Belfast was just wonderful, thank you any of you who came along and packed out the Waterfront Hall with astonishing noise and energy. The response from the house was astonishing, and seeing everyone leaping to their feet in such a huge open hall was really fantastic. Thank you.

We visited the Giant’s Causeway, which, though I’m sure it’s just obligatory school trip territory to the locals, was a lovely afternoon trip. I realised the image I had carried around in my head of the Causeway since primary school was quite, quite different from the real thing. We had lunch at the Bushmills Inn (the whole of Bushmills smells of its famous malt) and headed back for the show.

The shows were very good, but on the third night my voice suddenly became worryingly absent. Two late nights with friends, a change in weather and a long run of shows had taken their toll, and I had to perform the last night with a more controlled tone than normal. This is a huge worry when this happens: keeping the voice strong is always the priority. If it goes, we have to pull shows, which is terrible.

Therefore I was not able to go out for signing on the last night, and unfortunately this will have to be the case for the next few nights until my voice is back to normal. It’s straight back to the hotel and into bed, rest as much as possible and then not speaking during the day. Steam, water, honey and lemon fill my wordless days until the shows. So a thousand apologies to anyone hoping to catch me after the shows: I am whisked away quickly, so please don’t waste your time waiting at the stage door for now thinking I’m still in there.

Hopefully things will be back to normal after a few days. I’ve also had to cancel meetings and interviews until this period passes.

Dublin tonight was huge fun: we were only the third show to appear in the brand new Grand Canal Theatre. Its a fantastic place. From the stage you can here each of the 2160 people as if they were sat right around you. The Dublin audience is different from those of Belfast: rowdier, funnier and very present. They were huge fun and a well-placed shout from one audience member had me and the backstage crew cracking up. So thank you for tonight, Dubliners. Looking forward to the next two.

Apologies again for not being able to come out and sign afterwards. Will let you know how that goes.

Meanwhile I must try to enjoy Dublin in silence…