I had empty spaces in my calendar, but I was busy over the day. I managed to get lunch - a sort of working lunch, though. It was with an ex-colleague, who reads this blog - hello ex-colleague.
In the spirit of multi-tasking, having met with my builder in the morning to discuss various things he'll be doing in the house, and having discovered that my choice of fridge is simply too big for my kitchen, I managed, somehow, to cancel the fridge order, scoot over to Comet on the way to lunch, choose another fridge in a 5 minute trolley-dash-style affair, and get the new fridge ordered for delivery with the other white goods I've ordered.
The day seemed to be going well. I had the 8pm ferry booked and I reckoned I could get to Southampton in a couple of hours from the office.
I hadn't thought it through properly. I hadn't reckoned on the fact that I should aim to arrive at the ferry 30 minutes before it sailed. This would enable me to actually get on the ferry and get my ticket. I also hadn't reckoned on Friday night M3 traffic, which is weird, because I've been frustrated by it before and I know how bloody awful it can be. In short, I was the sort of idiot who should have set off a lot sooner than I did.
However, following the cheery exit from the office, I did have the not-so-cheery journey to my ferry. Why the ferry? Well, I was going to the Isle of Wight in order to do a gig and then spend the weekend with a friend of mine who both lives there and had organised the gig she'd invited me to close. Simple really. At least, it would have been simple had I not been a bit of lame-ass-dumb-ass and left my office at what can only be described as "ferry missing time".
Anyway, I didn't give up. I was in the car in lots of traffic. I contact people. I contacted the ferry people and got a clue about how late I could and couldn't be for the ferry. I contacted my friend and asked about how well things would go if I arrived at the gig an hour later - not well. I generally sat there feeling stressed. It was not the time to be told that the arts centre, where the gig was being held, was now sold out - 100 people waiting for a gig that I'd be closing.
To be honest with you, I've got to the stage where 100 people in an audience is actually less stressful than travelling somewhere where I'm supposed to perform. On time.
I didn't think I make it to the ferry. I turned on a more assertive form of driving, using some of the skills honed during the karting earlier in the week, and did my very very best to get to the ferry.
I had loads of time.
Well, I had 7 minutes, but that was enough.
From the feeling of utter despair and desperation that was establishing itself in me as I became certain that the ferry was long-since-missed, I found myself in the car on the ferry. I texted my friend. She found a similar (if not greater) relief too.
The ferry journey was amusing enough. I changed, got a coffee, had a cheeky flapjack, played the quiz machine, looked at a very fat baby and then got off at the Isle of Wight. Simple really.
I sat-naved my way to the arts centre - apparently sat-navs work on the island, and arrived inside in time to see my friend hold a room of 100 islanders in the palm of her hand. She did a corking gig. Then a friend of hers followed her and stormed the room into even more laughter. Tough acts to follow indeed.
Normally I'd feel insecure about following such well-received performances, but I knew I was among friends and so I just concentrated on getting ready to do my thing. No compromising, just go out there and see what happens.
I'll be honest, it wasn't my finest hour. I had work on my hands to keep this room interested. A lot of them had come to see my friend perform and had peaked. It was also getting late. However, I had a lot of fun with the crowd and found myself saying and singing all sorts of unexpectednesses. That's the fun in live stand-up.
It was a filthier performance than I expected to give, but I did what I thought would work best with the crowd. Even though my friend's parents were around and may have thought a few times about whether they wanted this "foul mouthed troubadour" to stay in their nice clean bed, I did what I felt was funny under the circumstances, and I think I won friends in the process.
After the gig we went to a local venue and danced. I know. Me. Dancing. Sober. I was driving, so I had to be. Ridiculous. Ridiculously good fun. I think I won some facebook friends in the process.
The weekend had truly begun.