Wednesday, 23 October 2013


Ok so I met. My current partner. How many years ago fifteen years ago. And we were. Really really good friends for about ten years, we went to uni and we both. Kept in contact and err. He hated all my boyfriends he thought they weren't really good enough but never said anything and I hated all his girlfriends and. Never really said anything about it just knew that they weren't really good enough. Just in a friendly way. And then in my finals. Uhm. He sent me funny messages on the days of my exams and remembered them and which is just really unusual for a boy to do. And then. I don't know what happened but I finished my exams and I though I've got a bit of money, I'll go and visit him. And I didn't know it then. But we spend a really nice weekend in Brighton just. Friendly not anything else. And as the train was pulling away I just burst into tears. I didn't realise that I was actually falling for my best friend. It was quite horrible I didn't know how he felt, at all. So I went back to uni just. A little bit. Confused and thinking. That's. New what's. Happening. And I didn't tell anyone. I didn't know. How he was feeling and I thought. If I told him that might ruin everything that's the really awkward thing. Then we went to see Prince. And I don't know what happened at this Prince concert. But it must have been just the pure power of Prince. The power of Prince. And err. Two days later. Nothing happened on that evening, two days later. Uhm. We went out on a night out, me, his best fried who's also a good friend of mine and I to be honest all of my friends knew how I felt about him but none of our friends knew. I didn't want him to find out. And I don't know what happened on that particular night. But I just. I'd had enough I was too confused. And er I was with his best friend on the dancefloor Joel had gone away. And I said. I really. Have a thing for George has he ever mentioned anything to you. About me. And it took all my courage to get to that point. And he said. No. And I thought. Oh well. Nothing- I hope he doesn't tell him. At least I tried. Move on. And then I went to the toilet. Anyway I came back and Alex has gone so me and Joel were dancing. And. He just. As we were dancing he just turned around put my hands on his face and kissed me and it was like the sweetest thing 'cause he sort of missed and got me like on my top left lip and I'll never forget it and then. I was a bit stunned. And then he just kissed me again properly and I thought that's weird that's not what friends do. And uhm . Completely overstepping the mark we weren't friends that. Kissed and it was like wow something's happened he likes you. Turns out while I was in the toilets. Joel. In the- in the thirty seconds after I'd gone had asked his friend I've got feeling for Thea has she ever mentioned anything to you. At the exact same moment. And he went stop taking the piss you two. He thought it was a joke, we'd come up with a funny joke to. Mess with him. And. Err. Joel said why are you asking, asking me if I'm taking the piss out of you. And he said cause she just told me the exact same thing. About thirty seconds ago. So unbeknownst to me when I came back, he knew. And we're getting married next year. That was six years ago.  

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


It's my birthday. Yes and later on we'll have a little barbecue yes. And then err later on there'll be like some kind of little surprise from my friend yes? So I don't really know. Special day. Normally I'm in France with my family, generally I try and go back there. My name's Marilyn, after Marilyn Monroe, she was a big fan yeah, yeah yeah yeah. I'm fifty I was born the year after she died. My favourite film? I don't really know actually because I've seen the last one actually they made about her and I think this one is my favourite. You know the one they made recently, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Interesting she's not the real Marilyn but she's really like her. Reflecting the Marilyn, 'cause I read her biography. She had a hard times at the beginning and. My favourite thing is like eeerrr the image she gave, of herself being happy you know didn't want people to dig into her past and. She just wanted the positive this side of herself, she didn't want people to. That's quite nice people only saw the good side.  

Monday, 2 September 2013

Tyson and Vic.

I was stuck in a. Really boring office job ah. About four years ago. And I met Victoria and then I'd already planned a trip away for. A year. And I went away for. For the whole. For ten months we stayed together. Err. When we got back we. er. Set up a. I set up a business and Vic, Victoria. Quit her job in The City eventually and joined me in the business ah. And that was about three years ago and now the business is going quite well and we're working. And living together. And. um. In between that Vic. Vic got breast cancer but now she's better. And uhm. Two days ago we got married. Two days ago we got married. But I left the ring at home because I had a shower and it, and it scratches my face when I wash my face so I took it off so that's why I haven't got my ring on. I was wearing one but it's somewhere safe. On top of the loo.   

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Phoebe Mae, aged 6

All animals in the world are so so cute. That's why I love dogs and rabbits as well. As I said all animals well some animals are really sensitive animals or creatures so guinea pigs are really sensitive animals because and they have really breakable legs. In the front and the very back of their legs and. If you can see. If you have got any animals like a guinea pig you wil see. The toes. They and. They have little little big toes and 4 big big front teeth at the front because I said so. So yes let's go again - right. I love all every single animals.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The Pyramids are an Analogy for Life

When I was a young man I was sitting in a cafe in, sort of. Ripped jeans and I had long, longer hair then. And this old man looked at me and said why are you dressed like that. And I said to him. Well, you know. Because it's comfortable. And after that we got chatting and he said. The meaning of life. There's an analogy when they were building the pyramids. You see the ones at the bottom are huge, sort of, this big, bigger you'd have to really climb up them. And that's the beginning of your life. And then the older you get, the higher up you get, the stones get smaller and smaller until at the top they're sort of like little steps. And he said the design was meant as an analogy for life – it gets easier the further along you get. 

Monday, 13 May 2013

The Witch.

