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Inspiration, literally from above the clouds

We’ve just come back from a few relaxing days in Tenerife. How liberating it is to not only get away but go somewhere new. The joy always surprises me, as do the ideas I get.

For example: the other day we drove inland, up a large mountain. Exhausted after an hour of negotiating the tight, winding roads, we stopped at a tiny village called Vilaflor for coffee. From the terrace we looked down and saw that the clouds were underneath us.

But it wasn’t the setting which inspired me. The young man who took our orders, albeit fashionably dressed and good-looking, was noticeably nervous and low on confidence. He walked away before I could say ‘per favor’ and couldn’t look me in the eye when he returned with our coffees.

A few minutes later, I noticed him get into the car parked next to us; a white Mitsubishi Colt with black alloy wheels and red trim along the body and tyres. Inside, the steering wheel had been replaced by a rally version. The young man looked far more comfortable revving the roaring engine than he did doing his job.

He sped away only to return five minutes later. Clearly, he had run a simple errand. Any excuse.

I asked him with my pigeon Spanish how long he had owned the car. Two years, he told me. And how old was it? Twenty-three years; probably older than him.

He looked pleased I had asked him about his car. But the pleasure was all mine; this experience has breathed new life into an idea I have been developing for nearly nine months…