sally’s autobiography (we think it’s all bullshit)


i was born sally penis von paven. i legally dropped my middle name the day i turned twelve. it was my great grandfather’s name and it was tradition to pass down family names. to be fair to my parents they did not speak english and in their language (a polish/german/zulu hybrid) the ‘en’ was not pronounced. it was pronounced ‘piss’. heard or read, my name was an embarrassment to me. i despised my parents for a very long time because of this.

if i have a regret about my childhood it was that i never got to forgive them to their face. it is custom in our village to wear a paper bag over your head from your 35th birthday as it is written in our holy book:

how old are you? 35? wow!!!
ok. write this down.
new rule.
at three and a half decades old i find thee ugly. repulsive. offensive to mine holy eyes. see that bag over there? yeah. that one. put it on your head. never be in my presence again with that disgusting mess of a thing you call a face.


that’s a picture of mum i took the day before i ran away. she is so beautiful.

by the time i had forgiven them they were in their early 40’s. they said they were glad but without seeing their eyes i could never tell if they were telling the truth.

i want to thank fabian and sasha for being so supportive in letting me write this blog. it is a kind of therapy for me. so i will be writing regularly, mostly for me, but you are more than welcome to come back and read.

i have had many adventures in my life, but the single most important act of my life up to this point was escaping my village.

i need to go to the studio now to record some xylophone but i will return soon and write down all the details of that long, terrifying night a decade ago.



ps any oasis fans reading this? make sure you come back. i am the sally noel gallagher is singing about in ‘don’t look back in anger’! that was an amazing weekend.


i am ashamed of running away from home ten years ago. i am ashamed i lied to my parents and that they worried about me for weeks before i contacted them. i am ashamed i stole from my uncle. i am ashamed i broke six out of seven of our holy book’s commandments.

i can live with shame. i couldn’t live any longer in that place.

that place, our village, was home to about 1500 people. that is a slightly uncomfortable number. you recognise everybody but you can’t possibly remember everybody’s names. is there anything worse in life than someone knowing your name and you not quite remembering their’s?


i only found out later that our ‘country’ was in reality just a village in a mostly rural province of a european country. i won’t say which one as i still love my family and friends and don’t want them to be bothered by backpackers wanting to see the ‘weirdos’.

my village

it is a beautiful place. our village is on top of a mountain. it is not a huge mountain but it definitely ain’t no hill. until i ran away i had never seen our village from the outside. it was a shock when i did. it seems to defy the accepted laws of physics. it sits there like a book balancing on a child’s head. it looks as if it should topple off and slide down the side of the mountain. it is probably why we weren’t allowed to leave. once you saw that you would be too terrified to go back.

winters are cold, lots of snow, summers are hot.

where there is one mountain there are usually others. and on top of another mountain not too far from ours was another ‘country’. they were our mortal enemies. we hated them. we were certain they were inbreds. that they were stupid. ugly. smelly. slept with animals.

none of us had ever been there and none of them had ever visited us. but we knew how DEPRAVED they were from our holy book. our religion is mancian, theirs is manutian. mancis (pronounced mansees) fucking HATE manuts (manoots). as it says in our holy book:

seriously? how absolutely fucking stupid are the manuts?
i’ll fucking tell ya.
write this down.
manuts love, really fucking love, to have sex with animals.
what animals?
doesn’t matter. goats and sheep and cows of course. but when they are in the mood any animal will do. birds stopped landing there years ago. wildlife learned years ago to stay away from there. if an animal ain’t caged it learns very quickly to get the fuck out.
and when they can’t sleep with any animals they sleep with their own family.
did you get all that down?
good. can someone get me a fucking beer? i’m fucking parched.

however repulsive these people were i knew by my 15th birthday that they were my ticket off the mountain.

my index fingers are tired.

back soon.




i don’t want anyone to think i had a difficult or unpleasant childhood. i had parents who cared for me, friends to play with, food to eat. i always felt safe and always felt loved.
you may think it weird to spend your life living only in the one town, but it didn’t feel that way. and how many people live out their lives never leaving the place they were born? a lot i reckon.
you may think it weird that everyone over thirty-five wore a sack over their head. but if that is all you have ever known then it is normal. and i know of lots of other countries where it is considered normal to wear something over your head.
no, my childhood was as it should be. carefree and fun.
the only reason i ever wanted to leave was because of those cursed manuts.
if the wind blew the right way you could hear sounds from over there. mostly it was just noise. but every now and then you could hear music. and it was beautiful. at those times when we could hear the music mum and dad would put cork in my ears. as it is written in our holy book:

hear that? can you hear that?
shit. pure shit.
fuck ’em.
new rule.
you writing this down?
yes you are writing this down?
everytime you hear that music…
start again, sorry.
everytime you hear that ear-herpes coming from those fucking manuts, you have to put cork in your ears. can’t listen to it. it’ll rot your brain.
get me some fucking cork!

i would always take the cork out. the music was beautiful. i needed to find out what it was.
i knew the first time i heard it that i had to leave.
that’s when i began to plan my escape.

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