Damien on… My Past, Present And Future
I have deliberately PRE-DATED this piece – thus keeping it at the BOTTOM of the column – to preserve it as a public, yet (to some degree) “concealed” record. It was ACTUALLY written on the 12th of December, 2011 and will be updated from time to time.
Consider it to be a declaration of my “achievements” thus far…
I have had an interesting life to date. Here, in no particular order, are some of the highlights…
I have made love with over one hundred women – and dallied with a couple of men. Their ages ranged from good-morning-judge to pass-the-formaldehyde and they hailed from every continent on the planet – except North America and Antarctica. The quantity, quality and variety of my sex-life would have made Casanova wet himself.
I have traveled all over Britain, Europe and the Far East (the New World has managed to EVADE my voyages of discovery – and now, will probably continue to do so).
I have been to the top of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Funkturm Berlin, the GPO Tower (as it was then) and the Eiffel Tower – I like to get high.
I have driven around the F1 circuit at Monte Carlo (the wrong way) through the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, from Marseilles to Pisa on the Old Road – and along the narrow, precipitous coastal route in the Scottish Highlands.
I have driven every kind of vehicle, from scooters to trucks, in every kind of weather, under every kind of road conditions – including OFF-road.
I have driven a Suzuki Caribbean over “Samui Everest”.
I have driven boats and jet-skis.
I have handbrake-turned a TRUCK on a wet afternoon, in Croydon High Street.
I have exceeded all of Britain’s speed limits by at LEAST forty miles per hour.
I have escaped police pursuit TWICE – by out-driving them.
I have scuba-dived sixty feet below Phi-Phi Island (where they filmed “The Beach”).
I have para-glided (without being dragged along the beach on my arse).
I have bested a number of Thai bar-girls at Jenga (they always slaughtered me at all the other bar games).
I have flown in many aircraft – from a Bell JetRanger III to a Boeing 747-400.
I have ridden on the footplate of a steam locomotive.
I have ridden the Wiener Riesenrad (Vienna’s Giant Wheel – as featured in “The Third Man”).
I have experienced The Big One in Blackpool, The Rotor and The Water Chute at Battersea (now long gone) and The Big Dipper at Felixstowe (likewise).
I have walked unhurt from a fatal train wreck – six others did NOT.
I have met many celebrities – Johnny Ray, Kenneth More, Frankie Howerd and Henry Cooper – to name but a few.
I have met and seen the World’s finest musicians – Buddy Rich, Jimmy Smith, Tony Lee, Chai and many others – play live. I once lit a cigarette for Buddy.
I have collected and played most of the finest music, comedy and drama ever created.
I have seen most of the very best that TV has had to offer.
I have seen pretty much all of the finest movies ever made – a number in 70mm, a few in Imax and several in 3D.
I have MET and conversed with Luke Skywalker – and stood on a live “Star Wars” set (from “The Empire Strikes Back”) at Elstree, in ’79.
I have seen “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” in Cinerama.
I have seen the uncut Russian version of “War And Peace” – all seven hours, eleven minutes of it.
I have seen “It’s A Hard Day’s Night” in a packed cinema – in 1964. Even with the sound cranked up to full, I barely HEARD it. So I watched the screaming girls instead – magnificent.
I have done ALL of “Futurascope”, in Poitiers, France – in one day.
I have visited Radio Caroline (when it was a SHIP).
I have gotten laughs out of a Whitehall Theatre audience.
I have used the “f” word on national network TV (in the ’90s – not being live, it was THEIR choice to Tx it).
I have done ten minutes at an “open mike” night (I didn’t kill – but I didn’t die on my arse either).
I have read all of the fictional works of Ian Fleming, Arthur Hailey, Donald E. Westlake, Leslie Charteris and Enid Blyton (including the now-banned ones).
I have read a full set of encyclopædias (a damn waste of TIME – we have WIKI, now).
I have swum, alone and naked, across a Scottish Loch at six o’ clock in the morning. And I have seen the Sun rise through the mist over it.
I have communed with stags.
I have been spelunking – caving, to you.
I have seen the Sun rise on a New Millennium, seated beneath a palm tree on the beach – with someone I loved.
I have seen a solar eclipse, several lunar eclipses, a quadruple rainbow and witnessed a shooting star silently explode.
I have bottle-fed a baby tiger.
I have handled (in alphabetical order) bats, baby hedgehogs (they are not so prickly) birds, geckos, snails, snakes and squirrels – only earwigs, termites and cockroaches gross me out.
I have seen a baby gecko battle a giant moth (the moth got away).
I have eaten everything from (French) snails to (Scottish) venison-burgers.
I have held my breath underwater for over three minutes, without first hyper-ventilating (and if you think that’s easy – try it).
I have danced all night to Trance, on a dancers’ ledge, high above the dance-floor on the opening night of a disco (my being forty-eight at the time – the manager gave me a free t-shirt, for my efforts).
I have attended many Full Moon Parties.
I have tried my hand at most trades – including driving, sales, servicing and promotion.
I worked for six months as a DJ.
I have passed the entry exam for Mensa and was an active member for nearly a decade.
I have nailed a Mensan.
I have fallen in love several times – and am in love right NOW.
I have married three times (it took me three goes to get it RIGHT) and produced a son – who is a damn good chap.
