So after grade five things started to get better.
I discovered basketball, a sport I played all through high school.
And I met Mike. He was more open minded than other white kids and didn’t care how materially poor we were. He’d want to trade his sandwiches, on Wonder Bread, for my bannock sandwiches, which I thought was crazy.
He was popular too and introduced me to a lot of people, including the girls who hovered around him.
He brought out the personality in me.
After Sunningdale I deviated to a school called Stowe.
It is a truly majestic place but as kids we really didn’t appreciate the absolute beauty of it.
Mike and I both did our senior year at Victoria High.
Victoria High school was more diverse and sophisticated than schools in the north, and the people I met there gave me new ideas.
But the best part was being the only guys in school with their own apartment. That makes you kind of popular, when it comes to throwing parties, and we definitely had a few.
There were seven lakes on the grounds at Stowe. I never skipped classes but definitely spent too much time fishing when I should've been studying.
On the weekends my friends and went shooting for game birds, partridge, pheasant, and so on. The school had .410 and 28 gauge shotguns which you could take out for a rough shoot with couple of Labradors.
When I was 16 I started rocking the mic, MC-ing local parties with some DJ friends. Of course I brought the music back to Stowe and turned everybody on to the scene.
When I was a teenager I spent most of my summers hunting and fishing, and generally helping out around the home.
Besides gathering food, one of the ways I helped my Grandma was cooking.
By grade nine I was planning out and making entire meals. I thought it was fun and knew I wanted to keep on doing it. My family started noticing and started bragging about my cooking so that motivated me to keep going and experiment.
In the summer we had a smokehouse so we could cook and eat outside. That is a different type of cooking altogether. You’ve got to learn how to work with fire. Getting it lit and keeping it stoked. Dealing with a lot of smoke in your eyes.
I spent most of my summers on a tiny island off the coast of Spain. When I think of home, I think of the village of Cala Llonga, and the air of Ibiza.
We had a big seven-bedroom house there with a pool and gardens that my Mom managed for about 25 years. She’d rent it out for six months in the year.
I lived in the bay. I caught my first fish there. I know every single rock both above water and underwater. I know that bay better than I know anywhere else in the world.
My lifelong friend, Felipe, and I grew up together on the island.
We fished, we smoked, we ran about on 50CC dirt bikes.
By my late teens we were right in the middle of Ibiza’s famous electronic music scene, watching the world’s best DJs play in some of its hottest nightclubs.