You may think Central London has escaped the flooding, but no. I installed a flush-saving hippo in my cistern. It trapped my ballcock last night, and spent a happy few hours flushing away, flooding the entire landing.
I am trying to be better with the environment, but suspect I'm rubbish. I gaily recycled TetraPaks for years, in the hopes that it would make someone invent a way of dealing with them.
Meanwhile, it was the preview of my Edinburgh show last night. It went down very well to a packed crowd. Even if we didn't quite get all the right words in the right order.
I was completely out of it, however, as I had a migraine. It meant i've spent most of the last few days: a) in pain b) in bed c) watching Deep Space 9.
All I have to report in terms of cultural discovery is that Deep Space 9 hasn't aged well, and has the worst incidental music of all time. But take enough yellow migraleve and the Ferengi become quite charming.
I went on a blind date to Scunthorpe yesterday. It was rubbish.
While I'm unemployed, I'm saying "yes" to things that I've never done before. Well, apart from nipple clamps.
Hence popping up to Scunthorpe by train. It didn't work out (he'd been to the Photoshop Gym), so I caught the last train back. After all, I'd be home by midnight.
Karma is cruel. I don't put out – and so the world soul lashes out at GNER. We reach Peterborough and everything stops. A man sits on the platform with his enormous dog. He is playing it music from The Simpsons.
There's a fire on the line in Stevenage. "I think it's terrorists," says a woman. "Who'd want to bomb Stevenage?" I ask. People laugh. I have defused tension with light comedy. Perhaps the hunky German student will have the sex with me.
Midnight. We're waiting for connecting buses that we know will never come. We can't get off the train (health and safety) and we can't use the toilets (we're in a station). So we sit. Some people ask if they can leave the station to smoke. They can't.
1am. Tired, tired train staff come through with compensation forms so complex that they fill them in for us over the intercom, like some weird Alan Turing Bingo ("And on Line Four we have One-Echo-Two-Seven-Niner").
A zombie waitress is wheeling a trolley down the corridor handing out bad tea. A man is screaming at her “Four hours! Four hours of my life!” Her voice is warm and apologetic and offers biscuits.
2am. We're off the train, queuing for taxis to London. There's a scouse woman no-one wants to share with.
Earlier she'd been screaming into her mobile "I told the skinny little bitch - well, I held back but she was fucking asking-". In front of her was a discarded off-licence. She had the complexion of someone who keeps a dog on a string.
She's now lost it. "Aren't you cold, luv?" she says, calmly. She's striking up intimacy with a business woman, who nods politely. "WELL, I'M FREEZING. JUST OUT OF HOSPITAL I AM!"
The rant becomes performance art. It takes in trains, and hospitals and doctors and nurses and scum. She explains how she had to be in London to meet Linda Something as she was staying with her but she'd be in bed now and she didn't know where Linda lived or what her name was but she couldn't meet her now because of the scum. She didn't know why she'd left hospital scum. She'd just had brain surgery she had. Didn't anyone understand? BRAIN SURGERY! Don't you have a go, you don't understand. BRAIN SURGERY. She swept her hair aside and showed us the scars. Then she started to cry and was led away.
It's rare to see a shared look between all the passengers on a train. But this one was a beauty. It meant so many complicated things that you can't put into words. But, if you had to, they would have been "Well, there's always one, isn't there?"
4am. Back home. I love not having a job. It means I can open a bottle of wine, a pack of fags and a book and settle down to watch the sun rise...
Shag-o-the-week award does not, surprisingly go to the TV director with the Vauxhall apartment and the vintage scotch. Nor does it go to the South African musician who came round during a thunderstorm, although nearly.
Nah. The award goes to Mick the Aberdeen Squaddie. Although, he's no longer a Squaddie. Or married. He now works in "corporate restructuring" ("basically, when they need a hard bastard to do the firing, they call me.").
There's something really entertaining about a man who enters the flat with a lit fag and asks why the wine isn't open yet. And whose briefcase contains the grim future of a sales department, a laptop and some nipple clamps.