In the 1800's there was this um. A lady and. The monks thought she was a witch so. Burnt them at the stake and then. Um. She was buried at the Priory church then she came alive again. And the. Things stared happening like. Um. When the she went to church the books started burning and the candles. Stopped working. And then um so. They. They put her in a glass bottle and buried her in the Priory church and now she's there. So you need to. Well no-one's found the bottle yet but there. Um. So you need to be. Um. 'Cause you. 'Cause her spirit will open. Yeah. 

Friday, 10 May 2013


I'll tell you the story of how I was conned in the street in Brixton. Yes. So I was errr I guess I was still new in town. And errr. I was coming back home from a night, night out. Walking back from Brixton and err I think I was was feeling quite err pleased with myself 'cause earlier on there was a bit of an incident, where this boy was very unhappy and I managed to talk him out of erm star-starting a fight. So I thought I was all very streetwise and in err in business. And these guys stopped me it was about three or four o'clock in the morning and he stopped me and he asked me if I had some 50p coins 'cause he needed 50p coins and he he he could give me the money in pound coins and he showed me his pound coins, and as I was. Taking my wallet out I thought that's a bit weird this was before mobile phones but still you'd use 20ps for the phone, telephones not. 50ps anyway but he was asking and I was looking and I had some 50p coins and I gave them to him and then he said erm. Thank you. And put them in his pocket. I said can I have your pound coins instead and he said no I'm not giving them to you and I said what do you mean, you said you would. And he said I conned you. I'm not. That's my money now and I said that's not your money, it's my money, and you said you were going to give me these three pound coins that you said. Errr. And he said do you not understand? That's it, I conned you. And if you ask for it I'm gonna slash your throat and he threatened to take his knife out. And I was er a little bit afraid at that point. actually. He was quite a big guy. But also I somehow didn't think that he was going to pull a knife out. And I. Also thought it probably not a good idea to check. So there was this strange situation where I stood, I still stood next to him and. Still. Thought that I-I. Couldn't just let it go and walk away. And err I said one more time that I don't understand how he could do that and I-I. Took a cigarette out and he asked me if he could have one and this, this strange situation where we then shared a cigarette and a little chat, and I think even a little, a-a, a little drink that I had in my flask and err. After a few minutes erm I-I though well ok, it's time to go now and I said before I left uhm. So do you think I'll be fine walking all the way from here to Camberwell now at this time you know and he said yes yes you'll be alright, don't worry, but you know that ten pounds that I saw in your pocket, keep it hidden. That's the story of how I was conned. 

Thursday, 9 May 2013


Because we can sit downstairs and there'll be noone else in the house and there'll be doors shutting and people running up and down the stairs and people knocking on the wall and. Constantly. Oh yeah and I get poked quite a lot. No, it makes me feel really calm. It's usually when. Something's gonna go wrong. Not a a massive thing but, something, might go wrong, there's normally people around me the night before. And I feel really really. Unusually calm. Kind of ready for. Whatever's gonna happen I can't explain it. Uhm. What happened before? Oh one day we had three things happen the dog got away, the kitchen completely flooded. From the dishwasher and it ruined the couch as well, but I laughed. I don't know why I was almost prepared for it. Oh and like we thought it was my daughter as well actually and um. I came home and it all went on again I don't know, even know what it was that time, like people up and down the stairs if I shout can you go away 'cause I've had enough, it stops. But sometimes I just leave them and they just run about the house whoever they are, I don't know who they are. And light bulbs explode. I don't want it investigated I just let it carry on yeah yeah more than they can stay wherever they want it doesn't bother me. I'm not frightened of them. I think it's my Nan. I think, I just, I don't know why. It's just a feeling I get when they're around it's just the same kind of feeling I got when my Nan was around so. I'm not scared. At all. They can stay. More can come if they like. I don't mind.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Imogen (A Story And A Song)

This is a folk story from. India. And. It's called. A Story and A Song. And it's about a woman who knew a story and a song and this is why I think it could be relevant because it's about. Anyway she knew a story and a song. She hadn't told them for such a long time and they'd become. Buried in... side her. And. This woman lived with her husband and one night she'd gone to sleep and her husband had gone out to work. And the story and the song that were buried inside her decided that because they hadn't been told for such a long time they were going to come out of her and take revenge on her. So they did as she was sleeping this this story came out of her and became a pair of in the shape of a pair of men's shoes and went to stay by the door. And the song came out in the shape of a man's coat and it went to stay by the door. And the woman stayed sleeping she didn't know about any of this. So when the man came home he saw he saw the. Shoes and the coat by the door and he said to her, who's coat and shoes are these he said she said I don't know, they're nothing to do with me. And he didn't believe her so he got angry with her and they had an argument, and he accused her of being unfaithful to him. And she felt very sad and he left for the night and he went to the tree in the uh in the village. And in that tree in that village at night when everybody goes to sleep the lanterns leave their homes, go, and make their way to the tree to sleep. And when they get there they tell stories and they gossip and erm. On that particular night their, the lantern from their house was late because they'd had an argument he'd been up late so he couldn't leave until much later so eventually when he got to the tree the other lanterns said to him why are you so late. And he said oh there's been an argument in the house and the. Other lanterns said why and he said. Because. The woman knew a story and a song but she hadn't told them for so long that she'd forgotten them and they decided to take revenge and they came out of her in the shape of a pair of shoes and a coat and they went to hang themselves by the door so when the husband came home he saw them and he was angry with his wife and he accused her although she didn't know anything about it he said she'd been unfaithful. And. The man was sleeping at the trees and he heard all this. And he realised she hasn't been unfaithful so he rushed home and he went to her, his wife and he said I'm sorry I know you haven't been unfaithful I know what these, these things are tell me your stories sing me your song. And she couldn't because she'd forgotten them. They'd left her forever. 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


