Ever since my encounter with the French freemason, Yohan, and his Irish wife, Susan, in 2010, more and more things have come to light revealing a French connection running through my life.
Two of my childhood friends, who both lived in the same area I grew up, had French surnames - Vallance and Jarvis. Interestingly, Jarvis has its origins in the name Gervais as in Ricky Gervais, and Jarvis also has Irish connections as some of the Jarvis family moved to Ireland apparently. Yohan is a form of the name John and one of these childhood friends was called John.
I lost contact with these friends by the time we all moved to High School as we went to different ones. The next French encounter I can recall was when I was 13 and went on a school trip to Italy. The teacher who took us was mainly a French teacher who also taught Italian. He was accompanied by a young French student teacher and I always remember this incident when we were all sitting in the lobby of the hotel in Sorrento one morning and she was next to me and stroked my head and then commented on my hair being so soft! Incidentally, in my early 20s, working as a temp at an insurance company my older supervisor did a similar thing, touching my hair and asking if I'd had a haircut. Whilst in Bologna, Italy in 2012 sat outside a table eating a meal, some guy approached selling those stupid head massager things and placed one on my head without asking, to which I reacted angrily.
What prompted me to write this post was seeing a recent tweet from Ian Brown where he linked to an early solo performance of "My Star" and "Corpses In Their Mouths" on French tv from 1998. Reading down the comments I saw one saying that this performance was just before his arrest on the flight back to Britain for apparently threatening an air stewardess. I knew about the incident but wasn't aware it had happened as he was leaving France.
1998 was indeed an interesting year in this French connection. France hosted and won the World Cup (some say after cheating!), Robert De Niro was caught up in a French prostitution ring and now I discover Ian Brown's prison sentence came on the back of a trip to France. For me interesting things happened that year. Music had just emerged strongly in my life, I'd been messing about the previous year, learning guitar, writing little pieces of music and in the summer of 1998, as the World Cup in France was on, I got my first 4-track cassette portastudio. Around this time, my pub/club drinking days, a friend of mine who was really into The Stone Roses and so excited about Ian Brown's new solo career kept telling me on nights out I was Ian Brown! At that time I was more into Oasis and so Liam Gallagher was more significant to me and so I was puzzled by this Ian Brown comparison as I barely knew anything about him. It wasn't until my mid-20s that I got more into Ian Brown.
Given my experiences with the French freemason, Yohan, in 2010 its interesting to discover a French connection to Ian Brown's prison experience. My encounter with the French freemason and his Irish wife was deeply unpleasant. One of the nastiest experiences of my life coming into contact with those two because of the things which unravelled out of it. First there was his passive-aggressive threatening tone in emails he sent to me in 2010, including a warning that I should "take care of my girlfriend or else find a new one"... that girlfriend, Kate, died in 2014. Then when I tried to get answers from them in 2015 they wouldn't say a thing other than to lie, manipulate and play all sorts of mind games online until I eventually had to walk away. All sorts of weirdness continued to carry on in my life after that point and although I have attempted many times to move on from it all, new information continues to emerge and brings it back to attention.