The knock from below.

I’ve had a shocking time to be honest. 

The storm I thought I had weathered got worse. There came a knock from below when I thought I couldn’t get any lower and I had to return home the beginning of this year due to the death of my Father, Nicky.  

In the months that followed I had to end a relationship and have been technically homeless and very very lost. Creativity has always been my way to escape but there has been no flow, no escape and a lot of darkness. With no light to grow and no air to breath I have been suffocating for a long time.  

I tried in Bristol but even the stars said it was going to be a pretty shite time and basically to not bother. Life started to feel like swimming through sand and I was very sad with my perceived underachievement’s in the city... I did become a lesbian though, which was a good life achievement. Finding love is problely one of life's greatest.

With permission from the universe to get the fuck out of here, I decided the only reasonable option was run away to America and see some of the world with my girlfriend. This idea broke the minds of our housemates and we were told we’d have to leave forever if we decided to broaden our horizons worldwide. I didn’t agree but still packed up my whole life (again) and put it into storage.

And then we jumped. We literally jumped and smashed face first into the worst fires in Californian history- scenes from the fiery pits of hell. A terrible sign. 

Our high hopes of San Fran were brought crashing down with the reality of life with no healthcare. Homlessness is epidemic and mental illness is the norm. It was heartbreaking, distressing and eternally haunting. 

We were out of there in 3 days, traveling through smouldering buildings and miles and miles of burnt out land, picking up stories of all that was lost on our bus journey to the wild lands. It was an uncertain time. Most of it I can't talk about. Overall it was fine but got extremely hairy after being held up in a cabin in the mountains for nearly 3 weeks by a mad-man. We decided to cut our losses and escaped a few days before Christmas to Mexico- No plan, no nothing. I would now advise making a little plan. Floating into the unexpected is great but sometimes the flow is fast and dangerous, there’s sharks….and they will eat you...

I must stress it is so important to be on the same page of the same book of the person you travel with too. I felt restricted as my travel buddy did not have Mayan ruins or climbing volcanoes on their experiences agenda and I felt like I missed out on a lot. Technically I can only blame myself. I should have broken free and just done the things I wanted to do, but I felt like I had the responsibly of another less able person and at some points chained to a very temperamental child. Again this is my fault and I should have followed the advice that I would have given to anybody else.  
Overall, my time away was an enormous test of patience. Mexico, Belize, right through Guatamala, Costa Rica and Colombia-I struggled. Sadly I’ve been affected first hand from people with drugs and alcohol related problem throughout my entire life and I didn’t really want to be doing this on holiday. My understanding nature was getting tested on one of the most challenging trips of my life. I can only assume it is my cosmic karma to withstand such torture.

We went from the beautiful beaches of Mexico to Belize for New Year. A ‘magical time’ with friends but the cheap tricks sent a few minds backwards and there were crazies on the rampage. Happy new year!!! YAY

There were a few magical moments; escaping on the golf buggie we’d hired driving aimlessly round the potholed dirt tracks (pretty fun tbh) screaming WWWWHHHHHHYYYYYYY!!!!! I ended up being thumbed down by 8 boys playing huge drums looking for a lift to their next destination hustling money from tourists. I picked them up gladly. It must have been a cool sight, an overcrowded, colourful and loud assemblage of drums hurtling towards you. That, the illuminesos jellyfish and a spot of diving could have been my highlights, except all the coral was dead. Too sad.  After the fragrant New year it was a good idea to leave so we zoomed to the shit hole that is Livingston and then got a very dodgy boat across to Guatemala.

Lake Atitlan was beautiful, A natural wonder of the world indeed. 

There are many different villages around the lake accessible by boat but San Pedro was the one we choose to call home for a month. We found an amazing hostel called Brothers. It was full of beautiful souls, interesting conversations, theory’s on life and the universe…. 


This was like nutrients to my mind and it was an inspiring place to stay. My partner got a job in a bar. This seemed like a good idea…. She could do her favourite thing and I could occupy my time with things like volunteering building mud huts for familys that needed them. 


Sadly the strain of her job was not conductive to happiness. San Pedro was lovely, but it’s a party place full of cheap tricks for party kicks and we decided to cut our losses and get out of there and zoomed strait to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica baby!!!! What a place! So many good things to say about Costa Rica. We were only there for 5 days …..but it was simply stunning. The beaches, wildlife and bio-diversity were mind blowing. 

Sadly it’s not as economical as other Latin American countries and our extremely small budget was not really worth living on. So we were on the move and with my 32nd birthday looming, I wanted to be somewhere that I thought I would enjoy. I choose the 2nd largest carnival in the world- Barraninquilla.  Shakira’s home-land. 

