One of the reasons for the quiet on the blog this week is that I spent a few days in sunny Plymouth. Lots to report. The reason for the trip was a show on Wednesday night which went pretty well. The highlight being the bouncer's mobile phone going off and his ringtone loudly announcing "I AM HUNG LIKE A DONKEY" in the middle of Ray Crawford's (my co-star for the show) set. The low point was after the show chatting to some members of the audience, a group of laddish guys who'd been in the front row and had been quite chatty during the show. One of them runs a building/plumbing/similar business and was talking about how he's now hiring mostly Polish labour. To which the other replied "well at least they work hard, and they're white"! I was seriously hoping that was a very bad taste joke but it quickly became obvious it wasn't. As I pressed them on the issue, they just dug in. At one point one of them said he thought Jim Davidson (racist, sexist, homophobic comic who on one occasion famously refused to do his show because their were disabled people in the front row!) should be Prime Minister.
And they did seem embarrassed about their views. Like they couldn't say "black person", they would say "you know - one of them" while tilting their head to one side with a meaningful expression. Strange - in London I don't really meet people with views like that, I don't think it'd be easy to live in Hackney and be very racist. I like Hackney.
Of course there are good things in Plymouth too. Here are my recommendations for a visit:
Hire a bicycle from Plymouth Cycle Hire 01752 257 701 and take it up onto Dartmoor, up the Plym Valley Cycleway (they will lend you a map, repair kit and lock with the bike), £12 for 24 hours.
National Marine Acquarium - britain's biggest acquarium.
Boat trips in the harbour and out around the area
Walking around the Barbican and "The Hoe"for the great views
Touring the Plymouth Gin Factory. There are various options depending on whether you want to be able to walk when you come out.
Drum Theatre sometimes has good stuff on (I was lucky and caught Life After Scandal which was very interesting)
Eat fantastic seafood - my recommendation is the Pasta & Seafood Bar by the docks in the Barbican area for scallops, monkfish and a menu as long as your arm.