The great gap

For every parent, guardian, uncle, aunty, grandparent or unsuspecting close friend the summer holidays are an extremely busy time. Children hear the term “summer holiday” and get images of wonderful adventures, frisbees in the park, video games with their friends and foreign beaches surrounded by ice cream vendors. Adults caring for those children have a very different image in their mind.

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(CHAOS AND BLOOD!)

This past week has been a swirling melee of various different activities, hence the blog silence. Tuesday had us wandering around a medieval castle in Tamworth.

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(and by walking I mean trying on various different outfits and being pretty princesses, of course)

If you’ve got kids and in the West Midlands it’s a pretty good day out if you like that kind of thing, though as it’s situated right in the middle of Tamworth when you look out of a window or from the roof you can see high rise flats and a Wilkinsons. Sort of spoils the atmosphere, like being in the Tate Modern and coming across a franchise of Subway.

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(and this next piece is reminiscent of the baroque period, it’s six inches of italian bread and meatball sauce conjures the masters in ways never before seen)

We also ended up in Cadbury World as a generous gift from my mother. This was surprisingly brilliant. Other than being a bit pricy it was actually worth the day out. There was the pretty standard chocolate factory tour, jazzed up with a ride and so many free samples. Then there were children’s entertainers, more free chocolate and an adventure playground. Thank god for the adventure playground as the girls had basically been given a jar of nutella each.

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(Just after this picture was taken this magician was torn apart by wild eyed children, foaming at the mouth and screaming, looking for a magic rabbit)

It’s been great so far and next week the girls are going to stay with their Uncle, Aunty and Cousin while Lucy and I catch up on sleep and prepare ourselves for the new school year. Essentially this preparation involves buying shirts, chipping chewing gum off of the bedroom ceiling and drinking until we can’t feel feelings.

I’m still giving someone the chance to win a shedload of sweets with the wonderful Truly Scrumptious. You can enter the competition here

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My family and other people

This week the girls and myself have been visiting my mum. Mostly because I’ve still got stuff at her place but also because she cooks us food that would make Paul Hollywood say “I think that’s too much butter, don’t you?”

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(Well breakfast IS the most important meal of the day)

You got to love being spoiled a little bit. As an adult with kids it’s rare that someone makes food for you while you read a good book. It’s rarer still that they don’t expect payment and slip you a tenner as you leave.

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(Usually there’s a happy ending)

It’s good to visit your old family home but it’s also a bit stressful. Old criticisms come up and no matter how old you get your parents will always see you as a child.

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My mum constantly tries to tell me how to look after my own kids. I like to remind her they have reached 6 and 8 without any permanent physical or emotional scarring and their clothes are bought from a shop rather than a costume rental store. My favourite bits of advice always have “but it didn’t do you any harm” at the end of them. I’m 20 stone, I was 23. I’m not suggesting that it was all mum’s fault but she was the woman that buttered my Yorkshire puddings.

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(It’s just puppy fat. I ate three great danes, four golden retrievers, a saint Bernard and a French poodle)

I know she does it all through love and now I’m a parent I can empathise with our mother/son relationship. I have realised we are more similar than I could have ever appreciated.

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(She loves a good lemur)

Return of the Manchild

Today we went to the zoo. As a fully grown man I should appreciate the animal’s plight and how zoos are there to help with the preservation of certain species as well as making the greater world of nature more accessible to the general public. However all I could think about was seeing the lemurs and getting an ice cream

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(This lemur tried to touch me, sexually)

It cost £90 to get myself, my mum and my two little girls into the zoo. It was so expensive inside the zoo that in order to eat from the cafe you had to pass a credit check and they only accepted gold bullion.

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(Turns out this isn’t acceptable as currency)

The girls loved it but inevitably they got bored of all the walking and animal spotting, to a 6 year old reindeer and African onyx are just deer beyond the Christmas connotations there’s not much to get excited about with deer. To spice up the adventure I started giving the animals tragic back stories which the girls took to heart.

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(Rayne and Kathrine try to console Colin the crocodile after his wife’s affair and subsequent lovechild drama)

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(Kathrine sings to Simon the sealion who recently found out he was suffering from bowel cancer)

I’m continually surprised by the type of people who go to the zoo. Today I actually overheard one parent say to their children “tigers eat lions and rhinos”. You’d have to be a pretty lost/determined Tiger in order to be a few thousand miles from home chewing on the armour of a rhino or chasing down a pride of lions. It’d be like us trying to eat a tank or motorcycle riding ninja.

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(From the shadows!)

It was a great day and I think the girls enjoyed it all. They especially appreciated me getting bored and encouraging them to recreate mortal kombat for my amusement.

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(FINISH HER! Oh who am I kidding just hug it out guys. CUTEALITY!)

Growing up and other vegetables

When I turned 30 I thought “this is it this is when I’ll know how to be an adult” so on my birthday I sat by the door waiting for the DVD marked “How to do Man Things”. Unfortunately just like a birthday card from my dad it never came.

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(I eat to fill to the hole in my heart)

Quick side story here it was my youngest’s 6th birthday party a few weeks ago and we had a big party that my dad organised for our two families. During the party he turned to my mum and started saying how great his neighbour’s son is. He finally finished with “if you had a son wouldn’t you like a son like him” there it is ladies and gentlemen it’s official my dad doesn’t acknowledge that he has sons, not even to his ex wife.

