The London hits

So, after I tweeted I was going to write about London, I set off for a walk with my dog.My dog
I thought I’d use the Recorder app on my Windows Phone to tell my tales of London as I walked, but of course I must have pressed something and nothing got recorded.
So, London.
First kiss:
On my way to Edinburgh, I was 13 (so… 1984!), for one of those study English/holiday, and they dropped us off for a walk in London. My friend Valentina and I walked about in the centre, saw punks and Carnaby street (which at the time was still the real thing), and a pub filled with the most beautiful men I’d ever seen (it turned out to be a gay bar, of course). I swore to myself I’d go back to Her.
The Illicit Affair:
I was 15, had recently returned from a year in the Philippines living with my dad, now heading to Washington to visit my dad, whose tickets for us were paid for by his work, so as I travelled from Milan the stopover was in London. The tickets were full fare so I could choose to extend the 3 days we had agreed I’d stop in London for … well, however long I pleased.
After 3 days I moved out of the hotel I’d booked, a cute enough but anonymous 3 star. I headed to Victoria station, where I met some hustlers, young people who would approach people with backpacks and offer them a ride in the van to a cheap hostel, in this case near Notting Hill. I went with them, and before long I was accepting work as a cleaner in exchange for breakfast and room. Then I started to work as a hustler myself, and that’s when I met and worked with an Italian guy, by the name of… can’t remember, who introduced me to Nick Cave. He was a cool dude with excellent musical taste, we shared many a rough day trying to catch people at Victoria and being very penniless and hungry. He soon developed a massive crush for me after which I started distancing myself, till I broke up with him (ah yes, we were actually together a while) because I was more interested in the guys I met at the hostel who came in to play pool.
Among them, two Irish drunks who often vomited bright purple and red, a Dutch guy who looked a bit like a Nazi whom I frequented because he would introduce me to a guy that could do a tattoo for me, and this guy was a nice bearded guy who lived in a squat, and in the squat the cups were very dirty (but I realised later not really dirty, just stained, as tea doesn’t wash out very well with no scrubbing, hot water and soap). The bearded guy was nice but could not do a decent tattoo to save his life so I never even went back to finish it off, also because he started telling me that the Dutch guy I was hanging with had left his country, accused of assaulting his girlfriend. I dumped them both.
Then I started hanging with some other guys, two probably from Pakistan, very nice, 1 who reminds me now a bit of Eminem. Except I don’t think he sang so well. Cocktail bars, very much fun times, hanging out… until he said I could move into his place. I thought yay free place! But the moment we set foot in his flat, a very very high tower (a squallid council block of flats, I found out later, but at the time I liked high-rises and I thought it was cool!) he stopped talking to me, or looking at me. Seriously. Not a word. The house was empty with a couple of mattresses here and there, I thought something would move and stuff would come in but no, there was no discussion with him so I just sat, and waited, and wondered. One night I went out without him, and met someone we both knew, and he explained that he was recently out on bail, or something, he had been accused of trying to murder his wife (now ex)!
Ok I thought, the guy doesn’t talk, he bloody freaks me out, whether it is true or not, I’m out of here. I had no more money left, so I stole his penny collection, counted them up, bought a tube ticket as far as I could, got out at Heathrow and was stopped at the barrier of course as I had no money, I explained in sobs and tears and they let me go. Bless them. I boarded the plane and was off to America. This lasted about three months.
I went back to that hostel with a boyfriend of mine, a few years later, and some friends. Under the influence of heaving London, he got on my nerves so much, and I wanted to be free to roam London without a boyfriend so much, I managed to get him to go back on the train by himself. I was a bitch to him and broke his heart, but he had his revenge, a few years later, becoming the first man to ever break up with me, and show me how much it bloody hurt.
The next time in London it was to stay a while, but that’s another story.


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