Fresh off the boat to watch the Galway Races!

Charlie Adley
Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

1992 was the end of England life. The end of a long-dead obsessive love affair that had sent me crazy twice. The end of a major piece of work that started out as a novel, yet such is the nature of writing, might still someday appear as a TV series. The end of my patience with the voting British public, who had elected the fourth Conservative government in a row.

Liberated from the ties of failed love, freed from the bonds of labour, I wrapped my love of England into a mental parcel, excited only by thought of the new.

Time for a new country, a new life, but where? I’d been around the planet twice; obviously not every country, not even each continent, but South America and Africa would have to wait.

Every cent was sacred. Every penny I could muster would allow me more time to decide where best felt like home.

Leaving my terraced house in Bradford, West Yorkshire, I walked down the hill to the city centre and into a Travel Agents.

“Can I help you?”

“You can, thanks. I’d like the cheapest one-way flight out of this country.”

“Any preferred destination?”

“No. Just somewhere else.”

Late twenties, tired eyes and dyed scarlet hair, she smiled, silently sympathetic.

Several phone calls and many checked lists later, she raised her chin towards me.

“I’ve got £38 one-way to Malaga.”

“Fantastic. I’ll take it.”

Truly I would have gone anywhere, but this was a sign. For many years I’d regularly visited one of my best friends who lived in Barcelona. Before Ryanair and EasyJet overwhelmed it with millions of tourists, Barcelona was a wonderful bustling Catalan capital, proud of its rebel history, cultural influence and brazen wealth.

To read Charlie’s column in full, please see this week’s Galway City Tribune.