Born at a young age in 1959 I spent my childhood in Scotland as a Paisley Buddy, moving to London at the age of 10 as this er, robust, looking child. However, I have lived most of my adult life in New Cross in South East London, where my matrilineal line have camped out since at least 1800.
I am proud member of the thriving and creative community of Telegraph Hill, ‘twixt New Cross, Nunhead and Brockley. Actually if it wasn’t tall, as hills tend to be, no one would be sure where it is at all.
Ironically, this is the same hill where I went to Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham Boys’ School back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The title of which taught me how to use an apostrophe if not much else. It appears that at 17 I was Davy Jones from The Monkees.
I first got a thirst for performance as part of the Boys Chorus at Sadlers Wells Opera company (now the English National Opera) for three years in Carmen, Gloriana and Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci. A heady introduction for a lad from New Cross.
A year at Uni followed, at which I seemed to spend most of my time acting, That time ended after a troubled weekend with my putting my key and a note through the office door with the carefully considered explanation, “Goodbye. I am leaving. Ian”
I was young.
After a 30 year career that spanned welfare rights advice, community press, libraries, Open learning, training, community work, occupational therapy, sheltered housing, extra care housing, business analysis, project management, records management and IT, I had a heart attack in 2015.
Well you would wouldn’t you?
It seemed like a good time for a new direction.
I’d resumed writing and acting in 2012 after a different near death incident. There were no bright lights or tunnels involved, but I did, after recovering, become briefly obsessed with dancing around my living room to Melina Mercouri singing ‘Ta pedia tou Pirea’.
I think I took it well at the time…
There’s nothing like giving death a good kicking to make you revisit the passions of your youth. I suspect the video I made for my friends at the time, still with a croaky voice from life support tubes, may have intimated that.
Although it didn’t improve my guitar playing.
I don’t have a partner, children, nieces, nephews or cats. My houseplants don’t do too well either.