Lisbon, Tarts and Ilford.

As I write this the election's over. Brown's on the phone to Pickfords, Cameron's picking out curtains and wondering if Clegg will be happy with a blow-up bed in the spare room.  I will miss Jeremy Vine's decidedly low tech Addometer, or whatever he called his graphical calculator - a collection of chunky pie-charts with the sole purpose of filling ten minutes of airtime with something that would have taken 30 seconds otherwise. Anyway, I was away for the last week of the election, on the Queen Victoria, a lovely liner with Edwardian decor and the most splendid theatre at sea where I saw 'Celtic Heartbeat' one of the best shows I have enjoyed on any ship. Ever. It managed that Holy Grail of any entertainment - a show that delighted aficionados and new comers alike without ever resorting to cliché. A rare treat.

My favourite port of this short cruise was Lisbon and this time we discovered the area of Belem. It has a monastery and famous custard tarts, both of which have to be experienced. It also has a new Starbucks. Now don't get me wrong, I love my Grande Skinny Wet Chai Tea Latte as much as the next man, but really, what's the point? With so many charming independent coffee shops at every turn, why bother spending twice as much for half the charm?

I managed to fly back from Tenerife just before the ash kicked off again and get back in time for our 'Matt & Nat' show in Ilford with Chris Dean. Such a fantastic capacity audience. Never before in the history of light entertainment have so many given so much to so few (two singers, three rhythm and three horns to be exact). Our country is littered with great performance spaces like this with a loyal following that keep them thriving. Thank goodness.