Blubberwatch had been going really well, losing on average about 3lbs per week. However, pride comes before a fall and so I was undone by a "showcase". This is where record companies get the chance to present artists on the BBC premises and provide a light buffet. Last week I went to see Eleanor McEvoy. I am a huge fan of hers and have been for years so I wasn't going to miss this. The point was I arrived early and hungry.
Just as the saying goes : "The fastest car on the road is the hire car", so it goes also: "The tastiest food is the free food". Eleanor was terrific and I stood there with my glass of sparkling mineral water leaning on the bar next to a huge plate of assorted sandwiches. When I next looked round, half of them had gone. So when it came to "Blubberwatch Weigh-in Day" which is a Thursday, instead of a further loss of 3lbs, I only managed a measly 1lb. A mite disappointing as I had hoped to be approaching the 12st 7lbs mark by now. Perhaps this coming Thursday.
On Friday, I got to do an extra show. "The Weekender", Radio 2's weekly arts show is normally presented by Claudia Winkleman. She was off doing the TV that night so the BBC, casting around for someone equally attractive asked me to do it. This is a fun show as it is totally different to what I do normally. Actor Bill Patterson was a guest and a top bloke talking about his early life in the Glasgow tenements. There was talk of film and books and the Edinburgh Festival. I made sure I wore my reading glasses for this as it made me look more intelligent.
When the show finished at midnight, Mark the producer and I were wondering what to do next as everything would be shut in London, wouldn't it???
Just then a text flooded in from a mate of ours who was in a bar just down the street. Did we fancy a quick drink before it shut at 1am? All this culture had made us thirsty so the answer had to be YESSSSS!!
It was a side street dive bar with two floors. The top floor had a bar and loud music. Downstairs had a dance floor and even louder music.
As you know, Alex Lester does not dance under any circumstances. So I drank my drink, bellowed conversation with my friends and tapped my foot approvingly. Come one o'clock it was chucking out time so we were out on the street when someone remembered a club a short walk away. Off we went and paid an extortionate charge and went down the stairs. It was effectively a long room with a raised stage at one end and the very important toilets at the other. A bar ran the length of the room. The DJ was playing a fairly eclectic mix of music. I sipped my drinks and tapped my foot approvingly. Then some strange force overpowered me.....
I hopped, I jumped. I pulled shapes. I moshed, I frugged, I twisted to the Beatles, I headbanged to Status Quo. All in all I was putting out some moves.
Next thing you know it was 3.30am. So what to do next? Mmmm, food was required so we trooped off down to Soho and shovelled plates of Chinese food down ourselves.
It was five o'clock when I finally got back to the flat and fell into a dreamless sleep, my ears ringing slightly from the battering they taken from the music. Five hours later I was awake and I spied something very odd on the floor. At some point during the evening I appear to have swapped shoes with Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz or at least a close friend of hers. Not quite ruby slippers, but I had sparkly sandals. Closer examination showed them to be my shoes with the soles encrusted with bits of broken glass. I had danced my way through a floor covered in broken shot glasses. Also checking my trusty pedometer it looked like I had Watusied about 8 miles overnight.
Saturday evening and with some friends we went off to see an Australian comedian who has a character based on a genuine Oz gangster called "Chopper Read". There was even a film made about him. We had been alerted to his act by a friend who had seen a lot of his stuff on "YouTube". If you are easily offended don't go anywhere near him. Put it this way, the show was called; "Harden the F*** up! Make Deads**** history!. He was brilliant and had us weeping with laughter. We wisely sat halfway back, not wanting to be picked on in case of any audience involvement. Three hapless audience members were not quite so lucky. To see the four of them on stage acting out a TV script he had written which involved the two women having a fight and having to call each other every single rude word they could think of and then some more was worth the price of admission alone. It is odd how we find a selection of letters in some order shocking and crude yet when the letters are made into other words they cause no offence at all.
All in all a great, and for me – spontaneous - weekend. Look forward to more like it.