Thursday, August 17, 2006
Yesterday was my 3rd Wedding Anniversary to Gail. We married on August 16th 2003 and it has sometimes seemed that a long time has passed, yet other times as though it all happened yesterday. I wouldn't have had it any other way (mostly) ;-) ), and I definitely know I picked the right girl. She's one in a million.
She challenges me, provokes me, makes me laugh, won't be walked over and is the most independent woman I know. I could never have married a 'house-wife' and I know in Gail I got someone who is the total opposite.
To celebrate, I took her out for a meal at The Iglu and then to the Best of Scottish Comedy night at The Stand.
Iglu is a relatively new restaurant found in the New Town. It bases all its menus on organic or wild produce. Not being that fussy about pesticides in my food, I thought it would be a nice change to see how the other half eat.
The restaurant itself is lovely. Nice and cosy but classy, with hard wooden floors and tasteful decor in the upstairs restaurant area (downstairs is the bar). The highlight for me was the tropical fish tank built into the wall.
The staff were very attentive and the quality of cooking not too shabby at all. I have to admit to not being able to tell the difference between organic food and standard, but then my rare-cooked rump of wild venison with mash, blue cheese and vegetables would have gone down a treat in any establishment.
I'd definitely go back, but not too soon as the inflated prices to reflect the organic nature of the food didn't really reflect in any excessive boost in quality. If it's an ethical thing then fair play, but I won't pay £15GBP for a side of meat I can get for half the price up the road, just because itm was shot the day before on a hillside in Glen Nevis.
The Stand, as always, was a scream. It was the Best of Scottish night and while I only recognised one act (Bruce Morton), the other two, on later investigation, proved to be quite famous in their own right. Sandy Nelson in particular, having had several movie and TV parts to his credit. Films such as Braveheart and TV such as Still Game, The Book Group and Velvet Soup.
When we arrived though, the place was still filling up and all the seats at the front of the stage were taken. All except the extreme front, where you are actually sitting face to face with the performer.
I should say, that the stage at The Stand is tiny. It is about four feet long by two feet from the wall and only about three inches high at most. It's easy to miss it entirely and fall over it. So while sitting at the front might get you a view you could still get from half way back, it leaves you wide open to be picked on by the performers.
And if you are a chubby, bald spectacle wearer with a West of Scotland accent, you are prime material for anyone with a fast tongue.
It wasn't long before the banter started. The announcer, Susan Morrison, came on and immediately accused me and Gail of swinging with the new-age couple next to us. Not too bad, I hear you say, but then when Sandy Nelson came on, things got worse - for me.
He made a bee-line for me as soon as he was on stage, with a quiff and side-burns not unlike a mini-Elvis (he was a short bloke), and his fist held out to start some weird Afro-American-style handshake. I didn't click and he kept doing things to make me look stupid. Eventually I caught up with him, then he walked away saying, "The bald specky cunt finally got it."
Lots of laughter.
And as I turned to Gail and said, "So says the sad Elvis reject," there was a lull in the audience volume, my comments were heard, and he was back over challenging me, eyeball to eyeball before I knew what was happening.
As it turned out I gave him his first ten minutes of material. I'm getting immune to it now: always being singled out at some point. It's a talent I have for looking - well odd, I suppose.
The press release for the new round of Fringe Fantastic promotion went out yesterday. I forgot I had set it up before I left for Cyprus. You can read it here (it's very good):
My latest Press Release
I've still got the hard copies to send out over the next couple of days to editors etc. I've not been able to due to certain printing restrictions that have affected me. In fact this week has been a total upside-down balls-up. I can't fulfil my Fringe wishes and the frustration and fact I have had to divert my attention to unrelated matters, has meant I'm not getting any writing done either. I have to get a hold of this problem.
I read Fringe Fantastic for the first time in a looooong time tonight. I quite enjoyed it but know I could do it better if I was doing it right now. I'll have to make sure everything I learnt from it goes into the production of Poolside Poetry. This new book is not going to be on the same scale - internet sales only on this one - for now anyway.
I also ready through Rick Lupert's collection of chapbooks. His poetry is awesomely funny and appropriate to what I am trying to do. Go check out some of his stuff at The Poetry Superhighway; he's been a hige influence and source of confidence.
And sounds like a fun restaurant.
I really wish these guys who think they're so clever when they pick on the audience would just shut the fuck up.
Because really, they're not all that clever and WE could script better material.