Take a stroll down Kensington High Street. That street represents a lot.
At one end, there are the embassies and the ghost of a former me is there, making small-talk with Polish Counts and Mongolian diplomats.
At the other end of Kensington High Street, there is a bench in Holland Park on which I sat with the Throwaway People, the rough sleepers who would supply me with my breakfast – a can of gut rot “cider”. I was one of them, but I wore my designer jacket from the Embassy days as an invisibility cloak that would conceal that reality from the world and more importantly, from myself.
One of them had a pet rat called Boris which I assumed must be after Pasternak. I sat on the bench with my can of cider at 8am, with a rat up my sleeve but all was well as I was wearing my Escada jacket and I had read Pasternak in Russian. I could not be the same as these haunted, hungry men could I?
This is my story. How I got there, what that was like, and what has happened since. Some is tragic, some is tragi comedy, some hard to read, some, I hope, uplifting.
Welcome to my blog.