Thursday, May 09, 2013

When Kate Harrison Ran Away...


Here's Kate's story...

Four years ago, we ran away to the beach.
                  London had nothing left to offer. The banks were all going bust and no one was building anything anymore, which was a problem for my boyfriend, a construction surveyor.
                  We packed the laptop, the cat and the cat’s new pet passport, and flew to Barcelona. We narrowly avoided being arrested when we objected to putting the cat’s basket through the X-ray machine at security, and the look on her face during take-off made me glad there’s no Childline for pets. But after a bumpy few hours, we’d arrived. Run away from chilly England, from council tax bills and depressing headlines (or at least, headlines in a language we could understand). Ahead lay the sunshine and siestas of Spain – though we learned pretty soon that calling Catalunya part of Spain was not a good idea in one of the Med’s most passionately separatist states.
                  Barcelona was brilliant, bracing and bonkers. We struggled with Spanish red tape, but not with the fantastic lifestyle. We made great friends, started running on the beach, took to tapas in a big way, tried mushroom hunting and cava tasting, and went back to the classroom to learn the language of our new home.
                  Running on the beach one morning, I also had a weird but exciting new idea for a strange teenage trilogy set on a glamorous beach… a writer is never truly off-duty.   
                  We loved being runaways. But it couldn’t last forever. I missed family, friends, English cheese and – surprisingly – Boots and British supermarkets. I chased burglars out of our flat one hot summer’s night: petty crime is the downside to Europe’s sexiest city. Plus, once I understood the headlines, I could see that ‘la crisis’ was even worse in Spain.
So we ran back again, carrying our poorly cat via a sleeper train to Paris and then Eurotunnel. But we weren’t running to London this time. If we couldn’t have the southern sun, at least we could have a (pebbly) shore. We’ve moved to Brighton. And with Gatwick half an hour away on the train, it couldn’t be easier to get back to Barca when we need a reminder of our Great Escape…


Kate’s latest novel is The Boot Camp
Five women with one goal: to feel like a million dollars for the first time in their lives. They have nothing to lose but their muffin tops!

SIX...days of dawn runs, blistered feet and non-stop sit-ups...
FIVE...meals a day - if half an apple or an oatcake counts as a meal...
FOUR... poster beds not included - but sleep won't be a problem after a ten hour workout...
THREE... women with a battalion's worth of baggage between them...
TWO... hardcore ex-forces trainers with testosterone to spare...
ONE GOAL: To feel like a million dollars, for the first time in your life...
Leave your Mars Bars and Marlboros at the door... this is Boot Camp!


– and the final part of her Soul Beach trilogy – set on a beach people are dying to get to – will be out later this summer.

















To find out more about Kate and her book go here or find her on Twitter @katewritesbooks...

2 comments:

Glynis said...

Kate, we did the same in 2005, and moved to Cyprus. We leave the island for the UK again, on June 27th. Family pull is strong. The crisis here also scared the heck out of us. Our decision to move came before it hit, as I had a niggling feeling the island was no longer for me. So glad we listened to the niggle. :)

Liz Fenwick said...

Hi Glynis..well done for being aware and good luck with the move.
lx