Diary of a Locked Down Comedian Day 7

November 11th 2020

As I finished off yesterdays entry into this diary I realised, with some embarrassment, that I am still reading Diary Of A Bookseller. This has taken me six days so far and I am not even halfway through it. Shaun Bythell has a style I enjoy immensely, he is witty and clearly smart and we share a common contempt for our customers. Customers for Shaun, audiences for me. It is a diary so it’s easy to follow and I haven’t, as yet, lost my place. I should have finished this by now but there are reasons or excuses as to why I am still to complete this task. One is Shaun himself, I have to stop reading all too often to look up then make a note of a title he has mentioned. There was a time I’d have nipped onto Amazon knowing the book would arrive late the next day.

I have googled and planned a journey to Wigtown, the town where he lives, not to stalk but because Wigtown is known as Scotlands bookshop, I imagine there are coffee shops there too so as soon as travel is again permitted I will jump into my car and go.

The Diary of a Locked Down Comedian that I am currently writing is probably an idea I first had after reading Shaun’s. As I read ideas come to me, I stop reading and make some notes. I have to make them as when the time to write shows up, the ideas will have left my head.

Today I was happily reading away when I had to stop, again, and lookup an article he mentions which was written by Amanda Foreman in ‘todays Sunday Times’. Now in the diary it is June second, which happens to be my daughters birthday however the year isn’t mentioned. It’s only as I typed that I realise I haven’t yet looked up the article as I was distracted, first by some texts, then a quick search for some Christmas presents and the need for another coffee.

Finding which year the Sunday Times was out on June 2nd isn’t hard. Not strictly true, turns out the entry in which the article was mentioned was in fact June 1st. So no reference to my daughter was necessary but it did however prove to be a handy reminder to look up some gift ideas. Christmas is always the same day, every year, it never changes, this year, maybe, I will not be rushing around a few days before in a blind panic.

Thanks to my online calendar I can scroll back through the years to find out when June 1st was a Sunday. 2019, which can’t be true as the book was first published in 2017. It’s then I remember Google, I am awful online and always ask humans before I resort to the laptop. Into google I type

‘Writer Amanda Foreman Sunday Times’

The article appears seconds later, it was 2014. Oh, and I may not be that bad, click on the coloured text above this and you too could be reading this article.


Aaawww, there you are but if you are anything like me you would have read the article but before you got back to this you would have made another coffee and watched some random YouTube clips. I do not care you’re back and no matter how long it took you I am just happy you have returned. So easily am I distracted that you’re lucky there is even anything to come back to.

We are almost done anyway.

I love how music is so important to me now, I won’t go on now but while I write this a song by Oasis is playing on Radio X The Importance Of Being Idle. Perfect timing I think and now, no, now, the album from which it is from, Don’t Believe The Truth has replaced Radio X, harsh, without Radio X I’d have never heard the tune in the first place.

This is messy, which is probably a good way to describe my writing style, I like to think you can hear me telling you these tales as you read the text.

What these last few days have taught me is that all jobs are easier when you’re match fit. It’s why sportsmen train every day, when matchday comes around they are ready. It is the same for writing, by doing these few hundred words every day for the Diary I find myself looking more and more at the book I have been writing about my Dad. It’s taken me years but I haven’t ever written every day, before now. This diary is my training. Writing a chapter of the book, that is my matchday.

Shots of Coffee: 4, so far, it is early
Reading: Diaries Of A Bookseller by Shaun Bythall, the latest Rolling Stone magazine and The blog of Romany Romany
Listened to: Radio X, Biffy Clyro, Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highway & Oasis, Don’t Believe The Truth
YouTube Tip: Still don’t know how to increase text size…
Word Count: 715, nope, 845, hang on 856, lost count now.

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