Now I’m a Hull lass and very proud of it. In America, due my English / Indian roots and heritage I’m deemed somewhat exotic.
Ha!! Sorry as I read this back I have to have a little chuckle. I know for a fact my friends and family who know me well and are reading this will be cracking up knowing I’m far from an English rose; exotically erotically – maybe, but I can drink, swear and scrap with the rest of them.
Luckily I take to situations like a chameleon and adapt when needed to. I’ve learnt which forks are for the starter and not the main (although I have quietly asked for a spoon for my miso soup in an extravagant Japanese restaurant to find my best friend sniggering and nipping at my leg – made all the worse as we were at a table of high end movers, shakers and A-list celebrities). London’s a great educator – it moulds and teaches you – you learn in London; you pick these things up. You might think these things are nada, but in some social situations they’re a must to know. One misstep can ruin your reputation.
Us northerners are strong and like to say it bluntly and how it is. The men in my family and particularly in the North DO NOT CRY. You’d get a good swift kicking for even wearing a pink shirt, so be warned if you ever do visit my home city then I advise you poor unsuspecting souls don’t wear pink or salmon. You’ll find it’s a colour that’s likely to confuse.
Hull is a place where barber’s shops and kebab houses still to this very day proudly display in their window’s ‘NO WHITES ALLOWED!’ From what I’ve heard them windows don’t make it through the night, and I also heard on the grape vine friends of my younger relatives help make that happen.
What was once a thriving export and import docklands dealing in fruit, vegetables & flowers, has now become nothing a decaying land that time has forgotten. Hull back in the day was a place for hard working men and middle class families to live a solid life and have their own successful businesses; just like my uncles and my grandfather did (God rest his soul).
Today, due yet again to the government, the hardworking people of Humberside are jobless and it is no longer the landmark it once used to be. Two years ago Hull was voted the worst place to live in Britain but strangely has now received an award for the city of culture. I hope this means that at last people are taking notice again because this thriving university town needs good people to believe in it and give it back its life and soul.
Hah. Ok, so you’ve probably noticed I do like to go off into story land and this one is for all you British ladies and gents who love a good sitcom:
The best sitcom ever made, still to this day is ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES.
Who remembers the genius episode ‘To Hull and Back’?
Well, here’s a little story, taking place in the mid 80’s, where shoulder pads were in, Back To The Future and the Goonies hit the big screen and David Bowie’s ‘Serious Moonlight Tour’ was one of the longest, largest and most successful tours to hit the stage. Oh, and my father, known then as ‘Big Dave Brock’ had hair. My father was and is still, a 6ft 3inch strapping, 18 stone’s worth of muscle and mass and at that time was one of the hardest bouncers Hull had around. He was given the fine job of being Nicholas Lyndhurst’s (Rodney, you plonker!) personal security whilst he visited some of the more volatile nightclubs in town and filmed the episode ‘To Hull and Back’. My father has been stabbed, hit with bricks and taken out by a metal pole. He’s never stayed down long and as for the men or woman (we are talking the North here) who did it, well, I don’t think they got back up at all. Not in a fit state anyway.
Now I hope you enjoyed knowing that bit of family history as I get back to me saying my goodbyes.
The other thing my father did was work away as an engineer on the oil rigs which eventually led to him living comfortably in Thailand with his wife where he runs a successful lady boy bar business. This means that I’m used to irregular visits and seeing him once or twice a year. I’ve overcome many difficult things over the years but saying goodbye to my family and friends is by far the most difficult of the lot.
Fast forward to Mother’s Day and there I am kissing and holding my beautiful mother tightly at Brighton train station knowing fine well this is the last time I’ll be seeing her for what will be a very long time; the tears we both cried. I walked away from her unable even to turn around and look back as my heart sank. The only thing that made it bearable was knowing that the day before we’d both gotten dressed up to the nines and I’d taken her for a Mother’s Day surprise to The Salt Rooms in Brighton (the sister restaurant to the ‘The Coal Shed’ which has always been my favourite restaurant). We reminisced whilst overlooking the sea, drank champagne and ate some of the best fresh seafood and steak I’ve ever had in Brighton.
It was missing my family that made me decide to surprise them, especially as it was my cousin’s birthday. So I packed my bag, booked a train and headed homeward bound to Hull. I produced a plastic cup and opened my French Bordeaux 2011, and felt like Bukowski as I pulled out my Macbook air and continued writing my script for LA. (Bukowski is more swigging from a whiskey bottle, writing his profound poetry upon a napkin whilst hurling abuse at anyone who catches his eye. He still is to this day one of my favourite writers).
