Adam and I spent the New Year in Acequias, near Granada, Spain, at Rosy and Andrew’s house. We drove up into the Sierra Nevada, walked the fertile gorges and explored the villages in the Alpujarras. I met Ian Gibson, Rosy’s cousin, who turned out to be a writer of some renown in Spain. He had written several famous works about Lorca, one of which had inspired a Ballet Rambert dance called ‘Cruel Garden’. Astonishingly, this very dance had, nearly 20 years earlier, inspired my very first piece of substantial fiction.

EC Inform’s business was ticking over, with lots of hard work, but I was keen to employ an assistant, to help me start a second newsletter on transport issues. However, if I was ever going to move out of London, then I needed to do this first. Thus, by the summer, I was urgently looking at houses in the Godalming area. We also checked out local schools. I became a little obsessed with one property near Elstead - Ravenswood, the central portion of a mansion that was divided into three - that had been repossessed; but my final bid to the estate agent fell short. The same agent found me another house, with a good-sized garden, in the same village - just a 100 metres from the primary school. By late autumn, I had bought El Rosco, changed its name to Russet House, and moved in. Barbara, meanwhile, had rented a flat very near her place of work in Wisley. We still spent time at weekends in Brighton.

Adam continued to do well at Emmanuel School. The 150 year celebrations came to a head in July with a party for past pupils, including one whose grandmother had been at the school in the 1890s. The Souvenir Programme I’d been working on for months contained old photographs, a history of the school, a list of past heads, and work by current pupils. Other writing projects through the year included an annual report for the European Commission’s Thermie programme (bringing in a substantial fee), a collection of short stories called ‘Love Uncovered’, and a children’s novel called ’TomSpin - The Life and Times of a TyreSpinner’.

The three of us spent a week in the summer at my brother’s delightful house in Devon near Barnstaple. In the autumn, I attended an energy conference in Thessaloniki, and I took Adam with me to Brussels for a few days.

For no particular reason, from March to August (Diary 53) I returned to handwriting entries in a journal, but I obliged myself to do so on a daily basis, something I’d not done since my travelling days. But, when it was full, I was very relieved to get back to writing entries on the computer, and only intermittently. (Diaries 52, 53, 54)

Paul K. Lyons (December 2016)


1974 1975

1976 1977

1978 1979

1980 1981

1982 1983

1984 1985

1986 1987

1988 1989

1990 1991

1992 1993

1994 1995

1996 1997

1998 1999

2000 2001

2002 2003

2004 2005

INTRO to diaries