Ok. Hi. Uhm. I got a story to tell. It's. Kind of a. Uh. Well it's a bit historic. I can kind of make it up so here we go err. Once upon a time there there is there was a castle uh. And there was a little boy who. Err. He liked to sneak into the castle from like the. Town, he used to like sneak into the castle. And one day he sneaked into the castle and he saw a hole and he said. That's odd, I don't remember that being here. And then. After that. He went down. And he found. This huge. This book. This. Err. Terrible. Large book it was about this big. And uh it. Was. And then he decided to take it home he. Lifted it as haaaard as he could 'cause he was only little. All the way to home and he read. The whole book. It taught him everything, all the secret passages in the castle. And then one time he was he counted all the secret passages and he got quite rich 'cause there was quite a bit of money and he went to the last one. And he found a tunnel. And through the tunnel he saw. A whole new world. And then he walked into it and went through all the bushes and. He found. Another castle. And. There was. Kind of. It was kind of for the king when he goes on relaxing time. And somebody and then somebody said what are you doing here you don't look like you're from this world. He said he was looki- he was interested in what was. The castle. And stuff. And he told a story. And he was took to the castle as the bravest lad. And then. he. He took. His parents there. And they became respected people. Because. When he grew up he defeated a dragon that burdened the land. And so. He took. So. He tried hard. Harder. And made the world into another world. But then. it. The world was still seen. Up until World War Two. When. The bombs started. And err. Well. It was a historic place at the time and all of that had been blocked out nobody could go there because nobody knew of it and the person who went in there was a child he was in there. For ages he was he he he even if he was there the same night he was eighty now and then it was 'til. He was. And then the war came and err bombs dropped. Down and blew the place up so absolutely nobody could get in. but then later nowadays. Somebody dug it up and. Dug and dug with a good excavation team. And then he found. The land again. And went down. The staircase. And the king had died by then. He became the new king. Of the land. And he introduced this world to that world and mixed them together to create. A secret world. But that. But that. But then. The people. Of that world. Disappeared out of that world. And that's where all the disappearing people go to. Yeah. 

Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Cypriot (name witheld)

1975. I was in the army in Cyprus. And. We had. Just been. Asked to leave the army camp by our superiors and go back to our villages. And to our towns. And the reason for this was that ah we couldn't do anything about the invasion of the Turkish army. Ah. We couldn't stop them taking half the island but we could try and stop them taking our, our towns. So I went back with fifteen other chaps who. Were also from our town. And we got into the town and, and the next day ahm the Turkish army was advancing towards it and this is a town very near to Nicosia, the capital city. And at, and the Turkish army was well....organised and tanks and pretty much everything ahm. We. On the other hand. Were just. With our army gear really. Rifles, machine guns, pretty much that was it, few grenades. And we had to hold our town. So in order for the Turkish army not to take the town. What we did was set up four posts to one side of the town which is the only way that the army could come in and we would fire all the time. Constantly at the, uh at the army and this is. Not firing close range this is firing probably half a mile to three quarters of a mile away. So as for them not to know who we were. Ahm. How many of us there was. And in the evening, my what I thought I would do would. Turned out to be a good idea. we. Myself and another guy had ripped off an exhaust off a car. Uhm. And got the people to that owned the car to drive it up and down the road. And we did that to three different cars in three different parts of the town. And at night. The town is actually surrounded by fields, it's a very small town it's, it's almost a big village and at night that noise travels. And there's no street lights. And the lights were all out in the centre of the town as well. It sounded like we had tanks in the town. The next day. The army moved on. And went around our, our town and took the foll-, ah took the village that was about two miles away from us. So we actually sa- saved the town. It's a true story. I've got better ones than that. 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013


So this is a story about loss. It's the first thing that came into my mind. Erm. When I was seventeen my grandfather died um he was my Dad's father and his name was Harold. But everyone called him H for short because. He. Couldn't be bothered for them to say the rest of his name. And um he used to be a taxi driver, he was very charismatic. He used to tell a lot of lies but they were kind of funny white lies like he used to say, he had a finger that was. um. Black I don't know why how he got it but he used to lie about this, the reason why he had that, the black finger. Um anyway so he. Died quite quite suddenly when I was seventeen and I didn't get a chance to see him before he died. Um but prior to his death every week he would save up a pounds worth of pocket money for me. Uhm and he. Would then give it to me in kind of a lump sum when I'd see him. um and the last instalment that he's saved for me, my grandmother gave to me after he'd died uhm and I remember thinking that I should spend it on something wisely but. At the time um a friend had invited me um to like a foam party at this shit nightclub in Bournemouth. Um. And. I had the ten pounds in my purse so. In the end like the ten pounds went on entrance to this horrible foam party and kind of erm like basically I don't know drinking Bacardi Breezers or whatever it was I was drinking at the time. And erm I think like. It was a pretty good night overall like. Ok I hadn't really thought about it up until now but. I think something that I'll always regret was not spending that ten pounds even though obviously I'd still have the ten pounds that he gave me it's just a piece of paper but not spending that piece of paper on something more significant. And that's what came to my mind. 

Monday, 29 April 2013


So. A Few years ago. Well it was many years ago now, seems so. Um. I was with this guy. We were quite. Madly in love with each other. And we used to have crazy adventures. And one night we went to a rave in Brixton. And in the early hours of the morning. We got married in McDonald’s in Brixton. With erm. McDonald's. Straws as rings. We didn't actually get married but. You know. It. It felt like that. And then we had a honeymoon in Crystal Palace Park on the sphinxes. That's it. 

