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Screen time

For the next month, I have set myself the challenge of switching off
mobile data every day from 10am to 3pm. The reason I am doing so is
that my phone has become a chronic distraction and mostly a means to
waste time.

Although I have permitted myself to use the internet on a computer for work-related stuff, I am also banning myself from using social media during these hours. And I’m also stopping myself from procrastination searches that may be, for example, what Jason the original red Power Ranger is doing these days, what happened to Zach from Saved by the Bell, and of course, the latest news reports of giant squid.

On the first day I tried it, I was getting a little itchy at not being able to instantly check the latest meaningless nonsense. But after a day or so, I was amazed at how much clearer my head has been due to the dramatic decrease in distractions. I also continue to be amazed at how much worse my focus gets when I switch my phone’s internet back on after 3pm.

I was thinking how much worse I would have been at school if I’d had a
smartphone. Then I remembered that I did barely any work at school and
even with technology as limited as it was then, I still found enough to get distracted. The only explanation is that I have a superpower of being able to get distracted by very little.

If you’re wondering why this post hasn’t tailed off, you have no idea how long it’s taken me to get to this point thanks to my phone.

Anyway, I didn’t just come up my phone ban of my own accord. A few weeks ago, I received an email out of the blue from someone who’d been binge-reading the archive on here. I was then asked if I’d like to be interviewed to appear on a podcast about my experiences performing stand-up and the way I’ve dealt with all the extremes of emotions it brings.

The email came as something of a surprise, as I was fairly convinced that no one reads anything on here. So as with all the emails I receive through my site, I did some background checks to check it was genuine. And it was. You can listen to it here, in fact. Listen to the other episodes while you’re there too. By the way, hello Alison.

And part of Alison’s podcast is to get guests to set some sustainability goals. My suggestion of phone usage was something of a joke, but then I learned that browsing and watching videos results in far more carbon emissions than I ever realised.

While emissions from this might be miniscule for one person, they all stack up considerably if the majority of people in the world are doing the same thing.

But first and foremost, cutting down on my phone usage means I won’t get… something or other. Anyway, onto giant squid matters.

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2021…

This year, I’m going to try and write something at least once a week and have Sunday as the designated day. I’m calling it a pledge at the start of a new year. There might be a better, more concise way of saying that.

Given that I’m not doing a massive amount at the moment due to Covid
restrictions, I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to write about
without it becoming repetitive. But that is where the challenge lies.

That said, this entire website began after a friend from school had spotted that I was writing 250 words a day on Tumblr, so offered to host it on his server. So writing a minimum of 250 words a week should be doable. Also, I hope you like reading details of dog walks.

It is a year filled with uncertainty and unknowns. I don’t know when
I’ll do another gig, I don’t know if Edinburgh Fringe will happen this
year, and I don’t know where I’ll be living at the end of the year.

It would be helpful to read some of the entries for later on the year now so I have an idea of what to expect. They all exist on this laptop, just not at this particular time.

But the future posts are not written yet, so I’d better make them good ones; or at least mildly entertaining.

The only thing I can say for certain is that I’m going to be doing a considerable amount of dog walking.

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Edinburgh Fringe 2015 – Day 21

My final show ensured I ended my Fringe on a high in what has been one hell of a run.

The room was packed and about 20 people were turned away. Some of them were interested in coming back for the 8.45pm show.

The crowd wanted to get involved from the start. It has turned into a show where heckling is not only encouraged, but also feels lacking without it. I managed to atone for my implosion in my final show last year and sustained my energy throughout. I even set a new collection record with £108.

I was happy to leave it there and hoping I wouldn’t have to do it all again at 8.45pm. Fortunately, only two people showed up for the second show and were also ten minutes late. I was being a bit overoptimistic with the four people I was expecting.

Since the show finished, I have felt as a great sense of relief. This Fringe has been amazing and gone far better than I ever thought possible at this stage in my comedy life, but I have had to work really hard for it and it has been exhausting.

In other news, I have managed to avoid the Edinblurghy for the first time ever. Even taunting it didn’t make it appear. If it wants to strike now, it is welcome to but should know that it will just be ordinary lurgy.

I will write a post-Fringe analysis of the ridiculousness that this August has been when I am a bit more with it. For now, it is time to have a rest and return to the real-world where I am not a full-time comic. This Fringe may have just given me a glimpse into a possible future, it’s certainly felt like another reality.

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My Edinburgh Fringe 2014 summary

I have put this off long enough, so almost two weeks after returning from Edinburgh it is time to give my review of my 2014 Fringe.

It is safe to say that it was my favourite Fringe to date. I had so much fun doing the show and the feedback I had from my audiences was overwhelmingly positive. It went much better than ever thought it would. My show certainly wasn’t perfect, but it was a blast nonetheless.

At the start of the Fringe, if you’d told me that I would have audiences in double figures every day then I would have been delighted regardless of how well the shows went. The fact that the vast majority of the shows went well is massively pleasing. Out of 19 shows, there was only one show I would consider to be a total dud. It was also a shame that my final show was a letdown, but I had nothing left to give after using up all my energy reserves. And from a run of 19, to have two dodgy shows and 17 decent, good or great ones isn’t such a bad return.

What made the run all the sweeter was because I was in exactly the same venue and an almost identical time-slot as last year, when it was a real struggle to get people along. Some days in 2013 really hurt, although not as badly as 2011.

I still have much to learn and a long way to go, but I have now performed a solo hour show. I also know the level I can perform at and need to make that my standard. Because if I can, then I believe that’s when things will start taking off.