It was at Doncaster for the changeover train when the moment hit me. Everyone around me was Northern, and as Northern as they come. A warm nostalgic feeling rose up in me as the accents made me feel so comfortable and warm inside. I smiled. As the train continued its journey through the North we passed the Humber bridge which is the spitting image of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and for a little bit of history for you ladies and gents the the bridge itself was opened on the 24 June 1981 by Queen Elizabeth II herself.
A drunk woman next to me (named Leslie) was slowly descending into unconsciousness and starting to slip into the train aisle face down by my side, but it didn’t faze me as I looked out upon the rays of sun as they glistened on the waters of the Humberside. I remembered the excitement me and my little brother used to always have when we drove over it as children. The conductor was joking with all the travellers and the driver made hilarious quips and this immediately reminded me of why I am so down to earth and friendly. I’m a Northern girl and I was coming home! My little grandma, our Kathleen with her cute blonde bob and strong Bristolian accent and my auntie Mandy, who now thankfully changed the Skoda for a more family friendly reliable ride were both waiting to pick me. I couldn’t have been happier at that moment. Nothing mattered but them. As you can imagine all my family turned up to say their goodbyes and we all danced the night away, singing loudly, drinking Tia Maria, Stella, and neat whiskey till the early hours of the morning. Eventually everyone departed or passed out. I found myself waking up underneath the dining room table with a pounding hangover a couple of co-codomols all ready and a proper builder’s tea waiting for me (milk and two sugars).
After kissing them all goodbye and taking my final long hugs I jumped back onto my train and was gone as quick as I came. Thank the lord for such a warm, caring, funny and salt of the earth family whom I will miss terribly and who I wouldn’t be me without.
My next stop was my brothers on route back home in the good ole village of Nothallerton in North Yorkshire where we practically grew up. Oh, yes, I’m a country girl at heart through and through. We had horses, chickens, geese even donkeys but that tale’s for another time. I’m visiting them all this weekend for Easter but I couldn’t resist popping in to see the cuteness of my nieces and get a big squeeze from not so little 6ft 4inch baby brother. To me he’ll always be my baby and this weekend when I go say my final farewells I am going to a blubbering mess.
Note to self, bring my Maybelline New York Great Lash Waterproof Mascara.
My nieces each drew me a picture to take away and a thought crossed my mind. How about I get them tattooed so I can always look down and have them with me. No matter where I am in the world I’ll always have them there. So I called my best friend and got her to also get my god-sons Frank and Spike to draw me something un- known to them what I was going to do. I booked myself in with my friend and exceptional tattoo artist Ollie Pinder who works for Magnum Opus in Brighton and we did it the next day.
Tattooing and body art is a big part of my self-expression and of who I am, where I’ve been, mistakes I’ve made, loves I’ve found and friendships that I couldn’t be without in my life. This is who I am. So, this week I’m also visiting my oldest friend and first tattoo artist Lesley Chang of Shangri-la tattoo parlour in Hackney who did the beautiful dragon down my side which caused the controversy through my model agency. She is one of the top artists in the world and one of the top birds I’ve ever had the privilege to meet. We’re finishing my princess of nine tails Geisha, which you can see in the picture and also which we started 2 years ago. I can’t wait for our catch up and hard-core 5 hour non-stop session so I can proudly wear it in LA.
I also had a very important and successful meeting with a gentleman I’ve done some TV work with presenting a show for his company called ‘The Vagina Show’ (I’ll explain all soon) which is soon to be aired and it looks like we are in discussions of me having my own show in LA. Move over Ellen, there’s a new girl in town. And, this meeting occurred the day after I performed in London for a very private birthday party where I did one of my personal favourite food fetish acts called SWEET TOOTH which involves, cakes, chocolate éclairs, plenty of squirty cream, a HAPPY BIRTHDAY SONG and of course the birthday boy’s birthday cake being slowly, seductivley smothered all over his face.
All in all, this last week has been an eventful mixture of fun, frolics, business and farewells.
I am now heading home on the train to Brighton with a large bed of nails, latex outfits, staple guns and whips to start learning a new art of freak and sideshow to combine with my Burlesque for LA. Again note to self, bring on the tetanus jab!
I have now only two weeks left to pack up mine and my husband’s life’s into boxes ready for the freight arrival.
So, till next week you beautiful creatures, I again send my love, peace and happiness to all of you in what you do. I hope that I’ve managed to keep you entertained on my final farewell adventures.
One love and till next time.
You can read Part Three: Xarah Xavier – Fuck You Very Much UK
Or if you’re looking for Part 1 it’s right here
Blog by Xarah Xavier
Edited by Alex Hooper-Hodson