Sunday, 28 April 2013


Wait how long is it supposed to be? As in? Ok. So I first heard about One Direction in March of 2012. I was watching SNL, Saturday Night Live, and they were on it, and I was watching it, and I said hmm, who is that cute Pakistani boy?And so I did some research and I fell in love. So I decided that we were gonna get married, so I learned his name Zayn Javadd Malik. And so I wrote them letters every day and I tweeted them. I told them lots of nice, sweet things. I said you're Pakistani, I'm Libyan, we could fall in love and rule the world. I am, I was 20, now I'm 21. He is. One year younger than me I don't care, I don't care. And I really wanted to go to their concert, but I was forced to go and see a piece of theatre instead, it was called Steptoe and Son it was really good I really liked it but I still wanted to see One Direction. But I got a poster and I got a little cute little flag. Let's see. What else can I say. I went One Direction hunting in London. I went. To Primrose Hill that's where Harry Styles lives. Zayn lives in. He does. Right. I'm really bad I say really nasty things about Taylor Swift because I really don't like her, she said lots of nasty things about Harry Styles on national television. And she did a fake British accent and I thought that was really rude. um. So I don't like her. um. Sometimes I watch cute little YouTube videos of them like when they get drunk on the street and they go to weddings and they sing and I really like it. And now I'm just waiting to meet them while I'm here and fall in love then we can get married.

Saturday, 27 April 2013


Um when I started college at the univer-university of Oregon over in the States I thought I was gonna be a journalism major. So I applied I took, all the pre-requisites you have to take the pre-requisites otherwise you cannot take the major I took all the pre-requisites, and I talked to an advisor and she said. You are um you got you got straight A's in all your classes you're don't worry, about getting into the school you applied for, you'll be fine. I said well should I make a back up schedule for next term just in case she said no don't worry about it don't worry about it. So I. Got online and found out I didn't get into the journalism school. And I was like shit what am I gonna do I have been planning this it's gonna mess up my entire degree. And I was so frustrated and I started crying so I called my Mom and she said well maybe it's a sign maybe you aren't supposed to be a journalist just, just pick other classes and explore, some other areas. And I was mad and I was online and I read about a class and I thought it was an architecture class and I was like. Just like whatever I hate my life right now, super-dramatic. And the first day of class I went and I'm looking, I'm like this isn't the architecture building I don't know where I am right now. Turns out that I was in a theatre arts class. I'd never done theatre ever before in my life and. I ended up being in a play in the university and I loved it and I totally fell in love with theatre and that's why I'm here in London now setting abroad setting theatre so. Crazy how it all worked out, it was literally a year ago this happened, a year ago I had no idea what I was gonna do because I didn't get into the journalism school and now here for two and a half months with eighteen other people from my department who have the same passion that I do and it's absolutely amazing.  

Wednesday, 24 April 2013


Uh. I stopped eating vegetables uh. When I was three. I was at nursery school and erm one lunchtime we were given a big. Bowl of vegetable soup. Ahm. And I, uhm at the time. I didn't like carrots very much so I thought I'd eat them first that meant that the peas would be saved for later and I'd have something to look forward to. But of uh some strange quirk of fate that day I had an large, a large quantity of. Carrots in my bowl and I. Was ill and had to be taken and lie down on the bed. And I was sick and. I kind of. It was very traumatic so I kind of stopped eating. Vegetables and all sorts of things. Ah initially my parents. Didn't really know because I'd hide it in a hole I found. In the living room. Which I think was where the gas pipe came in. There was a little hole and I, I'd just lift the lid and put this food down and then after a while they kind of realised and erm. A-and I think it was err you know there was a moment an opportunity missed there when they could have maybe sorted me out. It didn't happen and uhm so I continued not eating vegetables uhm. Until about a month ago and I had my first carrot a-about a month ago. Uhm. And it wasn't as bad as I thought ahm. I basically I have a friend who's a psychi-psychologist and she's been ill and so erm she thought she'd take me under her wing and try and change me and so she gave me a project with a carrot which involved. Keeping it by my bedside in a vase. And er touching it and being able to identify it in a line up. You know like if it was in the usual suspects I'd be able to spot. My carrot. Amongst five other carrots uhm. And then to think about. How the carrot has uhm. Come into the world. You know what sort of life it'd had in the field what what what what what sort of thing happened in the field during that time and all the different other interactions of of life. I also had to sort of watch some youtube videos on the benefits of carrots. Uhm which was really there were some really great ones a piece about keratin and some really great jokes about you never see a rabbit wearing glasses. Uhm. And err. Initially uhm. It started with a smoothie. So we met up and and err. Had a carrot smoothie. And uhm e-e-I think it. It was a bit strange because it was a bit like. I'm used to sweet things and so it was like it tasted like it was coming from the earth. But it was ok and I-I-I. 'Cause in the past I'd had a, a sort of reaction to to occasionally and I've wanted to vomit you know just when putting things in my mouth or. Or erm. It's a real fear. And then erm we went out for my birthday and erm. I ordered steak and chips with a side order of carrots. And I left the carrots 'til the end and erm. And I cut them up into tiny little discs like one pence coins and I when they were err talking about other things I'd quickly slip one in and see what it was like and err. And. It wasn't so bad it was er er er it's not you know ever gonna replace cheese and onion crisps or anything but ahm you know I can I can kind of cope with that. And now I regularly have like carrot and apple smoothies err juice juice drinks now every couple of days and erm. I'm working towards my first tomato.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


