"In December 2009 the national newspapers reported the arrest of a 'drug baron' with the biggest haul of crystal meth yet seen in this country. The accompanying photo was a mugshot of a scrawny, seedy looking bloke - the archetypal lowlife, a career crook, no doubt. And yet behind the headlines was a story the newspapers never discovered, a story more sensational than they could ever have wished for.
This lowlife, this drug baron was in fact, just a few years before, a meek law-abiding suburban family man... He was my dad."James was a normal student - insecure, smelly, geeky and a virgin to boot - at a normal university on his way home to his normal family at the end of a normal term. His father picked James up in his old Cortina - his middle class, middle-aged father, a respected Jewish coin dealer - and they travelled back to their suburban house in northwest London.
Here, James's teetotal dad liked nothing more than to relax at the end of a long 9-5 by listening to some Taverner or Handel with a nice cup of Earl Grey, musing with delight on the highlight of his day: finding a great parking space near the entrance to Tesco. Never in his worst nightmares could James know that in the next few days not only would his parents separate; not only would they both reveal to him they were gay; not only would his fifty-something father ditch Tavener for Trance, Handel for Hard House and hit the gay club scene of London harder than James had ever hit the student union bar in Bournemouth; not only would his father trade in coin dealing for drug dealing to a catalogue of A list celebrities in his new London flat, which was transformed to a hangout for addicts of sex and drugs alike; not only would James lose his mother to cancer in the ensuing months; not only would his father develop a debilitating addiction to crystal meth; but James's dad would eventually be arrested with that biggest haul of crystal meth in UK history.