The colour, costumes, music and dancing was crazy crazy and we ended up staying in what can only be described as a squat house with 69 random couch surfers right on the firing line of the carnival. This place had 3 floors of concrete a skull breaking sound system, one toilet and two pregnant Chiwawas on the brink of giving birth. The whole place was rammed with drugs, sex, foam and party. There were people EVERYWHERE. Every tiny piece of floor was covered in bodies and the bits they needed to stay toxic. The 5 day 2/4/7 party didn’t suit my partner and after the worst time ever on Valentines day- I nearly escaped…..But my impounding sense of responsibility kept me bound.

We got over it with promises, and I got sick.

After the awful carnival we desperately needed a nice time and things got better in Salento, a beautiful place in Colombia with sky high coconut trees and epic landscapes. My partner wasn’t convinced by nature, they wanted the buzz of the city but she soon changed her mind and we rented a beautiful tent thing at the top of a mountain covered in flowers. PERFECT. All this time had been manic and hard and uncertain and finally we were somewhere where we could breath real fresh air. I was in a good, calm place. I felt good here.


I felt inspired by the nature and the beauty and I started to want things out of life again-something I hadn’t felt for a very very long time. I put together some ideas; The usual Christmas number 1, learning to drive, successful bla bla and even sketching out a sequel for Sing For Your Life. I started to believe shit could happen and I felt better.  We got a sweet deal accommodation wise in Medellin and decided to head back into Colombias’ capital city to prepare to housesit for the rest of our stay. Things were looking good for the last part of our trip.

The Call

Right before leaving Salento I got a call from my brother that sounded important. He said he’d speak after my nine hour bus journey and the whole time it weighed on my mind. We checked in, made our bed in the mixed dorm and I called my brother. He went on to tell me my father had passed away.

There is no good place to receive this kind of news, but lying in the mixed dorm of a party hostel in a country over 5000 miles away was really up there with the worst place ever. Everything fell away from me and all I could do was cry hysterically down the phone. I was left alone for what seemed like an eternity curled up in bits while my girlfriend tried to organise another more private space to grieve. Sadly International House Hostel was neither accommodating nor understanding and I was told they couldn’t move us and we wouldn’t be refunded if we left, despite walking in off the street 20 mins ago. I was so angry, so devastatingly upset I fell down the 4 flights of stairs to confront the people in charge. Utterly hysterical and physically violent, they returned our funds and we fled into the night and into the heaviest storm I’ve ever experienced. 

I cried all day every day for a week. My girlfriend had never met my father and I found it hard to feel any comfort from her. The words I needed to hear weren’t there. The grief couldn’t be remedied and I ended up feeling so incredibly alone. Being far away from friends and family or any connection was horrible and it took a week before I could I get on a flight I could afford. 

I don’t remember much. I think my mum picked me up… and then I went to see my brothers and Nickys partner at their house. They had been grieving together for over a week before I arrived and I was surprised by their good humour. I guess they had had each other for comfort. I didn’t want to let the side down by being in bits but I just wanted to cry all the time. I then had to spend a week living in the house, picking up the pieces of a paint and decorating job that my brother and Nicky had gone out to get extra supplies for.

My other task was editing/re-writing the synopsis of his life that would be safe and tame enough for the grandchildren/ religious partys. Being there, living there…. Hard, horrible… Torturous. I couldn’t look at photos, didn’t want to see his face. His chair was achingly empty at the table we had always sat at but his voice echoed round the house through my brothers.

After the painting was finally done and with no home to go back to, I went to live on the floor at my mothers house. I found her hard to be with. I have never experienced grief first hand whereas she has sadly lost many. I felt she wasn’t as sensitive as I would have appreciated and eventually I hated her even mentioning Nickys name. My sensitivities were extreme and I needed to be loved in a different way to the one she expressed. In honesty I needed something no one could give me.

Sadly she had her own bad news and the dreaded C word was mentioned. She had a hysterectomy very quickly and I was there helping her recover, carrying her shopping, making food and cleaning. My girlfriend was still in Colombia trying to get back. The time difference made communication more problematic. I wanted to be a priority but it always seemed like she was occupied with other things. I didn’t feel important and even when she did make it back I felt we were out of our depth. There were times when she was present and aware and trying to be supportive, but then it was like she had completely forgotten. Issues re-arouse and despite living apart, I was finding it difficult spending time together.

After living on my mums floor and helping her recover I moved in with friends. They cooked for me, got me out of bed when I felt like I couldn’t move and taught me how to drive. I decided I needed to do something with monumental focus and I choose driving.  I also got relentlessly stoned.  I smoked a crazy amount of weed. I smoked from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep. I would cleverly choose official driving lessons in the morning so I could smoke earlier and was getting so, so SO stoned even I was worried about my mental health. I forgot words mid-word. I couldn’t string a sentence together, I wasn’t o.k….but I had nothing else. No inspiration, no tools to create, just an endless amount of sadness.

