Thursday, 24 March 2016
I recently posted Amy Winehouse's 'Hey little rich girl', one line of which says 'you left for London when you were nineteen'.
I did exactly the same!
For my first few months working in London I commuted from the south coast, which added about four hours to my working day. Every two weeks, when The Stock Exchange did lengthy accounting, it was even worse; I would often get home after midnight, then had to be up again early in order to be back in the office by 9 am. I knew people who'd done this for years, but it wasn't for me.
One office lunchtime I looked at a small bed-sit flat in Bayswater's Inverness Terrace, and took it.
Having been a schoolboy not long previously, it suddenly seemed perfectly normal to be earning money, renting my own pad in W2, and strutting around London in pinstripes and bowler. I had organised everything entirely alone, and took it all in my stride. OK, my older sister was working in Knightsbridge, but we hardly ever met.
Looking back on those days, nothing seemed unattainable. It seemed that anything I thought 'do-able'; was. I never thought that anything could ever go wrong; and it didn't.
I'll give an example. Later when I was antique dealing, my notorious partner Justin De Villeneuve suddenly said that we needed to go to Somerset (?), to a sale. We rushed off to Stockwell, bought a ridiculously cheap car, drove down, went to the sale, bought what we wanted, drove back, dumped the car, sold the purchased item, then divided the profits over a couple of pints. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary; it had been just another day.
Those days now seem a very long way off. No doubt age has mellowed me, both mentally and physically, and a quieter more sedate life is in order. But how wonderful things were when one simply threw caution to the winds, and did crazy things at the drop of a hat. Oh how I loved those days; but I wouldn't want them back.