Ok, upheaval. I. Recently moved from Yorkshire where I'd been living for thirteen years to London. And I. I've just had a cigarette so forgive me. And I. Yes so I recently moved from Yorkshire to London after thirteen years of living in Yorkshire so I returned back home essentially to London. And. I think in those thirteen years in Yorkshire I would learn what it was to be a man. I kind of grow. Err I fall in love. I kind of see the world from a different vantage point, not just because of the geography of Yorkshire just. Because I had a greater sense of. You know, I felt a greater sense of the world a slightly more travelled. Hopefully relatively well-read ehm. I mean that, yeah so I felt really powerful leaving Yorkshire then you arrive in London this great metropolis. Errm. And it felt. It felt great actually coming back to London. It felt great in that, you kind of feel like the world is here, amongst you ehm. In kind of the language you hear on the streets and all the rest of it uhm. But I think my heart still yearns for Yorkshire. Years for a. Yearns for space, kind of like physical and mental space. Erm Kind of. Yeah kind of. Remem- yeah I think one takes for granted sort of after thirteen years what those. That you invest in relationships. And thirteen years of relationships is a long time to build relationships. I'm not, not to suggest that one isn't making new relationships but. Suppose certain relationships are born out of particular situations like sort of thing. So I'm excited by new relationships but. Erm. Yeah still raw I mean it's twelve months. I mean you'd think after a year I would've kind of made my peace with it but. But there's still something in me that feels like elastic like kind of. When I'm here I'm happy but I think in that moment I could go back.  


Right. So. I'm Gareth uhm. My story is that uhm I-I was born overseas in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania ahm and when I was. Eleven years old my parents uhm. Well. They can't. Emigrate because they had come from the UK and they'd never planned to. Settle in Tanzania it just worked out that way. But they decided time had come and we were to return to the UK I say return. I'd never been to the UK so this was this was a time my. two Brothers and I was a was a new a new uh. chapter for us in coming to a foreign country. We'd always imagined that Britain was a land a wasteland of snow but where you could get everything there were forever shortages in Dar es Salaam but we used to get the Beano and the, the Dandy magazines uh comic and the annuals and the Christmas annuals always pictured a massive. Christmas pudding with uhm with with uhm loads of snow around it. So so the im- the idea was that was planted in my head was that Britain was a cold, snowy wasteland with everything you could ever want and loads of things on the TV. There was no TV in Dar es Salaam. Uhm. We left. Probably. The eleventh of December so that was pretty much the hottest time of the year in Dar es Salaam. It's only six degrees south of the equator so it was pretty hot. Uhm to fly to Munich uhm. With KLM and we were then to. The plan was to take a skiing trip in the Alps. This was a, a treat that my parents thought would be good for us because we'd never seen snow before. Uhm. Uh. Things went well until we got to Munich when my Dad discovered he'd lost his passport. So that made it difficult to enter uhm Vienna which was our next stop which we were going to do this err skiing. Uhm we. Had to put ourselves up in quite a dingy hotel where my younger brother who then would have been seven years old uhm had. A raging temperature so. We had to take him. He had to be taken to a, a doctor whilst my Dad had to go to the British consulate to explain where his passport was. It's extraordinary that he was allowed into the country without a passport. What made it worse was that in those days uhm the children were on my dad's passport so. My mum was the only person with a passport and, of the five of us. Uhm. Anyway uh David transpired to have German measles bit ironic as we were in Austria. Uhm and it was decided that we wouldn't go skiing probably not a good thing to do. No. So we needed to get a flight to the UK because uhm we were now changing plans and were told things were difficult it was uhm 19. 73 so we had the uhm er it was not long after the the six day war in fact. Just. Backtracking. The plane landed in Cairo. And. we. Had. Tanks. Lining up either side of the runway. As we pulled up because of course we. The war was in October we're flying in December. There was a-a Boeing 707 in the colours of uh erm the American erm. uh.. President uh. And we think it was Henry Kissinger who was on his sort of diplomacy around the middle east in those days. Nobody was allowed off the plane unless you were disembarking in Cairo and soldiers boarded the plane and looked menacingly at us it was all scary stuff when you're eleven years old so that's, thats a diversion so erm this is a better story than I thought it was. So uhm we haha. So we're we're in ah Vienna. Planes, we can't get a plane there's the, the fuel crisis. Unbeknown to us the IRA started its uhm mainland bombing campaign in in Britain ehm and plus there were the inevitable strikes that you got in the 1970's that made things difficult the other end. So. We were told that the best bet was to catch er a flight from Venice so we got on the train from Vienna to go down to Venice and that was a great adventure 'cause I hadn't been on a train before so that, that was that was great. Uhm. Now er the, the other snag it is that was the the time the transition when British European airways and BOAC were joined to become British Airways so we needed a BEA flight uhm. Which was hard to come by because of the transition. So get the train. Get down to Venice windswept uhm Venice very exciting to see this uhm amazing city with with all the canals uhm and er trams traipsing around Venice to try and get a flight. And not successful. The only place we're told we're likely to get a flight is in Munich. So we stayed one night in Venice. Back on the train, back up to Venice. Caught a flight there took us to Heathrow. When we got to Heathrow you couldn't leave your luggage anywhere because of bomb threats. There was the three day week. Uhm also there was petrol shortages so taxi drivers wouldn't stop for families because they thought they were only going to get short journeys, they'd only stop for businessmen so my dad had to stand out on the road and wait for one while my mum and three of us was hidden behind in an alleyway with all our luggage when a taxi pulled in we'd all come out and into the taxi and away we go. Ahm We had to spend about four or five days uhm in London to book a train to Wales which is where my Dad's from uhm the trains were short of fuel so therefore they only ran on certain days ahm so you couldn't just hop on a train and go. It was a bit like a third world country having lived all my life in a third world country I was coming to a very cold very desolate third world country where things didn't work and there were threats of bombs which it didn’t have back in Dar es Salaam where it was nice and warm and sunny ahm. Not a good introduction to the UK. So we arrive in Wales on Christmas eve. Bridgend. Previously my Dad had a Welsh accent they told me, I'd never heard it. So we arrived in Bridgend ahm and er tramp down the now then of course this is my Dad's hometown he's from a, a small village to the north of, of Bridgend called Bryncythin. We spent Christmas in the Ship Inn in Bridgend and we had to keep quiet. We were told off by the landlord because we were making too much noise bearing in mind my brother was seven I was ten ah and my older brother was thirteen so it would have been a bit boisterous and we didn't have any presents my mum and dad had to go out and buy presents on Christmas eve which is always er a challenge a difficulty. We had presents but we didn't have them with us am so er. I remember it was a happy Christmas although fraught with the fact that the pub. Wanted. To erm run it's own. Business of course selling drinks and whatever and they didn't really want young children and of course in those days children weren't allowed in pubs like they are today. Ahm and er we weren't. We weren't. Allowed downstairs. We did have Christmas lunch how did we manage that? I think it was brought up to the room. Ah so and then. Uhmm shortly after Christmas day we then went looking for somewhere to stay in a rented house so on just before new year mum and dad managed to get us a rented house and things went well from there. But it wasn't a great, a great a good story but not a great start. It was a hell of a shock to discover what cold is. In fact I wore a parka coat all that year.  