As well as his boyfriend, Mick is also having an affair with a Saudi prince. "It's great when we go to the airport. He's surrounded by bodyguards and flunkies, and there's me yelling at him to carry his own luggage. He likes that."
So there's Mick - ran away from a remote Scottish fishing village at 18, joined the army, had a lot of sex with boys, got married, moved to London, stopped being married, and is now being flown around the world first class by his royal lover.
I love being gay. We're entertaining. And Mick also managed to solve something from Queer As Folk that's been puzzling me for years.
I met up with an old shag for drinks the other night, and discovered to my horror that he'd aged badly. Most of my shags are still delightfully attractive, but this one had gone Vole-Faced.
Vole Face? Remember dissapointing token gay in Sex and the City?
It was terrible. When we last saw each other, I had Hoxton hair, and he was a dashingly athletic Dane with curly locks and a sneer. Now the sneer's the same, but surrounded by shaven hair and glasses bigger than his head.
The worst thing about Vole-Faced gays is that they're so fussy. About where they sit, what brand of vodka they drink, and even the tonic that it sits in.
"So," said Vole-Face, "Now I'm no longer married, I'm taking you home."
Hmmn, I thought. We're having this conversation three years too late.
Builders have been laying a new courtyard in my flat block for a month now. I've got used to all sorts of things - the occasional toplessness, the merry swearing and the jolly pet names "BlackBoy" and "Poof"- but i never expected to see their brickwork floating merrily in an instant lake, like the old GMTV weather map.
I reported our magnificent water feature to Thames Water. And this is where things got tippy. I've spent the last two years cutting down on my water usage, often at Thames Water's urging. There's been a lot less flushing, I can tell you.
And what do they tell me when I report a massive leak? "We aim to get a technician on site to investigate within 3 days. Following the investigations, we aim to repair the leak within 7 days."
Hmmn, I think. I'm now flushing when I fucking like. Except that, when I wake up the next morning, the block has no water. So, I spend the day watching water gush past my door, while being unable to get a drink from the tap. Eventually I ring Thames Water who tell me the worst possible news: "Oh, we've passed this on to Camden Council."
Bravely, I phone the Camden repairs hotline. "Who gave you this number?" they demand, before putting me on to the Estate Officer for my block. "Hello!" she says, "Is this a leak in your flat?" No, I tell her - the entire building has no water, and you've an hour till the kids get back from school and merry hell ensues. "Ooooh," she says. "I wonder if we can set up a standpipe."
I've always been complacent about water. It's a big lesson to discover that flushing a loo requires a big bucket full of water. Especially when you carry two buckets 100 yards and up two flights of stairs, thinking every miserable step of the way "How do they do this in Africa?"
On the way, I meet a man back from an evening on the lash. He looks at me with my buckets and grins. "What's the matter mate? Got no water?"
"No," I say, "And neither have you."
I'd like to think that he immediately started thinking about the problems of the third world.
A good weekend. Saturday saw our Edinburgh Play featured in the Guardian, with an odd picture but a lovely article.
Sunday was a high-powered birthday lunch, with people who were nicer, prettier, and more powerful than me. It was all a bit dizzying but lovely. And it's got to be a good lunch when it ends up at 1am in Vauxhall's Horsemeat Disco. They play vintage disco (bad) but have an enormous smoking garden (good. I think this is all I now care about when going out).
"I saw you in the Guardian," said someone I was smoking next to. Good, I thought.
Direct chat-up line of the week came from a bloke who I sadly don't fancy: "Goodbye. I'd like to suck your cock."
It's the Somerstown Festival Of Cultures, which this year fell on the anniversary of 7/7/. So we had more police than usual in our little community around the corner from Tavistock Square.
It's a curious festival - there are displays of Irish Dancing, a helter skelter, lots of mums selling knockout India food, and most brilliantly of all, a lot of young men wearing only shorts and a bulldog.
The police were everywhere. There was a bizarre moment when the hip hoppers took over the football court and were ringed by police... who all stood there, tapping their feet and grinning in a curious "you know sarge, these tunes are phat after all..." way.
