26 june 2018






school photos







           All original writing

           2014, 2015, 2016, 2017,            2018        Ian McLauchlin



The Pavilion Spring programme dropped through the letterbox. Looks interesting. Turned over two pages and there was Ed Byrne and his 'Spoiler Alert' Tour. It's only a few days away. I wonder if there are tickets left. There was an isolated one in Row H. That'll do.

It was raining heavily that morning with strong gusts of wind. Hope it improves but what if it doesn't. Might be room in the small Pavilion car park. Fortunately it cleared up by evening and I set off early on foot. I arrived about an hour before kick-off and there were still some spaces left in the car park. Made a mental note for the future.

This tour's been running since last September! Last night he was in Yeovil. After Exmouth it's Plymouth and that goes on till the end of March. He probably knows the script pretty well by now.

And so he did. He couldn't help telling us about his best friend Dara O'Briain though. Fortunately he hadn't learnt to gabble like Dara so we could tell what he was saying. They'd been on documentaries/travelogues together and had a great time. He didn't tell us that once Dara had drawn the long straw and he'd drawn the short one, set out in an unstable canoe in a sewage laden brook and fallen in. I can see why.

The show was observational as so many now are. He observed that

After the interval he apologised to those at the back who hadn't been able to hear properly in the first half. Really sorry. Maybe you can come tomorrow night and fill the hundred empty seats. You only need to stay till the interval.

At one point he became passionately interested in whether anyone had a pet name for their car. You know, like Cuddles. At a previous gig a lady, shamefacedly, admitted to calling her Citroen 'Carlos'. Why the shame face? "I thought Citroens were made in Spain." (I thought he could have made more of the name Carlos, but it wouldn't do if we were all the same, would it.) I stuck my hand up and waved it. When you get to my age, you become invisible. So I wasn't able to tell him my car name. ‘Wijy's knickers’.

One of his examples of preciousness was the existence of semi-skimmed milk. Not full cream, not no cream at all, but a little tiny weeny bit of cream, just to be contrary. Keep going, keep going, keep going till I tell you to stop, WHEN. No you've gone too far with the cream, you'll have to start again.

There was a short discourse on the type of person who comes to his gigs. Take Brighton. Lots of people turned up but there were empty seats. However, the next night in Hove was packed to overflowing and some were probably disappointed (I think he meant those who couldn't get seats . . . ) What sort of person, he wondered, can't be bothered to take the 10 minute walk from Hove into Brighton?

A trip to Lapland to treat the kids and see the REAL Father Xmas. The kids were bored out of their mind. Why? “Well it's just like the one in the shopping arcade.” But he's NOT REAL. Do you think the real Father Xmas would spend his precious time in a shopping arcade? (That failed trip cost at least as much as a half-decent skiing holiday.)

Then you tell your kids it's always bad to tell lies - a convoluted statement that instantly contradicts itself before finally disappearing up its own arse.

There was an encore, which he'd promised he would be doing if there was enough applause, shhh don't tell anyone. Then off he went to wind down, consume the free beers and crisps that The Pavilion had thoughtfully provided, then roam the streets of Exmouth in the dark looking for somewhere to stay.

It was raining when I came to walk back. I had a good warm waterproof coat but the trousers and legs got wet. Took ages to warm 'em up again when I got home. A glass of wine helped and a dose of TV - New Tricks, always good for a gentle entertaining watch.


Here's the hallowed stage, showing the hallowed table where the pint of beer sat, and the hallowed microphone stand that was played with all evening, sometimes as a place to lean and other times just as something to fiddle with or point up into the air to make a point (get the point?).