So it’s just past the 26th anniversary of my last visit to Spain, a visit that didn’t go entirely to plan and indeed one which quite dramatically changed my life. But those 26 years have flown by and much has happened since, including getting married, having three amazing children, getting divorced, having another amazing child and more recently a grandson! As I write this I am only a few days away from returning to Spain for the first time and I can’t help but wonder if it will be a happy return.
You see, as I've said, its more or less 26 years to the day that I arrived back in the UK from Marbella with nothing more than the clothes I was wearing, ripped jeans and a white shirt which still had the lingering stale smell of smoke. I’d saved two lives, been wrongly arrested for arson and manslaughter, spent time in jail and counted each slab of the pavement as I jumped bail and hitched a lift or two to catch my flight back home from Malaga airport! As I hiked 35 miles in that furnace of heat with sweat pouring off me, I wondered if I would make it through passport control and leave the Costa de Sol once and for all. Now I'm wondering if I will be allowed to return to Spain.
Would you go back?
The story of my trip, which has been heard, read and reviewed around the world is called WRONG PLACE WRONG TIME and it features the events surrounding my nightmare visit to and escape from Marbella.
Now that I am returning to Spain for the first time and as its getting closer to the day of jetting off, how do I feel? Well, at the moment I think my family are more concerned than I am, worried about me being allowed in, even more worried that I will be re-arrested for skipping bail. To be honest, I don't think I will be as I did hear a rumour that the people who caused the fire were caught and another that the fire actually started from an accident in the hotel kitchen. But what will happen as I hand over my passport?
Of course I've been overseas many times since, to America, Greece, France, Amsterdam, I’ve even lived in Portugal and Madeira, but will I be stopped at the Spanish border? Who knows? Wouldn’t it make for a great sequel though? My family don’t think so! What do you think?
How am I feeling about returning to Spain? Well, many emotions have started to run wild in my head and a number of words, which best describe my feelings, spring to mind: trepidation, nervousness, fear, apprehension, too many to mention. But yes I can feel the nerves kicking in, the moment I land in Spain, get off that plane and walk to passport control, my memories of my previous time in Spain, will come flooding back!
Just writing this has made me apprehensive, but I have always wanted to return to the place I thought I would never leave, the country in which I thought I would spend some of my life behind bars. Why would I want to return you may ask? To clear my name? To see if I am allowed back? All of those, but also I'm mainly going back to spend a few days in the sun and relax with my girlfriend.
So, to look on the bright side, if there ever was one, of my trip 26 years ago, well I wrote about it and the book became a best seller and since then I’ve written six more books, with many more in the pipeline. So I guess that in some ways I should be grateful for my Spanish nightmare, but I will be happy never to repeat it.
I will of course let you all know if I was admitted without being arrested when I'm sipping a cocktail or two beside the pool at the villa we are staying at. If you don't hear from me BUT instead from my girlfriend, Julie, then you will know that I have returned to the WRONG PLACE WRONG TIME!
Wish me luck! Check out my Amazon Page & Adios Amigos!