Anyway 30th birthday and I’m not any closer to being an adult than I was at 29, if I’m honest I wasn’t any closer than when I was 15 except I can talk to women and control my erections better.

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(FYI I dress to the right)

I felt a bit lost after that. Every sitcom ever has told me that when I hit 30 I’d suddenly know everything, have a stable income sufficient enough to support laugh a minute hijinks and have a perfect haircut. What it did do though was it did show me that I had assumed things were going to be handed to me. I was working but I could work harder, I wasn’t looking after my body and my hair looked like it was cut with broken glass.

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(Ladies)

Turning 30 made me realise I wasn’t living my own life I was just riding through it. In the year and a bit since I started doing my dream job, for my daughters back and moved in with the woman of my dreams plus I’ve just about managed the haircut.

Homeward bound

After 7 hours of travelling, some serious tent problems, a couple of screaming fits, more sugar than a Beyoncé song AND one caravan accident we are finally home.

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(Ah so cruise control doesn’t work like that! Damn now how am I going to catch up on hollyoaks?!)

We had a wonderful family holiday but I am ready to scrub myself raw. Also you won’t believe how much I’ve missed a working oven and sleeping horizontally.
It was great to catch up with old friends and make some new ones (I’m looking at you Danielle). As a comic my friends are spread out across the country so getting to see them is a matter of meeting up before or after gigs.

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(Or when planning someone’s murder)

Thing is for most of the holiday we were on the campsite either injuring ourselves on the playground or fending off sleep with red bull and a good book. When you’re on holiday you can easily spend £300 in a few of days just on food.

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(“Food”)

It wasn’t until we got back to the Midlands that we did some crazy stuff.  Surprisingly enough it was at an ikea.

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(Furniture AND extreme sports! It’s like all my Christmases came at once)

Glamping 6 – Revenge of the Glamp

Yesterday was the last day of Boardmasters.  Awwwwwww. It was also the last full day of our holiday and I couldn’t be sadder.

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(Someone call the WAAAAAHHHHambulance!)

It was our first time away as a family and there’s been a lot of new experiences for the girls. They got fully into the festival spirit.

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(Art. It’s a matter of taste and what you find on the floor nearby)

They found out they didn’t like being on mushrooms.

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And they got to play on a beach that wasn’t entirely populated by used needles and heroin addicted seagulls.

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(Keep your eyes on the skies Daddy the skinny ones are the most desperate)

Lucy and I made some discoveries about ourselves as well. We realised we don’t need sleep to function effectively as parents AND if I fill the toiletry bag with water, soaking all of our toiletries, Lucy is legally allowed to force the bag into me while I am distracted.

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(Minty AND intrusive)

Plus I got to close the comedy for Boardmasters.

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(You can smell that festival funk from here. A mixture of lynx, cider and shame)

I loved it and even though I had a bit of anxiety, performing 4 times over 3 days to crowds who may or may not have seen me before, I shouldn’t have. I had people coming up to me during the day and after shows asking when I was on next, telling me how great I was and proposing same sex marriage.

The highlight was a couple coming up to me after I’d Headlined and saying “We just wanted to meet you because you’re going to be big”. A whole truck load of amazings.

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(And helps to wash away memories of THAT haircut)

Two months ago I was seriously thinking of giving up comedy because I didn’t think I was good enough, I’d listened to a rival’s criticism,  and this weekend I headlined an international music festival so I wanted to give some advice to comics who are having self esteem problems.

Fuck everyone else. They aren’t you. They don’t know what you can do. They will tell you their way is the only way because they are so insecure and they need to make themselves feel superior. You do this your way and you do it well. Pour everything you’ve got into it and when you think you’ve given it everything you’re halfway there. In the end there is you and there is the audience, you’ll find each other eventually. Screw everyone else who tries to bring you down. If someone is trying to bring you down it’s because you’re already above them.

BOOM! You’ve just been Purchased!

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(Got to work on that catchphrase)

This month I’m performing at 4 different festivals. One of which is Moto GP. So yeah, I’m kind of a big deal.

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If you’re not going to be at a festival this month check my “Upcoming gigs” page to see where else I’m performing.

Glamping 5 – Glamp of Steel

Day 2 of the fabulous Boardmasters and not only was yesterday filled with beautiful comedy joy

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(James Alderson spreading a shower of golden comedy juice)

But I was also given a buttload of free stuff!

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(Comedy candy treats)

The lovely ladies from Truly Scrumptious gave myself and Tom a lovely goody bag full of sweets, just because they’re nice people and Tom promised not to bury any of them in the woods.

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(I don’t have a picture of Tom in the woods but he’d appreciate this picture)

Plus to add to that a fellow comic (Ian) gave me a magnum of “champagne” which took me less than an hour to finish and I suspect he won in a raffle.

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(I love that Ian understood how much I needed this right now. I think he handed it to me as some kind of defensive manoeuvre)

Awesome show with James, Luke and myself having a great one and Tom having a fantastic one by getting people to throw stuff at him on stage. You can tell how a gig is going by what the crowd want. They wanted to abuse Tom. The crowd threw everything from sweet wrappers to beer cans to a handful of ice. As I’m headlining the final show today I’m wearing a helmet and sports cup.

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(BOOM! Now you’ve got blueberry jam instead of balls. Comedy gold!)