The Scottish Leg


Day 9 - Aberdeen
On the road to Aberdeen we stop at Glamis castle to take in a brown sign and some Scottish culture. It's a lovely building, not what you'd classically call a castle.A few photos then on to our destination.
I'm beginning to loathe touch screen technology with a passion. We are in apartment which has a kitchenette and two fancy modern hobs which I can be buggered if I can get working. I have to press down hard on the glass surface to get them to come on so I can cook some actual real food instead of the crap I've been eating all week. What a useless piece of tosh. When Charlie finally gets it working I make spicy meatballs. This calms me down, but then when I go to turn the hobs off the glass buttons are *****ing hot!!! Well done whoever made that, we're going backwards I tell you. Buttons are good, remember buttons? That you can press? They make a reassuring clicking noise.
Anyway, Aberdeen music hall is massive and wonderful, and tonight is a big crowd, five hundred or so. The tech's are big personalities and doing the sound test is evidence of the size. Big acoustic's for a big room, so on the night I deliver my set ever so slightly slower and get a great response, It's a good feeling.

Day 10 – Dundee
My life could have been very different, in the early ninetie's I was interviewed for a placement at Dundee art college, and I really wanted to get in as it was well known in comic book circles as a place where some of the better 2000ad artists graduated from. I went through quite an intimidating visual assessment of my work, and I could see the other candidates were really good. It didn't happen and this is the first time I've visited since.

Strathcaro cafe services is the oddest services I've ever been in, the whole building is held together by screws and sellotape, they industrial size bags of cat litter, toys, plants and there is a full size model horse in the window. Signs are all hand painted and say things like 'We have a choice of soups'. Onwards.

The Caird hall is even bigger than Aderdeen, genuinely huge, and for our purposes partitioned for the show. It's a good show, if hard work filling such an enormous space. Charlie has a great one. Afterwards we drink in 'The Pillars' a proper Scottich pub, in the opposite room a band is playing called 'Salty Dog' and we are convinced we are being followed by increasingly bad renditions of Alanis Morrisette songs. The hotel has two different weddings going, with kilts aplenty. I could sleep for a week.

Day 11 – Livingston
Halfway between Edinburgh and Glasgow is Livingston, a small town with one of the biggest Asda's I've ever seen. Scarily big - and the whole town are in there. I've been trying not to shop at the big corporate's, but it's really hard not to when you're on the road. Not knowing where to get stuff or where places are, it's a mixture of comfort and dissapointment to see a chain store.
The venue is in a residential area, which feels odd, then we see it...

That can't be right? Fortunetly we follow the narrow road a bit further.

I look out the window of the next hotel, they are all blurring together. An ice cream van passes by playing the theme tune from 'the third man'. There was an ice cream van where I lived as a kid that did the same. Spooky.


John Cooper
Comedian & Improv coach
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