Saturday, February 13, 2010


... is what happens when you're making other plans, so the quote goes. I've found out this past week that is so true!

Just over a week ago I caught a train to Preston to see my Dad and help him get ready for his heart op. A lifetime of good living had left his aorta a bit knackered and he'd been waiting a while for a procedure known as a TAVI which was gonna open it all up again so he could breath easily once more.

Dad and I have a good relationship these days, tho some might find it unusual the way we joke about "my inheritance". I've made jokes of the blackest kind about being "set free" and getting my hands on my parents' hard earned dosh. The reality is, of course, that we all will die one day - some sooner than others as the tragic deaths of Alexander McQueen and that 21 year old Georgian Luge athlete this week - but for my entire life my Dad has had countless scares, and over the weekend as I packed his bag for admittance on Monday, I joked about how he would outlive me once he got his 'new heart'.

On Monday lunchtime, the lovely volunteer from Patient Transport arrived to drive us to the hospital in Blackpool. I had my luggage too, as a non-driver I was gonna stay in a hotel in town so that I'd be close by.

He was nervous on Monday, but in good spirits, he'd been wanting this op for a while and was glad that his suffering was about to come to an end. I think he thought the surgery would not only fix his heart but turn the clock back by at least 20 years!

Here he is

The operation took place on Tuesday afternoon, and took longer than expected, with a few complications. The TAVI had slipped a bit, and his heart rate dropped pretty dramatically so they'd fitted a pacemaker quite early on in the proceedings. Still by 7pm on Tuesday night I was sitting at his bedside and making him smile as we talked about how the worst was over, and how well he looked considering what he'd been through.

Wednesday morning I went to see him again and he was looking great. He'd had breakfast and a cup of much longed for coffee, and was sitting up. The physio came and gave him a few simple breathing exercises to clear his left lung. He did them and she said it was pretty good. I was coming back to London so when they asked me to leave the room while they gave him a wash, I kissed him bye bye and told him I loved him.

I told him my phone would be on 24/7 and if he needed me for anything over the next few days, to call, even if it was only a chat in the middle of the night if he couldn't sleep. He thanked me for all I'd done for him and said he'd see me soon.

I came home feeling really positive, by the time I got to my flat, he'd been moved off the CITU ward and onto the Cardiac Care suite, my cousin went to see him Wednesday night and said he was cracking jokes and looking and sounding fab.

Thursday morning I was up to go get the stitches out of my nipple. I'd had scar revision surgery a week ago following my lumpectomy last year. That was all good, and on the way home I rang again to see how he was doing.

Not as well was the answer. There were problems with his kidneys and they were gonna move him back to CITU. My other cousin and his wife went to see him just after he'd been moved and said he was still cracking jokes and not in any pain.

By 9pm that night the surgeon rang me. They were debating whether or not to re-do the TAVI operation on Friday, and he would keep me informed.

Friday morning I was up early, planning to go to yoga for the first time in a couple of weeks, but before I went I called the hospital and was given not such great news. Dad's condition was deteriorating and there was still no decision about the op. I asked outright if I should come up and was told there was nothing urgent. However, by this point his kidneys had stopped functioning completely and his lungs weren't in great shape either. I made a decision to come to Blackpool anyway - times like this I wish I could drive! - as London is simply too far away for a short-notice dash.

I cancelled my gigs for the weekend, and a huge thanks to Darrell Martin and Dave Bourne for being so cool about that, and sorted out a couple of hotels. I rang the hospital back and their story had changed. They were now advising me to come up as soon as I could.

I did and was met outside CITU by the staff nurse taking care of my Dad. She explained the situation: basically he's under deep sedation and machines are now breathing for him, keeping his heart beating, and taking the piss - literally!

She warned me he wasn't looking too good, and boy was she right. I sat by the bed sobbing and begging him not to die and leave me alone whilst praying to his god and mine for mercy.

Its now Saturday morning and he's still "stable" whatever that means. At the moment he is too sick to re-do the op and even if they could, they have to fly a surgeon in from France or Italy, cos its never gone wrong like this here and nobody can do the work needed!

I'd say its down to fate or karma or god's will or even my Dad's will to live.

All I can do is wait and see...


Tuesday, February 02, 2010


So yesterday I went to the Urban Retreat at Harrods where the lovely Hazel, who I have to say is an artistic genius, tattooed on my face a pair of gorgeous eyebrows!

Its not the first time I've had this done, I got em done a couple of years ago, but I was platinum blonde back then and the person who did them seemed to have a problem listening to me when I explained what I wanted. As the pigment they use is semi-permanent, they fade over time, so I was thrilled to find Hazel. Even better she charged about half of the other woman's fee!

I was even more thrilled when after two hours' work yesterday I left Harrods with the most amazing pair of dark brown brows! Its all a bit sore right now, and they look incredibly fake, but by Friday all the swelling will be gone and the colour lifted a bit. I love 'em!


And This Is Me...

... at the Comedians' Christmas Party a couple of weeks ago. Incredibly vain of me to post it I know, but its not every day I get my photo taken with a handsome man. Cheers Mr Norcott!


Glee! Glee! Glee! I Am Just Full Of Glee!!!

As anyone who has even browsed my posts will know, The Glee Club in Birmingham is perhaps my favourite gig in the world ever, and I was lucky enough to be the MC there last weekend.

What a treat it was! The line-up included John Moloney, Ben Norris, Sarah Millican and fleeting appearances from Andrew Lawrence and Andi Osho. Now you'd expect at least one of us to have at least one ropey gig over the entire weekend, but we didn't. Not one of us, not once! It was sheer bliss both onstage and off from start to finish. On Saturday I even got to hook up with the other comics who were appearing at the Highlight in Birmingham for lunch - here's to Paul Sinha, Martin Mor and Marty McLean.

And onto another type of Glee Club, the one on the telly. Now as we all know, I am only a penis away from being a very camp gay man, so me loving this E4 show was pretty much a given. What I wasn't expecting was just how much I would love it! Its like a dose of sunshine on a bleak winter's Monday night, and show four - the "Single Ladies" episode - is my tv highlight of the year! I know its only January, but if anything is gonna top Kurt's kick on the football field, its gonna have to be pretty special!

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... For Godot

Yep you heard me, last week I went to see that very same Samuel Beckett play at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. A pretty stellar cast too - Sir Ian McKellen, Roger Rees, and errrr Matthew Kelly!

My pal Paul had organised the tickets and on the night we went, all the money was going to the Haiti earthquake fund, so a result all round I'd say.

Now as regular readers will know, I'm no expert on the theatre darling, but I really, really enjoyed this play! The two leading actors were funny, and fabulous. It was explained to me that its really a euphemism for life, and as a result it really resounded with my living in the now thing. Well worth a look.

Even Matthew Kelly isn't that annoying!