I lived in Tooting Bec while I was studying at the Journalism Training Centre, and I lived with an interesting mix of guys. First off, two Muslim guys from Bosnia, a civil servant that worked for Claire Short, and an Italian Chef. Then two girls, who paid me less than they should have for my Apple computer, and stole a bunch of my books.
I'd visit Camden regularly to go to a record shop and a comic shop there. I'd go up to Soho to Sister Ray Records or the Borders on Oxford Street.
My friend Ian Stiff was living in Golders Green in North London at the time, and once, while travelling through Camden, I got attacked by a Rastafari for being in his phone box. This signalled the start of an ill-advised solution to the problem, namely taking way too much cannabis in tea, which I will describe elsewhere.
New York was the first place I landed when I came to the states. I arrived at JFK, sped through customs, caught a train to Penn Street Station, and then made my way to the workplace of Ilene Lush, where Write The Future, a group formed on the website Writer's Cafe, were holding their second big event.
And I knew I had arrived in a place that was going to provoke a big change in my life.
Lake Of The Ozarks
The house on the lake was the third Write The Future event, and I believe that I was the first person, outside of those that organised it, to sign up and pay for the trip. New York had been such a great experience that I had to be there for this.
I knew a lot of the people that were going,but there were some others coming that I was looking forward to seeing.
This is where I met my ex-wife Wendy Giordano.
The Poetry House is the thing. From that spot we ran one of the best things I have ever been involved of in terms of spoken word and open mic type activities. Its longevity and scope, and ability to rehabilitate artists was great. There were, I remember always at least 20 people there, and a rotating cast of maybe 40.