So I finally had the opportunity to come and visit the old site of The Arches...
I just stood in what would have been the entrance to the club, instantly transported back to memories of the click, the till, the queues, the lists, the bouncers, the amazing characters full of beans and dressed like rainbows..
Now I'm sitting with a huge spicy bowl of vegan ramen, at a long wooden table on an especially constructed platform high above what would have been the big bar... where crew tea and coffee was served from the cloakroom while we transformed the place into our world for the night, and danced until dawn.
I remember radios and yellow jackets (and arguing with Arif who swore they were green!), the big silver trunks, inventories, red books, derigs, cable ties, gaffe tape, crew briefs...
Dancing, playing, connecting, breaking down barriers, losing inhibitions, being ourselves and feeling comfortable... living an ordinary life, in an extraordinary way. All inspired by the great tragedy that was losing my mum to the crueliest mental state of them all... loss of hope. Wanting to channel my grief into something positive that might be of help to people.
I could never have foreseen how it would grow into parties hosting around 800 people, hosting parties at the Scala in Kings Cross, building up Planet Angel *Chilled* into a wonderful family event that enabled me to nurture my blossoming love of children and childhood.
Out of them all though over the 12 years, the event I am most proud of was our New Years eve cruise on the river thames when we were lucky enough to moor up opposite the London eye and watch the midnight fireworks all with a toilet and fully stocked bar to hand! Seriously good.
I am remembering the years over which a huge number of relationships were made and continue to grow and develop... ripening with time and experience. Wonderfully diverse people, treasured friendships, and most importantly my super special husband.
It's taken far too long - 10 years - for me to be able to look back with pride, honor and gratitude. Thanks everyone who's been a part of this unusual and incredible journey <3