The crazy world I grew up in led to my loss of hope and meaning to my life. The endless contradictions between what I saw and what I was told was reality become too much. The result was that I ended up taking drugs and not particularly caring if I lived or died. I didn't expect to survive past 30 and came close to death more than once by the time I was 20 and stopped taking drugs.

One incident when I was about 17 or so, occurred while I was staying with a fellow Junkie, who was also completing his degree at London University in Astronomy. He lived in a large open plan flat in Belsize Park and on this particular night, I was going to sleep on the sofa and he was in his bed. We talked in the dark and I asked him to explain how it was that one could measure the size of the universe but that at the same time it was said to be infinite. He proceeded to explain it to me and suddenly, for me, there was a clear pinprick of light in the absolute darkness of my mind. It was tiny, but in my darkness, it shone bright in contrast.

I didn't know what it meant and nothing changed in the short term, but it was a tiny little seed of hope, where none had existed before.

I've always been grateful to my friend John for that. I visited him for a lot of years after that. He sadly stayed a junkie, although his Genius was appreciated by some. I know he ended up working for a company involved in the optics for the mars rover and the company valued his input enough to send a taxi every day to collect him from home.

Thanks John, if you're still alive, you started something in that night that led me to this point.