Former Huddersfield man Brian Hayhurst introduces us to a couple who quit Huddersfield for an exciting new life in the sun.
DYNAMIC Huddersfield-born couple Brad and Di decided to uproot almost 25 years ago and move in southern Spain – and they’ve never regretted it for one moment.
Bradley Cobb and Diana Rippingham lived in Newsome and worked in the NHS – Brad as a Huddersfield Royal Infirmary’s Path Lab and Di was a community nursing sister.
After frequently visiting the Costa del Sol since 1983 at least three times a year, they fell in love with the lifestyle and people out here. Enjoying probably the best climate in Europe and steadily increasing their number of friends and contacts, it was soon to be an easy choice for a move.
With their job satisfaction in the NHS at an all-time low and an offer for Brad to run a private HIV testing lab in Benalmadena, they sold up and were soon heading for Portsmouth with all their worldly possessions, including a second hand microscope bought from the NHS.
Di travelled in an old 2CV banger, Brad on his 350 Yamaha – a bike he did over 100km a day on.
They departed England’s shores in a force five gale and the ferry was blown against the harbour wall so they had to wait 24 hours for another boat. Great start!
The sun was high in the sky when they reached the notorious N340 coast road south of Barcelona in Spain.
In the 1980s it was listed as the most dangerous in Europe and driving on it was similar to the first lap in the Monaco F1, but not now – it is well controlled. Brad and Di were swiftly moving to their new life in Spain.
At first they stayed with a Spanish family who spoke not a word of English.
This was a wake up call and therefore after much practice, struggling with mountains of red tape, paperwork and queues in front of government officials, they finally mastered the lingo and both have been fluent for many years.
Brad said: “It pays off when you’re purchasing something or haggling. Plus you get instant respect for taking the trouble to learn their language. After all, we are immigrants in their country even though I class Spain as my first love now over the UK.”
Di is probably the bubbliest, most outgoing person my wife Elaine and I have met here on the coast. Her outgoing personality entwined with her nursing skills enabled her to set up in business with a private nursing agency just 2km from the famous ‘rich set, playboy resort’ of Puerto Banus.
She soon built up an impressive portfolio of clients, including a number of well-known stars who have properties there. Understandably, no amount of persuasion would get her to divulge names or any other information