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Duncan Isaac

So uhm. I will tell you the story of how I came to be called uh Duncan Isaac and. Which as you may have noticed is a biblical name. So this would have been in 1983. When I was a mere foetus in my mothers stomach uhm well not in her stomach but in her belly. And uhm. My mother had.
Some interesting complications in that her. Waters started to drain. At only four months ah during the pregnancy. And they didn't fully break but there was a hole. And fluid was coming out so on. And as a result she got a pretty massive infection. And. In. 1983 certainly in Africa the standard medical procedure would have been to terminate the pregnancy. But. My mother was being cared for by a Catholic nurse. Called Sister Jacoba. And she. Sister Jacoba. Uh-huh. And. She err. Decided. That abortion was murder. Um being a Catholic lady. And err. She. She thought that my father would not be happy about the pregnancy being. Aborted. Uhm. And my father was at the time travelling. Uhm. From an area of of South Africa which was formerly known as the Trans-Sky. To Durban. Which is where. My mother was. In hospital. Which is a very long drive. Across. A large portion of of Southern Africa and they could obviously couldn't get hold of him because it was before mobile phones and all of that. And S-Sister Jacoba knew that my father wouldn't be happy. About them aborting the pregnancy without talking to him first so she literally barricaded herself. In the room. And wouldn't let the doctors in took the drip out of my mother's arm that was was going to to sort of abort the pregnancy I'm. Not sure what drugs it was but. That's what those drugs did. Uhm. And it it it was funny because. Just before this happened. My father and Sister Jacoba had read a scripture. Uhm. Which was. Err not terribly well versed. Ahm but it. Can't remember which which book of the bible it is but it is essentially it was God talking to Abraham. Uhm. Abraham's wife was too old to have children. And God had told Abraham that errm that he would have a son called Isaac. Erm and despite you know her being something like eighty years old at the time and er nevertheless er my father had kept that with him all the way through this really troubled pregnancy and so had Sister Jacoba and she nevertheless. Uhm. About. Well three months later after these these initial problems I was born by Ceserian section. When my Dad proudly announced that I would was to be called Isaac uhm. And my mother said not on your nelly we'll give him a good Scottish name he'll be called Duncan uhm but his middle name can be Isaac. Uhm. And that's. That's pretty much my story of hope. so. He'd always. Kept that with him all the way through the. The pregnancy both of them. Uhm. That. That he would have a son called Isaac and. Nevertheless he did.

Saturday, 20 April 2013


Ok. Yeah. Uhm. Hope for a new job because. Whilst I was on maternity leave. I was made redundant. I've been a. Dance Teacher for twelve years. Been my life. My identity who I am and I feel a bit lost without that because now I'm just. A mother. And. And going to all these baby groups nobody really asks you who YOU are and what YOU do and what your name is it's all about your little. Baby your little boy or little girl so. It'd be nice to get. Just a bit. Of my identity back which is why I'm here doing a contemporary dance class that I've not done for two years. And. And it's been the only thing that I've ever wanted to do since I was about two years old I've always danced. I've. Had. Erm. Years and years of dance training uhm. And danced professionally and performed professionally. And then. Erm there's did twelve years of teaching dance in a local college and that was all. Unfortunately taken away. To do with cuts and funding and everything which unfortunately is hitting everyone. And. So hopefully I need to start turning my life a little bit around 'cause it's been a bit. Depressing since maybe it's the baby blues or post-natal depression I don't know and. It'd be nice. To get. Some part of myself and my own identity back. I don't know.

