It’s been three weeks and two days now since the last night of my Thirty Years Tour at the Waterside in Belfast (about which the man from the Belfast Telegraph was very nice!) and I’m back to my old life of working all day and relaxing in the evening, as opposed to trying to relax all day then work all evening.
I miss the adrenalin rush that used to hit me at 7.30 – or 8.00 in Ireland – when I tumbled out of my big, metre-high, specially built box-set of books and onto a stage in Stoke -on -Trent or Southampton, or Carlisle or Cork, or wherever I happened to be that night. Always a new audience, always the fear in the very back of one’s mind that you might completely blow it. Fortunately I knew from the welcome that the audience was on my side and it was up to me to be as good as I could, and give them the show they wanted – and had paid very generously for!
So thanks to all the audiences on the Thirty Years Tour whose enthusiasm was so warm that we usually had fun. No two night’s were ever the same and no two audiences were ever the same and that’s what’s so exciting, and irresistible, about a live tour.
I’m hanging up my Fish-Slapping boots for a while now and trying to give myself time to concentrate on some new projects for 2016. There’s not much sign of pipe and slippers time yet. I have two documentary ideas and some possible acting projects in the year ahead. I don’t want to rush at everything like I used to, I want to pace myself. Leave time for a bit of non-work travel and watching the grandchildren grow up and sitting in cafes with friends and going to movies and completing my current task of watching every episode of The Sopranos.
The great thing about my life is that whilst home and family haven’t changed much over the years everything else has, so I don’t really know what I shall be working on a year from now. It’s like stepping out onto the stage in front of a live audience – just swallow, smile and go. You don’t know what’s waiting for you until you’re out there.