Well again! New-found health and the spanking Portraits Book made Grimsby a very happy place for me. I like to think that the relief that I felt in finding my voice and energy again, was comparable to the relief felt by the group of girls Coops and Andy found urinating by our van in an open car park during the interval of the first night. Group, mind. 

The shows were fine: the room has a tricky quality found in a few venues, where the front row of the audience is sat quite far away from the stage, and then the rows sweep back and back in a huge, high barn of a room. There are no balconies, so the 1300 seats just go back and back. The end result is that on stage, you barely hear any reaction from the audience, which can be a tiny bit demoralising. The lovely people are so far away, and the ceiling so high, that the sound just doesn’t reach me. Anyhow, they were all very polite at the end, cheered and stood in all the right places, so despite the acoustic setbacks, it was nice to know they enjoyed it. Thank you, Grimsbians. 

We had dinner after the second show in a truck stop near our hotel. A truck stop! Imagine that. We were looked after royally by the lovely Natalie (and Dawn in the kitchen), and we had bacon and eggs and beans and a sausage and wine: a delicious Shiraz chosen by Coops from the shelves of said truck stop. The rozzers then came in and those of us driving had to decline the wine in case they nicked us. I also took the opportunity to buy myself a ‘fashion hat’, which I’m wearing in the photo Coops took, as well as a 3CD set of Power Ballads for Jennie. That was a fun episode in our fun tour. 

We have been beset by other illnesses: Simon, our company manager, has managed to get proper ‘flu’, and today’s news is that Iain may be contracting the same nasty virus. I’m hoping it’s just the flimsy whoopsie-cold that I had and not the serious strain that has beset poor Simon, who has had to be replaced for a few days by a new man, Chris, whom we’re meeting soon. This feels like getting a new step-Dad (Simon Dodson = Dodders = Dadders = Dad, you see), so we hope that we like him. Simon, our real Dad, is quite wonderful. 

Please send your fondest well-wishes and heartfelt prayers to our ailing crew. We could all literally die.