Friday 27th November
Number 16 – Ground Floor flat, Hoe Street, Walthamstow – I decided to rent for a while, house prices were falling and no-one knew how far they would drop (not much further as it happened). Anyway, I just felt like downsizing and moved into this little flat. Two bedrooms, one full of CD singles and books and a few bits of furniture, a sitting room, kitchen and bathroom. I actually got rid of loads of stuff, including three or four boxes I had put up in the attic nineteen years earlier. As Michelle Shocked sings ‘Holding on to the past was my only mistake.’ Well, I lived here for eighteen months and had a great time. I wrote, or re-wrote ‘Catherines Story’ here late into the evening and listened to music all night.
Number 17 – Alfred Terrace, Walton-on-the-Naze. We used to come here some weekends when I was a kid and I always loved the place. It has an end-of-the-world sort of charm, a crumbling Victorian splendor combined with the natural beauty of the Naze and the backwaters. I chose the house with my then girlfriend who is now my wife and we spent most weekends here for at least four years. I still stay here on visits back to the U.K. It is full of CDs and books and most of my old furniture and a few new pieces bought in the second-hand shops of Walton.
Number 18 – Caledonian Wharf, Isle of Dogs. This is my wife’s house, but I lived here for over four years during the week while we worked in London. It is a lovely house and I enjoyed repainting it from top to bottom. There is a small lake at the bottom of the garden with ducks and moorhens and a lot of fish. We are only a few yards from the Thames and I loved walking the dogs here. Out of one window you can see the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf (you can almost smell the money), out of another the O2 Millenium Dome is visible and just down the road is Greenwich, with the Naval College and the Cutty Sark. A lovely part of London, and I enjoyed living here. But France was always calling…..