Friday, 19 April 2013


Uhm this is a story about loss. Uhm. When I lost my. Grandad. First uhm. First close family member that I lost and that was 1999. And I was in my first year at university. In a shared house in London and. He hadn't been very well err. But I remember distinctly I was ironing and I don't iron very often and I. My phone went off and err put my iron down. And er had this phone call from my mum telling me that err Grandad had passed away. And I remember errr just. Absolutely floods of tears came I remember. Sort of falling onto my knees. Uhm but fortunately my housemate Nick. Was there and he. Uhm. He did a great. Housemate thing of pulling me up and giving me a massive great big hug errr. Which made me feel errr thousand times better and I can picture myself now at that ironing board errm with the unfortunate news that my Grandad had passed away  

Thursday, 18 April 2013


I come from Trinidad. Ahm to do nursing. Uhm, I came over, in the very early seventies. Well, October '69 it's the early seventies isn't it? Yeah. To do my nursing I did my nurse training and I've been working as a nurse ever since but I've done. Various training I've worked. All different. Specialities. I also work at the university. I do some teaching. Uhm at the university so. I enjoy that side of it very much so. In reality I'm actually putting the theory to practice and the practice to theory. Mmm. Yes. Ahm. All the while I been doing my nursing I been doing other courses like diploma degree. Managing health service. I done quite a lot of courses and it you know. It. And enjoy working at the university. Yes I work with the students, who are having difficulty in placement, they are referred to me, and I go out, to help them, achieve their competency for whatever, uhm requirement they have. And bring them into the lab in the school of nursing work with them in a protected area, Get them practising try to build up their confidence to go out and do it on the ward. So I do all sorts of things like teach DLS teach moving and handling skills as well. And have my own learning group and I love all my students hee hee. I get told off for mothering them.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


My mother, who. Left England on a flying boat, Southampton Water, by pontoon. And ended up in Nairobi. Kenya. Uhm where she got a job. Big adventure because it was the start of the war. Uhm, wanted to get away from rationing and poverty and horrible, England and-and the bad weather. Ended up in Africa and met her. Husband. At the tennis club. And got married out well no actually had to come home to England to get married. Her family were so concerned that she might be marrying mmmmm one of. Uhm. Person of a different race. Is that ok to say. That like that? And then they were married for fifty years and had a wonderful. Lived out in Africa then came home to England. Uhm. So that was their big adventure.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Adam and Isabel

 Err, I'm Adam, yeah errm and one day I was just having, I, with my Dad, and I was just going for a nice walk in the park uhm for a bike ride. And when we got there. He said. Get on. Some helmets and some protective suits. And then uhm. In the end we were like going on. Tight ropes and. Up in the trees and like, uhm, climbing, uhm, ropes walls and everything. Uhm and then we went home and had a massive roast and then. That's really it.

Isabel: What did the. What did the police man say to his tummy? You're under a vest! And there's. Uhm. Why did the boy, boy put lipstick on his head? Cos he wanted to make up his mind!  

Sunday, 14 April 2013


Ok I became Christian when I was quite a bit younger. But it started when I was five years old. Errr my mother was very poor didn't have much money, never knew where the next meal was coming from. And one day I was playing in the garden and I noticed something in the bush, I said what err is that, and it was a little budgerigar and I thought he shouldn’t be there in the garden and we managed to catch this bird put it in a little cage and went 'round knocking on doors trying to find out who owned the bird. And we 'ventually found the owner, they were so happy that they got their bird back we got given a five pound note which in those days was a lot of money. So it was the first time that I felt God had answered a prayer. Because he had supplied us with some food and we'd, something to get on with. And as we got older I realised that prayer was very important it does actually mean something, and when I was fifteen I was due to go to college, and I met a girl there at college, who was a Christian, she introduced me to her church, and I realised that there was something in this, uhm, situation where you pray to have a Lord, that you pray to, and would answer, and I committed my life to the Lord Jesus Christ, and since then I have been a committed Christian. And he does answer prayer, and I can prove it because there have been so many incidents in my life where he has been there for me, and err. Yes that's my story.  

Thursday, 11 April 2013


my name's Ben I,
I'm gonna tell you a story about hope,
for seven years I ran a,
part-time business I was very bored.
and what I really wanted to be doing was composing music,
and so when I was nearly forty I decided to become a student again,
study music,
in order really to get a chance to just do it,
I'm hoping to finish my PHD and leave,
and proceed as before.
And that involves composing.
Music uuuhm.
In a digital studio in order to simulate.
Things that seem to be happening but couldn't be done.
Because I'm very interested in what happens when you....
Create the illusion of things happening,
and one of the ways in which we're doing that.
Aaa little team I've put together is a thing called Music You Can Walk Inside,
uhm and we use like a GPS or wireless tracking.
Um and we create the opportunity for people to.
Construct your own.
Of a piece of music according to how you move.
In a space.
And what I'm hoping to do.
My life's work.
The Construction of.
Portraits of places.
Situated there.
Entirely in sound.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Fang Zhou

Ahhhm. I come from China. And. I'm a teacher. Yeah. And. So. Actually I'm not sure I. What do you want? I'm visiting scholar. I'm very interesting in UK's culture. Err, although I, err, visiting law school, but I'm very interesting with a lot of things er, such as, errr, English culture especially errr ancient culture. So, err, you know. My major is protection of the traditional knowledge, this is my major, this is my research point. So I want to know err how English people to protect their ancient culture. Such as, you know, old songs, errr, old building, ah, how to protect that. Yes I'm very interesting in that. Um, you know, er, from, I think maybe errr. I, I haven't find the most favourite thing so far yes. For British maybe I interested in the tartan, from Scotland, tartan? Yeah. But I'm not idea about England. I haven't find uhm you know materials to research I just find you know yeah Scottish government to enforce some act to protect their, ancient, tartan design, and then uhm make the gesture to give the designers maybe give them, give them some prize. So if somebody, uh want to use their design, maybe they will pay. I think it's good, I think maybe Chinese can, can learn from it, I think, yeah.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013


