OSCAR Wilde once famously wrote that a man should try everything once except for incest and folk dancing. Considering his, ahem, eclectic lifestyle and tastes, that leaves quite a few activities for the rest of us to indulge in.
My ever growing stack of self help books in the corner – that have reached such a height that they threaten to block out the sun and need a climbing rope and pitons to reach the top – also advise me to “Feel the Fear and do it anyway” and to “Go outside my comfort zone”.
As an aside, back in my “Oliver Reed on an away day booze cruise to Calais” days, I didn’t have a comfort zone. I had a Southern Comfort zone.
These days however, my comfort zone ends at the edge of my duvet, or more exactly the seven paces that it takes me to reach the coffee pot from duvet to kitchen.
I’ve counted them exactly, mainly because doing the Breakfast Show on a Saturday morning means that the alarm goes of at 6am, and I literally prepare that kick starting first cafe solo in my sleep.
It’s a cross between a ballet performance and tai chi, but with a caffeine blast at the end. Normally this is a faultless routine, but when the house guest decided to rearrange the kitchen, horror of horrors, she moved the coffee pot. The following Saturday I stumbled out of the bedroom, reached for the coffee…and it wasn’t there.
At that point the spheres collided, the chackras went out of alignment and the world most definitely spun off its axis as I endured a calamitous caffeine free morning, only saved when I practically drove the 4×4 through the window of the early morning Italian cafe near the studio in my quest for an espresso.
But back to the comfort zone. As a failed drama student, radio broadcaster and occassional TV pundit – I was the ‘Voice of the Expat’ for several TV stations pre and post the Brexit vote. And If I’m the voice of reason then we are all doomed – I don’t have much of a problem when it comes to public speaking.
As an even worse guitarist, I still harbour Rock Star dreams of playing before an adoring audience. So when I was invited to act as MC for the George Benson, Michael Bolton and Pink Purple Zepp Fest concerts – not all on the same evening I hasten to add – I thought that it would be a breeze.
Alas, it wasn’t at all. For a start it’s far, far easier when you are behind a microphone on the radio or being interviewed in front of a TV camera. I walked on stage, the spotlights hit me and I looked out over several thousand people. Certain parts of my lower anatomy tightened immediately.
Secondly, I was introducing the artists in both Spanish and English. And while my bar room brawl Andaluz is perfectly acceptable for day-to- day stuff, I was painfully aware that it wasn’t quite up to scratch, so masked it by hand actions, speaking even quicker than I normally do and added plenty of “Hola Marbella” or “Hola Estepona” as the venue dictated.
All in all though, it seemed to go quite well, especially my introduction to the Rock fans of Estepona – ‘Hola!!! Soy el superguiri’, which raised a huge cheer. Even better, no one threw rotten fruit or anything worse. My cousins were at Monsters of Rock at Donnington in the late 70s when legendary Rock DJ Tommy Vance was pelted off stage with litre bottles filled with…well I’ll let you guess…
Although I did have a folded up anorak on the side of the stage, just in case.