Smoke, eat, sleep repeat was literally all I was able to manage….. There were more testing times with my partner. I was finding it hard to find the strength to support myself and I needed someone who was going to be nice to me all the time. After a full blood moon, the predicable unpredictable inner child left me emotionally wrecked. My dreams were littered with needles and I was coming out with rashes which I suspected were emotionally triggered. I had to cut the chain that bound me, I didn’t have the strength to ‘understand’ anymore.

After the splitting with my girlfriend I went into hiding in Alton. I didn’t want to be a burden on my friends forever, despite them saying the opposite. I have built up a good reputation as a house-sitter and am good at being homeless so kept extremely busy with my temporary stately home. There were lots of animals to love and be loved by.

I went back to the city I’d learnt to drive in and passed my driving test with only 2 minors. I totally cheesed up the driving examiner and he fell for my powers of flattery and utter amazement at his really average life storey. I didn’t realise how passing this test would affect me and I cried a lot. I cried loads more in secret. I first learnt to drive with Nicky when I was 17. He would have been so proud and I’m so so sad he never got to see it. All my best memories are of us driving like loons, talking and driving and talking and driving. He loved driving.


The storey of Nicky is a wild one and one not many people will believe. Tall tales they call it, but Nicky was not prone to exaggeration. He was a religious man. Born a Jew but forced into the Jehovah’s Witness club young to preach the word of god. This son of an inventor was an entrepreneur from a young age, money meant something and he turned a profit in the playground selling yesterdays donuts as well as going through the pockets of church goers whilst banished to the cloakroom for fidgeting.  He didn’t brush his teeth because he thought he would get new ones when the world ended in 1975…But it didn’t end and the hold of god was weakening, just like his teeth. He married young, had a string of successful window and cleaning businesses but with the new children and wife demanding more money, cars and fur coats he decided to rob banks- Obviously. He robbed 9 of them; With a sawn off shotgun, fake Irish accent and a moped as a getaway vehicle. This was the downfall of the operation and he got caught up with. He made a good effort to avoid a huge sentence by eating his own beard in the cell and claiming insanity. The man they arrested had a beard and clearly he did not.

While in jail the woman he’d married moved on without his knowledge. He dabbled in drugs and sadly tried Heroin for the first time. He retuned into the world and started a successful restaurant and an affair with my mother bringing another 2 children into the world.  These achievements went up in smoke with a full blown heroin addiction. The later part of his life he retrained as a drugs and alcohol councillor and then as a total cosmic healer using astrology, crystals and laughter therapy. LOL. Despite his religions upbringing, he was certainly no saint. He was called Tricky Nicky for a reason. His story will be told better in finer detail by my older brother eventually.

Because of an addiction he was not around so much when I was young. He let us down a lot but came into back into my life when I needed someone most. At 15/16 I was going through terrible troubles with my mind; Depression, bulimia, self-harm. I dropped out of my A-levels and was not in a good way mentally..

 After years of hating him, I came to understand that he was suffering from an addiction, a disease. My lifelong anger dissolved as my mind evolved and he helped me immeasurably when I was finally open to it. I said I didn’t want to see him if he was smacking up and over time (probably longer than I was made aware) he did make it through. With the help of his partner he found stability and a new relationship with his children emerged.

My mother didn’t like this. She couldn’t see how I could forgive a man that had been so bad. But I did, whole-heartedly. I can still remember the moment my resentment lifted and I was free of my past. It felt amazing. My mum started to loose the plot and I moved in with my dad and his partner. I got my act together and went to art school. He taught me to drive for the first time, astrology and chess. I think I beat him once.

He taught me how to think better, how the mind was the most powerful thing and if you mastered that then you have mastered everything. I caught on quick, understood concepts easily and was able to apply them to my life almost instantly. Instead of wallowing in depression and angst, I started to change to positive thinking, forgiveness and transformation. He was a mad-man and a genius and I loved him very much despite everything terrible he had actually done.

It’s taken me  a long time to write anything at all…...This has all been incredibly difficult but essential for me to move forward. My ex girlfriend and I are in a good place. She is doing the things she needs to do to grow and I am finally finding my way out of a tunnel.

I still feel the need to recover, to get out of the sad sandpit I’ve been swimming through….. and it feels like I can do it. Like I said I started writing literally a few days before Nicky died and I am planning on picking that up- In Portugal.  London will devour my energy just trying to survive but while i’m homeless/ housesitting I’m working  ‘normal’ jobs and saving money so I can sustain a period of development out there.

I am finally feeling some light on my face. The green fog has lifted. I have a plan and I think it’s a good one. So hopefully you will hear more of my adventure away, and hopefully the light from this tunnel isn’t just a mirage.


  1. Thanks for sharing, your honesty, told with a thread of sarcasm and irony throughout it doesn't detract from the raw facts, what a shocker - I hope you get some good your way soon. If it helps I have some small storage space to offer in Deptford. Danny X

  2. Wow. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending positive energy and healing to you x


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