1978, Aged 16, Walthamstow college
SIXTEEN YEARS young and fresh out of school. God it felt good to be alive. Pimple they called me. Das college was a bustling affair with many distractions. But to be honest the worst thing I ever tried was a Snickers Bar. No, my real passion happened one evening as I watched The Terminator for the first time. Seeing that hunk of Austrian might on the screen, I knew just what I wanted to be—BIG!
[I was to meet my Austrian hero, Arnold, many years later at a party. There beneath the massive photograph of Pope Ratzinger he stood, his friendly features relaxed in a welcoming smile.
I will never forget what he said to me that day.
The party was good and I also met some other inspirational folk that night. Christopher Plummer, Gerhard Schroder, Mel Gibson—they were all out. It turned into a bit of a drunk and raucous affair and so I ended up bunking over at Noel Edmonds’ house who I was to badly fall out with years later—but that’s another story.]
Girls came to me quite late. But that year I did have a minor fling with Sally Jenkins. She was the sister of Tubby Jenkins, the school bully – 15 stones of pure meat, an arse like a car fender, boobs like pink waterbombs. Bosh!
She treated me like a turd. One day we were up in her room kissing and all I could think of was the Second World War exhibition in Farnham which I was missing. In the throes of passion I mumbled out “die Ruhr was not a pincer move”. Unfortunately she heard me. Next thing I knew I was being locked inside the cupboard, an experience which repeated itself later in life. Women!