Alexandra Palace / Laugh ‘Til It Hurts
Didn’t set my alarm but woke up at 7:20 so decided to get up anyway. Did my magazine article, covering court cases etc, managing to avoid the Dunne story being too lurid. (he got his cock out and waved it at people; I have just put that he lowered his shorts). About 12 I was preparing to head for Crouch End but on checking, I found the task started at 11 so I wrote to James apologising for missing it. Turns out he wasn’t going anyway, and I later found that only Liz and Siân went anyway, which was unusual. I was going to leave at 14:00 to get to Alexandra Palace station by 15:00, but after deciding I could run there in 40 minutes, I eventually left at 14:30, and went the wrong way in Hornsey, so it was more like 15:45 when I got there.
It was a good time to arrive actually, as they’d just finished one task and were explaining the next jobs, involving planters and litter picking. Louise, Vicki, Fay and a new girl, Karen, were there. I started picking up cigarette ends near the bus stop, but decided to climb over the fence and pick up litter where people had thrown it when crossing the bridge over the line. This was actually the embankment down to the line, which is why it was fenced off, but it was quite a distance down to the railway so wasn’t dangerous.
I went to the Starting Gate pub opposite to use the Ladies’ and report back to the ‘Friends’ group, and I was pleased to see they were having a drink in the pub. Karen, who’d seemed dopey on first impression earlier, was in fact sweet and interesting. There were four others there, the leader of the group a couple, and a big dowdy, unfeminine woman in a big jumper who didn’t join in the conversation and didn’t want to be in my picture either (which I was glad about, as she would have spoiled it).
We talked about Crouch End, the TUC (where the girl in the couple worked), music (Idlewild, Bombay Bicycle Club and the Levellers), and of course the station and other “Friends” groups they’d been in touch with. I told him about Totnes station, who grow hers at their station. One idea for Alexandra Palace was that Network Rail could fence the embankment at the bottom rather than by the street, and flowers could be planted in the area where all the rubbish was.
Although a special bus was replacing some trains, there was a perfectly-timed 18:16 which got me to King’s Cross just before Jack arrived at St Pancras. He was hungry so we went again to the buffet in Pentonville before going to a ‘Laugh ‘Til It Hurts’ comedy event on behalf of McMillan.
Bob Mills and Kevin Day appeared, both of whom we saw several times, many years ago. Mills was always chubby, but now he’s enormous and in front of a lot of slim Islington comedy fans, he spoke of how fat people have replaced smokers as people who are blamed for bringing about illness, how the NHS always point a finger at his weight for any problems he has. His other topic was Karcher cleaners. Compere Michael Legg was funny, Frenchman Marcel Lucont laid back and dryly amusing, a gay comic from the USA talked about nothing but his love life, while Eleanor Tierman failed to make me laugh.
It finished at 21:30, giving us time to watch The Last Leg before bed.