London Underground SignAh, I need to finish this chapter…. At Singapore airport I sat and quite literally cried in to a computer keyboard at an internet station as I wrote an email back home to my man.  I thought that leaving Justin was crazy.  My best friend in the world was back in Australia and I was about to embark on a very scary adventure alone. I was emotional and excited all at the same time.

I landed at London Heathrow and caught the ‘tube’ to Paddington station where I was met by the owner of the catering company that I would be working for.  She got the contracts to supply catering and we worked freelance for her… although our rates were all dictated by the company, we just took care of our own insurances and taxes.

I went to stay at her house just around the road from the catering company offices in Maida Vale and found myself sharing a room with a chef who had arrived to do some more touring work as well.  Another room was taken by a veteran roadie who was the one to teach me the ropes.  The house was a little like a hostel for tired out roadies… transient Aussies, Kiwis, South Africans and Scots who needed a bed either before or after jobs, alongside the owner of the business and her teenaged daughter.

My first job was at Wembley Arena – the old Wembley Arena, and not the stadium which you would think was more suited to such a huge act, catering for the crew of The Rolling Stones.  It was massively eye opening and I was the new girl who didn’t know anything about the ways of the road, and who seemed to constantly be in the way.  I had to learn… and fast!  Attitude are so different, how can they not in an insular, surreal world as this?

In the following two weeks I worked at the Royal Albert Hall on the MOBO (Music Of Black Origin) Awards and at The Rolling Stones at Twickenham where I was told I would be going on my first ever tour… with Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals.  I moved from pillar to post… floor to spare room to hotel room until I had nowhere to go and cried over the phone to Justin when I felt more lost than ever.  Eventually I remembered and called friends Jane and Peter who lived outside London who welcomed me with open arms.  Their place in Northwood became our base for the 4.5 years to follow.




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