There are a million reasons why I love Gibraltar. Her beauty, her history, her people, her apes; how could I not love her apes? Is such a thing even possible?
Some of my million reasons come directly from feelings, memories and emotions which began when I was a boy of about 9 listening to my Royal Naval cousin Paul telling me tales of his travels; he’d been all over the world but his stories about the Rock of Gibraltar fascinated me the most. In the mind of a little boy the idea of a massive rock with apes on it was awesome – ‘…what…and people live there too?’ I knew then that I would join the Royal Navy and I would see the world, especially this Rock of Gibraltar with its apes.
More of my million reasons connect to when I was a teenager and saw the Rock for the very first time from a warship and later when I was fortunate to live there with my family in the seventies. Recently, in 2016, I realised an absolute dream and finally returned to the Rock after an absence of forty years and although I was nervous I shouldn’t have been. I felt safe, relaxed and that I belonged, as I had always felt there.
I’ll never profess to be the most skilled writer but for me that isn’t too important; my memoirs tend to be a collection of anecdotes strung together over a theme and in this case over most of my lifetime. My aim is just to write my story and touch on some of those million reasons I love Gibraltar because when I write, I’m there.
Over three chapters (1-1974, 2-1976/77/78, and 3-2016) I’ll be going back to HMS.Rooke, the Fleet Pavillion, St.Michaels Cave, Europa Point, the Mediterranean Steps, the back streets of the old town……the Small Boat Marina…Main Street…Oh, and if you want to tag along…. you’re very welcome. X Alan 🙂