Friday, 19 February 2016


We’re in sunny Manchester, except, it not sunny, it’s raining, because it always rains in Manchester. We’re here because we’re going to be on BBC Breakfast tomorrow morning talking about Beyond The Fence. We’ve been put up in the Holiday Inn at Salford Quays. The lovely Cat is also here and we’ve just had a hot chocolate night cap down in the bar. It was a Starbucks hot chocolate. I’m told the hot chocolates in these sorts of places are filled with so much sugar that I can expect my teeth to fall out any moment. It didn’t taste that sweet. Mind you, that said, we had a raspberry jelly on the train up which apparently was laced with 10% of my daily recommended salt in take. And that was cheesy-cheek sweet. What the hell’s going on?!

They’ve been teching in the theatre all day today. I’m never sure how to spell that word. I have a similar problem when writing about micing/ miking things. Spell check refuses to acknowledge either word.

I don’t think I should ever be allowed in a tech. I always make myself unpopular by being unable to keep my mouth sewn shut when something goes wrong. Actually I think they’re going at a brilliant speed, so I don’t know why I’m panicking. I’m hardly taking my own advice and allowing this to be an exercise in letting go!

We met a horrible man on the tube from Leicester Square to Euston. It was rush hour and, as he got onto the train, he shoved me from behind and shouted for every one to move down within the carriage. At the next stop a few people got off, and he decided to push past me angrily to stand further inside the carriage. He had mean little eyes, and horrible hair. He got off the train with us at King’s Cross and decided to walk behind me on the platform and kick the little suitcase that I was wheeling along. He pushed past me (again) and then stood, waiting for a fight at the end of the platform. “Why the hell did you kick my bag?” I said, “why the hell are you dragging it along behind you? It’s plainly light enough to carry under your arm!” “I don’t want to carry it under my arm. That’s why it’s got wheels…” And so the insults flew… We stormed away as I shouted, “get a haircut…” I’d plainly run out of sensible things to say, but I like to think he’ll take this particular piece of advice to heart. He’ll be much happier with shorter hair. I know these things.

I was lucky enough to get the chance to meet up with my brother Tim and his husband John when we arrived in Manchester. We took ourselves to Canal Street and had a drink in an empty bar. The bar we’d initially decided to drink in was apparently being haunted by a terrible drag queen so Tim and John had gone running for the hills.

Thursday night is drag night on Canal Street and I quite like bad drag… But it was lovely to be able to sit and natter rather than shout over the top of someone lip-synching for their lives.

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