I suffer from ‘only child syndrome’. This is a slightly blessed curse – I do need my own space and welcome the time I am by myself, but it is also the reason I think that, due to my playing by myself as a kid, my imagination grew so much. I don’t remember having an imaginary friend as such and this might explain why I am so comfortable with my own company and so independent. This is true of most people I know who were only children.
I did learn quite early to switch off though, block out certain noises; when it comes to watching a film I don’t enjoy going to the cinema and sharing the experience with other people, people who cough, fidget, eat, drink or use their phone constantly, all creating a distraction from the movie. A film should be a personal experience as the writer and director draw you into their world.
After Christmas with everyone here, which I loved, I must admit to enjoying those first few moments I suddenly found myself alone after they had left the other day. I feel terrible I feel like this – sometimes.
I often went on holiday with my parents just the three of us. On a number of occasions when I was about twelve or so I remember getting back out of bed, leaving whichever hotel we were staying in at the time and going to explore the city at night. In hindsight not a sensible thing to do and my parents would go mad when I proudly told them the next morning. One night I remember was in Lyon, a lovely but industrial city in France but I loved the atmosphere the small, old roads provoked, music blaring out of houses, people partying in the street cafes, drinking beer, wine or cognac. I have always loved France and the people, especially around Antibes.
Another night I remember was in Majorca. When we went there all those years ago there was only one hotel, Magaluf Park, and the road to the nearest small group of shops was basically a long, dirt road. Today that dirt road is lined with hotels and bars. That night I went back downstairs, to the disco. I started talking to the DJ who kindly put up with this annoying young Welsh kid. I think the reason he did was that I knew a lot of the music he was playing, the self titled, first Santana album for one, which he loved. Evil Ways is on that album – it showed me music is the best way to bring people together.
I always head for the DJ in clubs. When I was in Paris a few years later for a long weekend, we ended up, after a very drunken game of bowling, in a club called Madison Square Gardens, next to the Hilton. The DJ had just come back from working in Vegas and had brought back some great music and I spoke to him for ages before we headed for Rue St Denis, which in those days was open all night, the streets lined with bars and hookers. It was very much like Hollywood when I first went there aged eighteen, pimps and prostitutes lined up on every corner it seemed, and then they cleaned the area up, too much I think, they took away a part of what made it Hollywood. The same with Soho in London, it just seemed to lose something when that was also cleaned up. A shame really. Sometimes change is not always for the better.