It was either in 1995 or 1996 or even 97. I’m not really sure of the date because really at the time I was so confused. Ray’s death had hit me so badly that I wasn’t sure of anything anymore or really what was happening. Even though it was nearly 10 years since he had died, it was as though I had an open knife wound in my heart that would not heal. I was forever on the move, all the time travelling between the villa in Fuengirola in Spain and the flat in London. Not working. Just on the move. It was like going from the sublime to the ridiculous every time I left Spain, but it brought me down to earth with a bang every time I was back in London, and all this time Ray, or I should say his ashes in a very unattractive Urn, travelled with me. It would be on the mantle place in Fuengirola or on the fire surround in London. It was all somewhat a little macabre, in fact it was very macabre, and many people said so.
Somehow I had to have him with me at all times and either flying to Spain or driving there, the Urn travelled with me and I would talk to it. I think really I was either losing it mentally or I had already lost it!
Whenever I was in London I would meet up with Daphne who was our cleaner when we were living in Barons Keep, and we had always kept in touch. We would go to a Pub in Soho Square and get quietly pissed talking about the old days and when Ray was alive. We spent good times together. Daphne was a spiritualist and when she was cleaning Barons Keep would collect hair from a hairbrush or comb and the odd nail clippings, both Rays and mine, and send them off to some crazy lady living in the country who would give her mangled readings about our hair or nails. Ray and I always took the letters with a pinch of salt, but Daphne believed it and it made her happy. She was forever telling me that her husband would die soon. The woman had told her that he hadn’t long to live, and she would be free. In Barons Keep when she was cleaning we always had a coffee together before she started work. When I wasn’t there, Ray would take over, although he wasn’t too keen on it as he used to say, “she talked too much”. On one of my returns to London post Ray, I got a call from Daphne’s daughter-in-law. She told me that she had been trying to telephone me for months, and to cut a long story short “Daphne had died”. The first thing I asked was whether her husband was still alive and she told me he was well and very much alive. So much for the clairvoyant who read hair and nails!
Well, I decided to talk to Ray (the Urn that is!) Daphne’s daughter-in-law told me that her ashes had been scattered in the Garden Of Remembrance at the Mortlake Crematorium.
I went there to see where they had strewn her ashes. Daphne’s daughter-in-law had given me complete instructions as to the exact spot, by a rose tree on a certain path. It was such a beautiful day and it was so beautiful there just by the Thames, peaceful and tranquil. Ideal for Ray. So ideal, that I thought that at long last I had found a spot for him.
Well, I went back to the flat and talked to Ray (the Urn that is). I knew that he must have been as sick as I was with all the travelling backwards and forwards, and I told him that it was time I let him go and that it was quite beautiful where Daphne was and at least he would have company and someone to talk to, even though she might drive him mad now and again.
So the deed was done and I had his ashes spread by the rose tree, so he could talk with Daphne and have a wonderful view of the Thames. They kept the Urn at the Crematorium. Talk about recycling, it wasn’t even theirs. I paid for it when Ray was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium!
So I had put Ray to rest. I wasn’t happy about it, but it had to be done, and he was in a beautiful spot and, God Bless him, he at least had Daphne to keep him company. In my mind I thought that when my time came I could have my ashes spread in the same spot. (That all sounds so good and easy. Ha! Ha! this story will be continued later!)
What a long intro this is just to get to the real story! ! !
MR. ANDI BROOKS
Andi and me having coffee in Tokyo
Around this time my Agent Jamie Phillips of Trends Management told me that an advertisement kept appearing in the Stage Newspaper looking for me, or asking maybe if I was alive or dead? No such luck, I was still alive and kicking!
As I had time to spare and no Urn to talk to, I telephoned to the gentleman who placed the advertisement. His name was Andi Brooks who lived in Bath. That is how we met. He came to London and interviewed me in August 1997 for his future book that he was co-author with Frank Dello Stritto called “Vampire Over London” the whole interview is somewhere on my Blog. Through that interview Andi and I became friends and kept in touch with one another even after the book was published in 2000.
All this time I would talk to him about various things that had happened to me and he was forever telling me that I should write about it. But I kept explaining to Andi that Ray when he was alive was the writer. I never wrote anything. Ray would write to my parents, write all our business letters, and sign important papers. He got it down to a fine art, he even could even do my signature until one day the bank manager called me into his office to say that my signature on our joint bank account seemed to have changed. So I explained that I had sprained my wrist and found it difficult to write properly. I told Ray that when he wrote my name he had to take his time with it and that a scrawl just didn’t work. I couldn’t keep on going back to the bank manager with excuses. That was the trust we had in one another. I trusted him completely. So when Andi suggested that I should start a Blog it took a great deal of persuading and convincing on his part over many, many years for me to even contemplate it.
In the year of the millennium 2000 by chance I was appearing in “Aladdin” at the Theatre Royal, Brighton and had the pleasure of meeting Frank Dello Stritto and his wife, who came to a matinée of the Show, before they left for America for good and also arrange the publication of their book “Vampire Over London”. So strange because it was at the Theatre Royal, Brighton that “Dracula” opened in 1951 and the whole story started. This intrigued Frank completely, to believe that he was actually in the same Theatre.
“Vampire Over London” was an enormous success and has now gone into it’s 2nd. printing. The publication is such excellent quality.
Well over the years Andi and I kept in touch, he told me that he had married a Japanese student named Kyoko and later they went off to live in Tokyo, Japan. All this time we kept in touch, and he was forever urging me to write a Blog about what I had done over the years. He explained that he would set it up for me with WordPress.com and do all my editing in fact the whole caboodle. In fact he has been faithful to his word and encouraged me 100% to write. I didn’t think I could do it, and I wasn’t sure that what I had to say would interest anybody. But the proof is in the pudding and “ericlindsay.wordpress.com” came into being in 2012 and by some miracle it seems to be a success. I don’t understand why because really I can’t write, at least that’s what I tell myself, so it’s all thanks to Andi Brooks. Bless him!
Meeting up with Andi and Kyoko in the Coffee Shop in Tokyo.
On the 7th of October 2016 I flew into Tokyo and met up with Andi, who I hadn’t seen since our first meeting in London in August 1997. Twenty years is a long time and we had plenty to talk about and we did non-stop. Later, Kyoko joined us and I had the pleasure of meeting her for the first time, and what a charming lady she is. Andi had done himself proud. To think of the young man who had interviewed me so many years back and now here he was with a full family.
What an amazing place Tokyo is, and I had two whole days to be with Andi and his family and talk. They also showed me part of Korean Town which was in the area of my hotel.
During the time that Andi has been living in Tokyo he has been blessed with a handsome son called Yui who is now 14yrs.old. Yui is a budding artist, and drew a quickie for me on my visit. I look a little beaten up, but it’s a great souvenir. He travels everywhere with his pencil and pad.
The top one certainly gives me a beaten up look.
Whilst I was there it was his birthday so I sent him a card in English.
YUI with his Birthday Card
Yui, me, Andi and Kyoko at Dinner.
Yui travels everywhere with his pencil and pad. He even took it with him when we had dinner together in a typical Japanese Restaurant.
Kyoko and Yui seeing my off at my Hotel.
Whilst I was there it was Yui’s Birthday, so I managed to find a card in English. The few days that I was in Tokyo I did no sight seeing whatsoever. I was just happy to spend all my time with Andi and his family. The happiness he has given me with my little Blog is amazing.
I have so much to thank him for, he has really given me a reason for carrying on.
Me and my very good friend ANDI BROOKS.