2nd Stand-Up Gig CONFIRMED

If nothing else, I’m a man who strikes while the iron is hot. This is why, just 15 months after my first foray into stand-up comedy, I’ve already arranged my second gig.

I’ll be doing a brief but perfectly formed* spot at The Hollybush in Cradley Heath on Thursday 24th March. It kicks off at 8.30, and I’ll be one of up to 12 people doing their damnedest to elicit mirth for around five minutes apiece. Which is good, because it means that even if I’m rubbish, someone else might be good.

It’s the night before Good Friday, so the ideal excuse for a bank holiday night out. Oh… and it’s FREE (I think…)

standup

In the interests of full disclosure, it’ll largely consist of the content I debuted with back in 2014, with a little bit of jiggery-pokery/new bits here and there just to refine it. So basically, don’t watch this YouTube video if you’re planning on coming, because you might ruin it.

It would be splendid to see you all there.

You know it would. It really would.

 

*may not be perfectly formed.

 

 

Keep on running…

Blogs, ‘eh? You go more than six months without writing one, then two come along at once. It’s no coincidence. I’m not one for new year’s resolutions as a rule, but I’ve resolved to be more resolute and one of my aims is to write for pleasure more often. So here I am.

The second resolution is a little more difficult to achieve. I’m aiming to shed three stones in weight before seeing in 2013, which I realise is a big ask given my genuine love of pizza and curry and pies and crisps and that, but I’m doing my damnedest to stick at it.

To that end, I’ve done something fairly drastic – I’ve started to run. Well, I say run, it’s more of an awkward, wheezing stagger around the block at the moment. But, it’s a start.

Those who have only known me in adulthood will understandably struggle to picture me as a runner. Something to do with the aforementioned pizza, curry, pies and crisps, I’ll bet. Those who’ve known me a little longer will know differently, though.

Y’see, as a teenager, I was quite the promising middle-to-long distance runner, following in the footsteps of my dad, a former Birchfield Harrier in his own right. The plan was for me too to develop my talent, join a club, and perhaps enjoy a lifetime of competitive athletics. Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that I’m pretty much made of glass as various injuries took hold. A knee complaint saw me housebound for an entire summer at the age of around 13, and near constant ankle-knacks eventually led to me calling it quits a couple of years later. Shortly afterwards, I began to gain weight, and the rest as they say, is history.

So, why have I started again? Well, it’s not quite the sudden epiphany some have when they take up a new fitness pursuit. Nor is it any sort of desire to try and recapture past glories. It’s more a matter of practicality.

Just under a year ago I began, along with my colleagues at S&X, to look after PR for New Balance (the world’s finest purveyor of athletic footwear, I’ll have you know). One of the perks of this was being gifted with a few pairs of trainers, including some of their lovely fashion-led shoes which quickly became acquainted with my everyday attire. However, there was one pair of shoes which remained firmly in the box – a pair of shiny, top of the range running shoes.

Frequently I would see them peering out at me from the wardrobe, almost pleading with me to try them on. “Come on, Tom. We’re worth £95, for God’s sake! Wear us!” And it was tempting. But knowing that I’d become so unfit that sprinting for a bus left me fairly breathless, I felt sure that my running days were over forever.

That was until I read about a new iPhone app called Run5k, an ingenious little system which builds you up from running in bursts of just 45 seconds to begin with to, hopefully, being able to run for half an hour non-stop by the 8th week. It’s early days, but I’m at least getting out and doing my bit and setting out on that road to being three stones lighter. And, touch wood, none of the old injuries have flared up just yet, which is promising.

So, why am I writing about this? Well, it’s quite simple – I want to make sure I stick at it, and I feel that by announcing my intentions as publicly as possible I’ll be extra motivated to, y’know, actually go ahead and do it. The logic is simple – if I tell you all now that I intend to lose the weight, I feel obliged to do it so I don’t sound like some knobhead who’s full of good intentions but not willing to put in the effort. And it also means that if we get to new year’s eve and I’m still a fatty, I’m giving you a free pass to direct a ginormous torrent of abuse in my direction. Win-win, in a way. Sort of.

Here’s how it will work – my progress will become a regular topic of discussion here and on my Twitter feed. I’ll keep you up to date, let you know how far I’m running, and how much weight I’ve shed. I’ll be open about when I’ve done well, and honest when I’ve done badly. And a little encouragement would be appreciated too, if you feel at all inclined to offer it.

And in the spirit of openness and honesty, if you saw this message earlier, I have to confess – I didn’t go. My dinner was ready when I got home and it looked so ruddy delicious that I couldn’t wait a minute longer. But I’ll endeavour to get up early in the morning…

You know I will. I really will.

Another one bites the dust…

Today’s Christmas News Bingo update comes courtesy of The Daily Mail – and the shocking news is it doesn’t regard any of the ‘PC gone mad’ or ‘Broken Britain’ stories we’ve featured!

It’s actually their tips on being frugal at Christmas which are deemed worthy of inclusion.

Therefore, the updated card now looks a little like this:

christmasbingoblog1311

Let me know if you spot anything else!

Eyes down looking…

A few years of working in radio have taught me that quirky news stories are your bread and butter when it comes to content ideas. Generally focussed upon real life mishaps and peculiar events, they provide tales we can relate to and often we have similar stories of our own to share.

At Christmas time, however, I’ve noticed that things get a little repetitive.  “Oooh, a Turkey’s been saved from the dinner table!”, “Ooh, a drunk Santa’s been fired!”… yes, we know, we remember from last year.

So confident am I in my ability to predict the stories we’ll be reading over the festive period, I’ve produced this:

christmasbingoblog1211

Both I and my Rhubarb Radio partner-in-crime, Kerri Franks, will be scouring the papers and other news sources in order to find the stories we’ve listed on the Christmas News Bingo card, with the ultimate aim of completing the full house by the time the big day rolls along.

We launched the card on Monday and already we’ve managed to cross off two boxes, courtesy of Andy Abraham and thick supermarket buyers.

Of course, many hands make light work, so we need your help! If you spot anything, email us on tomandkerri@rhubarbradio.com, tell us on our Facebook page, or just leave a comment here.

Eyes down…