“Did you see the Bears game last night?”

Me and my friend DC in Berkeley, California on the NYC World Tour 1992

It’s 1992, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain are about five weeks into an eight week world tour and we’ve just arrived in Brisbane, on Australia’s east coast.

For most of the tour—don’t ask what happened in Sydney—we were relying on home-stay accommodation with local choirs and churches, mostly. The drill was the same whenever we rolled into a new city: drop off at a church or school, meet our hosts and then head back to theirs to settle in.

My best mate Danny and I were billeted together for the entire tour, so off we headed to our new host’s house in the outskirts of Brisbane.

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Welsh party

Lena Fox House, Crimscott Street, Bermondsey in London

Between 1995 and 1997 I lived and worked in central London in three homeless hostels run by the Shaftesbury Society. I spent the longest time at Lena Fox House (LFH) on Crimscott Street in Bermondsey and not long after we opened I worked alongside a lovely Welshman called Dave Smith.

We didn’t work long together but our friendship and trust went deep quickly and his is a friendship that I still value today. Two memories stick in my mind about Dave.

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