It hit me one freezing February morning in 1990 or thereabouts. I was shivering on the platform at Weybridge Railway Station at the time. As I looked around at the same old miserable commuters suffering the damp, polluted air while staunchly defending their regular patch of concrete, I began to question my sanity. Did I appear the same to them? Was this all I had to look forward to for the next twenty-five years? Then came the dreaded announcement. Leaves on the line. It was that day’s original excuse for a twenty-minute delay. Once again, the 07.41 to Waterloo would be packed and I’d be jammed outside the toilet with someone’s newspaper rustling in my ear. Great. Super. I thought, as the completion of the day’s tedious tasks ahead would now slip further behind due to no fault of mine. That was enough. I was done. Beam me up, Scotty.
Not having any desire to strip naked on a pebble beach feigning my disappearance to a distant pig farm, I chose the next best escape route. Thankfully, my parents had retired to Nerja, Spain many years previously. I would join them and work out what to do after my arrival. I was forty-odd years of age, almost divorced but still way too poor and young to retire or do nothing. Surely, there was still time to reinvent myself, but as what? Fate would soon intervene.