My first and last: Toyah Willcox, actress/singer/presenter 

My first property was an old British Rail warehouse in Battersea, southwest London, which I rented for £60 a week with three friends and which I converted into an arts centre. We each built our bedrooms with wood we found lying around and there was also a 2,000 square foot space that was used for events and parties. It became part of London's subterranean culture, as well as a haunt of London's glitterati. David Bowie, Boy George and Iggy Pop would come down and Steve Strange would host parties with 400 people and only one loo between them. Even though I was often away filming, I remember living there as one of the most stressful times of my life. 

My most recent purchase is an 18th century fisherman's cottage on the Avon, near Stratford, with three bedrooms and a great view over the river and surrounding flood plains. It has an almost Mediterranean light and the sky always seems to be blue. I go there to write, to paint, to be creative, and it's where I feel most settled. 

Toyah Willcox is just completing a run in Sleeping Beauty in Canterbury, to keep up with what Toyah is doing go to www.toyahwillcox.com. 

Change magazine
January 2005