The Camberwell comedian is struggling to come to terms with reality after the Grumpy Old Women Tour comes to an end
For the past two and a half months, I have been on a 42-date Grumpy Old Women tour with the Fifty Shades of Beige show. I’ve been cooped up in the back of a Toyota Land Cruiser with two other women of a certain age, one of whom required sub-Arctic air-con on at all times to combat hot flushes so powerful they misted up the car windscreen; the other pointing at trees as they blurred past shouting ‘Oak. Sycamore. Bushy one…’.
It’s a good job I’m so easy going, I thought, as I sat there casually peeling bananas and picking my toenails on the back seat, while simultaneously watching a vein in the (male) driver’s neck throb dramatically.
Anyway, it’s over for now and I’m back in my lousy hotel of a house where the room service is shoddy and the Old Man keeps looking at me as if to say, ‘what are you doing here?’.
Coming down off a tour is a tricky thing, there’s no excuse not to be a proper grown up anymore, people expect you to be a functioning adult and do things like put petrol in your own car and buy food from a supermarket rather than a motorway service station.
I have spent so much time stopping on the motorway recently that now, when I wash my hands in my own bathroom, I spend a whole two minutes looking for the hand drier before giving up and using an old fashioned towel, which I then leave in a crumpled heap on the floor because, at some point during the day, a ‘girl’ will come along and pick it up.
Yes, I am ruined by Moto service stations, hotels and riders. The Grumpy Old Women rider – that’s refreshments supplied by the theatre, to the non-showbiz types – consisted of M&S salads and one bottle of Chardonnay, which was drunk in no time. Any edible salad leftovers, however, got squirreled away into the ‘tour Tupperware’. Forget the Class A drugs and whatnot, the thing that really keeps tours things ticking is easy access to picnic equipment.
In hindsight, one of the plusses of having a rehearsal room all those months ago down the Walworth Road was its proximity to the largest selection of pound shops in south London – oh, the choice of snap-lid storage! While touring might have made divas out of us all, we haven’t not gone completely mad – if we were ever to have a Grumpy tour motto tattoo, it would read ‘waste not, want not’. One Direction, take note.
Anyway, now I’m back and south London is looking mighty fine. There is a new Ben and Winifred Nicholson exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery, Art and Life, Brockwell Lido is calling, tempting me in for a swim, and as someone recently said on Twitter, its time to play that amusing summer game of Drink When You See Someone From Clapham Lost On The Way To Frank’s Cafe…