The only trouble was from a topless white youth with scars. Who demanded that the police arrest him so loudly that eventually they took him to the playground and quietly asked him if he was allright.
The new camera on this mobile phone lacks zoom. So photos are shit. But the event was lovely. And allowed a nice break from stripping the paint off my front door:
1 am: I'm sat up reading, and I can hear a couple of girls sat in the playground giggling and drinking a little. A car pulls up.
MAN IN CAR: Would you touch it for a tenner? GIRL: What? MAN IN CAR: A tenner if you touch it. GIRL: No waaaaay! MAN IN CAR: What about if you just watch? GIRL: No! Vile! Eurgh! (Her friends laugh) MAN IN CAR: Oh. I'm so sorry. I've got this wrong. I'm so sorry. Good evening.
And he drives off. And they laugh. And I'm thinking a tenner?
How much longer am I going to be able to carry on smoking? It's so miserable. At least coke users have the dignity of being able to snort it off a toilet in privacy. SoHo smokers have to stand on the cramped streets, on diplay like we're in the stocks.
Tourists tut at us, whores give us pitying looks, beggars swarm over us.
I had visions of a glorious last summer of smoking, basking on hot cobbles, laughing with all the beautiful people while the squares sat in their boring little smoke-free bars wondering where all the fun is.
Instead, I sat sheltering from the rain and the wind, under a torn awning outside Rupert St of all places.
The one thing I forgot - while Glasgow, Edinburgh and even Cardiff have lots of space for gardens and wide pavements, SoHo doesn't - if you smoke, there's only the gutter.
I hate that I'll give up smoking simply cos it's stopped being fun.
Clearly, the beard hasn't helped. Meanwhile, here are some other Dingles it *would* be nice to be mistaken for for a change...
But what of poor Mark Charnock, who plays Marlon, and is apparently lovely? What if rumours start circulating about how innocent tradesmen are lured round to Marlon Dingle's secret gay Inner London love nest? It'll be like Barrymore all over again...
Hot plumber John turns up. With slightly less hot colleague, but who cares?
They look at my boiler, tut and grin.
"Seen many Bond movies, James?" they ask. "Well, you know what happens when the needle goes into the red? The piranhas escape and your island base explodes. Thing is mate, that needle there on your boiler has gone waaaay past the red."
I look ashen. A new boiler is three grand without even blinking.
They grin. "We could tell you you need a new boiler, or something. But it just means that the chumps who installed it left a tap on. It'll take a second to turn that off... And then your boiler won't blow up next week."
Great thing about Hot Plumber is that he's good with the bad news.
I'm loving being unemployed. My days are completely random. I spent the morning having breakfast in Soho, lunchtime dressed in a dinner suit having my photo taken, and my afternoon shall be spent in my jimjams eating soup and reading comics.
My mood is oddly buoyant. For instance, this morning, my boiler packed in. After an initial "oh... how expensive", i then realised, "How brilliant! I can call in that pretty scouse plumber."
I've never been happier to be without hot water.
PS: And the polish microbiologist footballer's texted to ask me out for coffee.
Personal Trainer continues to be entertaining. He is sadly addicted to "a professional stretch" at the end of each session.
This is one of those experiences that life doesn't really prepare you for. In the interests of encouraging flexibility, a large Antipodean flings himself on top of you, pushing your legs out at extraordinary angles while twisting your back into the most novel position.
"How is that mate?" he asks, a little too close for comfort.
"Oh fine, fine," I assure him, "But next time we're totally doing this with poppers."
His smile dies. I don't think I'll be troubled with it again.
... From a rubbish Al-Qaeda tribute band. Thank god they're so piss poor at being terrorists, and have instead spent the last few days proving that the difference between tragedy and comedy is timing.
Their first car bomb fails to go off, their second one gets towed away by the clampers, and now their devastating attack on Glasgow airport ends with two smouldering terrorists being helped out of their lightly burning car by the police.
Hopefully, this will all seem just as funny in a week or two.