As I was thinking about the first words to say in this article – by the way I have been thinking about them for over 6 months, it occurred to me that such hesitation and procrastination is very very far away from the energy and drive that literally jump started my life 21 years ago on arriving in Barcelona…….So to access that state let’s go back in time to September the 17th 1991…

Well actually 3 months earlier than that is where it all really began….Walking home from the University of Rome where I had just been told my contract as a junior lecturer in Linguistics would not be renewed for another year ( leaving me with no job, no money and no avenue to finish my Phd (with which I was becoming increasingly bored!!) I tried to think of ways to break the news to my Italian girlfriend Vera….Things hadn’t been going to well recently and money was becoming an issue…The reply I got was not what I expected….” Non é la unica cosa che é terminata” she said… “that’s not the only thing that’s finished”!!!  I actually laughed as it was a brilliant line, extremely funny and very very English!!

The result is always your friend, somebody once said and so with those two defeats, job and love, both away from home where away goals count double, I packed my bags and left the beautiful city of Rome. Back to Bromley, Kent, back to Mum and Dad’s house, back to King’s School of English, Beckenham to teach English to diffident rich European teenagers and to think about the future.. where to next? What to do next? In the end there was and always had been only one answer – Barcelona, a place that had captured my imagination, from my time at Montpellier University, the stories the students told of the decadence, the life, the people, the colours….And now 9 months away from hosting the 1992 Olympics, it was surely THE place to be….So I looked for a job, any job teaching English and got one… starting in October and not getting paid until end of November….But I couldn’t wait, I had so much energy. so come September I got the Iberia flight and I remember saying to myself ” here goes the rest of your life……”

So that’s when we get to Sept 17th 1991….Barcelona, me, no job, no flat, not much money and a bucketful of energy…

 

 

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