Tracey Emin: My Life in a Column

I lost my phone, got a parking ticket, broke my teeth and . . . I'm the luckiest girl in the world
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The Independent Online

I have had the most amazing, extraordinary week of good luck. I've lost my phone twice - both times I've had it returned to me. You see, there are honest people out there in the world. My mates were going to try to put it into a charity auction to see how much I'd pay for it. I've had a mobile phone for 10 years now, and, as sad as it sounds, I honestly couldn't live without it.

Last year, for a fleeting moment, when I thought about ending it all, my first line of action was to throw my phone in the river. Just as I was about to do it, it rang and brought me to my senses. Whoah, whoah! Hold the horses! This is supposed to be a good luck story!

Last Friday I got a parking ticket. (This was after ranting on to my friends that when you get a parking ticket it's your own fault and you just have to pay it.) After my first parking ticket experience I wasn't so happy, but my friends were delighted.

All the parking bays had been suspended because a film crew was using them. With a big smile on my face, I walked up to the fixer and handed over my parking ticket. I said: "I think this is yours." He humbly said: "Sorry about that, Tracey." And gave me £60 - £10 more than the amount payable on the ticket.

On Sunday night, I presented a Bafta award to Jamie Oliver. It was great - I really had my act together. But somehow it took me an hour-and-a-half to get back to my table. On plonking myself in my chair in a drunken swoop, I turned to my neighbour and said: "God, this is a big restaurant! Where are we?" It was at this point I realised I had to leave, which was smart thinking. Shame I missed the step when I came out of the loo, ending up on my hands and knees, and smashing my front teeth out on the doorframe. Apparently, I looked quite elegant, in a classic hatha yoga position. But I was in a slight state of shock. The Grosvenor House Hotel, with a thousand celebrities inside and just as many paparazzi outside. And there I was with no teeth. But we left via the kitchen.

And what was so lucky about breaking my front teeth was the fact that they were false in the first place. An amazing feeling of liberation came over me. I realised that, with all my openness, I'm still terribly shy about people seeing me without my teeth. (Apart from Halloween, when children do trick or treat - I like to put Docket under my arm, take out my teeth and hold a candle in my hand and make all the little trick-or-treat kids scream.) It's because of the stigma involved. And it doesn't look very nice. But I found myself completely drunk, in the arms of a wonderful man, laughing, saying: "I'm free! I'm free!"

And now for more of the good luck bit: I have a fantastic dentist! I made my way down Harley Street in disguise, wearing a leopard-print YSL scarf and a long red mac - very Arab Chic. By three o'clock in the afternoon, I had really beautiful new teeth and they're so much better than the ones I had before. I just kept looking in the mirror and smiling and saying: "I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky." We then went to see my friend Stephen Webster, the jeweller, to have my fingers measured for a ring. A beautiful, old gold, blue crystal ring. I decided to treat myself because I'm so happy.

At the same time, I tried on two beautiful gold rings, one in rose gold and one in yellow gold, which lock together in perfect harmony. They slid on my wedding finger like they had always been there. I immediately wanted to buy them, but Stephen insisted on giving them to me. Why? Because I'm the luckiest girl in the world, of course! My friend Trilby was quite apprehensive about this as it's meant to be bad luck to wear rings on your wedding finger. I disagreed and said it simply meant I was spoken for.

After years of being in the wilderness, I feel whole again. I've spent the last week crying with laughter, being surrounded by wonderful friends. The sun's shining and the world is my oyster. I've always maintained that energy leads to energy. A chain of good things has been following me. I feel that I'm allowed to enjoy my life and celebrate my successes. It's a really wonderful feeling.

Today I went for a walk. I went to Spitalfields City Farm. I can't believe I've never been there before - a five-minute walk from my house - right in the heart of the East End. Hundreds of really cute little animals: goats, mice, ducks, a really big, fat, black pig and really, really cute long-eared rabbits, beautiful little gardens, vegetable patches and a magic garden where I made a wish. I wished that life could always be like this.

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