In love with an island

I first arrived in Ibiza more-or-less by chance. I applied for a job in the island’s English-language school, teaching science, and they accepted me. I didn’t know where Ibiza was, and the only sentence I knew in Spanish was “Yo soy un hombre sincero” – I am an honest man – (thanks to Pete Seeger and his recording of the song Guantanamera). It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the island, but I think it took me longer than most of the foreigners who made the island their home. Many people fall in love at first sight.

I took part in the local theatre group, opened the batting and the bowling for the island’s cricket team; wrote for and then ran the island’s newspaper in English, the Ibiza Now; I was also one of the founders of the Ibiza Heute in German. There was a lot more in between, but that will all be in the book, of course. Above all, I had a lot of fun and lived through a lot of strange experiences. My friend Dieter once told me why he and his wife Tep returned to Ibiza from Canada back in the 1960s: “Life was so boring in Canada,” he said. I know what he means, and I hope that my book will show you all why I still love a small island in the Mediterranean.

Now I have lived away from Ibiza for nearly 15 years, and I feel an urge to write about a place that is still there but a time that is now gone. I originally started on this project after suffering from a ruptured achilles tendon. This put my right leg in plaster for about three months, and I started writing a few chapters while recuperating. I read them through a few weeks later, thought they were rubbish and gave up on the project. Later I chanced upon the files, hidden in an obscure corner of my hard drive and realised that they weren’t so bad after all…

Above all, my wife Elaine has encouraged me to write my book, and has been solidly behind me since I first tentatively asked her to have a look at a few early chapters. Two of her colleagues, Ian and Declan, are also part-time writers who have shamed and encouraged me to keep going.

Will my book be any good? I don’t know. I don’t think that’s for me to judge, but please enjoy my current writings and let me know what you think.