It's 00:07. I am sitting in an old student room in Pembroke College, Cambridge. I am sitting on teh end of an old World War II Campbed which a soldier definitely died in (and has questionable mahogony stains on it....) and I'm watching Pippa, the owner of said bed, rub Manuka Honey on her face.
Pippa is one of my oldest friends and one of the most dazzling. Imagine the love child of Mildred Hubble and Keira Knightley's interpretaion of Lizzie Bennett. Very clever, smart, and classic - but f*cking bonkers.
We boarded together at Benenden from 2002 and according to her and her mother, she owes me her life due to my correct assessment that she had Appendicitus* on a school trip to Cevenne in 2004, (the youth hospital looked like the setting from the film Hostel). I don't really think I did that much, but the teachers thought it was severe constipation and I remember arguing quite aggressivly with the matrons that this was not the case, ( I had suffered from both severe constipation AND appendicutis and knew the differnece - I was a very well informed 13 yrold), before they eventually decided to take her to the hospital, at which point Pippa's appendix burst when she arrived at the A&E department.
She surived, just. Lucky for her she got to miss the pointless field trip we had to all do the next day counting the number of crickets found in one metre square patches in a field. Geography field trips eh?
I've love Pippa, in a way that is hard to define to many. After you share a dormitory with someone for eight-ish years you pretty much feel you can be any part of yourself with them. She's my wise, grown-up friend. My friend in German classes, History lessons, trips to Blue Water, and our mutual exaperation of not being 'cool' and not having fashionable bras from La Senza like all the other girls at school. I will always remember the time she re-made her room in London so that when I slept over at her family house my obsessive compulsive disorder wasn't too affected***. I also remember the time we ate only the pudding menu at Bel Grego's in Covent Garden, just because we could.
It's been a worthwhile trip to Cambridge if not just to see and talk to Pippa and drink coffee with my lovely friend Ken, a comedian and talented writer. He's currently casting the Cambridge Footlight's new touring show. He's also a pro poker player, I want him to teach me everything - so we can then trick people like Woody Harrelson & Wesley Snipes in White Men Can't Jump.
The reason I came to Cambridge was because I was booked to gig at Wolfson Howler at Wolfson College, Cambridge. I was nervous, but there was no need to be, becuase it was TOTAL BLAST. WHAT A LOAD OF FUN. Ken recommended I get in contact. Ed Gamble compered - he was superb - so quick. It's awesome to see compering at the highest level. It really is, in my view, an art form. John Robins headlined and was very funny and the line-up before was a mixture of new Cambridge comics - all with good solid jokes and interesting ideas. The audience was 100+ and full of energy. Finally managed to get my new bit on Dressage Horse to the level I've wanted it to be for a while and I very nearly knocked myself off the stage. Overall, solid.
The journey to Cambridge was very nice too. I sat opposite a punk girl who snored loudly and a very fat man who devoured THREE pasties whilst reading THE PROFESSION OF VIOLENCE. He was sat next to a man wearing a Je Suis Charlie t-shirt.
I was reading Lena Dunham's NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL whilst drinking a coffee that the kind man in Prett gave me for free. FOR FREE? People are wonderful aren't they? Dunham's memoir is a very, very, very good book. Smart, important and wonderful. I've lent my spare copy to the comic Joz Norris so I'm looking foward to discussing it with him too.
Right, tomorrow boasts a day of exploring around Cambridge and prepping for Lolitics in the evening with Chris Coltrane.
* No idea how you spell it
*** It's too complicated to go into all the rituals but essentially four years at The Priory and a very good Psychiatrist who wore Lederhosen eventually sorted me out.