton near Harrogate - 6 and a half hours. This was the hard call, as the train to Harrogate is only £39 and I could read a book and rest, and I'm sure I could get a lift to Bishop Monkton. But then comes the hard part. Finish a Socks gig in BM on Saturday night, and get to Cork for 9am Monday morning.
I drive from BM to Bristol overnight (4 hours 20) then get a plane from Bristol to Dublin at 13.10 on Sunday. Then the train from Dublin to Cork and stay overnight, that's the only way to be at a school there on Monday morning. The train from Harrogate wouldn't have left till Sunday morning, would have cost £101, and wouldn't have arrived in time to catch a plane in time to get to Dublin. And before you ask, flights to Cork don't go from Bristol, that would have necessitated going from Gatwick. But then on Wednesday I have to fly back from Dublin, which only goes to Bristol.
I realise my travel plans are of interest to no-one. But may they serve as a cautionary lesson for anyone planning to combine a career of stand-up/sit-down comedy with a career of comic-book drawing which involves more teaching than drawing, and accepting gigs at opposite ends of three different countries in the space of 10 days (and this is before I go on to do Halifax etc - and the following week I do a class in mid Wales - "Just what we need Niles, a fourth country!")