I have had many wonderful friends. Although since I retired to the Orient – most are on the other end of THIS medium.
I have thus far written and posted (onto this column and two more) over a thousand of these monographs – some rewritten from my Mensa days – plus a book and several short stories. To date, they have received over two hundred thousand hits – these days, around three thousand a month.
I have uploaded nearly two thousand audio-visual pieces onto Vimeo, Metacafe, Dailymotion and (inevitably mostly) YouTube. And so far, they have received over TWO HUNDRED MILLION HITS.
They currently glean over a hundred thousand hits a DAY – better than one a second. And they could well pass the (American) BILLION mark before I clock out.
I have a Twitter following of… 56. You can’t win ’em all.
I have made a “movie” of my life. Only a hundred-odd people have ever seen it in its entirety – but the best snippets exist as a channel, among my YouTube uploads (twenty-five thousand hits, to date).
I have also restored all of my best pictures and posted them as photosets on another channel (twenty-five hundred – see the link at the bottom of this piece).
My life has been quite a ride and all in all, the quantity of debris left in my wake appears to have been small. While some might have had reason to regret my existence, I humbly believe most were left richer for having known me.
I have been lucky. Nothing has come easily to me in this life – but my labours have borne fruit.
Fourteen years ago, I managed to ESCAPE the cold, wet, miserable, overpriced drudgery that is Britain today – and retired to Thailand.
And after fifteen years of active searching, I finally found a woman I love – who also loves ME. And after fifteen years, it still all works.
And by a series of happenstances, during the last ten years I have become the carer of a Manx cat (ironic, given I hail from Britain and encountered her in old Siam) a ginger tom cat and a tiny female ginger kitten. Plus four dogs; a male Aussiedoodle, a female Siberian Husky and two male Doberman puppies (Doberboys?)
I love them too; when it comes to stray animals, you may not be able to change the World – but you CAN change THEIRS. Given the lack of care of animals in S.E. Asia, they are The Lucky Seven.
All told, these eight creatures are the most important things in my life – by a country mile.
We all live in and around a split-level, detached bungalow. It has large, high-ceiled rooms and boasts a veranda, an L-shaped living room, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a carport (I drive a classic, top-of-the-range Mitsu) and a patio with my sauna.
Being an “end house” my garden is large: with three trees, several bushes, some banana plants – and a variety of birds, squirrels and assorted small creatures, which I feed daily.
The living room of “Domicillus” (I made the house-sign at school) contains my Rock-Ola jukebox, my “cinema system” (a 48″ LCD with a 250W 6-channel audio system) a rowing machine I may start USING one day – and a huge sectional sofa.
The main bedroom has my prime telly – a 50″, with a 70W 2-channel audio system (but with BIG, EFFICIENT speakers) and a complete A/V record/playback system which I have built up, over the years.
I have always preferred to enjoy all entertainment – on my BED.
THIS bedroom is my DEN – in addition to this computer, it houses my collection of more than five thousand two hundred records, tapes and disks. These in turn contain the very best of human artistic excellence from the last one hundred and twenty-two years.
For a while, I was worried what would happen to it all after I pegged out – but YouTube gave me the chance to share it with the World.
So as long as their cleaner does not pull the plug out of the main-frame to plug their Hoover in – it will endure after I have left This Place. Likewise, these scribblings on WordPress.
During my early years in this country, I Lived Life On The Edge. But now I am content to relax here, absorbing – and occasionally even dispensing – knowledge, experience and artistic creativity.
I am now approaching sixty (sadly, from the wrong direction) – thus on paper, have entered the Final Quarter of my life.
My Mum and Dad lived their allotted span, had a happy life and passed peacefully. I hope to do likewise – but not just yet.
However, as Mr John Winston Lennon once commented, “Life is what happens to you, while you’re making other plans.”
The fact is, no-one can predict the future. Even men of insight and knowledge get it wrong. Arthur C.Clarke and Stanley Kubrick got a lot right in their opus, “2001: A Space Odyssey” – multi-channel TV, business suits, etc.
But they had no way of foreseeing the troubles which would befall Pan Am – or the slowdown in space exploration that would occur, once the POLITICAL goal of reaching the Moon had been achieved.
And sometimes shit just happens. Some people have GOOD lives thanks to their own imagination, foresight and intelligence – while others prosper due to sheer, dumb luck.
Likewise, some people have BAD lives caused by their wrong choices, short-sightedness and stupidity – while again, others are simply dragged down by the perfidy of fate.
And this last is my main fear. It can all be taken away so quickly – and often, from an unexpected quarter.
However, a life spent in dread of the unknown is a life wasted. And having busted my arse creating this little piece of Heaven, I am not about to piss it away by succumbing to paranoia.
I will deal with life as it comes – and try to foresee and circumvent disaster as best I am able.
And that is really IT. The above is not intended to be boastful or smug. Simply a record of my existence so far, in this place – recorded on a medium which SHOULD survive.
My uploads into this medium should endure also. If not, at least no-one can take away from me the two hundred million-plus people I have touched – however ethereally – to date (not including that TV audience).
Above, I said “see below” regarding my photosets. Well, here it is – for those few who have stumbled upon this piece and stayed WITH it this far – a nosegay of moments from my life.
There is more on the same channel – but the core piece is THIS. If your connection is fast enough, you can view it in 1080 hi-def, full-screen. Enjoy…