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The Human Touch Blog ~
David Farrant

New Book Extract

Its been a very quiet day and weather-wise, quite a pleasant one.

Received some posters for one of my forthcoming Talks: they look quite good actually.  I might go into that more next time though at the moment, I really trying to get some more writing work done, and can’t spare much time for a Blog.

I saw K earlier a little earlier and we discussed quite a few things.  She said I should put up just one more extract from my next book as people must be ‘getting bored’ with hearing about the building work.  She is aware that many people keep asking about the books; especially the new autobiography following the previous extracts when I described running away from school. I asked her to select something (she has read most of it) and she said I should really mention something about Alison, but I said definitely not – at least, not yet. She sympathised as she realises this is a ‘touchy subject’, but then suggested something leading on from the early days. So I selected this (which she agreed with). It is from the chapter when I describe getting expelled from the private school in Weymouth for refusing to get my hair cut.

I refer to coming back to London, then traveling through France and Italy to Taramina in Sicily when I was coming up to sixteen.  I met a French girl while I was working in a ‘club’ in Marseilles for a short time.  I had not come into my inheritance then (mainly due to my father’s displeasure at having been expelled from school before taking the exams) so was forced to work in ‘place to place’ to keep going. Well, here is the brief extract.  Make the most of it ‘cause you ain’t getting anymore (K’s ‘orders).


My room was extremely small.  But it had a comfortable bed and running water, so at least I didn’t have to be totally reliant on the sea. Nicola had a larger double room on the top floor, and on her ‘nights off’ she often invited me up for some wine or Anton’s coffee.  On occasions like these we would sit and talk for hours, and she became more and more honest with me about her ‘night life’ in the restaurant.  She said she was expected to entertain a few regular customers in her room, but she always kept to her principles of doing the very minimum to please, or the limitations of what she was prepared to do. I appreciated her honesty; but she must have known that I had guessed anyway, only living on the floor below. We spoke of many other things apart from that, and she told me of the real reason why she had left her parents; or rather why they had almost given her some ultimatum to leave.

She said her parents had accused her of seducing their neighbours’ son after his parents had complained about it.  She had refused to make a promise to her parents not to see him again or go out with any more dates with him.  This had escalated into some family row, so she had finally ‘put her foot down’ and left.  She said that she really liked him but he had fallen madly in love with her, which had also increased the problem.  She was not about to be told to do anything, she emphasised; her life was her own and she was just going to live it how she intended – even if this meant giving up life at home.

I think Nicola sensed I was a bit naive to this revelation; but she also must have known I was understanding, and held her in no condemnation. In fact, I really didn’t.  If anything, I could only sympathise with the boy for falling in love with a girl so honest and matter-of-fact.  She certainly seemed to understand life, while I was only just beginning.

One night Nicola asked me up to her room, and I immediately sensed something was ‘different’.  She was wearing an almost transparent nightdress (at least, when she crossed the room in the light), and she began to get onto the subject of sex; rather my own personal experiences.

I told her that I had never gone the ‘full way’ before, although had met quite a few girls the year before (in Weymouth mostly) when ‘snogging sessions’ had taken place, during which I might have run my hands up a girl’s leg or undone her bra. She laughed; not nastily, but sympathetically, and told me I was sleeping in her bed that night.  She explained she just wanted to sleep with her arms around me, and I didn’t have to ‘do anything’ if I didn’t want to.

I was genuinely a little scared, but I had never refused a challenge – even one like that at that young age – so an hour or so later found us cuddled up together in bed.  Our naked forms soon came together, and I remember thinking how easy it all really was.  It just all came naturally.  There were no lessons even though she was supposed to be the ‘teacher’; in fact, I think she was pleasantly surprised!  I did no more than follow natural instincts, and it worked perfectly, just as nature had certainly intended. Years later I remember thinking that although my first real sexual experience had been with a young prostitute, it had been with a person who had also been a mutual friend – and a beautiful and humane one at that!

Well, another glass of wine and back to work now!

For now,


5 responses

  1. Hi, David:
    I really liked your last line here and agree wholeheartedly. It goes to show that – despite the judgmental nature of many people (although I suppose we are all judgmental in one form or another) – there is often more than meets the eye to the people we encounter in our journey through life (as cliche as it may sound). Many times those who are ‘outcasted’ by society have the most to offer and share; this is my long-standing belief, anyway.
    Thank you for sharing this piece of work with us.
    Take Care,

  2. i’ve gotta say david, i admire ur honesty when it comes to talking about such deep private matters.
    i know other people will jump on it and put their own spin on it, but at least u have the balls to be so open and honest.
    more power to you mate.

  3. Thanks Adam,
    I originally released my autobiography as two books “Shadows in the Night” and “Dark Secrets” in 2001. I re-typed them from a long manuscript I had written clandestinley in prison in 1974/5. But I wrote the books ‘out of sequence’ really just taking parts of the manuscript really as I ‘went along’. Although taken directly from the original manuscript, I realised afterwards (with the help of people reminding me!) the the whole thing did not go from beginning to end in consise order.
    So about a year ago – maybe a year and a half now – I decided to put the two books together as one consecutive book.
    It turned out to be one ‘hell of a job’, not so much with having to re-write anything but to take large parts of eah book and put them in order.
    But it did not stop here: it was then suggested to me that I go into far more detail about some things – especially the early days. Luckily, I still preserved some other manuscripts and diaries that I’d written up in 1971/2, so all the basic facts were there but needed re-writing.
    So, it really has been one of the most difficult books I’ve written for this reason. ‘Difficult’ is perhaps not the right word, but it has certainly been the book which has taken the most amount of work.
    Still, its nearly finished now and I hope to release it this year.
    I would not really say I have been ‘outcast’ by Society (if you meant me!) but I am certainly outside of it!
    Thanks Adam,

  4. Thanks for that as well Craig,
    I think the most important thing is (for me anyway), is that when I decided to write autobiographical stuff, was to write everything as it happened, and not to change it.
    By that I mean, I realised that the whole of life is a ‘learning process’ and peoples’ attitudes may change over the years. For example, you might look back at a particular event in your life (not you personally, I am speaking generally) and feel ‘I wish that never happened’ or ‘I feel differently about that now’.
    But I decided not to let my current interpretation of life or events to interfere with past impressions towards things as they actually happened.
    I felt that to do otherwise would to somehow be ‘cheating’, so I wrote events up as I had orriginally written them up at the time.
    Where I might have been ‘wrong’, I have freely admitted so in the present, but I have described events as I felt at the time. That is another reason I found the books so difficult to write.
    I have held back on the part about Alison as that is perhaps the most difficult part to write – or rather describe in more detail. That is the part which perhaps hurts most of all.
    Anyway, thanks for your observations. They are appreciated!
    For the moment,

  5. Hi, David:
    *Laughs* No, I actually didn’t mean you (although I myself also know all too well what it is like to be ‘outside of society’!). I was referring to how someone in Nicola’s position often have negative judgment passed upon them by so many people. Yet, she sounds like a special person who played a very important role in your life.
    Merging the two books along with other manuscripts and diaries into one autobiography certainly does sound like quite a task. But it appears you have led quite a life and I’m sure you’ll do very well with the new project, as many people will no doubt be interested in reading about your journeys and experiences.

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1946 - 2019




From the vaults ...

A flashback to one of David’s comedic, profound or quizzical blog entries. Dive into the archives to find more gems.