Errm, I went here from Germany to Southampton it's, yeah, something, yeah, it's a story of hope I think because I am wanted to, err, work here in the lab, what I'm actually doing here now at the moment, I'm here for six weeks, and I wanted to learn some new methods and some new techniques here in the lab, just to, get some more experience, uhm, yeah, experience that I know how to work in the lab, 'cause I'm erm, studying in Germany, and I don't have much of a experience, ex-experience in the lab, I just sit in the lectures and I get more theoretical, I'm a bio-medical scientist. So in Germany it's called molecular medicine but you can compare it to biomedical sciences which you can study here. Yeah and that's why I came to Southampton doing for six weeks, here.

Monday, 8 April 2013


Loss. Right. Being small, primary school kids. Singing. Carols at the end of the year you go to high school. You. Get into a different values system and you start thinking, we don't sing any more. The first thing you do after exams are done, you go home. But at least. The year's still long then you go to uni. Where you have classes you have classes to attend you, but there's no-one forcing you to attend class. So you go. And what you've done. Since primary school that thing you enjoyed so much singing with your little classmates, it doesn't happen anymore. You started wondering what about it is, what about it is, at, at, at whatyoucall it at Uni, and then one day you sit back and you realise what it is, I've lost all of that, what happened, when have I become so...what's the word....sooo....when have I lost that sense of awe and that sense of fun being with others, singing Christmas carols. Now I'm here, I'm still happy I drink beer at least now, but. The point is. How have I lost that and how do I get that back.  

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Greg: Edinburgh

There's this amazing place down in Wales where an architect has created a, something like a hobbit house, which is quite, low and, looks like, amazing, stylish, made of err, the equivalent of 30 trees, but they're all sustainably grown,like, Cypress trees and, so they're quickly growing they're it's not like cutting down, it's literally cutting down like, erm, so it's not going to be a big impact on nature surrounding.. The cost to the people is like two thousand pounds and you, you basically substitute something like uhm, a mortgage for this option, costs you for an entire lifetime basically hundreds of thousands of pounds to buying a house, and, and it's quite DIY friendly (laughs) like you can make it yourself basically, if, erm, as soon as you erm, you know, have access to the land and then trees basically the Cypress trees then obviously don't go for oak trees or something like that, will save so much money and you can keep your animals there you, you can farm your land and create some, some sustainable life culture for, so it's quite, er, a great initiative that's been that comes from Wales basically, yeah so they live there already, they have a family, a small family like two three children, the husband and wife.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Flower Seller

A'right well...about eleven o'clock in the morning on my eighteenth we all woke up, went down the pub, drinking, carried on 'til about seven o'clock. And we all went out to Bromley, carried on in Bromley 'til about eleven started, taking a few, hard drugs. Smoked a joint. Next thing I know I wake up at five in the morning in hospital on the drip. Completely washed up. All needles going inside me. That happens though dunnit? Pretty much it.

Friday, 5 April 2013


Right, erm, my friend Laura, she's from Nottingham, and she loves that she's from Nottingham she's like Y'ALRIGHT BABES and, and I, I just, I moved here two years ago and now people don't know I'm American, and every time I talk to people they're kind of like, oh where are you from, like Ireland, Australia, I'm like, I'm actually American actually, so it's funny. I mean I can talk like THIS and everybody's like oh my god you're so American but you know, I don't talk like that any more, I don't like that voice, I like talking like I like to talk. And all my friends are like from the Midlands or like, Northern, so I have a weird twang like that. I really don't know why uhm, yeah. And like every time my parents or call my friends at home they're like, ohmygod you sound so British RAHRAHRAHRAH and I'm like, I don't think I do, I think I sound normal, I don't think I sound like anyone but me but. I guess I sound like, from like, Lancashire, I dunno. Errhm, my voice, I like my voice, that's kind of a weird thing to say.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

A Reading

Phil and Liz

Liz: When we were young, when we were married and we had two children, we belonged to religious cult. And one day we decided to leave. And so we didn't tell anybody at all. And we collected the children and we had an old VW bus, and we just left. And disappeared.

Phil: And errr we ran away thinking God would strike us down -

Liz: - because that's what they told us -

Phil: - the amazing thing was afterwards we found that God didn't exist, it didn't matter.

Liz: A..huhuh..after that we totally gave up religion. And we think the world would be a much better place without it.

Phil: That was the best thing we ever did in our life.

Liz: In Chesterfield.

Phil: In Chesterfield, in err. -

Liz: We were -

Phil: - in Derbyshire.

Liz: - 23.

Phil Yeah. We were born into it.

Liz: We grew up there.

Phil Lots of our family have never spoken to us since. And that was fortyyyyy....four years ago.

Liz: It's the best thing we ever did.

Phil: Yeah

Liz: And we've had a great life.

Liz: You see them, the ladies wear headscarves and they often wear denim. Quite long clothes.

Phil: Yeah. They claim to be Christians but if you disagree with them by a hair's breadth they will never speak to you again.

Liz: You're out.